How Soon Can You Walk on Laminate Flooring After Installation?

Having laminate flooring installed is exciting. It enhances the appearance of your space and upgrades the feel of your environment. In fact, you may like your new flooring so much that you’re hesitant to walk on it. But flooring has to be as functional as it is stylish. It goes underfoot, and you probably wonder how soon you can walk on laminate after installation.

How Soon Can You Walk on Floating Laminate Floors?

Laminate is an engineered material that is made with a fiberboard core. The top layer contains a high-resolution photograph of the suggested surface, making the laminate look like wood, stone, tile or another flooring material. The pieces are coated with a clear layer that protects them from scratches, stains and fading.

Most laminate flooring comes in the form of click-and-lock planks. Each segment has a tongue-and-groove mechanism that connects it to the next piece. You assemble the floor as an interconnected mat. When you cut and shape it to your room dimensions, it fits in place perfectly. A floating floor doesn’t need to be nailed or glued to the subfloor.

Some people confuse laminate with vinyl or engineered hardwood. Both of those materials are available as floating floors.

Vinyl and laminate are quite similar. Both are made of various layers of compressed material. They are usually created to look like wood or another luxury flooring type. Like laminate, vinyl is available as a floating floor.

Engineered hardwood also features tongue-in-groove planks and installs as a floating floor. However, it feels different than vinyl and laminate. With engineered hardwood, real wood veneer is sandwiched on top of a layer of plywood. Because it’s real wood, its grain pattern is more realistic than that of vinyl and laminate. It is also more durable.

Does the Floating Floor Require Adhesive?

Whether you install true laminate or another type of floating floor, it’s safest to avoid walking on it for about 24 hours. Some experts say that you can walk on it immediately because you don’t have to worry about disturbing the adhesive curing process. But it’s a good idea to let gravity work on the planks, allowing them to settle evenly onto the subfloor before putting weight on them.

While floating floors are not affixed to the subflooring, they may require adhesive to secure the planks together. If this is the case, you need to wait the appropriate amount of time for the glue to dry and cure. Follow the directions on the product label. When in doubt, give the floor 24 to 48 hours before exposing it to foot traffic or moving your furniture back.

How Soon Can You Walk on Glue-Down Laminate Floors?

Some types of laminate are meant to be glued down instead of installed as a floating floor. In some ways, these floors are more durable than floating floors. The material won’t shift as much under pressure, and it’s less likely to buckle from moisture damage.

But it’s important to use the right type of laminate if you plan to glue it down. Flooring material that’s not intended for this purpose may not adhere properly. It may also buckle or create gaps due to natural expansion and contraction.

Installing this type of flooring is more time-intensive than fitting a floating floor. It’s especially important to keep the humidity levels low. You should also wait about 72 hours after washing the subfloor before gluing down laminate segments.

After you have completed the installation process, you’ll need to wait for the glue to dry and cure. This time frame may be different for distinct types of adhesives. However, it’s usually about 24 hours.

If you walk on a glue-down laminate floor before the adhesive has cured, you risk shifting the planks from their perfect position. Moreover, the planks may not adhere properly. The best way to install glue-down flooring is to go over it with a weighted roller after the application. This ensures that the segments bond evenly with the subfloor and reduces the risk of buckling and bubbles.

You should also follow the 24-hour guidelines when installing glue-down vinyl floors. They behave similarly as laminate and need time to cure before accommodating foot traffic.

How Soon Can You Put Furniture on Laminate Floors?

After you install laminate floors, you are probably eager to see how it looks in the context of the environment. You can’t get the full impact until you place your furniture where it belongs. Many homeowners wonder how soon they can put furniture on laminate floors after installation.

You should wait about 24 hours before replacing your furniture. This will give the flooring time to settle and acclimate. However, some experts say that you can move your furniture back right away.

When you move your furniture onto your new floor, protect the material from damage. Enlist help to lift heavy items so that you don’t drag them across the floor. You might want to place cardboard under your feet to prevent scratches and scuffs. Consider affixing felt pads to the undersides of your furniture to avoid damage to your flooring in the future.

But if your glue-down floors are vinyl, don’t use furniture pads that contain rubber. The chemical reaction between rubber and vinyl generates permanent yellow stains.

How to Avoid Walking on Your Floors During Installation

We have all seen the cartoons in which the characters paint themselves into a corner. You may feel like the same thing will happen to you when you’re installing laminate flooring. To avoid walking on the surface while you’re installing it, follow the steps below:

  • Start at the corner or edge farthest from the door.
  • Work your way toward the exit door.
  • Leave an unfinished path to walk along until installation is complete.
  • Wear socks, and tread lightly if you must walk on the surface.
  • Consider spreading out your weight by laying a wooden board on the floor before stepping.

Protecting Laminate Flooring From Future Damage

Your new laminate floors may look so good that you hesitate to walk on them. But you want to feel comfortable in your home and live your life without worrying about ruining your floors.

Fortunately, laminate is incredibly durable. Regular foot traffic shouldn’t impair its function or appearance.

Still, you can protect the longevity of your laminate flooring by:

  • Taking off your shoes inside the house
  • Placing mats at entryway doors to collect pebbles and dirt, which can scratch the floor
  • Putting felt pads underneath furniture
  • Replacing the felt pads before they have a chance to wear out
  • Using plastic flooring pads under furniture with casters
  • Placing rugs in high-traffic areas
  • Checking with the laminate manufacturer to determine the best type of rug pad to use
  • Keeping the indoor temperature and humidity consistent

Following the guidelines above will keep any type of flooring looking its best for as long as possible. Laminate flooring should last 15 to 25 years before needing to be replaced. However, walking on it too soon and failing to protect it will shorten its life span.

Can I Use Pine Sol on Vinyl Floors?

Pine-Sol has been making multi-surface, budget-friendly cleaning solution since 1929. You might have this disinfectant and deodorizer under your sink. Because Pine-Sol kills 99.9% of germs, it seems like the perfect cleanser for the kitchen and bathroom. But if you have vinyl floors, you might wonder if you can use Pine-Sol.

Yes, You Can Use Pine-Sol on Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is distinguished by its toughness and convenience. Since it’s non-porous, it doesn’t soak up moisture or spills. This makes it perfectly fine to use Pine-Sol on. These properties make vinyl floors ideal for high-traffic and messy areas. But your floor likely needs a regular deep cleaning.

If you love the smell and effectiveness of Pine-Sol, you’re in luck. According to the manufacturer’s website, Pine-Sol is safe to use on vinyl. You can also use it on other vinyl surfaces in your home, such as PVC shower liners.

The product is safe to use on the same floors that your babies and pets hang out on. However, you should keep it and all cleaning supplies away from curious hands and mouths.

What Chemicals Should You Avoid Using on Vinyl Floors?

Because vinyl is so resistant to water and stains, you might figure that you can use just about any cleaning solution on it. Using Pine-Sol is a fine idea.

