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FAQ Flooring

Q. Do I have to be an installer to purchase from Casa Reno Direct?

 A. No, you do not have to be an installer. The prices on our website are offered to the general public. Whether you are a homeowner or a construction professional, you can take advantage of our prices. Please note that some of our products require installation by a certified professional. This is especially the case for electrical, natural gas and plumbing products such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, as well as bathroom products.

Q. Which forms of payment do you accept?

A. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Paypal. Other payment methods may be accepted upon request, but it is at the Casa Reno Direct’s sole discretion. Please inquire with our customer service before proceeding.

Q. Does Casa Reno Direct ship to residences? How does that work?

A. Yes. Products delivered to residential addresses will be dropped on the driveway except for those delivered by courier. Some products need to be lowered to the ground and pulled onto your driveway with a pallet-jack. In other cases, you may be required to unload the vehicle yourself. Please verify the weight of your order before delivery to ensure you are adequately prepared to receive it. Please read our Shipping Policy or inquire with our customer service for more details.

Q. Does Casa Reno Direct install products or refer customers to installers?

A. Casa Reno Direct is not an installer, but we can refer you to a local installer if you need one. Please inquire with our customer service for more details.

Q. Do you offer any discounts to tradespeople?

A. Our web site shows our best prices for all of our products. By ordering through our web site, you agree to pay the prices shown. If you are a dealer or a tradesperson and would like to inquire about obtaining a discount, we urge you to contact us directly to discuss your situation.

Q. Can I see the product before I make my purchase?

A. Yes. The best way to do this is by visiting our show room. If you are unable to visit us, we invite you to contact our customer service representatives to discuss your situation.

Q. Can you give me an exact arrival time for my order?

A. You should expect a delay of 7 business days for delivery. However, since we outsource deliveries to shipping companies, we cannot guarantee a specific time at which your products will arrive. If you need to track your order, please contact our customer service for assistance.

Q. How much should I expect for waste?

A. It is reasonable to expect anywhere from 2% to 10% waste depending on the product you install. If your waste exceeds 10%, please contact our customer service for assistance.

 

LAMINATE FLOORING

Q. How do I clean my laminate flooring?

A. Keeping your laminate flooring clean and in good condition for many years is very easy. Simply wipe the surface using a damp cloth or mop, then dry thoroughly with a dry cloth. Be careful not to use too much water, as this could damage your floor. If liquid spills on the floor, wipe it immediately with a dry sponge or towel.  Do not use soap-based detergents, abrasive cleaners, steel wool, scouring pads or similar products on your laminate floor, as these could damage the surface of your floor. Do not steam clean, polish, or wax the surface of your floor.

Q. What are laminate floors and how are they made?

A. Laminate flooring is made up of a hard core material, primarily HDF (High Density Fiberboard), that is laminated to a top layer which is a high resolution printed image of a wood flooring and a special, moist resistant backing. The boards are saturated in plastic-type resins to protect the surface. Laminate flooring is a tongue and groove interlocking flooring system that floats on top of an existing sub floor. The sub floor could be wood, a concrete slab, an existing vinyl floor or many other existing flooring types. It can be installed virtually anywhere. The word "floating" means the laminate floor is not attached to the floor underneath, and it can be installed over an existing floor without removing the previous floor covering, with the notable exception of carpets. It is the perfect alternative for those who want a durable and attractive floor without the high price and time investment that a hardwood floor represents. Since its fabrication requires less wood than hardwood flooring, it is a good environment-friendly choice.

Q. How do I laminate floor panels lock together?

A. Casa Reno Direct sells laminate floors featuring a glueless system. This is an easy to use system which allows for installation without any tools required. We strongly recommend you read the installation instructions carefully and familiarise yourself with the way the planks snap together, but once you are ready you should find that you can effortlessly install your new floor.

