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The 4 W’s of WPC




Gather around, friends. It’s time to talk about innovation!

*gasp*

Innovation? In FLOORING?

It’s here. And it’s spectacular. Let’s get into it!
 
What Is It?

“Is there such a thing as waterproof laminate?”

This is by far one of our most frequently asked questions. Laminate floors are a very popular choice for pet owners and families with children because of their extreme durability. However, they are water resistant, not waterproof. The core board that composes the bulk of a laminate flooring plank is absorbent, but it’s made with compounds to increase its moisture resistance and is protected by layers both on the top and on the bottom.

Which brings us to WPC.

WPC stands for Wood Plastic Composite, a hybrid material composed of wood or wood flour and plastic that highlights the best qualities of both materials. It’s a 100% phthalate free virgin material.
 
Where Can It Go?

Most flooring materials require transition pieces and expansion gaps. Not WPC! Eliminating these needs allows for large interrupted areas of flooring, so WPC is a nice choice for bigger spaces like open-plan rooms and commercial areas.

One of WPC’s most sterling advantages comes from its versatility. Unlike laminate’s core board, WPC’s wood plastic core is dimensionally stable when exposed to moisture and temperature fluctuations. It’s 100% waterproof! WPC floors are an excellent way to break out of the ordinary options for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other moisture-prone areas.
 
When Can It Be Installed?

We’ve talked about acclimation before. Different materials need different acclimation times, and WPC is no exception. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions and information to see how long you’ll need to let your new WPC floor acclimate.

WPC doesn’t need much in the way of subfloor preparation. Cracks? Divots? No problem! Unlike laminate and vinyl floors, WPC’s rigid core allows it to go over uneven plywood or concrete subfloors without the extra work of leveling or repair. Of course, always read the manufacturer’s specifications about subfloors prior to installation.
 
Why Should I Care?

Do you have children? Pets? A busy household that sees plenty of foot traffic? Then you need a flooring material that roll with the punches, stand up to the hard knocks, and come out swinging. WPC can do all of that and more! It’s highly resistant to impact, stains, scratching, and wear, designed to look beautiful and stay beautiful.

The layered structure of WPC ensures the vinyl layer takes the impact for maximum sound reduction capability. No squeaking or that cold, hollow echo from laminate floors. This is one quiet material!
 
BUTTON - Green Room Green-ish Swath
 
– – – –
Meredith Foster is a content writer at Floors To Your Home. Away from the office she’s a published author, hockey fan, music lover, and mom to a vampire-fanged rescue cat.
 
 
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Posted in waterproof, Which Floor for Which Room?

The Anatomy of Cabin Grade





We get a lot of questions about Cabin Grade hardwood. It’s one of our bestsellers and we do our best to offer as much information as possible about what to expect from a Cabin Grade floor. Here’s our President and co-owner Dan Kahn saying a few words on the subject:
 

 

What Will My Finished Cabin Grade Floor Look Like?

This is a tricky one. Part of Cabin Grade’s appeal is the variation present in the flooring. Since we purchase all of our Cabin Grade flooring sight unseen and don’t open the boxes prior to selling them, it’s impossible for us to say exactly what the variations will be on a specific flooring order.

Many of these imperfections come directly from the original source: the tree itself. For those who want a hardwood floor that’s unique and distinctive, this can be a good thing! Here’s a finished Cabin Grade project chock full of variety and character:
 
cabin-grade-1
 
Meanwhile, other finished Cabin Grade projects can look more uniform:
 
cabin-grade-2
 

What Types of Imperfections Might Be Present?

The most common imperfections in Cabin Grade flooring are surface imperfections that present an aesthetic issue instead of a structural one.
 
cabin-grade-actual-pic
 
Exactly what it sounds like, color variation is a difference in color that’s outside the manufacturer’s stipulation for that particular shade of flooring. Color variation in hardwood comes straight from the tree, because no two trees are the same.

Pinholes and wormholes tend are the result of insect activity before the wood is harvested. They tend to be very small, and may or may not be noticeable. Knotholes, by contrast, are more visible. All three of these are natural occurrences and have no effect on a board’s structural integrity.

Some Cabin Grade pieces may have surface splits. The boards themselves shouldn’t be damaged, but a visible crack to the very top layer may be noticeable. If desired, these can easily be repaired with wood filler, available at your local hardware store.
 
crack
 

What About Short Boards?