But you should never use the following chemicals on vinyl floors:

  • Ammonia – While this chemical cuts through grease, it can degrade vinyl flooring and cause it to crack.
  • Abrasives – Using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads will remove some of the shine from the vinyl’s finish. Over time, you can wear down the material, limiting its lifespan.
  • Wax – Floor wax is not just a natural substance that you apply to protect your floors. It contains synthetic chemicals that ruin vinyl.
  • Rubber pads – If you’re thinking about using mats with rubber backings to keep your vinyl floors clean, consider another option. Rubber reacts with vinyl, causing permanent yellow stains. Keep this mind when placing pads underneath chairs or using carts with rubber wheels on the surface.
  • Detergents – Don’t use detergents to clean vinyl floors. They can create a cloudy buildup.

What If I’m Not Sure if My Floor is Vinyl?

It’s easy to confuse vinyl, linoleum and laminate. These materials are often used in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and foyers.

But linoleum is a rare material these days. It’s being replaced with vinyl, which often mimics the look of vintage linoleum. That can make it difficult to identify the type of flooring that you have. However, you can use Pine-Sol on vinyl or linoleum.

Laminate is a different animal. It is made of wood byproducts that are covered in a protective plastic or resin layer. While laminate often looks like hardwood, it comes in other styles too. You can use Pine-Sol on laminate, but you may want to use a slightly different technique than you would on vinyl.

Still, if you can’t identify your flooring material, you don’t have to worry about ruining it with Pine-Sol. The manufacturer does recommend testing the product in an inconspicuous area before using it on the entire surface, though.

How to Clean Vinyl Floors With Pine-Sol

Depending on the location of your vinyl floors, they might be exposed to spills multiple times a day. You can spot clean food, dirt and grime using water and a paper towel or washcloth. Once every week or two, break out the Pine-Sol to clean the floor more thoroughly.

Follow the steps below to clean your vinyl floors with Pine-Sol:

1. Get rid of surface dirt.
Mopping the floor without removing dry dirt and dust can lead to damage. The abrasive grime can scratch the surface as you clean. Therefore, remove debris with a vacuum or dry mop first.

2. Mix the solution.
Put one gallon of water and one-quarter capful of Pine-Sol in a large bucket. Agitate it a bit to combine it. Don’t be tempted to overdo the cleaning product. If you use too much, your floors could end up sticky.

3. Get to mopping.
Dip the mop into the bucket of water and Pine-Sol. It’s essential that you wring it out as much as possible before applying it to the floor, though. If you use too much water, it can seep between the cracks of vinyl planks and damage the underlayment.

4. Rinse with clean water.
To prevent buildup, follow the cleansing with a clean wash. Rinse the mop and bucket with fresh water. Then, go over the floor using only water. Make sure that you don’t leave any puddles or water. Drying the floor with a soft towel will prevent moisture from seeping into cracks and reduce the risk of falls.

How to Disinfect Vinyl Floors With Pine-Sol

Pine-Sol kills or deactivates a broad range of germs. You can use it to disinfect the floor after a child gets sick or a pet makes a mess.

Begin by cleaning up the mess. Remove any solid matter, and clean up liquids. Apply undiluted Pine-Sol to a damp sponge or towel. Wipe the floor with it, leaving the solution on the surface for 10 minutes. Rinse it off with a clean mop or towel and fresh water.

Removing Scuffs and Stains from Vinyl

Scuffs and stains can instantly spoil your pristine floors. You can apply small amounts of Pine-Sol directly from the container to targeted areas. Use a toothbrush or washcloth to rub the stain until it goes away.

If that doesn’t work, mix baking soda with a small amount of water to create a paste. Gently rub the mixture onto the scuff or stain. Once the stain disappears, wash off the baking soda paste with diluted Pine-Sol.

Coconut oil can effectively get rid of scuffs and stains that aren’t resolved with the baking soda paste method. Simply rub it onto the stain with a cloth until the spot disappears. This will make your floor especially slippery, though. Using Pine-Sol will cut through the oil and restore your vinyl floor’s appearance.

You can use rubbing alcohol on vinyl flooring to remove ink, dye and makeup stains. Mineral spirits work well for crayon marks and paint spills.

Vinyl Floor Maintenance

Vinyl floors are easy to maintain. You don’t need to do much to keep them looking great.

Keep in mind that vinyl floors can become dented and scratched. To prevent this from happening, cover the feet of your furniture with vinyl pads. Place cardboard or plywood over the floor when you’re moving heavy items or furniture.

Divots in the vinyl are not only unsightly but also dirt collectors. Your floor will retain its original splendor for longer if you safeguard the surface.

Also, taking care of messes right away prevents stubborn stains from developing. Keeping a spray bottle of Pine-Sol handy can help you manage sticky or greasy messes. Wiping stains immediately helps to prevent them from becoming permanent.

Maintain the sparkle from your routine cleaning by preventing debris from accumulating on the surface. Sweeping daily and placing floor mats with vinyl-safe backings go a long way toward protecting your floors.

How to Get Waves Out of Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring started to show up in the mid-1900s as a convenient, low-maintenance substitute for linoleum and cork. Today, vinyl flooring is the most popular option for people who want to combine affordability, style, durability and ease of use.

As a type of resilient flooring, vinyl is flexible and comfortable. Even when it’s installed over a concrete slab, the surface doesn’t shock your bare feet in the winter. It also provides some cushion underfoot.

But vinyl’s flexibility is its downfall as well as its benefit. Vinyl can crease, ripple and wrinkle, making it difficult to install and unsightly on your floors. Learn how to get waves out of vinyl flooring before and after installation so that you can take advantage of the material’s benefits.

Do the Waves and Bumps Appear Over Time?

Sometimes, a vinyl floor that has been in place for a while begins to develop bumps, waves and creases. Small bumps and uneven areas could be caused by an uneven subfloor.

Vinyl tends to molds itself to the surrounding surface. Therefore, the vinyl can only lie as flat as the surface below it. When you initially install the flooring, it may appear to have a smooth surface. But as it settles, imperfections in the subfloor will make themselves known.

Do the Ripples Have Air Beneath Them?

Do the ripples in your vinyl floor have some give when you press on them? Bubbles may show up immediately, or they may take years to become apparent. Once they appear, they don’t go away on their own.

Air bubbles can develop for a number of reasons, including the following:
Moisture – If your subfloor is not prepared and sealed properly, it could become a magnet for moisture. Wetness weakens the adhesive that holds vinyl to the subfloor. As that happens, it releases the bond in some areas, causing bubbles beneath the surface.
Excessive Heat – Does sunlight stream in through your window onto the vinyl floor every day? Does heat from the vents in your home continually aim at a particular area? Those spots may expand more than the rest of the vinyl. If you don’t account for this issue during installation, you might end up with bubbles in the hot spots.
Lack of expansion gap – An expansion gap is a small space around the perimeter of the flooring that allows for movement. It gives the vinyl room to expand without getting crowded. If you don’t include an expansion gap in a floor that requires one, the vinyl won’t have anywhere to move but up as it expands.

How to Prevent Waves in Vinyl Flooring

Waves in vinyl flooring can be difficult to repair. The best way to keep waves out of your vinyl flooring is to prevent them from forming in the first place. Being meticulous during the installation process will save you headaches down the road.

1. Prepare the Subfloor

Prevent imperfections in the subfloor from showing up by preparing the surface correctly before installing your vinyl. A well-prepared subfloor will give you a smooth surface to start with and improve adhesion if you plan to use glue or double-sided tape.

