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First think about how the room is used. In high-traffic areas, consider a dense loop pile carpet made of durable nylon. For rooms with outside or pet access, or where food and drinks are often served, you’ll want a low-pile carpet with soil- and stain-resistant treatments, and one that hides the tracks from frequent vacuuming.

Different carpet yarns have varying light reflecting qualities. As carpet pile is pushed in opposing directions ─ typically from foot traffic ─ color casts may appear. You can fix this by sweeping or vacuuming the pile in a uniform direction.

Yes! A carpet pad is necessary to protect your carpet. The pad keeps the underside of your carpet from wearing against the subfloor. It also absorbs the impact from footsteps and furniture, lessening the stress on the carpet. In addition offering protection, the right carpet padding provides thermal insulation and reduces sound within the room, helping make living spaces more comfortable.

New carpet smell comes from the synthetic latex binder used to hold carpet fibers and backing together. The odor is not harmful and usually fades within 72 hours. You can speed up air circulation by opening windows and using fans during and immediately after carpet installation.

When it comes to carpeting and pets, a cut pile is the better choice. Looped pile carpets can snag on pets’ nails, causing yarn to fray, tear or pull out. Looped piles can also be a chewing temptation for some pets.


As a wood floor naturally expands and contracts with changing humidity and temperature levels, you may hear small cracking or squeaking noises.

It’s natural for hardwood flooring to yellow, grow darker or even lighter over time, depending on the wood species. Exposure to direct sunlight and some artificial lighting accelerates this process. Moving furniture and rugs will keep your floor well blended.

A quality engineered floor will last as long and perform as well as a solid wood floor, and can even be refinished. The thicker the veneer, the more times you can refinish engineered hardwood floors. As a rule of thumb, count on 1-3 times.

Solid hardwood is cut from a single piece of wood. Solid hardwood flooring can be installed above or on grade, but is not recommended for below grade. Engineered hardwood is made from multiple layers consisting of a thick top layer of solid hardwood, an inner core of high density material and a hardwood backing. Engineered wood floors offer superior strength and stability, making them suitable for dampness-prone areas like finished basements and bathrooms.

The moisture content of the wood needs to adjust to the conditions in the room prior to installation. We acclimate hardwood flooring, by placing the packaged boards ─ cartons open and raised off the floor ─ in the room where they will be installed for 5-7 days. It is also necessary to acclimate engineered wood flooring.

Laminate flooring is not recommended in any area of the home that will be consistently subjected to high levels of moisture. Exposure to moisture for extended periods can cause boards to swell and warp. You can install laminate flooring in dry finished basements and full bathrooms where water is not allowed to stand.

Using underlayment between the subfloor and the laminate boards is required, and it is highly recommended. An underlayment will help smooth out an uneven subfloor and cushion boards to reduce noise and premature wear.

Your laminate floor is extremely durable but it’s not indestructible. You can easily make minor nicks or scratches disappear with a color matched touch-up kit available at your flooring retailer. If the damaged area is larger, you can replace the individual boards either by cutting and removing, or disassembling a section of the affected floor and then installing new boards.


Cracked grout can easily let moisture and debris into the spaces between the tile and mortar, which may result in tiles coming loose. In addition, cracked grout turns into missing grout that can eventually ruin the installation. Fixing cracked grout is worth the time it takes.

For maximum stain protection, it’s important to seal and periodically reseal natural stone floors. Select a high quality penetrating sealer, preferable one with a natural, no-sheen finish.

The tile type often dictates what size joint space to use. It is desirable to have small joints in most cases. If a tile is rectified (cut after firing) a 2mm or 3mm space is possible. But not all tiles are 100% perfectly sized, therefore a bigger joint is sometime needed for a more aesthetic distribution of pieces.

Glazed tiles are coated with a liquid glass, which is then baked into the surface of the clay. The glaze allows an unlimited variety of colors and designs as well as protects the tile from staining. Unglazed tiles have a surface that is not coated. Full-body porcelain tiles have color that extends throughout the tile body.

The final look of mixed stone tiles may fall short of appearance expectations, especially if the stone is variegated and veined. Your installer should mix tiles from different boxes during installation to achieve a more even, visually pleasing result. You should always inspect the natural stone with the installer before the installation takes place.


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), as long as the subfloor is smooth and level. If the subfloor has imperfections, they may show through the vinyl.

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.

No, they’re not. While both products are examples of resilient flooring, they are actually 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 flour.