FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
Does wood flooring conform to most design styles?
Yes. Wood flooring has become very popular in the Interior Design world and works well with many decorating styles. It is the most versatile floor covering used by most interior designers. Wood goes with contemporary and traditional styles and everything in between. Furthermore, wood increases the value of homes. Interior designers rated natural materials as superior to man-made materials in beauty, prestige, style, maintenance, and durability. A variety of woods and finishes are available to complement the decor and style of any room. Oak and Maple are the most popular woods, but some homeowners are investing in exotics such as Brazilian Cherry and Walnut.
What species and color should I choose?
There are several species, colors and grain variations to consider. Other than the walls, the floor represents the largest expanse of color or pattern in a room. Your floor should complement the fabrics, furnishings and accessories already present in the space, as well as enhance the unique personality of the room as a whole.
We carry many in-demand and highly reputable species: Walnut, Cherry, Santos Mahogany, Brazilian Cherry, and Maple. Our unique and varied stains and semi-gloss finishes are in direct accordance with what customers respond to with enthusiasm and positivity. Check out our products page to see a variety of wood in our product line.
Engineered floor OR solid hardwood product?
Engineered products available in Planks or Strips are manufactured of hardwood using a cross-directional laminated construction with a top layer of premium hardwood. This construction counteracts the natural tendency of wood to expand and contract with seasonal changes in temperature and humidity, making engineered products inherently and dimensionally stable. Solid products available in Planks, Strips or Parquet are manufactured from a solid piece of wood.
Can wood floors be installed in basements?
Urbanfloor engineered wood floors can be installed on above, at or below grade and only require sensible precautions. Moisture can be a problem below grade even when no moisture exists at the time of installation. A vapor barrier, sleeper system or both should be used for nailing down and a two-part urethane adhesive should be used for gluing down.
How many finish coats are applied to Urbanfloor products?
The Urbanfloor PLATINUM SHIELD™ UV finish features seven coats applied with extreme accuracy and toughened by the millions of Aluminum Oxide Crystals to ensure a smooth, uniform finish with unparalleled abrasion-resistance and beauty. Find out more at our structure and quality page.
What is the moisture content of Urbanfloor wood flooring?
The moisture content is maintained at 8-10%.
What is the difference between laminate and wood flooring?
Laminate flooring, also called a floating floor, consists of a thin film of wood imitation glued over a panel composed of high-density compressed wood particles (fibers). The result is a floor that, despite looking like wood, cannot be sanded, which limits its longevity. Hardwood flooring consists of a hardwood wear layer, whether it is solid or engineered. This results in a natural-looking floor with a real hardwood surface that can be sanded, stained and varnished several times and may change along with your taste or décor. Its longevity is virtually unlimited if properly maintained.
Why should I buy prefinished flooring versus unfinished flooring?
Unfinished flooring installed by a professional offers the most options regarding sheen and custom colors. Prefinished flooring is convenient. There is less time involved in installation and less mess. Since they can move independently, changes in humidity will not crack the finish between two individual planks.
What is the difference between prefinished and unfinished wood?
The big difference is the factory has sanded and finished the prefinished planks before they're installed on your job, thus eliminating the cost and mess of sanding and finishing on site. Prefinished has the aluminum-oxide finish, which is five to seven times harder than typical urethane finish. The aluminum oxide also comes with a 25-year finish-wear warranty.
Can I expect color variations in my wood floors?
Yes. Hardwood flooring is a natural product. Therefore, you may notice natural color differences in the wood from plank to plank. You can expect color variations in all grades of wood including quality flooring from Urbanfloor, although lower grades of flooring will have a larger number of character blemishes.
Do you recommend wood floors for people with allergies?
Absolutely. Hardwood floors are convenient to maintain and clean, making it easier to avoid the dust build-up that often occurs with carpets. Cleaning up pet hair and spills is also more convenient with hardwood floors.
What kind of underlayment do I need?
Usually the existing underlayment or subfloor is sufficient, and no other underlayment is needed. On all nail-down installations a paper is used, similar to tar paper, for an underlayment.
If I need a moisture barrier, is there a brand you would recommend?
We recommend Bostik® MVP (Moisture Vapor Protection)* or our own Urbanfloor Moisture Stop.
What about installing wood in high traffic areas like kitchens?
Urbanfloor PLATINUM SHIELD™ Urethane finish is able to resist water and traffic, bringing wood flooring into restrooms, kitchens, and other higher-stress areas. High-traffic areas include exterior doorways, hallways and in front of the sink, stove and refrigerator. To protect the floor on the inside of exterior doorways, use floor mats to catch tracked-in dirt and grime. Watch for grit or pebbles that might be brought in from shoe soles. Vacuum on a regular basis.
Which types of hardwood floors are best for in-floor radiant heating systems?
Radiant heating is a growing source of heating in North America, both in residential and commercial installations. Engineered hardwood floors are the best floors to use with radiant heating systems. These floors are manufactured of hardwood using a three-ply laminated construction, making them dimensionally stable and less susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity. Of the engineered flooring options, a floating installation may be considered the best choice, because it can be 'floated' over the subfloor, without the use of nails or adhesives for a permanent installation.
It is important to note that when installing any hardwood floor over a radiant healing system, the maximum temperature of the subfloor should never exceed 85° F (below 80° F is recommended). The heating system MUST be turned off 24 hours prior to installation and must remain off for 24 hours after installation.
Can I wax my wood floor?
It is strongly recommended that you NOT wax your Urbanfloor product. Waxing may damage the finish and leave a greasy film on the surface, making upkeep much more difficult. Also, never use sheet vinyl or tile floor-care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes can cause wood to become slippery and quickly dull the appearance. The only remedy in this situation is to sand and re-finish the floor.
Can I install an Urbanfloor product in my home, even though I have pets?
Yes, your pets and hardwood floor can coexist peacefully. However, make sure you trim and file your pet's claws regularly. Choosing a satin finish can also help hide small scratches your pets may leave.
How often should I clean my wood floor?
Clean your floor as often as necessary. Abrasives such as sand, glass and others can harm your floor. Vacuum or sweep regularly to eliminate abrasives that could damage your floor's finish.
What cleaning products are recommended for my wood floor?
We recommend using a Bona Mop® by BonaKemi USA, Inc.*, which works best on hardwood flooring. If you prefer an easier, more automated solution, we also recommend the Roomba machine (560 series and above) by iRobot*, which can be purchased at www.irobot.com. You can schedule vacuum times and can leave it to clean the house for you even when you're not home. It will even clean those hard-to-reach places, such as under your bed and furniture. You can't imagine how effective it is at cleaning your wood floors. After vacuuming, you can use the Bona® (also known as BonaKemi®)* cleaning solution available at www.mybonahome.com/products.html to effectively clean and polish wood floors. Simply follow the cleaning instructions to restore your hardwood floor's luster. Bona is widely regarded as the best cleaning solution available.
Do and Don'ts
- DO consult with an installer, the finisher or the manufacturer if there is any doubt of the kind of floor finish.
- DO place mats and throw rugs at doorways, exteriors and interiors to help prevent the tracking of grit, dirt and sand.
- DO put plastic or fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching.
- DO remember that cleats, sports shoes and high heels can dent any floor surface.
- DO place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink to catch water.
- DON'T move heavy furniture without protecting wood flooring by slipping a piece of cloth or pile under the legs or covering each leg.
- DON'T ever wet-mop a wood floor; standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.