Some of the steps that you should take include:

  • Conducting a moisture test
  • Repairing cracks, holes and grooves
  • Making sure that the subfloor is level
  • Sanding down lumps and bumps
  • Cleaning the subfloor to remove grease, dust, dirt and debris

2. Choose the Right Material for the Space

If you’re installing a vinyl floor in a high-moisture area, such as a bathroom, kitchen or basement, look for a waterproof product. You should also consult with a professional to ensure that the subfloor is prepared adequately.

Some vinyl flooring is designed to go directly over your existing floor. Floating floors are made with thicker vinyl, which is less likely to warp or settle into dips in the subfloor. They’re the best option for installing over tiles or textured surfaces.

3. Opt for High-Quality Vinyl

Today’s vinyl is different than your grandmother’s flooring. Vinyl flooring ranges from 2 to 8 millimeters in thickness. Luxury vinyl tile, or LVT, is generally thicker and sturdier than vinyl sheeting.

4. Use the Right Installation Method for Your Flooring Type

We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to install the flooring correctly. If you’re using adhesive, go over it with a weighted roller. This will ensure that the material sticks to the substrate without creating air bubbles and will prevent waves in the future.

5. Don’t Drag Heavy Furniture Across the Floor

Because vinyl is subject to subtle movements, it can wrinkle if you drag heavy objects across it. Loose lay and floating vinyl floors are especially susceptible to this type of damage.

Place plywood over the floor if you’re moving large appliances, boxes or furniture over it. Lift the objects instead of dragging them over the material.

How to Deal With Existing Vinyl Floor Ripples

You have some options for eliminating waves that crop up in your existing vinyl flooring.

  • Take the following steps to get rid of bubbles that are less than one inch in diameter:
  • Use a strong, sharp needle to pierce the center of the bubble.
  • Use your fingers to press on the bubble and release air.
  • Place a thin towel over the spot.
  • Warm an iron to a medium heat setting, and place it over the towel.
  • Flatten the bubble using heavy books for 24 hours.

If the bubble is more than one inch in diameter, take the following steps:

  • Place a towel over the bubble, and apply heat to the towel using an iron.
  • Slice the bubble with a sharp utility knife.
  • While the vinyl is still warm, peel it up carefully.
  • Apply adhesive to the underside of the vinyl.
  • Smooth the material into place, wiping away excess adhesive with a damp sponge.
  • Place wax paper over the spot before piling books on top of it.
  • Allow the adhesive to dry underneath the weights for 24 hours.

If you don’t want to puncture your flooring, you can try the following method:

  • Heat the rippled area using a hair dryer on the lowest setting.
  • Smooth the spot using a floor roller.
  • Apply a board with weights on it for 24 hours.

Vinyl planks or tiles are relatively easy to replace. If you notice warping or bubbling in this type of floor, remove single planks. Correct moisture and subfloor issues before installing a new section.

With the right installation, maintenance and care, vinyl floors last a long time. They stand up to spills and don’t develop moisture issues as readily as some other porous materials. However, they’re not invincible. Follow the tips above to prevent waves in your vinyl flooring. If you notice ripples, take action as soon as possible.

A professional can give you the best advice for fixing ripples in your floors. Even if you prefer to do projects like this yourself, you may have better luck and extend the life of your flooring by working with an expert.

Does Vinyl Flooring Expand?

It takes a meticulous person to install flooring correctly. The planning is just as important as the execution. You often have to work around a variety of shapes, such as the corners of cabinets and the rounded base of toilets. To make matters more complex, you need to take expansion into account to prevent large gaps from forming in and around your flooring.

Why Does Vinyl Flooring Expand and Contract?

There are several reasons that vinyl flooring expands and contracts.

Temperature Fluctuations

Temperature fluctuations are the primary cause of expansion in vinyl floors. Almost every building material expands when it is exposed to heat and shrinks when it is cooled. Although you may think that the temperature inside of your house remains consistent, it varies enough to affect your floors.

Vinyl expands when the sun hits it or the heat is on. It shrinks when the air conditioning is running or the slab below it cools off in the winter. This means that your vinyl floors are constantly moving in miniscule increments.

Moisture Variations

Moisture also influences the stability of vinyl floors. Too much humidity makes the material expand. Extremely dry environments cause vinyl to shrink and become brittle.

The ideal humidity level for vinyl floors is typically 35% to 55%. You can extend the life of your floors by using a humidifier or dehumidifier to regulate the amount of moisture in your space.

Foot Traffic

Although vinyl floors feel hard to the touch, they’re much softer than hardwood and ceramic tile. The tiny air pockets in the porous core allow the vinyl to shift. Any weight that you place on the floors will compress them vertically, forcing them to expand horizontally.

This movement isn’t visible to the naked eye immediately, and you can’t feel it. However, over time, you may start to notice peaking, warping and curling due to the expansion.

What Types of Vinyl Floors Have the Most Expansion Issues?

There are a few types of vinyl floors. Each one has different requirements when it comes to accommodating expansion.

The installation instructions for your flooring should indicate how much of an expansion gap to leave. This is a 0.25 to 0.5-inch space at the perimeter of the floor that gives the material room to grow. You can usually cover it with baseboard molding or seal it with caulk.

Sheet Vinyl

Sheet vinyl is some of the most affordable flooring that you can buy. This flexible material comes in rolls that are 6 to 12 feet wide and can be cut to any length. You can typically cover a bathroom with one sheet. If you are installing sheet vinyl in a larger room, you may have to use more than one piece, which means that you’ll have a seam where they touch.

This seam is especially necessary in very large rooms. It will accommodate expansion and help to maintain the impeccable appearance of your floor.

Traditional sheet vinyl requires adhesive to keep it in place. Even though the glue will prevent it from shifting and lifting, the material can expand. You should leave an expansion gap around the perimeter of traditional sheet vinyl.

Some types of sheet vinyl are designed for a loose-lay application. This material has a fiberglass backing, which makes the flooring more rigid than basic sheet vinyl. Therefore, it remains flat without curling. You should use double-sided adhesive to secure the edges of this type of flooring.

Soft vinyl sheeting generally expands and contracts more than loose-lay options. However, both are prone to swelling and require you to leave an expansion gap around the perimeter.

Tiles and Planks

Tiles and planks are thicker and harder than sheet vinyl. They come in a variety of shapes, such as squares, rectangles and hexagons. You can arrange them in many configurations, customizing their appearance for your décor.

Stick-On Vinyl Tiles and Planks

Some vinyl tiles and planks come with adhesive backings. These act like stickers. You simply peel off the paper on the back to expose the adhesive, and stick the tile to the substrate. Other tiles and planks require a separate adhesive.

While these can expand and contract, they’re less likely than sheet vinyl to buckle. In fact, they will generally only swell and shrink as much as the subfloor does.

If you leave an expansion gap around the perimeter of your room, the tiles could shift slightly over time, creating spaces between them. Cut this type of flooring to the edge of the room. If you end up experiencing buckling, you can always replace a single tile.

Floating Vinyl Floors

Floating floors come as separate pieces that connect with a click-and-lock mechanism. When you measure and install these correctly, you won’t use any adhesive.

