Choosing a hardwood floor
One is not better than the other. Each has specific properties that justify its use. Solid hardwood flooring is made of wood ¾ inches thick and can be sanded up to seven times. It is therefore a good choice if you are prioritizing durability, while maintaining the possibility to re-sand and change the colour as the years go by without replacing the entire floor. In most cases, it is used in residences when flooring can be nailed to a wood surface.
Engineered wood is recommended when the flooring is to be glued in place. Owing to its ¼ inch thickness, engineered flooring is often used in multiple-storey buildings like condos or basements. Engineered flooring is very versatile and considered more stable than solid hardwood flooring. However, despite its great stability, ambient humidity must be carefully monitored.
It is true that the grade and quality of hardwood are two characteristics commonly misunderstood. Many people believe that buying Select and Better means buying a better-quality product. However, product quality is associated with the production method, while grade is associated with product colour. The grade refers to the number of characteristics allowed and the natural colour of the wood. For example, colour variation in the boards and the presence of small knots and mineral streaks is more markedly present in the Instinct grade than in the Select and Better grade. For more details about our grades, refer to our grades guide.
Do not forget that all PG Flooring products, irrespective of grade, are manufactured with the same attention to detail. It’s up to you to choose the grade best suited to your rustic or contemporary-style project.
The Select and Better grade offers the very best colour uniformity in wood flooring. However, wood is a living material, and despite the highest classification standards, colour variations will be present on some boards, irrespective of grades, species and colour. Although, most experienced installers work with several boxes of boards at once to ensure that colour variations are mixed and spread to achieve the most harmonious appearance possible.
No floor is scratch-proof. Install felt spacers on furniture and chair legs and protect your floor when moving furnishings about. Place carpets in front of door entrances and in high-traffic areas. Install a protector under your computer chair. Vacuum the floor regularly.
Installing a hardwood floor
Installing hardwood over vinyl can pose some problems. To obtain the best result, hardwood flooring must be installed over a clean, flat subfloor that meets manufacturer recommendations. For more details, refer to our installation guides.
Thanks to new kinds of wood flooring, you can now install a PG flooring on concrete. Wood flooring maintains its beauty for several years when installed properly. The use of recommended adhesives and a compatible vapour barrier contribute to a failsafe installation. Moreover, several possibilities are open to you if you prefer solid hardwood flooring. For more details, refer to our installation guides.
It is possible to install hardwood flooring over radiant heating, but certain precautions must be taken to ensure a successful installation. For more details, refer to our installation guides.
There are several reasons why floors make cracking sounds:
- Relative humidity: Ensure that the relative humidity in your house is neither too high nor too low. This may explain why your floor loosens and becomes noisy. A humidity rating between 37% and 45% is ideal.
- Wrong type of subfloor: For nailed flooring, the subfloor must be made of plywood or OSB panels; the use of particle board is not recommended.
- Wrong subfloor thickness: The recommended panel thickness is ¾ inches (plywood or OSB) for joists spaced apart 19 inches or less, centre to centre. Spacing exceeding 19 inches or a greater span can result in deflection, leading to cracking sounds.
- Board direction: Boards must be installed in the opposite direction as the joists.
- Structural weakness: If the subfloor is not firmly anchored to the joists with flooring screws, there will be gaps between the subfloor and the joists.
- Lack of anchors: When boards are not anchored securely, they may move and lead to cracking sounds. Each board must have a minimum of two nails two inches from board ends, ideally spaced at eight-inch intervals in relation to the board length.
Construction paper slows down the migration of humidity between the subfloor and boards, but does not act as a vapour barrier. Tar-free vapour barrier paper is required.
We do not recommend installing boards in the same direction as joists because movement in the latter will result in the appearance of gaps between the boards. In cases where it is impossible to install the boards perpendicular to the joists, install ½ inch plywood panels over the existing subfloor, taking care to stagger the joints between the overlapping panels.
Yes, different types of mouldings are available, including nosing, reducers, quarter rounds and T mouldings.
Maintaining and repairing a hardwood floor
Keeping your flooring looking its best for many years requires maintenance and ambient humidity control. Compliance with our maintenance instructions is a determining factor of your warranty. Normal maintenance of hardwood flooring is simple and quick.
- Vacuum regularly to remove dust and sand.
- Clean your floor using products especially designed for hardwood floors, like PG Flooring maintenance products. Use a flat microfibre mop and lightly spray cleaner onto a section of floor or spray directly onto mop.
- Mop back and forth lengthwise along flooring boards. Always complete one section before moving to another
- If you own a pre-oiled floor, we recommend to apply a refresher every month. Use a flat microfibre mop.
- Any spillage should be wiped up immediately before the wood fibres absorb it
Unadvisable: The use of wax, household cleaners and oil-based soap on flooring is not recommended, nor is cleaning flooring with a mixture of water and vinegar or using a steam cleaner. These products may damage the flooring and void your warranty.
To get ride of stains, pour a little bit of cleaning product on a wet cloth and rub lightly. Always wipe the surface well. Do not pour the cleaning product directly on the varnished or oiled surface, this could damage it.
