FAQ - Flooring

1. Is Hardwood better for preventing allergies?
Because Hardwood floors lack the trapping capability of carpet, the dust particles are released into the air and have a higher probability of effecting those with asthma

2. Is Hardwood waterproof?
Wood and water don’t mix as mixing wood with water directly expands the product and causes significant possibly permanent damage to the hardwood. 

3. Is Luxury Vinyl 100% waterproof?
Yes, Luxury vinyl is waterproof

4. Can I/Should I put hardwood in a kitchen/bathroom?
Hardwood is a possible flooring choice (although not ideal) in a kitchen or 2-piece bathroom but is not recommended in a 3-piece bathroom as a result of possible surface moisture buildup due to the bathtub. 

5. Can I/should I put laminate in a kitchen?
Standard laminate is not an ideal recommendation in a kitchen due to potential moisture build up but there are currently many waterproof laminate options that are recommended.

6. Is Luxury vinyl as scratchproof as laminate?
Although Luxury vinyl has made great strides regarding scratch protection it is still not as scratch proof as traditional laminate based on the durability and rigidity of laminates wear layer.

7. Do I have to run the planks of my solid Hardwood in a certain direction?
For any nail down or staple down hardwood floor the hardwood planks should run against the joists of the house.

8. Do I have to run the planks of a floating floor (Vinyl, hardwood or laminate) a certain direction?
Any floating hardwood (non-nail down/staple down) is free to run the direction of the customers choosing

9. Do I need a subfloor in basement to keep it warm?
It really depends on what flooring you are choosing and how warm you would like your floor to feel. Generally, with carpet and a premium underpad, the warmth is enough for the user. Hard surfaces like tile, vinyl and hardwood will be much colder to the touch and thus, might feel more comfortable with subfloor or in floor heating system.

10. Can I add heated floors under my luxury vinyl?
Yes, most luxury vinyl is compatible with electric heat. However, warranties can vary from supplier to supplier so please check with your Sales professional to ensure that the product you have chosen is compatible.

11. How do I clean and maintain my floor after purchase?
Each product category we offer comes with its own unique cleaner. Each of these products cleans and maintains your floor and validates the warranty on the product.

12. Do you handle commercial flooring or only residential?
We handle both residential and commercial flooring.

13. Does my wood need to be acclimated prior to installation?
Yes, the acclimation process is a key process to your Hardwood floor project. However, acclimation simply means that the wood should be stored at a reasonable living condition (air conditioning and heat) and be installed in reasonable living conditions. This can usually be executed in a conditioned home or a conditioned warehouse. 

14. Can I install my hardwood or floating floors close to walls?
You must always remember to leave an expansion gap on any and all hard surface installations. The expansion gap needed varies from ¼” minimum to” to ½” maximum. Please consult with the owner’s manual provided with your product prior to installing it yourself. 

15. Do you provide the service of in floor heat under my tile?
Yes, we offer supply and install of electric heat option to any and all tile installations

16. Is engineered wood more scratch proof than solid?
No necessarily. There is no difference in the scratch resistance between an engineered and solid wood floor. Scratch resistance comes down to wood species and hardness, gloss level, veneer thickness on engineered wood and many other variables.  

17. Can you sand and refinish an engineered?
Yes, you can sand and refinish any engineered wood that has a wear layer at or exceeding 3mm. 

18. What is the difference between solid and engineered hardwood?
Solid hardwood is manufactured from a single piece of wood; the most common thickness of a solid hardwood plank is ¾”. Engineered hardwood is made of a core of hardwood or plywood with a layer of hardwood veneer affixed to the top surface. It’s more resistant to moisture and heat compared to solid hardwood.

19. Do I need to seal a natural stone floor?
Natural stone like marble, slate and limestone are porous materials and need to be sealed. Please consult your sales professional to obtain the proper specific tile sealer for your stone of choice.

20. If I have any issues with my project, who do I call?
Always call or email your sales professional first and he/she will immediately tend to the issue at hand and notify the needed parties if applicable. 

21. Do you provide flooring cleaning services?
Yes, Alexanian has a fantastic tile and grout cleaning service that we provide.