The most common issue we hear about from customers who purchase Cabin Grade flooring is the amount of shorter length boards. A short board is just that: a flooring board that is shorter than expected. Short boards can still be installed as part of your flooring project! They can also play an integral part in giving your floor that unique and characterful look our customers love.

Designer and blogger Jenna Sue of Jenna Sue Design Co. ordered a cabin grade floor from us in 2014 and had this to say about the short pieces:

“I was pleasantly surprised to discover that everything just blended together and the board length was not a big deal at all.”

Since many Cabin Grade products are random length designs, there’s no way to predict how many shorter pieces will be present per box. Short boards are another trait that adds real personality to Cabin Grade hardwood. They’re great for lending a rustic look.
 

So What’s The Bottom Line?

We cannot estimate exactly how much of the flooring will contain surface imperfections or short boards. We can, however, say with certainty that 95% of our customers who order fifteen to twenty percent overage on Cabin Grade hardwood are able to complete their flooring project. That doesn’t mean that 80% of the flooring is perfect. It means that the material can be installed as a floor and you can finish your project.

Here’s a finished Cabin Grade project from happy customer Jen C. Thanks for the great photos, Jen!
 
jen floor 1
 
jen floor 2
 
Want to talk all things Cabin Grade? Our flooring experts are standing by! Click FloorsToYourHome.com to chat or call 1-800-804-5251 today!
 
BUTTON - Blue Swath Guitar Room
– – – –
Meredith Foster is a content writer at Floors To Your Home. Away from the office she’s a published author, hockey fan, music lover, and mom to a vampire-fanged rescue cat.
 
 
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Posted in Customer Q & A, Hardwood Flooring

Does Your New Floor Need Accessories?





What a long, strange trip it’s been: you’ve done your research, decided on a material, set your heart on a color, and then, oh, and then…you bought It. Your perfect floor, from Floors To Your Home, of course!

But wait. There’s more.

Think of it like buying the perfect outfit: the clothes are important, but what about the finishing touches? Just like that great new ensemble needs the perfect pair of earrings, your new floor might need some accessories.
 

What Kind of Accessories Are Available For Flooring?

The most common accessories that may be needed for a successful flooring project are trim and underlayment. These are two fairly broad categories; both include a wide variety of options designed to suit a project’s individual needs.
 

What’s the Difference Between Trim & Molding?

Although there’s some debate about what exactly the difference is between trim and molding, the general consensus is that trim is there to be practical, molding is there to be pretty. Trim is used as a universal term for everything from baseboards to crown molding, but it does serve a very practical purpose alongside its aesthetic value. Trim is often used to hide joints, expansion gaps, seams, and other surface imperfections.

Types of molding vary depending on where the molding is going to go. For example, crown molding is a decorative transition piece between a wall and a ceiling. Conversely, a baseboard is a decorative transition piece between a wall and a ceiling.
 

What are the Different Types of Trim?

Quarter Rounds live up to their name! A cross-section of a quarter round looks like ¼ of a pie chart, 25%, or, you guessed it: one quarter of the whole.
 
Quarter-Round-Drawing

Designed to disguise expansion gaps, quarter rounds are sold finished or unfinished and can be customized to match your floor. Read more about them here.
 
T-Molding is shaped like the terrific, towering, and transformative twentieth letter of our alphabet, drum roll please…
 

 
T-molding serves as a transition between two level hard surfaces, usually from room to room or between a room and a hallway. In addition to providing a smooth transition between rooms, t-molding also gives room for the floors to expand and contract.
 

Read more about them here.
 
End Caps indicate a floor’s definitive end. They’re used wherever a floor meets with anything vertical other than a wall, such as fireplaces or sliding door tracks, or a higher surface such as a high carpet or a very thick tile. It is also used to border off where the floor ends, such as at a doorway.
 
end-cap-laminate-flooring-selectsurfaces
Read more about them here.
 
Reducers are a more subtle type of end cap and are designed to remove gaps between different-leveled floors. Instead of taking that sharp 90 degree drop like an end cap, a reducer tapers off at a gentle angle to provide a smooth transition.
 

Read more about them here.
 
Thresholds are used when two floors with different heights meet. For example, a threshold would be great between a laminate floor and a plush carpet. Read more about here.
 

Underlayment

Underlayment is a term used for the padding placed above your subfloor and underneath your flooring material. It protects against moisture, absorbs sound, and decreases subfloor imperfections. Some floors feature pre-attached pad. Read more about the different types of underlayment here.

