What is the difference between laminate and hardwood flooring?

General Questions about Flooring

What is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate Flooring is made up of a high-density base, with a photograph of wood on top, coated with an acrylic lacquer. There is no real wood in a laminate board. The core board is a hard fiber board composed of wood residue that can be a FSC flooring that has been certified as sustainable.

What is Wood Construction Flooring?
Wood Construction can also be known as real wood flooring, as the whole board is made of different woods. The top layer is solid wood, with a layer of wood pieces laid at 90 degrees to the top layer to create stability. The bottom layer is laid the same as the top layer.

What is Solid Wood Flooring?
Solid wood is exactly as it sounds, one piece of wood from top to bottom.

What is the difference between Solid Wood Flooring and Engineered Wood Flooring?
Each has their specific uses and is dictated by your lifestyle and specific needs.
Solid wood flooring can be used on the ground floor and above, but not below ground floor, i.e. cellars etc. Solid wood should be in a moisture-controlled environment. Solid wood strip or plank is nail down only and requires a wood sub floor. Solid wood parquet can be glued to a variety of sub floor materials.

Engineered wood flooring consists of a multi-ply, cross-laid backing with a veneer top layer of a selected species. Engineered wood flooring can be used on on any floor, above or below ground floor.

Engineered wood flooring is more dimensionally stable so it can be installed in areas where solid wood is not compatible due to moisture. Engineered strip, plank and parquet are floating floor applications, with one or two glue down ranges over various sub floors. Engineered includes floating floors where the tongue and groove are glued together, but the floor is not anchored to the sub floor.

What is “Floating Flooring”?

Floating flooring is a flooring system laid down over a layer of underlay. So while the individual planks are glued together, the individual planks are not nailed or glued into the permanent floor. Instead, the planks form a system that “floats” over the layer of underlay. The underlay can be laid down over existing floors.

Should your Floating Hardwood Flooring be installed under kitchen appliances?
In the kitchen, you should install the flooring under kitchen appliances, but be very careful when you slide the appliances over the floor. We recommend covering the flooring with something such as a spare rug to protect the flooring when you’re moving the appliances.

Are there methods that make it possible for ALL stains to be removed from Hardwood Floors or is it sometimes impossible for some stains to be removed?
Most stains don’t penetrate more than the sanding will remove. However, if you have a severe water stain, you may not be able to remove it.

How much of an irregularity (drop or rise) can there be in an existing Sub Floor before installing your Hardwood Flooring?
You can have a drop or rise up to 3mm difference over 3 lineal metres.

Do Hardwood Floors increase home value?
Absolutely. Engineered and solid wood floors are recognized as the highest quality floors available and would increase the value of your home.

I am installing a Underfloor System involving water piping set in concrete that would be my sub-floor. Can your products be used with this type of floor heating system?
This installation is okay as long as the tubes don’t touch the wood. You also would have to use a underlay vapour barrier between the concrete and the floor.

Can your Hardwood Flooring be installed over Linoleum and be used on stairs?
Hardwood flooring can be installed on the stairs, however it can be slippery. You can install our floating hardwood flooring over linoleum if the linoleum remains sound and tightly glued to the original sub floor.

Is there a type of Hardwood Flooring (e.g. maple versus oak) that is more durable or longer lasting than another?
There isn’t much difference between hardwood flooring wood types. The only negative on oak is it’s a rather porous wood, but it is a very hard durable wood, as are maple and beech. White oak is slightly harder than red oak. Your choice will really comes down to aesthetics. Bear in mind that any lacquer will provide a hardwearing surface that will protect the wood from any marks.

My concrete floor has a few low spots in it and I was wondering what to use to solve this problem?
Most building materials suppliers have a concrete levelling product. We suggest levelling any areas that are more than 3mm in variation. Make sure you use the underlay with a DPM before installing over concrete.

Do you have to install your Hardwood Flooring under existing cabinets?
Ideally, the hardwood flooring would go under the cabinets. You can, however, cut around the cabinets if removing the cabinets would cause undue complications. Keep in mind, though, that if you were ever to change the cabinets, you could have a problem if the new cabinets weren’t the same size as the old cabinets.

How do you keep the planks in a Floating Hardwood Floor from separating during installation?
You should apply glue to the first three rows and allow them to dry. Make sure they are good and tight. Use a rubber mallet and a block of wood to put in the first three rows. Let those rows dry, and then proceed with the rest of the floor. With loc system floors this is not an issue, you can lay your floor straight away without waiting for any glue to dry.

Is it possible to install Floating Hardwood Flooring over concrete?
Real hardwood floor is designed exactly for this kind of application. It requires an underlay with a DPM over the concrete floor. The floating floor system can go directly over that.

If there were a crack in the concrete, would it cause problems with a Floating Floor installation?
We recommend that any cracks in concrete be filled with concrete filler and sealed prior to installation. If it’s just a hairline crack you can simply cover the crack with duct tape. Keep in mind that underlay with a DPM must be installed prior to laying down the floor.