22. How do I book my flooring cleaning service in the future?
The service can easily be booked by calling our cleaning services department at 1-888-300-8889

FAQ - Hardwood

1. What is the most durable hardwood floor available?
Prefinished hardwood floors are treated with up to 10 coats of aluminum oxide or other chemically strengthened urethane finishes. While this will certainly help maintain the look and luster of the floor's finish with respect to scratches; it does not strengthen the durability or the hardness of the wood floor. All types of wood dent and all types of urethane finished can be scratched.

2. What is UV-cured urethane?
Ultra-Violet (UV) cured urethane is a multi-product and multi-coating applied in precise quantities in 6, 7 and in some cases up to 10 coatings on factory finished hardwood flooring. Typically, the top-coating is enhanced by tightly knit, Nanoparticles of aluminum oxide or other hard minerals embedded in the urethane to provide surface abrasion resistance.

3. What is UV oil?
Ultra-Violet oil is a modification of standard UV-cured urethane coating on factory finished hardwood flooring. Typically, the low-gloss urethane mimics the look of a hand-rubbed oil while providing a limited surface abrasion resistance.

4. What is Janka hardness?
The durability or 'dent ability' of hardwood is often expressed in terms of its Janka hardness. Whereby laboratory tests can be used to validate a wood species ability to withstand indentation. Be aware that even the hardest kind of wood can still be dented, especially with pointed or sharp objects, pet's claws, high heels and furniture legs.

5. What are some of the ways to minimize the effects of heavy traffic, especially in an active household?
By choosing a hardwood floor with an abundance of wood grain, natural character marks, hand-scraping or wire brushing in medium to dark colours, with medium to low gloss you will be able to minimize the visual appearance of dents and scratches.

6. Which is better, narrow strips or wide planks in hardwood flooring?
There is no quality difference between narrow strips and wide planks. Generally, narrow strips evoke a more contemporary design and can sometimes make small rooms seems larger. Wider planks, often more rustic in appearance look better in larger rooms.

7. What is the difference between your prefinished and unfinished flooring?
I. Prefinished hardwood flooring has a bevel or fine micro-bevel on the ends and along the long sides of all planks with up to 10 coats of aluminum oxide finish. The unfinished floors are produced with square edges and must be completely sanded and finished on site.
II. Prefinished hardwood flooring can be used immediately after installation, with no additional applications of finish necessary and typically have a finish-wear warranty of 25 to 35 years, depending on manufacturer.
III. Unfinished hardwood is ideal for clients demanding a custom stain colour, it will have no micro-bevel edges or ends but it will have to have the finish refreshed every 3-5 years.

8. Can 3/4" solid hardwood floor be floated?
3/4" solid hardwood flooring should be stapled or nailed directly to a wood subfloor. According to manufacturer's instructions and the National Wood Flooring Association guidelines, 3/4" solid hardwood floor should not be floated.

9. Can we install 3/4" solid hardwood flooring in the basement?
No. According to manufacturer’s warranties and the National Wood Flooring Association you should not install hardwood flooring below grade, in basements or in un-heated areas. However, it is possible to install vinyl planks or tiles, laminate flooring or engineered hardwood floors in these situations.

10. Should I acclimate my hardwood flooring before installation?
Only acclimate hardwood flooring If the ambient temperature is between 60 and 80F and the relative humidity is between 35-65% with all HVAC systems operational. Let the flooring acclimate for a minimum of 24 hours, with boxes opened and laid flat in the room where the flooring is to be installed.

11. What is the moisture content of your hardwood floors?
All hardwood floors are kiln dried to a moisture content of between 6 and 9 percent at the time of manufacturing. Hardwood floors will naturally expand and contract with fluctuations in temperature and humidity. However, according to manufacturer's instructions and National Wood Flooring Association Guidelines, hardwood floors perform best when they are within a temperature/humidity range of between 60 and 80F and 35-65%. Inside this range, hardwood flooring is in equilibrium where expansion and contraction are reduced to their minimum.