This type of flooring is prone to some expansion. However, it’s quite resistant to temperature and humidity. Still, you’ll need to leave space around any vertical surface, such as walls and pipes, to allow for movement. Expansion seams in the center of the floors are necessary in extremely large rooms.

Loose-Lay Vinyl Planks

Loose-lay vinyl planks expand and contract less than other types of vinyl flooring. They’re designed to remain stable in response to temperature and humidity changes. The friction created between their rubbery backing and the subfloor keeps these tiles in place.

Because loose-lay planks don’t expand or contract significantly, they’re an ideal option for rooms with high humidity, such as basements and bathrooms. You don’t need to create an expansion gap around the perimeter of this type of floor.

Preventing Vinyl Swelling and Shrinkage

When the walls or baseboards constrict vinyl as it expands, it can buckle. This may create waves and uneven surfaces in the flooring. If temperature fluctuations happen regularly, the floor will be subjected to repeated expansion and contraction.

Eventually, the material may shift. Cracks might show up between the floorboards. The material can also break down faster than it would if you kept it at a more consistent temperature.

Before installing vinyl flooring, you must acclimate it your environment. Unpack in the room in which you plan to install it. The temperature of the floor in this room should be between 59 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange the vinyl in its expected location on the floor. However, you don’t have to be too nit-picky about it. Leave the flooring there for 48 hours so that it adjusts to the temperature and humidity of the room.

After installation, vinyl will expand and contract the most near windows and vents. Aim to avoid exposure to intense sunlight by drawing the blinds during the day. Keep your indoor temperatures as consistent as you can. In other words, don’t set the thermostat to 55 when you leave for work and raise it to 72 when you return. Finally, wipe up spills as soon as possible to prevent moisture from seeping into cracks.

With proper installation and care, vinyl flooring shouldn’t cause problematic expansion. If you’re dealing with cracks, waves and buckling on your current vinyl floor, you might need to perform some repairs. Upgrading to a new floor using advanced technology can produce desirable results that last a long time and prevent problems down the road.

What is Cabin Grade Flooring?

Hardwood floors come in many styles, grades and prices. Some hardwood flooring is clean, modern and minimalistic. But that doesn’t always complement the rustic, farmhouse style that’s so popular nowadays. Plus, hardwood flooring can get expensive. Cabin grade flooring satisfies your desire for a casual, natural look and saves you money.

Cabin Grade Flooring is Utility Grade

Like eggs, hardwood flooring is graded according to certain aesthetic characteristics:

  • Prime – AB grade flooring is uniform in color and grain pattern and has minimal knots.
  • Select – ABC grade flooring contains some knots and color variation.
  • Natural – ABCD grade flooring has plenty of variation in its pattern and color and contains significant knots.
  • Rustic – CD grade flooring offers a vintage, pastoral style and has lots of knots and grain variations.
  • Utility – Cabin grade flooring is the most rustic, with many natural imperfections.

You may read that cabin grade flooring is low in quality. However, it’s not an inferior product. It simply contains more of the deviations that occur in natural wood. Don’t confuse cabin grade flooring with factory seconds, which are usually cast offs that do have quality issues.

Cabin grade flooring is harvested from parts of the tree in which knots, cracks and scratches are likely to be found. These types of planks are not milled as meticulously as other grades. Therefore, they may not have a uniform thickness or length.

Because of the nature of cabin grade flooring, it may also contain more defects than other grades. But these are like beauty marks; they create character. Nevertheless, you may have to work around some of the flaws and generate extra waste.

Types of Imperfections Found in Cabin Grade Flooring

We think of flaws as something negative, but many people look for wood with imperfections because it has more character than uniform planks. Some of the variations that you will find in cabin grade floors include:

  • Heartwood – Strong, decay-resistant wood from the center of the tree, which often contains tannins that darken its tone
  • Sapwood – The outermost layer of wood, which is lighter than heartwood
  • Knots – Illustrative of the location where a branch meets the tree, these oval shapes contain resins that make them darker than the surrounding wood
  • Pinholes – Narrow cavities that formed when wood-boring insects lived in the tree before it was harvested
  • Filler – Material that is added to holes, particularly in knots, to close the gap
  • Splits – Cracks in the surface of the wood that add character without impairing its durability
  • Mineral coloration – Patches of color that are formed when minerals from the soil leach into the wood as the tree grows

What You Should Know About Cabin Grade Floors

Having realistic expectations can help you get the look that you’re going for with cabin grade floors. Here are some things that you should consider before making a decision.

Boards Are Shorter Than Usual

While many planks will be a standard 24 inches long, about 50% of them will be shorter than that. This can add work to the installation process. However, many installers feel as though the labor balances itself out because they don’t have to deal with bowing and warping. Also, the shorter planks let you create a unique pattern with plenty of contrast.

The Species of Wood Affects the Aesthetics

All cabin grade flooring is not the same. The look that you’re going for depends on the type of wood that you buy.

Maple contains fewer knots than most other types of wood and may come with more short planks. It provides one of the cleanest finishes of all of the cabin grade planks.

Hickory features some of the most contrast. The background color ranges from almost white to dark honey, and the splits and knots are deep chocolate. The tone variation on hickory cabin grade flooring may even look splotchy and organic. Gray hues are also common in this species of wood.

Oak provides balance between color and contrast. It offers a medium honey background color, and the splits and knots are not as noticeable as they are in hickory.

Expect Some to Go to Waste

The average installer discards up to 20% of cabin grade planks. Keep this in mind so that you purchase enough to cover the entire area.

You’ll have to decide which defects are acceptable and which won’t work in your master plan. You can minimize much of the waste by placing less desirable boards in low-visibility areas, such as inside closets, near baseboards, beneath furniture and under rugs.

Look at the Floor as a Whole

A hardwood floor is supposed to look like a mosaic. When you look at individual planks, you may not think that they’ll go together well. But when you step back and look at the entire space, you will appreciate the way that the variety adds depth and interest to your décor.

Make sure that you open all of the boxes of flooring before you install it. This allows you to mix up the planks and produce the most pleasing results.

You might not like all of the nicks and blemishes on the planks. However, you can sand, stain and fill areas to produce a finish that you’re happy with. The knots and texture may show through stains, producing an interesting look that’s never too uniform.

Why Would You Choose Cabin Grade Flooring?

Cabin grade flooring has a rough-hewn appearance that many people aim to incorporate in their homes. The grading system doesn’t reflect the integrity of the wood; it just indicates that this is on the rustic side of the spectrum.

Some reasons that you might prefer cabin grade flooring are as follows:

  • Excellent value – This type of flooring costs up to 50% less than prime grade planks. It’s an affordable way to swap out your carpet or linoleum without derailing your budget.
  • Complements multiple styles – You don’t need a cabin to make this flooring look good. Cabin grade flooring can look vintage or surprisingly modern, depending on the way that it’s installed.
  • Unique character – It’s difficult to predict exactly how cabin grade floors will look before they are installed. Because the planks have so much variation, you can change the overall appearance by configuring them differently.
  • Perfect for busy spaces – Floors in high-traffic areas, such as mudrooms and playrooms, get lots of abuse. Damage will blend into cabin-grade flooring, but it could create obvious blemishes on other grades of hardwood.