Do you have questions about what accessories might be right for your floor? Call 1-800-804-5251 or click on FloorsToYourHome.com to chat with our flooring experts!

 
– – – –
Meredith Foster is a content writer at Floors To Your Home. Away from the office she’s a published author, hockey fan, music lover, and mom to a vampire-fanged rescue cat.
 
 
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Posted in Basic Installation Tips

Preventing Winter Home Damage

Ah, winter. It’s pretty to look at, but it can be pretty awful to clean up after. We all know how important it is to keep ourselves and our pets warm during the cold months, but what about our houses? Let’s take a look at how you can keep snow and ice from damaging your homes through this winter season and into the spring melts.
 
Don’t Pile Snow Against Your Home.

Sure, it’s snow now. But what about when it melts, or melts and refreezes? Melted snow can leak into your home as water, or refreeze to form ice dams, which can weaken structures over time.
 
Use Floor Mats.

We’ve talked at length about how moisture can impact flooring, particularly hardwoods. Nice bristly mats outdoors and thick doormats at every entrance indoors do a nice job of catching clumps of unmelted snow so they don’t track into your home. Remember to wipe your feet!

For areas with heavy foot traffic like offices and businesses, consider laying down plastic runners.
 
Wipe Up Snow and Ice Right Away.

Like all common sense, this bears repeating every now and then. One of the great things about waterproof flooring materials like vinyl and porcelain is knowing they can stand up to moisture. That said, wet floors are a slip and fall hazard, so be sure to get any tracked-in snow, slush, or ice swept up as soon as possible.
 
Vacuum Road Salt.

Salt is essential for keeping roads and sidewalks free of hazardous ice during winter, but it can do a really nasty number on hardwood floors. That same gritty quality that adds to traction can scratch even the strongest hardwood finishes, so use care when removing it. A vacuum or a broom are your best bets; dusters that rely on pressure can lead to more scratching if the salt is pressed against the wood.
 
Maintain an Appropriate Humidity Level

Yes, the weather outside is frightful, but to keep your hardwoods looking delightful, your home’s humidity levels need to be monitored a little closer this time of year. Too much dryness in the air can cause your hardwood floors to contract, so try to maintain an optimal humidity level of around 30-60%.
 
What steps are you taking to protect your home this winter?
 
Green-Room-Green-ish-Swath-VINYL-

Posted in Z-Level: Our Odds & Ends

What Color Should Your New Flooring Be?

Posted in Z-Level: Our Odds & Ends

Google’s Star Wars and More Fun




It’s making the rounds. If you do it exactly right, this is pretty fun. Copy the following and paste it into a Google search.

a long time ago in a galaxy far far away

I say copy because it has to be exactly right. No commas, two ‘far’s, all of it just right or it won’t work. You can also just click it to see the results, but that’s not as fun.
 

Pleasant Time Passers

So while you’re waiting in line at 4am in the freezing cold on Black Friday so you can buy a $2,000 tv for $599 (in which case I’ll be right behind you in that same line), have some fun with these other Google gimmicks (Easter Eggs, for the cognoscente):

In the Google search bar, type the phrase, “do a barrel roll“.

Or, in a fresh Google window, search for the word, “askew“.

You can search Google in Klingon, and find all those Shakespeare quotes in their original language. Finally.

Type “zerg rush“. Wheee! The O’s can be destroyed with a few clicks each, otherwise they’ll eat up all of your search results and win. It’s got progress bars and everything! A fully playable game, like when they put Pac Man up as one of their Doodles.

Speaking of those, if you open a fresh Google window and hover over the “I’m feeling lucky” bar, it will rotate to a variants on how you might feel. Hover off and back, and it will select another. If you click the ‘doodley’ version without any search text, you’ll be taken to their museum of all of the doodles, and any variations on the Google logo.

Google stuff

More searches? Paste in the answer to life, the universe and everything. Or have it look for the number of horns on a unicorn. It’s the loneliest number. For assurance, they provide a calculator.

Google’s “is this what you meant?” things can be funny too. Try searching the word anagram. Or have it look up recursion. Their suggestion and definition are both good.

One of Google’s early April Fool’s jokes is still intact, and fun to go through.

 
These aren’t on the Google site itself, but check them out anyway.

Google Anti-gravity (Click it, then hit ‘refresh’. Not sure why that’s necessary, but it seems to be.)

Google Sphere

elgooG
(You should know what to expect here.)