12. What are some potential moisture problems I should look out for?
Cupping and crowning are caused when water is trapped between the wood floor and the subfloor. When this imbalance in moisture occurs, it is essential that the boards dry evenly; if not, cupping or crowning can appear.

13. Why are their gaps in my hardwood flooring boards during the dry winter months?
All hardwood floors perform best when they are within a temperature/humidity range of between 60 and 80F and 35-65%. If the ambient air is dry, the individual flooring boards can shrink, and gaps will appear. Adding an in-room humidifier to offset the dry winter conditions is strongly recommended.

14. What is the best way to clean my floors?
The best way to maintain your floor is to sweep, dust mop and/or vacuum the floors weekly, or as required. Wood flooring cleaning kits are available to maintain the luster and shine of your hardwood floors. Manufacturers do NOT recommend wet mopping, steam cleaners or harsh chemicals. You should avoid all excessive moisture.

15. How do I handle stubborn stains?
For stubborn stains apply the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner to a soft cloth and scrub the desired area. Repeat if necessary.

16. The floor beneath my rug or furniture is lighter than the exposed floor, what can I do?
Hardwood flooring is a natural product and will amber or darken in most cases when exposed to sunlight. Window coverings help to eliminate the obvious tone differences; however, it is best to rotate rugs and furniture so that the flooring gets an equal amount of sun exposure.

17. How can I better protect my floor from early finish wear?
It is a good idea to implement a regular cleaning routine, as well at the use of throw rugs and felt or plastic floor protectors on furniture.

18. When ordering hardwood flooring how much extra should I order to allow for waste?
As a rule of thumb, add 7% to 10% for waste and cuts depending on your skill level and the layout of the area. It is normal to have some flooring left-over once the installation is complete; this will ensure that if any repairs must be made or slight alterations to the room layout that you will have the exact same product to work with.

19. What are the different moldings and how are they applied?
I. The Quarter Round molding is used to hide the expansion gap left around walls during installation.
II. The T molding is used as a threshold in doorways or as a transition strip where the hardwood flooring meets floor or carpet of similar height. T moldings can also be used to change the direction in which the floor is laid.
III. The Reducer molding is used as a transition from the height of the sub-floor to the height of the hardwood floor.
IV. The Stairnose molding is used to cover the front edge of a stair tread or step. If used on a stair, flooring is installed behind the Stairnose to cover the horizontal part (the tread) of the stair.

20. How do I maintain my hardwood flooring?
I. Each hardwood flooring brand or manufacturer has its own care and maintenance guide which corresponds to standards universally accepted by the National Wood Flooring Association. Here are some helpful hints:
II. Place doormats or rugs at entrances to collect moisture, sand, grit and other potentially damaging substances from being tracked onto your hardwood floor.
III. The best way to maintain your floor is to sweep, dust mop and/or vacuum the floors weekly, or as required. Wood flooring cleaning kits are available to maintain the luster and shine of your hardwood floors. Manufacturers do NOT recommend wet mopping, steam cleaners or harsh chemicals. You should avoid all excessive moisture.
IV. For stubborn stains apply the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner to a soft cloth and scrub the desired area. Repeat if necessary.

21. How do I install hardwood flooring?
Each hardwood flooring brand or manufacturer has its own installation guide which corresponds to standards universally accepted by the National Wood Flooring Association.

22. What are the benefits of hardwood flooring?
I. Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular types of residential flooring. Here are a few reasons why you should choose a hardwood floor:
II. 2/3rds of homeowners say they want hardwood flooring in their home. Wood flooring adds natural beauty and timeless style to any décor.
III. Hardwood flooring is hygienic, doesn't harbour dust-mites, mold or other allergens and the finishes are free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCS).
IV. Hardwood flooring can literally last a lifetime, can be refinished if necessary and is a completely natural product.

23. How do I get my hardwood floor to look like it did when it was new?
Proper cleaning and maintenance are the keys to ensuring your hardwood flooring will look newer for longer. However, with certain finishes there are products that can be applied to prefinished urethane floors that will renew the floor back to its original appearance. Use only manufacturer recommended products.

