What should I take into consideration before flooring over ceramic tile?

At times I look at the option of installing a new floor coverings over existing ceramic tile. New flooring must be installed over a suitable underlayment that is solid, stable, dry, clean and smooth. Things I take into consideration are: Is the existing tile bonded well to the subfloor? We can’t install over a old floor unless it is solid and stable. I would look the tile over for signs of bond failure such as cracks in the tile or grout. If I find any cracks I will knock on areas listening for hollow or loose spots. If I find … Continue reading What should I take into consideration before flooring over ceramic tile?

Can a swollen wooden flooring be normal again? What are the methods of recovery?

This week I was asked by Margaret: Can a swollen wooden flooring be normal again? What are the methods of recovery? This depends on the type of wood flooring and the reason for the swelling. In some cases the floor can go back down to a almost normal position. The floor needs to dry. fans, time and a dehumidifier are all tools to help. After 6 weeks the floor should be back about as best as it is going to get. Often after this time the correction if there is one involves less area. You should have an expert come … Continue reading Can a swollen wooden flooring be normal again? What are the methods of recovery?

How do you tear out linoleum and vinyl tiles (VCT)?

The question came in: How do you there out linoleum tile? Although a big vague on details, I will attempt to help you through the process. Before you remove linoleum sheet goods or vinyl tile (VCT) it is best to remove approximately 3″x3″ area and the adhesives under it and have it tested for asbestos. It is more likely the adhesive would have asbestos than the floor but either could be a carrier. You can find a lab locally to do the test for under $50.00 in most cases. Once you are cleared to remove the flooring it depends on … Continue reading How do you tear out linoleum and vinyl tiles (VCT)?

HOW MUCH CARPET DO I NEED FOR STAIRS?

When I made the shift from installing to estimating flooring projects, a wise man told me  “the cheapest insurance you can buy for a job is some extra material”.  I think this is a very smart move, especially when figuring carpet or any other flooring materials on stairs and other intricate areas. Carpet on stairs is rarely installed in one single piece, stairs often fall within general size so I often use 12″ for the tread and 9″ down the riser. With this I just need the width to finish the size to order per step. 12″+9″(21″) X width = Area of one step … Continue reading HOW MUCH CARPET DO I NEED FOR STAIRS?

HOW FAR SHOULD TACKSTRIP BE AWAY FROM THE WALL WHEN INSTALLING CARPET?

Installing tackstrip to concrete or wood subfloors correctly is an important part of the carpet installation. If tackstrip is installed incorrectly the carpet project often fails to perform to its potential or the installer is called back to attempt a correction. The following is what the Carpet Rug Institute notes as the industry’s standard on tackstrip installation. It is required that tack-strips be a minimum of 1 inch (25 mm) wide and 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Additional tack-strip installation specifications include: Securely fasten tack-strips to maintain the tension provided by power stretching. Nailed or stapled tack-strips are required to have a … Continue reading HOW FAR SHOULD TACKSTRIP BE AWAY FROM THE WALL WHEN INSTALLING CARPET?

Do large tiles make a room look bigger or smaller?

                      I am often asked in the showroom if large tiles will make the room look smaller. This is often when looking for floor tile for a smaller room. The old train of thought was that you put large tiles into large rooms and small tiles into small rooms. We even used to change size in the same installation and install 18″x18″ in the kitchen and living room and change to 12″x12″ for the bath and laundry even if they connected at the doorway.Now days we know large tiles vs small tiles will make a room look bigger rather … Continue reading Do large tiles make a room look bigger or smaller?

Where can laminate flooring be installed in the home?

Laminate flooring can be installed in most every room of the house. With the new Waterproof Laminates we are now installing laminate into bathrooms, laundry rooms and well used mud rooms even in the snow country. Quality laminates have performed well for decades in kitchen, well traveled hallways, bedrooms and stairs. Different manufactures have different trim for stairs so be sure to ask about how stairs and trim will look before deciding on a final product. Laminates hold up well to heavy traffic and with kids and pets in the home will often look better, longer than hardwood floors due … Continue reading Where can laminate flooring be installed in the home?

What orientation should I use when laying vinyl or hardwood plank flooring?

There are three rules when determining what direction to install a plank floor. Rule #1  When you open the front door it is inviting to have the planks running front to back showing you the way. They can also invite you further into the home. Used diagonal they could even direct you in a  certain direction. Rule #2 Install the flooring planks into the light. Maybe towards windows in the back of the home or other. When subfloors are a bit uneven (most are at a bit), running into the light rather than across (side to side) to the light … Continue reading What orientation should I use when laying vinyl or hardwood plank flooring?

What are the best ways to lay a linoleum floor over an existing one?

Before you decide to install a linoleum or vinyl floor over an existing floor you need to find out the recommendation from the manufacture of the new floor. Some floors are not ridged enough to be installed over a flooring that may give in to dents from furniture or appliances. As a rule I feel it is better to remove the existing flooring when possible, especially in areas of heavy traffic such as kitchens and other main living spaces. However at times it does make sense to prepare the existing floor for installation over a old floor. This could be … Continue reading What are the best ways to lay a linoleum floor over an existing one?

Why glue down a new engineered hardwood floor?

Most enginiered hardwood floors offer the installation options of Glue Down, Floating or Nail Down. In my opinion the glue down method is preferable in most applications.  I often tell clients that “If we glue it down, you won’t be calling us back”. When you glue a hardwood floor the entire board is secured to the subfloor weather your subfloor is a concrete slab or a raised wooden subfloor, the bond locks the two together for the life of the floor. Not only does this firm up a raised wooden subfloor, fill in some low spots, it helps seal a … Continue reading Why glue down a new engineered hardwood floor?