All natural wood has imperfections. If you’re looking for a floor with character, you can capitalize on those flaws by using cabin grade planks. This type of flooring offers a distressed, rustic look that will never be identical to anyone else’s floors. It may not be the best option for people who want a uniform, even-looking floor. But if you install cabin grade floors, they’re sure to complement many styles of décor and start conversations.

What Flooring Goes with Hickory Cabinets?

Whenever you update an area in your home, you have to ask yourself whether it complements your existing décor. This is especially true when it comes to renovating your kitchen cabinets. The best flooring for hickory cabinets creates a cohesive look without being overstated or monochromatic.

What Do Hickory Cabinets Look Like?

Hickory is a popular wood for cabinets because of its strength and durability. Although it has a neutral tone, hickory is not boring. The wood has a distinctive grain, which provides visual interest.

Because of its informal nature, hickory is often used in rustic kitchens. However, it is versatile enough to work well in modern, minimalist, traditional and eclectic homes.

When pairing hickory cabinets with flooring, you should take into account the finish on the cabinets. Hickory is typically left natural. The lighter tones range from beige to gold. The darker areas can have orange, red or chocolate notes.

Sometimes, hickory cabinets are coated with a pale finish that is similar to a whitewash. This minimizes the dramatic variations in tone and provides a neutral backdrop for many flooring styles.

Identifying Warm or Cool Tones

Identifying whether your hickory cabinets contain warm or cool tones can guide you toward the right flooring selection. Warm tones are sunny and vibrant. They have an overall gold, yellow, orange, pink or red vibe. Cool hues have less of a honey or pink undertone. If your hickory cabinets are a cool shade, you might describe them as white or grayish.

Flooring With Warm Hues

Choosing flooring in warm tones will bring a cheery, sunny atmosphere to your kitchen. This is especially true if your hickory cabinets contain strong yellow, peach, pink or orange notes. However, you should avoid choosing flooring that matches your cabinets exactly. Too much of the same color will overpower your kitchen. If your flooring leans toward the warm side, make sure that it is either lighter or darker than the cabinets to break up the monotony.

Flooring With Cool Hues

Cool-toned flooring is usually a safe choice with hickory cabinets. If the cabinets are warm, the complimentary color of the flooring will provide the perfect contrast to balance it out. If the cabinets are cool, you’ll create a neutral palette that can be tweaked with accents and accessories.

Should Your Hickory Cabinets Match Your Floors?

While some interior decorators will tell you that your cabinets and floors should not match exactly, many people choose a uniform palette for their kitchen. You can match the finish of your cabinetry and floors as long as the rest of your décor breaks it up. A warm honey tone across the floors and cabinets can make your kitchen glow without dominating the space if your walls and furniture remain simple and neutral. White countertops and dining furniture with stainless steel appliances would complete this look.

If you can’t help but try to match your cabinets and flooring, you’ll be hard pressed to do so with hickory. The wood grain offers plenty of variation. It may have spots that are quite light and patterns that are very dark.

One piece of advice is to isolate one hue from the cabinetry and find flooring to match. If your cabinets are generally light with chestnut streaks running through them, you could go with chestnut flooring to draw out the design. On the other hand, you could select flooring that corresponds with the lighter beige tones.

Tone on Tone

Instead of matching the exact tones of your flooring and cabinets, consider a tone-on-tone look. This incorporates varying colors from the same family. However, the finishes can be markedly darker or lighter than one another. Depending on the undertones in your cabinets, you can go with a cream, yellow, orange, red or chocolate tone-on-tone aesthetic.

It doesn’t matter whether your floor is darker or lighter than your cabinets, though. Just try not to make it the same shade. You can also vary the type of material in the same color to break up a monochromatic environment with plenty of texture.

Add Some Drama

The more monochrome your kitchen is, the less dramatic the effect will be. Creating contrast will draw the eye to distinct areas and add interest. For example, you can punch up the prominence of the knots in the wood by choosing flooring with similar dark qualities.

You can also add drama by using shadowy colors for your flooring and accents. Consider installing a dark brown floor and black countertops. Alternatively, you can choose deep gray for your floors. This is an excellent way to generate a modern or cozy atmosphere in an otherwise rustic or informal kitchen.

Remember that you don’t have to stick with brown, white or gray for your flooring. Blue and violet hues contrast well with yellow-tinged hickory. Red or terra-cotta ceramic adds spice.

Consider the Pattern

Unless it has been painted, hickory wood generally has an obvious pattern. You don’t want the configuration of the wood to contrast with your floor. Therefore, you may want to select a flooring option with minimal patterning.

That doesn’t mean that you should install floors with a completely flat hue. In fact, monochrome flooring is difficult to come by unless you’re looking at vinyl or tile. Plus, totally flat color on the floors can be more eye-catching than the interesting design of the cabinets.

Look for flooring with a pattern that’s slightly more subtle than the grain on your cabinets. If your cabinets have minimal patterning, you can showcase a more dramatic texture on your floors. One way to do this is to create a monochromatic mosaic design using tiles. This will create a neutral backdrop for your cabinets without being bland.

What if Your Flooring Isn’t Wood?

Don’t assume that you have to stick with wood flooring if you have hickory cabinets. Vinyl, bamboo, tile and concrete are valid options for kitchen flooring.

No matter what material you choose, keep the warm/cool question in mind. Even white tile features a temperature variance. If you go with white flooring, hold it up to a piece of paper. If the flooring looks yellower than the paper, it is warm. If it looks grayer, it’s cool.

Marble and concrete look great with hickory cabinets because they highlight the neutral tones in the wood. Marble adds a sense of luxury to hickory cabinets, moderating the cottage vibe. Concrete ranges from rustic to modern, and it’s an edgy, unexpected way to underscore the cool colors in the cabinets.

When pairing hickory cabinets with flooring, you don’t want your kitchen to match so well that it looks flat. Still, you have a wide range of options, from tone-on-tone to high contrast. The best flooring stands up to your aesthetics and lifestyle and makes your home look and feel great.

How to Remove Paint from Laminate Flooring

An unexpected spill on your laminate floor during a painting project? Dried paint drips you have just now noticed that were left behind from that renovation project?

Don’t panic! First of all, laminate floors are very durable and much more forgiving than wooden floors. The top layer is composed of aluminum oxide particles and melamine resin, which gives the floor it’s durability, as well as scratch, moisture, seepage, and stain resistance. If you react fast to a spill, you can use a damp cloth to wipe it up without issue! However, for paint that has dried, it can be a little bit more complicated, but there is still no need to panic.

There are multiple ways to successfully tackle the removal of dried paint on your laminate floor. It will require a little more patience and take slightly more elbow grease for the cleanup, though. Fortunately, we can give you several different tips and techniques to ensure that the laminate floor in your renovated space looks just as great as the paint job!

Tools You Will Need for the Removal

Keep in mind, in spite of its durability, you can still damage the surface of a laminate floor if you aren’t careful. Depending on the amount of spillage or drips, there are a variety of things you might need. Basically, with all, or at least some of these items used in proper combination, you will be able to take on the job efficiently and effectively.

