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5 Common Home Flooring Questions

Flooring | 7 August 2019

As home flooring experts, we receive a lot of great questions from customers coming into visit us at our Chilliwack flooring store. We like to refer to ourselves as “flooring nerds” and we are always available to answer any questions that you may have. We have taken the time to answer some of the most common home flooring questions that we receive. If you have a question about home flooring, please fill out a form on our website, give us a call or visit our flooring store in Chilliwack.

Can I install new flooring over my existing flooring?

Each situation presents its own unique set of possibilities. If you have no more than one layer of sheet vinyl and it’s well glued-down, you can often install one more layer of vinyl on top after some floor prep. Under the same conditions, you can install carpet, tile, hardwood or laminate over existing glued-down sheet vinyl. You can install carpet and pad over glued-down or nailed-down hardwood or vinyl. You cannot install anything over a layer of any kind of floating floor, and it is not recommended to install another layer of any type of flooring over tile.

Can I install hardwood flooring in my basement, or any other below-grade space?

In a word, yes. The creation and advancement of engineered hardwood floors has made it possible for installation below grade. Prior to the introduction of engineered hardwood floors, this was not a possibility. You can either float or glue down your hardwood floors below grade or on concrete. Engineered hardwood floors are also more structurally stable than solid, with reduction in the possibility of cupping or gapping.

What is the difference between SPC and WPC in vinyl plank or vinyl tile?

SPC is an acronym for stone plastic composite, as WPC is for wood plastic composite. SPC is higher density, although often a thinner profile than WPC. SPC is more rigid than WPC and less likely to expand and contract during variations of heat and light. WPC is more sound-absorbent than SPC.

Which type of flooring is better suited to an active environment?

We feel that your flooring should not only work for you in a very practical way, but also be something that beautifies your space. Keeping aesthetics in mind, you may want to consider the following when making your selection:

  • Wood floors are more likely to scratch or dent than laminate. Wood scratches can be made less obvious with the use of corrective pens, oils, etc. There are a number of products available to help you with that. If you choose a floor with distressing, then those scratches just become part of the character of your floor.
  • Laminate is more resistant to scratches and marks than hardwood or vinyl plank. While there has always been a concern with laminate installation in wet spaces, there are new products available that offer a greater water-resistance than at anytime before.
  • Vinyl plank is a water-proof (glued down) or water-resistant (floating) floor. It has all of the beauty and appeal of hardwoods and laminates, without the concerns about moisture that we have had to deal with in the past.
  • Carpet is the softest flooring underfoot, with many options for thicker or more water-resistant underlayments. It also provides additional warmth and sound-reduction underfoot.  Carpet can be steam-cleaned when it gets soiled or stained, but there are some things that can permanently stain it.
  • Sheet vinyl is a waterproof floor that is still used often, especially in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. There are new options that have come into use in recent years that offer an option of loose-lay installation, as well as additional thickness for comfort underfoot.

If I use a thicker underlayment under my floor, will it feel softer underfoot?

This will only happen if you are using carpet. If you are installing a resilient floor such as vinyl plank or laminate, the underlayment will make no difference at all to the cushioned feel of the floor. In fact, if you were to try to install a thicker than recommended underlayment under laminate or vinyl plank, you would run the risk of compromising the tongue and groove interlocking edges.

If you have a question about home flooring that wasn’t answered above, please feel free to give us a call at 604-795-5577 or visit our Chilliwack flooring store.