Q. Are there spaces where I should not install a laminate floor?

A. Laminate flooring is extremely versatile, but there are some places where you should not install it. Since it is a wood flooring product, you should not install it in wet or moist rooms such as bathrooms, saunas, spaces exposed to the outdoors, or locations that may require wet mopping, otherwise there is a considerable risk of warping the material.

Q. Does laminate flooring have an advantage over hardwood flooring?

A. First of all, laminate flooring is typically very affordable compared to hardwood flooring while being more resilient to scratches, color fading and other damage. Secondly, laminate flooring is very easy to install and does not generally require any level of expertise. It does not necessitate glues or nails neither, making for a quick and simple installation process.

Q. What do I need to know before I start installing my laminate floor?

A. First of all, allow your laminate floor to acclimatize to the room where it will be installed by letting the box sit there for 48 to 72 hours. The room temperature should be at least 15°C. Ensure that your subfloor is flat, smooth and dry. You can install your floor over any flat and hard surface, even an existing floor. Always install an underlayment on the surface prior to installing the laminate floor to ensure adequate soundproofing. Leave a space of about a quarter of an inch between the edge of the floor and the walls of the room to avoid any potential damage or warping due to expansion and/or contraction caused by temperature and humidity level variations. Make sure your first row is perfectly straight to avoid problems later on during the installation process as these problems will only get worse as you continue. Keep in mind that laminate flooring sold by Casa Reno Direct is not suitable for installation over a radiant heating floor.  For any questions or concerns, contact us directly as soon as possible to avoid any potential damage.

Q. Will there be any cutting waste?

A. Due to cuts, damaged planks or simple errors, you should add roughly 5% to 10% to the total floor area to compensate for waste.

Q. Do I need a moisture barrier if I install a laminate floor on concrete?

A. If the concrete floor is in a basement level, you should keep in mind that such a surface can store a lot of water. This can cause warping or other damages when the humidity is transmitted to the laminate floor. For this reason, a moisture barrier is essential.

Q. Can I install laminate flooring on a staircase?

A. Yes, you can. However, this requires more elaborate work than installing it as normally intended. In particular, we advise to glue down the planks and nail down any mouldings used as part of the installation. If in doubt, consult your installer or contact us for more details.

Q. How do I care for and maintain my laminate floors?

A. Laminate floors are a very durable and easy to maintain floor covering, and by following these simple guidelines you can make them last even longer. Placing a doormat at the entrance of your household will prevent dirt and other damaging substances from spreading over your floor. Any carpet placed over your laminate floor should be non-scratch and colorfast. High heel shoes and other sharp objects should be avoided. Also, avoid sliding appliances and furniture across the floor, and use protective felt pads under furniture legs. You should never sand or otherwise refinish your laminate floor. This type of product is not intended for such, and doing so is likely to cause irreversible damage. In case of minor scratches and other damage, laminate floor repair pastes are widely available and can be used for repairs. If a plank needs to be replaced and is located near a wall, you need only to disassemble the floor and reinstall a new one. Replacing a plank closer to the centre of the floor is somewhat more difficult. In this case, consult a professional installer or contact us for assistance.

Q. What does a wear rating mean?

A. AC hardness ratings, or wear ratings, are an industry standard that measures impact, stain, swelling, abrasion and burn resistance.. AC1, AC2 and AC3 ratings refer to laminate floors that are only suitable for residential use, while AC4 and AC5 floors are resistant enough for light traffic commercial spaces.

 

BAMBOO FLOORING

Q. How do I maintain my bamboo flooring?

A. There are several ways to ensure your bamboo flooring stays durable and keeps its attractive appearance. Place a non-scratch, colorfast doormat or rug at the entrance of your house or in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms to avoid spreading dirt or spills on the surface. Use a dust mop or other soft vacuum or sweeping accessory to remove dust and dirt. To clean sticky stains, use a damp cloth to softly scrub the floor. Generic hardwood cleaning products can be used as needed. Avoid using excessive water, as well as steel wool, harsh or corrosive chemical cleaning agents, or abrasive products, including scouring pads. Avoid walking on the floor with high-heel shoes, and protect it from furniture legs.