24. Can I expect my floor to have color variations?
Yes. Hardwood flooring is a natural product and the natural colour of wood is never considered a defect.

25. What is the difference between Select and Better, Mill Run and Rustic grades?
The amount of natural character and colour is not reflective of a difference in quality. The difference between the various hardwood flooring grades is simply the amount of allowable character. For example, you’ll find the most amount of character knots, mineral streaks, pin holes, etc. in some collections.

FAQ - Laminate

1. What are laminate floors and how are they made?
Laminate flooring is a versatile, durable, attractive flooring with the appearance of a hardwood floor. Although laminate flooring looks like wood flooring, there is no solid wood used in its construction. Laminate floors are made up of several materials bonded together under high pressure. Most laminate flooring consists of a moisture resistant layer D under a layer of HDF (high density fiberboard) C. This is topped with a high-resolution photographic image B of natural wood flooring. It is then finished with an extremely hard, clear coating A made from special resin-coated cellulose to protect the laminate flooring.

2. How do I clean my laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is a beautiful, low maintenance, long-lasting flooring. There are several simple steps that you can take to keep your laminate flooring clean and to ensure that you get many years of service from it. Simply dust mop or vacuum with a soft brush or wood floor accessory to keep your laminate floor clean from dust, dirt or grit.
1. A damp cloth or mop can be used without damage to the laminate flooring panels, but do not use excessive water. Dry the floor thoroughly with a clean, soft cloth.
2. Blot up spills or water from wet feet or footwear immediately with a clean, dry cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Do not allow excess liquid to remain on the surface of your laminate floor.
3. Do not use soap-based detergents, abrasive cleaners, or combined “clean and shine” products on your laminate floor.
4. Do not wax or polish your laminate flooring.
5. Do not use steel wool or other scouring pads that may scratch laminate panels.
6. Do not steam clean or use chemicals that may damage the laminate flooring surface.
7. For stubborn spots or stains on laminate flooring use acetone or nail polish remover on stubborn substances such as tar, asphalt, paint, or oil. Then wipe clean with a damp cloth.

3. Why should I consider laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is perfect for anyone wanting a durable floor for a fraction of the price and installation time of a hardwood floor, but with the attractiveness of real hardwood.

4. How can I be assured that there are no dangerous chemicals, like formaldehyde in your laminate flooring?
All laminate flooring sourced by Alexanian has passed strict quality control standards that guarantees that your floor covering doesn’t contain harmful amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOC), giving you complete peace of mind when it comes to your family’s indoor air quality.
GREENGUARD and FloorScore® certifications set limits on chemical emissions from hard-surface flooring to promote healthful indoor- air quality. These certifications are an assurance that your chosen floorcovering doesn’t contain harmful amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOC), giving you complete peace of mind when it comes to your family’s indoor air quality.

5. How do laminate floor planks lock together?
There are many types of edge joining systems used to connect laminate flooring planks together. Some laminate flooring connections snap together by hand while others require a light tap with a mallet and a tapping block. Still others use a combination of a “snap” click edge and a “bang” or “tap” click at the end of the panels.

6. Where can I install laminate wood flooring?
Because laminate flooring is a wood flooring product it is not recommended that laminates be installed in wet locations such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause the core of your laminate flooring to warp or swell. In some instances, with special installation procedures, it is possible to install laminate floors in bathrooms where water will not stand on the floor for any length of time.

7. What are the advantages of laminate flooring over those of solid hardwood flooring?
One obvious advantage is that of price; laminate flooring is typically half the cost of traditional hardwood flooring. Additionally, laminate flooring is designed to be easy to install and is generally a good choice for most do-it-yourselfers, where solid hardwood requires a specific level of expertise. Installing laminate doesn’t involve nails, and therefore can be installed quickly and inexpensively. Laminate flooring is generally designed to be scratch-resistant and fade resistant, two areas where solid hardwood flooring is known to be more vulnerable.

8. What do I have to do before installation?
Laminate flooring boards must be acclimatized for 48 hours in the room where they will be installed. Installation should take place at room temperature of between 60 and 75°F.

