Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Solid Hardwood and Laminate?
Solid wood flooring is made from one solid piece of wood, with no engineering or gluing. Laminate flooring has a fibreboard base, with an image of real wood on top.
So what is Engineered Hardwood flooring then?
Engineered Hardwood flooring is made from layers of plywood, sometimes with a fibreboard core, stacked in alternating patterns, finished with a hardwood veneer. These floors provide more stability than solid hardwood flooring in certain situations as they can be used in areas with higher humidity due to the flexibility that the manufacturing process adds.
How do I measure my flooring?
When measuring a space for your hardwood flooring, measure the room from wall to wall at the longest point in each direction, rounding your final dimensions up to the highest number. Be sure to include any closet spaces in your calculations. You want your wood flooring to flow into the closets, in order to create an optimal visual flow in the appearance.
How do we stop a solid hardwood floor from gapping?
Gapping cannot be stopped entirely, as wood will swell and contract naturally with the change in humidity of the room. Certain species of wood will expand and contract more than others. See our page on Care, Upkeep and Humidity for more details.
When I walk across my hardwood floor, I hear creaking sounds. Why?
Creaking can occur from many conditions, but most often is because of the subfloor no longer being secured tightly enough to the floor joices. When having new hardwood floors installed, let your installer know that you have creaking at the beginning. This will allow them to screw the subfloor down tighter before your new floor is laid on top.
What is Cupping
Cupping is when the edges of a board are high and its centre is lower. It can occur after water spills onto the floor and is absorbed by the wood, but high humidity is more often the cause. Cupping is a result of having a moisture imbalance through the thickness of the wood; the wood is wetter on the bottom of the board, than on the top.
What is Crowning
Crowning is the opposite of cupping; the centre of a board is higher than the edges. Moisture imbalance is sometimes the cause of crowning; if excessive moisture is introduced on the top of the floor, perhaps from excess water used in maintenance, or the result of plumbing leaks.
Can I install hardwood in my home, even though I have pets?
Having hardwood floors in a home with pets can be a great alternative to carpeting. Hardwood allows for more efficient tidying up of pet hair and dander, and makes clean up from unexpected accidents easier. If you want to share your home with a pet, here are some helpful hints to prevent and decrease the wear of your flooring.
- Avoid spilling pet water, and be prepared to clean up any spills quickly. Potentially putting a mat underneath the bowl can ensure spills won’t land on your floor.
- Trim your pet’s nails to avoid surface scratches
- Designate ‘pet free’ zones
- Use area rugs and mats in high traffic and play areas
- Choose a wood species with a higher janka hardness rating, one that cannot be scratched easily by your pet. See our Janka Hardness page for more details.
What areas of the house can I install a solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, and laminate product?
Solid hardwood is typically only installed on the main or second floor of a house, usually by nailing or stapling it into a plywood subfloor. Engineered Hardwood with a click mechanism and Laminate can be installed on any level of the house including the basement and can even be installed overtop of an existing tile or hardwood floor. When installed like this, it is called a floating floor.
Can I install hardwood floors in any room in my house?
Hardwood is not recommended for rooms containing a shower or bathtub due to the potential for water damage and due to the high moisture content that is usually in these areas. If you are debating installing hardwood in your bathroom, come in to one of our showrooms and talk to one of our flooring experts on the best way to proceed.
Are solid wood floors difficult to maintain and clean?
No, with new pre-finished flooring from Amazon Hardwood, you have a durable finish on the wood. As long as you do not clean the wood floor with a damp mop, it is easy to clean. Water should not be used to clean a wood floor because it will seep into the wood and lead to warping. For more details on cleaning your floor, see our Care, Upkeep and Humidity page.
How can I protect my hardwood floor from scratches?
We recommend not wearing high heels in the house, using floor protectors on the feet of furniture and chairs, area rugs in high traffic zones and door mats by any exterior doorways to help prevent scratches on your hardwood flooring.
Can my hardwood be dented?
With sufficient impact or pressure, any hardwood can dent. The higher that a wood is on the Janka scale, the harder it is to dent. See our Janka Hardness page for more details.
Should I wax my solid hardwood or engineered hardwood floor?
No. Waxing is not recommended as it can dull the finish and leave the floor slippery and unsafe.