Luckily, most things you will probably already have at home and you can avoid an emergency trip to the store. Here is a list of what you may need:

  • A vacuum cleaner, mop, broom, small bucket, cloth rags, and small bristle brush for the initial and final clean up. 
  • Plastic putty knife, tweezers, or even a credit card can be effective tools to “pop” paint spots off when used with care.
  • Dish detergent and warm water will create a suitable mild cleanser.
  • White vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and a spoon for stirring if creating a homemade remedy.
  • Acetone nail polish remover or ammonia-based window cleaner, either of which may also do the trick quite nicely. 
  • Wood floor cleaner and floor degreaser for cleaning up residue. 
  • Paint thinner or paint remover can be used as a last resort. They contain powerful chemicals that are not usually necessary for laminate floor paint removal. 
  • A pair of rubber cleaning gloves to protect your hands during the process, no matter what technique you use.  

Tackling the Small Dried Paint Drips and Specks

Any paint drip that has even a small edge will come right off the floor as long as you wait for it to harden. This is when the plastic putty knife or old credit card will come in handy. Be careful if you use the tweezers, as it is possible if you use too much force, you can end up scratching or marring the surface. Small spots, such as those left when a roller splatters paint or specks from overspray will come off with just a little effort. For larger drips, you can try using a small hammer and tap lightly on the top of the plastic tool at the edge of the spill. The plastic will bend before the weight of the hammer will damage the floor, but be careful not to cut or accidently injure a finger or hand in the process. By being too aggressive with any type of metal tool on the cleanup, you will end up creating a lasting scar and one that is completely unnecessary. This is when your patience has to kick in!

Before Using Any Products in the Removal Methods

Be sure the floor is cleaned properly before using any products on the dried paint area. Use a vacuum cleaner or broom to remove excess dirt from the laminated floor. It is best to start with the cleanest area possible. Debris, particles, or tiny pieces of metal or rust that are overlooked may become embedded in the cleaning materials and can actually cause an unexpected scratch or damage to the floor just from using your elbow grease!  

  • Mildest Method of Removal

If paint does not easily pop off, you can next try placing a soggy rag on top of the paint spill. Keep it there for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the water to soak into the paint. Then try using the plastic putty knife to carefully insert underneath the paint and see if it will peel up off the floor. If the paint does peel up, then the remaining residue can be wiped up with dish soap and water. If not, move to one of the other methods.

  • Home Made Cleaning Solution

Mix equal portions of rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and water together and then add a few drops of liquid dish soap.  Stir the mixture until the liquid starts forming suds. This mixture will work well on both water-based and oil-based paints. The vinegar dissolves water-based paint and the rubbing alcohol and suds of soap will dissolve and remove the oil paints. Again, use dish soap and water for the final cleanup.

  • Nail Polish Remover

If your homemade solution does not work to remove the paint completely, you should try nail polish remover. Make sure the bottle is not labeled “non-acetone.” An acetone nail polish remover is needed to loosen the chemical bonding in the dried paint. It does take time to work, so after the application let it sit for a few minutes, and then attempt to wipe off the softened paint from the floor using a clean microfiber cloth. Once the majority of the paint is wiped off, pour some clean water on the floor. Then use a clean mop to remove the water and that should take away the rest of the residual as well. It might require repeating the process a few times to completely remove the paint. 

  • Window Cleaner

Window cleaners are made of mostly ammonia-based chemical solutions. Ammonia is known to cut through many different kinds of paint ingredients. It also has a reactive capability to destroy the bonding in paint in just a short time. Once you apply the window cleaner on the floor surface, wait for a few minutes to permit the ammonia to work on the paint. Then scrub the floor with a rag or a soft-bristled brush. Rinse with warm water. Wash off the surface of the laminate with a wood floor cleaner and cloth rag.

  • Paint Removers and Paint Thinners

If all else fails, you can use paint thinner or mineral spirits to remove the paint. Paint thinner was made to remove overspray and paint spill from concrete floors, so it is very harsh. We don’t recommend it as your first option for laminate flooring, as the other methods are usually effective and less caustic. However, there may be a time when you have paint spills that have cured for a long time, or are from exterior oil-based paint or artist’s paint, or you have found the other methods just haven’t worked.  

Rub the paint spills and splatters with turpentine or white spirit, (which is another name for paint thinner), using either a rag or a soft bristle brush. It’s usually safe to use turpentine and white spirit on a laminate floor because generally these will not harm the finish. Again, here is where your patience is required! Test the product on a very small spot first to make certain it does not discolor or harm the floor.  Give it time to work and penetrate the paint. If the floor tolerates the test application, proceed by working in small areas at a time and make sure the room is very well ventilated. Clean up with a floor degreaser for heavy oil residual and then by using dish detergent and water.

That Wasn’t So Hard, Was It? 

Painting spills and accidents can happen, even when you use drop cloths and even when you have carefully planned out your project, so be prepared for the unexpected.  Luckily, paint removal from laminate floors is fairly easy when you know the appropriate solutions. Most of the items you will need to remedy the situation you will already have at home in your pantry or with your cleaning supplies. Other than that, you will just need to be patient and careful as you perform the techniques we have discussed. 

Start with the mildest methods of paint removal and go slow with the entire procedure to ensure that there’s no damage done to the laminate floor. In most cases the dried paint will chip right off or be easily removed with household products without leaving any evidence it was ever there. After that you can step back, admire your work, and be proud it was another job well-done!

How Much Extra Flooring to Buy

Deciding to move ahead with a new flooring project, whether it is one room, or the whole house, can be very exciting! Once you have chosen the material for your floors, you will need to properly measure each room to determine the floor space. This is a very important step and should be done methodically and with great precision.

Flooring is usually sold by the square foot, so in simplest terms, the square footage you will need is first determined by measuring the length of each room (in feet) times the width of the room (in feet).

It depends on what type of flooring is being installed, but generally speaking, you will need to plan on adding an additional 10% to 20% to your floor space calculations. This helps account for imperfection of the materials, wrong cuts, pattern matching, appropriate seam placement, and other factors unique to the room.

Tools You Will Need for Proper Measurements

To get started, you will need to gather your supplies: pen and paper, measuring tape, and calculator. If the floor is odd shaped, you may need to split the area into rectangles. If the sides are unequal, you will want to use the larger measurements from wall to wall, in both directions. Round up to the nearest foot.

Measure and subtract the space for permanent objects such as a kitchen island or vanity, unless you are using carpeting or vinyl. Allow for irregularities in the room by adding or subtracting space as applicable.

Pen and Paper

Measuring Tape

Calculator

Measure Your Floor at Least Twice

Do your own measurements at least twice, whether you are installing yourself, are hiring a contractor, or working with a retailer who will do the installation. By knowing your measurements ahead of time, you can get a ballpark estimate of how much you will need to budget for the materials and what the costs would be if you decide to pay for the installation.

Your retailer will be helpful in confirming the measurements and requirements for the flooring you choose. If you’re using a contractor, they will also want to confirm the measurements as most often their quote for the work is dependent on the square footage of the project.

Use a Diagram to Properly Depict the Space

It is highly recommended that you to draw your layout as a floor plan diagram. That way you can see the shape, write down the exact measurements, and have a clear picture of the floor layout. Be sure to measure every side of where the floor meets the wall. Having a visual will be very helpful for you and for all those involved, be it the retailer or installer. You’d be surprised at the details you can catch and errors you can avoid by having the plan right there in black and white, on paper, and from a bird’s eye view!