9. Do I have to keep staggering the planks in my laminate flooring installation?
The first row should be started with a full plank, the second row with a 2/3 plank and the third row with a 1/3 plank. The distance between joints from one row to the next for the remainder of the installation must be 8″ or greater.

10. Will there be any cutting waste?
In an average installation, approximately 7% to 10% of the total area to be covered will be wasted for several reasons, typically cuts, planks damaged during installation, or errors.

11. What is the reason for the necessary 10mm gap left around the perimeter of the interior and around other obstacles within it?
Because laminate flooring is derived from wood, it is subject to expansion caused by room temperatures and humidity levels. An expansion gap is a necessary part of any successful installation because it allows space for the expansion of the floor as it responds to these external influences of temperature and humidity. When it is exposed to warmer temperatures, or to increased humidity, laminate flooring planks expand outward. Leaving out the essential element of an outside gap can cause the buckling of the individual laminate flooring planks as the planks push outward against walls or other obstacles.

12. I didn’t get my first row straight. Can I continue?
Do not continue. Getting the first row straight is the foundation – perhaps the most critical part- to a successful installation. If your first rows are not properly aligned, or the joints are not tightly sealed, the entire installation will be compromised. (The error will magnify as you continue installing.) Along both sides and ends, all planks must be parallel to each other or there will be wedge-shaped gaps between planks. If residue is caught in the grooves, poor alignment can also result. Remember to make sure all grooves are clean before installation.

13. What are the different moldings and how are they applied?The Quarter Round molding is used to hide the expansion gap left around walls during installation.
The T molding is used as a threshold in doorways or as a transition strip where the hardwood flooring meets floor or carpet of similar height. T moldings can also be used to change the direction in which the floor is laid.
The Reducer molding is used as a transition from the height of the sub-floor to the height of the hardwood floor.
The Stairnose molding is used to cover the front edge of a stair tread or step. If used on a stair, flooring is installed behind the Stairnose to cover the horizontal part (the tread) of the stair.

14. How should I install moldings?
You can glue or nail moldings to the wall only, never to the floor.

15. What is HDF and what is it made of?
High density fiberboard, HDF, is basically a high-density, moisture-resistant fiber panel. It is made of wood residues (sawdust, shavings and wood chips) from wood processing factories. This pulp is then dried and pressed into panels.

16. Why is a moisture barrier used on concrete?
Concrete floors below ground can store a vast amount of water. It is crucial to avoid all direct contact between the laminate flooring and the concrete floor because the soil beneath the concrete can transmit humidity into the floor. Installing a moisture barrier over all concrete surfaces is mandatory for a successful installation and for the ongoing health of a laminate floor.

17. How often do the wood grain patterns repeat on your flooring?
Pattern repeat varies by manufacturer and will range between every 8 up to every 20 planks.

18. How do I care for and maintain my laminate floors?
While laminate floors are highly resistant to stains and abrasions, they are not indestructible. In order to maximize the durability and beauty of your laminate flooring, we recommend the following practices as part of your floor’s normal care and maintenance.
1. Place a doormat outside the exterior entrances to collect excess moisture, sand, grit and other potentially damaging substances from being tracked onto your laminate floor.
2. Use only colorfast and non-scratch carpeting or pads on your laminate surface.
3. Avoid sharp or pointed objects with concentrated weight such as high heels on your laminate flooring.
4. Use protective felt pads under furniture legs or wide castors under appliance levelers.
5. Do not slide furniture or appliances across your laminate floor. If using a wheeled dolly to move furniture or appliances, place a clean sheet of smooth plywood or other protective layer over your laminate surface.
6. Rearrange furniture occasionally for increased indentation resistance
7. Do not treat or seal your laminate floor panels after they are installed.
8. Never sand, lacquer, or refinish your laminate flooring surfaces.

