We love our blog readers! They ask us some great questions and bring a great community feeling. Of course, if one person asks a question, someone else has probably wondered about the same thing, and so in that spirit we’ve decided to share some of the recent queries from our comments sections!
Read on to learn more, and don’t hesitate to chime in with questions of your own!
Q: What about engineered wood floors with pets? –Carla
Hi Carla! The suitability of engineered hardwood for pets depends on a few things. The size and species of your pets is a big consideration; big dogs have a higher chance of scratching engineered hardwood than a smaller dog or a cat. For example, a playful Great Dane with scrambly paws and claws would cause more damage than a Yorkie. There’s also the accident factor to consider, whether it’s a puppy being house-trained or a cat with a hairball. Engineered hardwood is not waterproof, and the chemical makeup of pet urine (cat urine is very alkaline) can lead to damage. As a rule we recommend other materials over engineered hardwood for pet owners, but the final decision will come down to your preferences and what you want out of your floor.
Q: I am interested in buying a house built in 1989 but it has laminate floors. How safe is this house with those laminate floors? -Gloria
Hi Gloria, it’s impossible for us to say 100% definitively since we don’t have any information about that specific flooring other than it is in fact laminate. However, we can tell you that if the laminate is more than a few months old and has ever been ventilated (i.e., the windows in that room have been opened), you should be just fine. Unsafe laminate floors don’t continuously produce the hazardous chemicals you read about, once they’ve been emitted they’re gone and the flooring won’t make more. The home should be perfectly safe! If you have more concerns before purchasing the house, we recommend speaking to the homeowners and the realtor, as they should be able to give you more detail about the specific make and model of laminate in that home.
Q: I’m possibly installing a solid hardwood Acacia flooring. The store suggested I use a pad underneath to help with echo, suggesting that tighter, harder flooring echoes more. This seems odd to me, as I have seen dozens of exotic hardwood floors to down directly on black felt. Your thoughts on this? –Scott
Scott, you’re dead right. We put proper padding under floating floors, not under nailed or stapled down floors, which is how solid hardwood gets installed. The only real alternate to the black felt is a red rosin paper, which has some moisture barrier benefits. In truth, neither is required, and – I verified with our installers – they’ve never used anything else, just the black felt, red rosin, or nothing at all. That’s how it is with solid hardwood. Your intuition is being a good friend to you today.
Q: I have a finished basement that seems to attract water issues from the water main springing a leak into the basement, my dog having an accident, and a condensate pipe overflowing. I need a flooring that will not have to be removed if there is a substantial amount of water. I am leaning towards thin set and grouted porcelain flooring. What do you think I should do? –Carolyn
Hi Carolyn, I would say yes, you’re in the right area! Glazed porcelain is designed to withstand water and is available in a large variety of colors, so hopefully you’ll find something that fits your decor. It’s a great bet for basements!