Explaining the Overage Factor

No matter what material you are working with, your retailer and if applicable, your contractor, will help you get the amount calculated correctly. Accuracy is key and if there are any questions or things that need to be rechecked, it is better to address them sooner rather than later. Each project is unique, and while we have given guidelines for overages, many other factors can come into play especially if creating angles and custom patterns.

Arguably, the biggest factor that can alter how much overage you should account for is the flooring material itself.

Carpeting

For carpeting, you will need to keep in mind the maximum width available for the carpet that has been chosen. Standard width is usually 12 feet. If the size of the room would result in a seam, you will want to plan out the arrangement so that the seam will not be right down the middle of the room. To be sure that the lines are seamless in the final product, add as much as 10% to the square footage needed when installing Berber, patterned, or sculptured carpets.

small pillow on carpet

Hardwoods and Laminates

These are both sold by the carton and generally in 20 square foot bundles. It’s recommended to add 10% for installations requiring less than 1,000 square feet of material, and 7% when more than 1,000 square feet is required.

This allowance can go as high as 15% for products installed on a diagonal or for lower grade products. The percentage of overage needed for hardwood varies depending on grade, variance in color, and grain. You can get away with a little less overage allowance on laminate flooring as these products don’t have as many inconsistencies.

hardwood flooring in living room

Vinyl

Vinyl is sold off of a roll and the width of a roll can vary from ½ foot to 13 feet 2 inches depending on the style. Add about 2 inches for doorways and as much as 10% to the total square footage needed to allow for pattern matching. Don’t discount vinyl as an affordable solution for certain areas and functionalities in the home.

vinyl flooring in store

Stone and Tile

When working with tile or stone, purchase 10% more than you expect to use, but keep in mind you may need 20% more based upon the experience level of the installer. It is not unusual to have broken or chipped pieces in the bundle you purchase and while these can be used for smaller areas where they can be cut to size, this allowance should be enough to cover these damaged pieces.

This is another instance when you will want to plan either a vertical or horizontal layout based upon how the room is shaped or entered.

tile flooring in kitchen

Do I Really Need to Measure Extra?

Installing flooring isn’t easy. It’s a skill, and an art. The resulting new floor is a worthy investment in the beautification of your home. Every flooring project will require cuts so that the materials can fit exactly within the space. Even professional installers make mistakes. There are a few reasons that you will want to be liberal in your measurements, here are a few:

1. Imperfection

Sometimes cuts may not fit perfectly and will have to be redone. Pieces do get damaged during the project and pieces may be unusable for various other reasons. Flooring materials made out of natural products will have some flaws that add character and interest, but some flaws will make a piece not suitable to include. Have enough materials so that you don’t have to skimp. You will be much happier when every piece fits perfectly and the finished area looks professional.

2. Closets

Most likely you will want to do the closets in the same flooring material as in the room they adjoin, especially in the bedrooms, so don’t forget to include that measurement. Always add 2” for the doorways so the carpet meets the flooring in the next room. Simple things like finished closets and doorways make a big difference in creating a professional look!

3. Damage or Repair

There is a good chance you will need some more material down the road, too, if you decide to expand your space or have damages you need to repair. A flood, overflow, leaky sink, or broken appliance that ruins a portion of the floor doesn’t have to become a disaster if you have the extra flooring to replace the damaged area.

4. Matching

It’s quite possible that the lot and dye of your installed floor will be unavailable at a later date or the manufacturer could discontinue the style altogether and by then it will be difficult to match, if you need to do repairs. If your flooring is custom, acquiring even a small amount in the future may be very expensive or not even possible.

5. Selling Your Home

The extra box of wood, laminate, tile, or stone flooring can also be used for sprucing up worn areas and a comfort to a buyer if you decide to sell your home, so don’t be short-sighted about the value of your flooring investment.


No matter how big or small your project, or whatever materials you chose, taking the time to properly measure, plan, and allow for overage will help ensure that your new flooring endeavor will be a lot of fun and very rewarding. Best of luck and enjoy!

Bamboo Flooring Transitional Pieces

Bamboo flooring is a great hardwood floor option that is quite popular in so many homes today. Bamboo is not only the environmentally smart choice, but it naturally resists water, humidity, and the damage that can be caused by a busy family, dropped objects or heavy furniture. If you choose this great looking hardwood floor type to go into your home or project, you will need to make some informed decisions about selecting the most suitable bamboo flooring transitional pieces.

What are Bamboo Transitional Pieces?

Bamboo transitions are pieces of flooring that help provide a smooth surface from one room or level, to another. the important finishing touches to complement your existing wood floors, home style, and décor. Transitional pieces include the moldings and trims that add a professional, finished look to your home’s space. There are a wide variety of options available to provide the proper function and to match your design elements and overall interior.

Types of Transitional Pieces

  1. Bamboo T-Moldings are the common transitional pieces that will take you from one room to another when the floor surfaces are of equal height, or between two floor surfaces if they are within 1/8″ in height of each other. T-molding is flat on the showing surface area and has a raised notch down the middle and across the length of the underside. It is often used when a bamboo wood floor transitions into a kitchen or a bathroom that has either a thick vinyl flooring or tile. Bamboo t-molding will cover the expansion gap between the two floors.
  2. A Bamboo Reducer is used to transition from wood flooring to a floor covering that is at a lower surface. A reducer is sometimes seen at an entry foyer, or when leading to a vinyl covered floor or a short pile carpet. The reducer should be the same thickness as the wood floor and will have a groove on the back of it. It is an essential piece for eliminating awkward gaps and for reducing tripping hazards.
  3. A Bamboo Threshold is for use to complete the flooring at a door and also used at sliding glass doors. It makes a beautiful stopping point and gives a great finished look. As well as being functional, a bamboo threshold is often a way to add a design accent or to create a sense of boundary in an open-concept room. It is a versatile trim piece that can also be customized by making adjustments on it with a table saw when a standard reducer does not work for a particular flooring change.
  4. Bamboo Stair Nosings are used to transition from a floor to a staircase, on staircase landings, or on step downs. They are also known as bull nose or bull nosing. These pieces have a small lip to give the floor a finished look that is consistent with the stairs below. You would also use this type of transitional piece when you have bamboo flooring on a stair landing or as part of stair steps. To go even further, you might even decide to use a bamboo stair tread on the horizontal surfaces of stairs to give a beautiful and more unified look to staircase, landings, and an upper level.
  5. Bamboo Shoe Molding is similar to quarter round and used to cover expansion gaps where the floor ends into the wall. It is a small piece of molding that fits right into the corner and has a rounded edge on the outside.  Shoe molding makes a great transition not only between the floor and the wall, but also from the floor to cabinets.
  6. Bamboo Baseboards are often used in conjunction with shoe molding. Baseboards cover the lowest part of an interior wall and act as a beautiful transition between the floor and the wall, covering any uneven cuts along the wall. A baseboard is also good protection for your wall and adds a professional finish to any room.