19. What is a laminate flooring AC rating?
AC hardness ratings are a standardized measure adopted by The Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (ELPF). The AC measure rates abrasion resistance, impact resistance, resistance to staining and cigarette burns, and thickness swelling along edges. If a laminate flooring cannot meet the requirements for each of these ratings, approval for a given AC rating will be denied. Here is a more detailed guide:
AC1 is suitable for lighter, more infrequent traffic, e.g. a bedroom.
AC2 is suitable for general residential use in living rooms and dining rooms.
AC3 can be applied to more varied locations, such as small offices and other light commercial location
AC4 can be installed in higher traffic commercial areas such as boutiques, busier offices, and restaurant
AC5 is more durable still and can withstand the traffic of heavier commercial areas such as department stores and public buildings.

FAQ - Vinyl

1. What is vinyl flooring?
Vinyl is a specific type of plastic. Vinyl flooring is a product made by layering different materials, including vinyl. The most common type of vinyl floor consist of 4 layers: a felt, fiberglass or vinyl backing; a core layer; a decorative layer with the flooring pattern; and a final "wear layer" on top that protects the flooring from scratches and scuffs.

2. Where can vinyl flooring be installed?
Vinyl flooring can be installed in any room in the house, including rooms at, above or below grade (ground level). It can also be installed over almost any type of subfloor (concrete, wood, vinyl), if the subfloor is smooth and level. If the subfloor has imperfections, they may show through the vinyl.

3. Does vinyl only come in large sheets?
No, as a matter of fact, vinyl is available as sheets, planks or tiles, presenting a variety of options to express your own personal creativity.

4. Why is vinyl flooring also called "resilient flooring?"
"Resilient flooring" is a term used for flooring that has some elasticity to it. This is the case with vinyl – it is a firm flooring product with a bit of “give.” The terms vinyl and resilient flooring are often used interchangeably.

5. Are linoleum and vinyl the same thing?
No, they’re not. While both products are examples of resilient flooring, they are manufactured from completely different materials. While vinyl flooring consists of vinyl, felt and fiberglass, linoleum is made from natural materials such as linseed oil, tree resin, cork dust and wood floor.

6. What is SPC?
SPC, an acronym for Stone Polymer Composite is a variety of vinyl flooring have a very rigid core structure due to the use of limestone or magnesium into the core board.

7. What qualities exemplify the best in luxury vinyl?
If given a choice, an 8mm WPC with Eir texture, painted bevels and a 1.5mm EVA pad attached would be an excellent choice.

8. What is the difference between WPC and SPC?
In general terms, both are waterproof are well designed for look and décor but SPC is heavy and rigid while WPC is thicker and more resilient; almost softer under-foot. SPC will lay flatter over minor subfloor variations.

9. What is the difference between WPC and SPC?
Vinyl flooring is a beautiful, low maintenance, long-lasting flooring. There are several simple steps that you can take to keep your vinyl clean and to ensure that you get many years of service from it. Simply dust mop or vacuum to keep your vinyl floor clean from dust, dirt or grit.
1. As vinyl flooring is generally waterproof, a damp cloth or wet mop can be used without damage to the vinyl flooring planks or tiles.
2. Do not use soap-based detergents, abrasive cleaners, or combined “clean and shine” products on your vinyl floor.
3. Do not wax or polish or use steel wool or other scouring pads that may damage the finish or scratch the surface of your vinyl flooring.

10. What are the limitations to luxury vinyl plank or tile
While vinyl plank and tile is extremely, durable and versatile as to where it can be installed it does have limitations.

11. What are some ways to differentiate luxury vinyl flooring products?
The three main parameters to examine are overall thickness (from 4mm up to 8.5mm), attached pad (either cork or EVA pad) and wear-layer thickness (.012 or .020 are typical).

12. What is EIR?
EIR, Embossed in Register is the way the life-like wood grain, character marks etc. are imprinted into the vinyl. EIR is typically much more realistic and vivid.

13. Are vinyl floors toxic and harmful to indoor air quality?
All vinyl flooring offered by Alexanian are certified by either GreenGuard or FloorScore, both world renowned and respected 3rd party testing laboratories, with respect to VOC's, phthalates or other chemicals released by these products. These certifications are your assurance that there are no harmful chemicals or off-gassing with our selection of luxury vinyl floors.