Frequently Asked Questions
Can I install new flooring over existing flooring?
It depends. There are many factors to consider before placing any type of flooring on top of another. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. We cover more things you should consider here.
Can I re-use the existing carpet pad?
Technically, you can, but the real question is if you should. Not all carpet padding is created equal in thickness and density. Plus, carpet cushion can retain spills and odors from previous use. Depending on the age and use of the carpet pad, it’s usually best to replace it, but there are some instances when it may be okay to keep it. Learn more here.
What is off-gassing and does carpet emit VOCs?
Off-gassing refers to possible volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemicals being emitted from new furniture or similar household materials. Carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs among household materials. In addition, all carpet sold at our store (and most established flooring stores) goes through extensive indoor air quality tests before being available for purchase. You can learn more about carpet and off-gassing here.
What is new carpet smell?
You may notice that newly installed carpet has a certain odor to it. This is due to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), specifically a by-product of the synthetic latex binders used to hold the carpet backing together. Although, new carpet is emitting VOCs, the measured amount is very small. Also, most of the VOCs present in new carpet will dissipate within 24-48 hours of installation. Ventilation during and after installation helps reduce the length of time VOCs are present. You can learn more about carpet odor and VOCs here.
What is carpet shading?
Shading is when part of the carpet seems to go lighter or darker in color than the surrounding area. It is simply an optical effect caused by changes in the direction of the pile lay and how the light reflects off the carpet surface. You may notice it when vacuuming, walking or running your hand across the carpet. Cut-pile (plush) carpets are most commonly associated with shading, and loop-style (berber) carpets seldom shade. Learn more.
What is the difference between laminate and luxury vinyl?
The ability to stand up against moisture is the main difference between laminate and vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring is waterproof, meaning it can safely be installed in any room of your home. Whereas, laminate flooring typically has a fiberboard core, which means it will soften and swell if exposed to water. Laminate flooring can be water resistant if correctly installed, but this is only for a short period of time. Both floorings can be similar in appearance, but laminate tends to be more natural looking than vinyl. Vinyl is 100 percent synthetic, whereas laminate has a core made from wood byproducts bonded with resins.
What’s the difference between nylon and polyester carpet?
Nylon and polyester refer to the fibers used to make carpet. Nylon tends to be more durable, but it is less resistant to stains and more expensive than polyester. Polyester’s main disadvantage is that it tends to crush rather quickly in high-traffic areas. Learn more about these carpet fibers.
How do I keep hardwood floors from cupping or gapping?
Since hardwood comes from living trees, it tends to react to changes in temperature and humidity. Maintaining the proper environment for hardwood floors is important. The best conditions are 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit and 30-50 percent humidity. If you can keep the floor in these conditions, it will prevent cupping, shrinking or gapping. Learn more here.
How do I prepare for flooring installation?
When you are getting new carpet or flooring installed in your home, it’s important to be prepared. You will need to remove all the furniture and anything on the floor. Drapes and wall hangings should be removed as well. It’s important to have everything removed if installing carpet. For hard surface flooring installation, sometimes the furniture can be moved to one side of the room then moved again as the flooring is laid down. Depending on the situation, old flooring should be removed and the subfloor prepared and cleaned. Here are some more tips.
How do I get stains out of my carpet?
There are three important things to remember for carpet stain removal:
- Apply a clean paper towel or washcloth dampened with a cleaning solution. Basic solution is 1 cup of warm water and ½ teaspoon of detergent.
- Blot the stain by pressing straight down with the paper towel. Do not rub.
- Scrape the soiled area with the blunt edge of a spoon. Scrape from the outside edge of the spot toward the center.
We cover how to handle specific stains (coffee, wine, mustard, etc.) on our carpet stains page.