No, never wash your floor with water because wood and water don’t mix well. Wood fibres swell when they absorb water. This can deteriorate the wood and the finish of your flooring. When water infiltrates flooring, it can result in dimensional changes to the boards, wood discolouration and the development of mould between the boards. The kitchen and hallway are locations where water often meets wood. Special attention should be paid to these locations where wood is installed to avoid contact with any kind of liquid.
Recommendation: Wipe up spills (water, liquids, detergents) immediately before they are absorbed by the wood fibres. Place mats in front of kitchen sinks, the dishwasher, and workstations in the kitchen. Use carpets at door entrances to collect water and snow.
Use carpets and maps that will not run when damp. Ensure that the carpet underside is not rough or made of natural rubber. Soft, synthetic undersides are safe if equipped with holes to allow the flooring to breathe. Clean regularly under carpeting to remove dust and other abrasive dirt. To avoid colour changes to flooring, occasionally move carpeting about.
Although we use the terms solid hardwood in English and bois franc solide in French, this does not make your flooring a product resistant to all kinds of marks caused by dropped objects or even high-heeled shoes.
Each species has its own characteristics. Some withstand compression better than others. Wood hardness is measured with the Janka test.
To compare the hardness of different wood species with the Janka test, consult our technical sheet about hardwood flooring.
Problems with your hardwood floor
This phenomenon is named cupping and it is due to a variation in the internal humidity of the wood. This is not related to a defective product, but by environmental conditions. There are several reasons for changes in humidity:
- Relative humidity too high: During very humid periods, the wood absorbs humidity from the ambient air and expands. Since the boards are anchored to the floor, they cannot expand freely and press against each other, causing cupping. Insufficiently large expansion joints can exacerbate the problem.
- Humidity too high in the subfloor or a very damp basement: The underside of the board absorbs more humidity than its top side, resulting in unequal swelling between the underside and top side of the board and the cupping effect.
- Leaks or water spilled on the floor: Water infiltrates between the boards and is absorbed by their undersides. This results in swelling on the topside and the cupping effect.
A stable climatic environment in the house is the key to the optimum stability of wood flooring.
The appearance of gaps between boards is the result of internal variations of humidity within the boards. This is not related to a defective product, but by environmental conditions. There are several reasons for changes in humidity:
- Relative humidity too low: When the humidity rate in the air is too low, the boards tend to lose their humidity and contract. This happens quite frequently in winter, and, in most cases, the boards return to their original form the following season.
- Boards too humid prior to installation: If the boards were installed when their internal rate of humidity was too high. Increased humidity can be caused by several factors such as storing the boards in an environment that is too damp (concrete not yet cured, damp subfloor, fresh paint, etc.); boards delivered while it is raining outdoors and their transportation indoors, etc. The wood absorbs humidity and swells before installation. Once the flooring is installed and ambient humidity returns to normal, the wood loses its excess humidity and contracts, leaving visible gaps between the boards.
A stable climatic environment in the house is the key to the optimum stability of wood flooring.
For more details, refer to our installation guides.
For minor repairs, PG Flooring offers a repair kit for their different products. For major retouches, however, we recommend complete replacement of the board. For more information, consult one of our touch-up guides (depending on the finish) or one of our board replacement guides (depending on the installation type).
Ideally, excess glue should be wiped up as the installation progresses. If there is dried stains, follow these instructions:
For a prefinished flooring, use lighter fluid, acetone or the cleaner recommended by the glue manufacturer, and simply apply using a clean cloth.
For a pre-oiled floor, prepare an oil recipe mixing one part of coloured oil to two parts of finishing oil, then dip a (recommended) Bulldog 00 steel wool in your mixture and rub the surface to remove the glue. Another way to proceed would be to polish with finishing oil only, or to use a cleaning eraser.
Always use these products with care and test on an inconspicuous surface beforehand to ensure that they do not damage the flooring.
Wood is a natural material and it colour varies, depending on the cut, grain configuration and mineral steaks present. For best results, boards near moulding should be chosen from among those with the most appropriate colour to match the moulding to avoid abrupt transitions.
Yellowing or changes in the colour of wood is a natural phenomenon. Wood itself changes colour as it ages, and sunlight will affect the colour of your hardwood flooring. Although all our finishes contain an anti-yellowing ingredient that delays and diminishes this phenomenon, the flooring will age and a pronounced colour variation will appear, depending on the species. To minimize this effect, occasionally move furnishings and carpets around.
Questions about PG Flooring
PG Flooring has a longstanding network of highly specialized and well-documented retailers. Click here to find the closest retailer.
Many variables are influencing freight charges, such as the carrier, the distance, the amount of wood, the pallet’s weight, agreements with suppliers, gas price, etc. To get an estimation, refer to a retailer near you.
Our production delays vary depending on many factors like the type of product and the fabrication method, our ready to varnish wood supplies and the availability of the raw material from our suppliers. Refer to a retailer near you to get more information about production delays.
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