 

Fun. Hoo-ahh.

This message is sponsored by Buy some floors!

Because we sell them.

 

– – – –
W. David Lichty is the Content Guy at Floors To Your Home (.com). In my spare time I shoot and edit video, explore film history, mix music (as in ‘play with Beatles multi-tracks’) and write non-fiction for my friends. Connect with me on Google+. Since no one else is there, we can chat in complete privacy.

 
BUTTON - Perfect Room No Swath
 
 
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Posted in Z-Level: Our Odds & Ends

5 Great Thanksgiving Laughs




Ah, the Internet. How I love the trove of GIFs, memes, puns, and distractions. Because I’m thankful for every single one of you, dear readers, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite bits of Thanksgiving whimsy so you can giggle before you gobble.

The incomporable Julia Child starts us off:
 

Shake your groove thing, shake your groove thing!


 

If you haven’t seen any of Liz Climo’s adorable comics, let me fix that for you:
 

 

Your faithful bloggers are nerds, in case you hadn’t noticed:
 

 

These kind pilgrims aren’t here to steal your land or your crops. They’d just like a delicious meal and some walkies:
 

 

Somehow I don’t think this is what the recipe called for:
 

 

Have a marvelous holiday, friends!

Posted in Z-Level: Our Odds & Ends

Black Friday Deals All Week Long!




Pssst…Black Friday is coming up! Since it’s hard to get decent internet when you’re living under a rock, I’m going to assume that yes, you know Black Friday is on its way. But. But.

Did you know our great deals are going on all week long through the end of Cyber Monday?
 

 
Yes, really!

At Floors To Your Home, we pride ourselves on our unbeatable discount prices that help you and your budget get a great new floor at 50-75% off the retail price. This Thanksgiving week, we’re taking that one step further by offering an additional 15¢ off per square foot of everything online and in our retail stores. This even includes our Buy One Get One Free items!
 

Mohawk Eastridge Hickory Chocolate 5 1/4″ Click Together Hardwood is Buy One Carton, Get One Free!


 
Did we mention you can shop online? Skip the crowds and treat yourself to some effortless browsing in our online store. Chat with our flooring experts, browse our incredible selection, even design your own room, all without having to take off your PJ’s. Saving big on Black Friday has never been easier.
 
(we ship a lot of floors free too)

(we ship a lot of floors free too)

Posted in Ceramic, Hardwood Flooring, Laminate Flooring, Vinyl Flooring

The Time We Rented An Elephant




Here at Floors To Your Home, we take great pride in a few things: great flooring, amazing discount prices, and our unbeatable commitment to top quality customer service, just to name a few. We also take pride in creativity, innovation, and knowing how to have fun.

Case in point: our first-ever TV commercial back in 1988.
 
Elephant4
 
Yes, friends, that’s our very own President and co-owner Dan Kahn at the Indianapolis Zoo, putting vinyl flooring to a unique test. Dan doesn’t like to make statements he can’t back up, so when he announced that Floors To Your Home’s vinyl floors were strong and resilient enough to handle an elephant, he decided to prove it.
 
Elephant3
 
So, how did the vinyl do? Did it pass the test? It absolutely did!

If 1988’s vinyl flooring can handle plucky pachyderms, imagine what 2015’s can do. There have been a lot of advances in flooring technology over the past 27 years, especially for materials like vinyl. Let’s look at some of these improvements:
 
Click Together

Vinyl floors with click together installation are great for the weekend DIY warrior. It also makes repairs a snap.
 

It clicks right together!


 

Loose Lay

Loose lay vinyl really is the ultimate in flooring convenience! No glue. No locking mechanisms. No muss and absolutely no fuss!
 

 
Luxury Vinyl Plank & Tile

With Floors To Your Home’s fabulous discount prices, you can have the luxury you deserve at a price you’ll love.
 

Mohawk Prospects Chocolate Oak Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring


 
WPC

Wood Plastic Core is a patented hybrid composed of wood and plastic that adopts the best qualities of both vinyl and laminate flooring. Some of our WPC floors feature premium cork underlayment for maximum sound reduction. This is the closest thing on the market to waterproof laminate!
 

 
Do you have questions about vinyl flooring? Our flooring experts are standing by! Call 1-800-804-5251 now or click on FloorsToYourHome.com to chat live!

(We make no promises about elephant questions, but we’ll do our best.)
 