Tips for Installing Bamboo Transitional Pieces

You don’t have to be an expert carpenter to spruce up a room with bamboo wood trim pieces, but you will need a few tools and a little bit of patience. First off, be sure to have a measuring tape and table or miter saw for accuracy and nice clean cuts. You will also need a nail gun, drill, and non-water based adhesive, depending upon whether you will be nailing, gluing, or both. Aside from selecting the appropriate tools and materials for the task, here are some general guidelines for your project:

  • Read the manufacturer’s directions, if available, for information that is specific to the product you are using.
  • If using a nail down method, it is recommended that you predrill first and use nails that will be fine enough not to be detected.
  • If using glue down method, you will need to glue to either one floor or both depending on the flooring type. Be sure to use high-quality urethane based glue.
  • When using glue methods, use enough of it to fasten the product down, but don’t overdo it so that excess is visible and is filling the gap.
  • After the glue application, use weights or tape to help secure the piece depending on the type of trim. Be sure to wait until the glue has fully cured which may take 12 hours or more. .
  • Transitions must be fastened directly to the sub-floor and not to the actual flooring material.
  • Some transitional pieces may come with a track that must be fastened in first.
  • Plan your project in its entirety before you start to avoid do-overs or backtracking. Don’t forget the old adage- Measure twice! Cut once!

It’s All in the Details

There is a lot of thought that goes into professionally completing a wood floor project. How will the floor transition into another room? Where is a natural stopping point? Will any gaps been created and if so, how will those be addressed? How can safety issues, awkwardness, or any unsightliness be avoided? Where can interest and design be added?  These are a few of the items you will want to think about before you even start your project. 

Bamboo transitional pieces are not only the solutions to these challenges, but used correctly, they give you a professional, high-end, showcase appearance that adds splendor and value to your space. Your project deserves that final, customized touch. Using the proper transitional and trim pieces will help you protect, sustain, highlight, and truly enjoy the craftsmanship of your beautiful flooring. 

What You Need to Know About Glue Down Vinyl Plank Flooring

Your flooring choices can make a difference to the feel and function of your home. Deciding to make vinyl flooring a feature of your rooms comes with a variety of benefits. However, it’s worth remembering that selecting vinyl as a material is only half the battle. You also need to consider the type of installation that best fits your aesthetic needs, your budget, and your long term plan. 

In this post, we’re going to be focusing on glue down vinyl plank flooring. Over the last couple of decades it’s become a popular choice for those home improvement enthusiasts who want to achieve the look of wooden flooring, alongside some element of permanence. That said, there’s still several aspects to consider before committing to what can seem like a cheap and easy alternative to natural wood.     

What is Glue Down Vinyl Plank Flooring?

While the clue is definitely in the name, here, there is a little bit more that goes into it. As this is generally an option for those who are taking the DIY route, it’s vital you know exactly what you’re looking for when you head to the hardware store.   

Cores

From a materials perspective, they are simply tiles made of vinyl, cut into plank-like strips for both ease of installation and to mimic the hardwood flooring look. Aside from the aesthetic decisions, you’ll also need to understand the differences in the cores. 

Solid Vinyl Core

The entire product is produced from a solid piece of vinyl. As a result, this tends to be a more durable product, and relatively resistant to water and wear damage. 

Stone/Polymer Core

Usually the lowest in price. Manufacturers combine crushed limestone with polymer in order to create a thin but hard core. 

Wood/Polymer Core

The mid-range cost option. In this instance, manufacturers combine bamboo or wood dust with the polymer. This results in a more flexible product, but it’s more susceptible to dents. 

Adhesives

The other factor to consider is the type of adhesive that is most appropriate for the planks you select and the area you’ll be laying. 

This generally comes in two forms:

Pressure Sensitive

In the majority of cases, this refers to flooring tiles that have the adhesive already applied to the underside of each plank. This makes for relatively easy installation, and there is usually a window of time during which the adhesive remains sticky, allowing for adjustments in positioning during installation. 

Hard Setting

Depending on the supplier, this may also be referred to as “transitional” adhesive. Used on glue down vinyl plank flooring that isn’t supplied with PSA on the underside, this can be a bit more of a challenge during installation. This glue is spread across the subfloor area before laying the vinyl planks on top of it.

How Much Does It Cost?

For most of us, the primary consideration for any project has to be the budget. We might have some ambitious ideas about the look we want to achieve, but in the end we still have to make it fit our finances. The good news is, while vinyl planks are often more expensive than a single vinyl sheet, it is still one of the lower cost options on the market. The question of how much glued down vinyl plank flooring costs comes down to a few key factors. 

Planks

The cost of vinyl planks can vary depending upon the design, quality of finish, and — as mentioned above — whether there is a pressure sensitive adhesive already applied. At 2020 prices, you’ll be looking to pay around $2.50 to $5 per square foot for your planks. 

Adhesive

If you’ve chosen not to go for the PSA option, you’ll need to include costs for your hard setting or transitional adhesive in your budget. A gallon of roll on vinyl adhesive will set you back around $30 at current prices.

Accessories

If you’re going the DIY route, additional costs to consider can include a trowel or roller for applying the hard setting adhesive (around $10). Depending on the room you’re flooring, you may also need to consider an underlay to reduce noise — this usually runs at around $0.40 per square foot. In some cases, a vapor barrier to protect your glue down vinyl plank flooring from rising moisture might be necessary, which could add around $0.15 per square foot to your total. 

Installation

There’s no shame in bringing on a professional installer to minimize the potential for additional unnecessary costs resulting from mistakes. A few things to bear in mind include the complexity of the room shape, whether you’re using PSA or hard set adhesive, and how far away from the installer’s base your property is. Each of these has the ability to affect how long the job will take, and can therefore influence the cost of labor. It can also be worthwhile removing any old flooring and disposing of it yourself, prior to your contractor’s arrival, as this can also make a difference. On average, labor alone can range from $2.85-$5.25 per square foot.     

In total, the cost of glue down vinyl plank flooring for a room of 100 square feet ranges around $300-$1100.

What are the pros/cons of Glue Down Vinyl Plank Flooring?

As always, there are upsides and downsides to any flooring choice. 

Pros

  • Easy installation — particularly with PSA options, this type of flooring is relatively simple to trim and apply directly to the subfloor surface. 
  • Moisture resistant — the material is ideal for areas that could see spillage. The addition of a vapor barrier on the subfloor can also prevent rising moisture issues.  
  • Durable — glue down vinyl plank flooring is relatively hard wearing. Depending on the core you choose, this can be a long term flooring solution.
  • Low maintenance — vinyl is very easy to clean. The plank nature of the materials also make the PSA variety simple to individually replace if they’re damaged. 

Cons

  • Varying quality — while there are high end brands of vinyl flooring, quality can vary significantly, and it can be difficult to ensure you’re getting a good, long-lasting product.
  • Difficult removal — this largely applies to the hard setting adhesive variety. Once glued down it can be a difficult material to remove quickly and cleanly.
  • Ecologically unfriendly — vinyl is a non-biodegradable product, and when glued down it makes them unsuitable for reuse.

Conclusion – Making the Choice

Taking into account the factors we’ve outlined during this post, it’s clear there are a variety of approaches you can take which give you a combination of desirable outcomes. Do you prioritize longevity above ease of replacement? Does your budget stretch to quality materials, but not to labor costs? The versatility of glue down vinyl plank flooring means that, whichever route you take, there’s the potential for this to be a durable, attractive choice for your home.