Tag Archives: underlayment

Click Bamboo Fooring With A Twist

Bamboo flooring is now extremely popular and can be found in a ton of different styles and finishes. People all over the country are now installing bamboo floors on their own, and it’s never been easier to do.

First of all, you should always check it out on the internet, as that’s usually where you’ll find the best value. Having a floor shipped to your home is inexpensive and you still should save money on flooring. Continue reading Click Bamboo Fooring With A Twist


Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is not as complicated as people may believe.

There are just a few key things to think about:

1) What color/style do you like? This is an obvious home decor related topic and the most important question as long as the technical features and benefits match your answers below. So the best advice is to answer the questions below FIRST and then pick a color and style from the products that meet your requirements noted below.

2) How long do you want it to last – or in other words how long will you be in the home? This helps establish a budget. If you are just preparing a home for sale then your flooring budget will be less than if you are making your dream home and want the flooring to last forever. Yes you most often do get what you pay for. (However, watch out for predatory companies that like to come to your home promising 100% off sales or buy an entry way get 10 houses free. These guys are sharks most often and WAY overprice their products.)

3. Don’t forget underlayment. Having premium underlayment is CRITICAL if you are in a room that sound matters either in the room itself or in the room below. This is a mistake people often make in laminate – and then people are surprised and or disappointed that the sound of the floor is hollow. I love the cork underlayment at http://www.underyoo.com. HERE IS A LINK TO: CORK UNDERLAYMENT


If you have the right budget (which is setting expectations about longevity), the right underlayment for the right ambiance and the right color – you will have the perfect lamiante floor!

armstrong laminate
Armstrong high gloss laminate flooring

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a very good choice for active homes with kids, pets and for those that want to have easy maintenance.
Here are 3 basic types of Laminate flooring to consider:

The basic level is cluttered with all kinds of things from 6mm crap to very tough 7mm and 8mm laminate flooring choices. How can you tell? You can’t by simply looking. Research and ultimately trust will guide your decision. Price levels range from .59 cents to 1.69 for the exact same specifications. Only through testing and diligence can you get past the market BS and get to the facts.

The middle level of laminate flooring is the 8mm-12mm floors that have narrow planks, richer decors and designs and even some special treatments like handscraping or high gloss. The price range in this laminate typically runs from 99 cents to 3.99 – of course there are some brands like wilsonart laminate, mannington laminate, pergo laminate and others that are in the 3.99-5.99 and even a few high range, but they face stiff competition.

The best laminated flooring is called Super laminate flooring – vinyl plank flooring with and HDF core. It is as tough as laminate for durability, it is as good as vinyl as far as care and maintenance, and it feels better under your feet while being SUPER easy to install. It has smooth surface, textured surface and handscraped surfaces that will blow your mind. Price ranges from about 2.99-4.99 per foot. Some SUPER LAMINATE FLOORS have commercial warranties.

Whatever laminate flooring is best for you relates to your own individual needs.

No matter what laminate you choose I ALWAYS recommend a premium grade underlayment to help get the best acoustic and comfort factors for your new flooring. Don’t let this detail about flooring underlayment become a casualty of ignorance or something your installer says, “I have some left over from another job.” Get the best stuff you can afford to and that suits your application. It’s impossible to overstress the higher level of satisfaction that premium flooring underlayment users have compared to those who get the cheapest stuff available. Cork underlayment is one of the finest choices which is also eco-friendly.

Underlayment for floating floors

Some topics are so important that they deserve repetition and additional information.

Today’s topic is underlayment for floating floors. A floating floor is such a great way to add flexibility into virtually any installation situation. Floors like Kahrs, Saso, Pergo, Alloc, Trueflooring and others are so versatile they can be installed on wood subfloors, existing vinyl or tile floors and even on concrete subfloors just about anywhere in the home including basements. (concrete with too much moisture shouldn’t have any flooring on it without being properly sealed.)

The underlayment you choose can REALLY impact your investment however. I routinely see people select a really high grade of flooring and then select the cheapest underlayment like a 2-1 basic foam.

Yes, mechanically this covers the fundamental need of the floating floor and it is relatively cheap. However it adds a much higher likelihood of a “hollow” sound when you walk on the floor. The other likely side effect folks don’t always think about is the way a floor feels underfoot. Typically there will be a some amount of “give” in a floating floor and the thinnest underlayments accent this side effect and they don’t feel particularly comfortable either.

Whereas the premium 6mm cork underlayment addresses all of these issues and more with ease. Although the cost is higher than the cheap stuff cork underlayment in the 6mm or 12mm versions really can add tremendous value to the total package.

It reduces the sound impact to you as you walk on the floor and reduces the sound transmission to anyone living below you. THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD USE IN CONDOs for instance to meet most condo board requirements for ITC and or STC ratings.

Sound 6 Barrier is another alternative that meets the sounds requirements very well indeed and is thinner for the situations that cannot have a thicker underlayment installed.

My favorite is the 6mm or 12mm cork underlayment which really can help mask certain subfloor issues and has incredible solid sound as you walk on it and it FEELs better.

If you are investing in flooring don’t forget to use the best underlayment. You deserve it!

(past blog entries include addition details)

Will cork underlayment void my flooring warranty?

underlayment for floating floors is a very important piece of the flooring puzzle

Will cork underlayment void my flooring warranty?

A very insightful customer was discussing their flooring project with me the other day and I recommended cork underlayment for her flooring to help alleviate some of the “tap tap” effect that a floating floor can have.

She was so smart to come back and ask the question: Will this void my warranty? The quick answer is no it will not as long as it is equal to or better than the underlayment that meets the flooring manufacturers requirements.

I can’t tell you how often manufacturers will cloud this issue by STRONGLY suggesting that if you don’t use their underlayment (or other components) you will void your warranty. In some cases I have called their call centers and asked questions about this topic and I was blatantly told it WOULD void the warranty. Now the nice person answering the phone is just reading what they were told to say. However, I have the facts on my side so I know that nice call center worker is wrong and when I push it up the chain of command virtually all responsible flooring executives freely admit that substitution of equal or better products is a viable option. Often they will admit that they “upgraded” their own house using that same mentality! (Typically this involves me selling them a upgraded underlayment and educating them about the options.)

So what are the facts? Well as I eluded to in a prior Kahrs Blog Entry there are rules, in fact LAWS, about this general policy despite the knee jerk reaction to say, “THIS WILL VOID YOUR FLOORING WARRANTY!”

Here are some things to know:

1. There is a Federal Law called the Magnuson-Moss Act which precludes any manufacturer from dishonoring a warranty for any product based purely on using an alternative component. The key is that the alternative must be equal to or better than what was required to maintain the warranty coverage to begin with. Because this is a federal law this covers ANYONE and ANYTHING in the United States. There are no exceptions. To read more about it check out Wiki-Pedia.

2. In many cases State Laws give even MORE flexibility to consumers that are trying to put together the best situation.

3. I don’t fault manufacturers for wanting to sell their own underlayment. No problem at all – I WANT TO SELL UNDERLAYMENT TO – I JUST WANT TO DO WHATEVER IS THE BEST UNDERLAYMENT FOR THE CUSTOMER’S SITUATION. And heck, don’t scare people or tell them things that are contrary to Federal Law when they call you to talk about alternatives that may benefit them. That’s just plain silly.

So in closing, when I tell you that you should really work with an iFLOOR expert to engineer the best solution for your project both in terms of the flooring AND the components like underlayment, please know that we are armed with facts. When it is right to substitute we will recommend it and you will be fully covered by the warranty!