Green-Room-Green-ish-Swath-VINYL-


Posted in Z-Level: Our Odds & Ends

5 Times We Loved Reading The Comments




What’s the oft-repeated mantra of internet sanity?
 

It’s for your own good.


 
Well, friends, unlike some well-known dens of iniquity on the World Wide Web, our blog is a great place to read the comments! We get great questions and we love hearing from you; it really is a delight to chat with our lovely readers and help them make their flooring visions become reality. In that spirit, here’s a roundup of some of the queries we’ve gotten recently, collected here for your reading pleasure. Answers courtesy of Meredith and David.
 
 
Do I need the expansion gap on both walls or should I butt the flooring up against one wall and leave the gap on the other end? -Bill

You’ll want the expansion gap to come between the floor and every wall, or any vertical surface, such as a fireplace or a pillar.
 
 
I have a question regarding water resistant vinyl plank flooring. How much protection would I have against water? For instance, the cat knocks over my son’s glass of water onto the floor and I didn’t find out till I got home from work (8hrs later), would there be any damage? -Daniel

Hi, Daniel! As a cat owner, I feel your pain.
 

 
To answer your question, all of our vinyl plank is waterproof, not water resistant, so if your cat decides to do what cats do and knock the glass over, your flooring would not suffer any damage. However, if the water seeps through the seams between planks and gets down to your subfloor, you could have some issues with the subfloor, particularly if it’s a wood subfloor. Hope that helps!
 
 
We are putting a log cabin up in Ohio and need a durable flooring material. What do you recommend? We have a large dog and winters are sometimes bad. –Pam

Pam, we asked our specialists. Our very own Jeff replied, “I would recommend loose lay vinyl. It won’t really be affected by tough winters, especially if you glue down some or all of the flooring. Big dogs may scratch it up a bit, but the planks are extremely easy to replace, and you can choose to purchase the 20 mil wear layer option for more durability. And if you glue it down then the dogs will probably affect the flooring even less. It is waterproof, so it won’t be affected by spills or pet accidents.”
 
 
I’m a realtor in Brevard County, Florida. When I show houses almost everyone notices, in a negative way, when a floor is a laminate. They want “real wood.” Some laminates are better than others. People do seem to desire “hand scraped” wood floors. But now that I’m looking for myself, I hesitate to get hand scraped as what comes into fashion also goes out (think avocado green bathrooms). What do you recommend as a good wood floor that would retain its value and stand the test of time but not break the bank? –Karin

Hi, Karin, I asked my guy Adam about this. Here’s what he said:

In response to the questions, if you do want to go with a hardwood make sure to go with a species of wood that has a higher Janka rating for durability. We do have several woods that are hand scraped hickory species that are good in that way. I get what you’re saying about fads, but I don’t think the hand scraped look falls into that area. What will fall out of fashion is exactly what you used for your example – color. With hardwoods this might be something like a deep, red Brazilian Cherry coming into favor and then falling back out, or a wood that is almost black. Those are still stretches – with hardwood not much really enters that fad area. We have had hand scraped hardwoods for years, and they have always sold well. I don’t see that ebbing, as some trends do.

I would still recommend trying to go with a laminate over hardwood to get the durability. For laminates whose looks shouldn’t alarm a prospective buyer, I would recommend going with one of our Cumberland Falls laminates. They have a deep, hand scraped textured surface and come in and 5″ width planks. They give a very good appearance of real wood. When showing a home with a standard laminate, the kind you see everywhere, such as a 3-strip oak design with only a lightly textured surface, it’s easy for the customer to assume that the homeowner went with a cheaper priced product to save on money. These shouldn’t do that, and in certain rooms, laminates really are better suited to the needs of the room. They should be considered a positive in a kitchen or a heavily used walkway.
 
 
What about installing waterproof vinyl in an RV? We are considering our options and I ran across this post. We hve been considering the pros and cons of the grip strip type and the clic lock, but this product is intriguing. Thanks. -Kathy

Hi, Kathy! You can indeed install waterproof vinyl in your RV, however there’s a caveat: Installing it outside of a climate-controlled environment (i.e., not in a house) will void your warranty. That said, vinyl floors can put up with quite a lot, and some, especially those designed for heavy traffic, have wear layers for extra protection.

So, short answer: Yes, but be aware of the warranty issue. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any more questions!

 
 
Do you have flooring questions? Do you have questions about flooring questions? Do you just want to say hello and tell us about your day? Whatever you want to talk about, we’d love to hear from you!


Posted in Customer Q & A

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