Q. Are there areas where installing bamboo is not recommended?

A. Bamboo flooring can be installed virtually anywhere. However, it is not recommended for bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, outdoor areas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Exposure to moisture for extended periods is likely to warp the planks.

Q. How do I install bamboo flooring?

A. First of all, read the installation instructions carefully and make sure the sub-floor is flat, smooth and dry. Keep in mind that bamboo flooring sold by Casa Reno Direct is not suitable for installation over a radiant heating floor. You must always let your bamboo floor acclimate to the room where it will be installed for 48 to 72 hours prior to installation to avoid warping damage due to the room’s humidity level. Make sure to add 5% to 10% to your square footage when ordering to compensate for waste and cuts.

Q. What are the benefits of bamboo flooring?

A. Bamboo flooring features several advantages which make it an increasingly popular choice for flooring material. In addition to being easy to maintain, it is ideal for people suffering from allergies, as it does not promote dust. Since bamboo is a quickly renewable resource and has very low formaldehyde emissions, it is both environmentally friendly and a very good choice for your home’s air quality. It should also be mentioned that bamboo is usually harder than most hardwoods. Also, as mentioned previously, it is a tremendously versatile flooring material.

Q. What is “carbonized” bamboo?

A. Carbonized bamboo has been boiled during the manufacturing process, making it darker than natural bamboo. During the manufacturing of the product, the strips of bamboo are boiled and change color (becoming browner in tone). This process also softens the material.

Q. Can a bamboo floor be floated?

A. Our horizontal bamboo flooring products cannot be floated, and must be either glued or nailed. If you need a floating bamboo floor, we recommend that you choose one of our strand woven bamboo floors.

Q. How does your bamboo flooring hold up to high humidity?

A. As long as you let the flooring acclimate for no less than 72 hours with boxes opened and laid flat in the room where it is to be installed.

Q. What is strand-woven bamboo?

A. Strand-woven bamboo is manufactured through a process in which strips of bamboo are coated in resin before being heated and compressed into timber. The resulting material is then milled into planks which are much harder than horizontal bamboo. Strand woven bamboo can be carbonised as explained above.

Q. How much waste should I expect when ordering bamboo?

 A. In general, add 5 to 10% for waste and cuts depending on your expertise, skill level and the layout of the area where you install your flooring.

 

HARDWOOD FLOORING

Q. Can a hardwood floor be floated?

A. No, a hardwood floor cannot be floated, and must be nailed or glued to the subfloor. If you would like a floating floor, we recommend laminate floor or engineered wood.

Q. Should I acclimate my hardwood floor prior to installation?

A. Yes. You should let it acclimate for 48 to 72 hours with boxes opened and laid flat in the room where the flooring is to be installed.

Q. Can you refer me to local professional installers?

A. Yes, we can in some areas. For more details, please get in touch with our customer service.

Q. Can we install hardwood flooring in the basement?

A. No. It is highly recommended that you do not install hardwood flooring in basements. We strongly suggest you consider using a laminate or engineered wood floor in this situation.

Q. What underlayment should I use underneath my hardwood floor?

A. Conditions will vary from one installation to the other, so there is no one true answer to this question. Depending on the conditions of your job site, a wax paper, felt, or aluminum foil underlayment would be advisable. For more information, please contact us directly or consult a professional installer.

Q. How can I best keep my floors clean and in good condition?

A. Ideally, maintenance of your floor should be limited to sweeping, dust mopping and/or vacuuming the floors regularly. In case of spills, you can use a slightly wet mop, but keep in mind that excessive water or moisture can lead to various alterations to your floor, such as cupping, buckling or cracking. For this reason, you should avoid using water to clean your floors. You can use commercial cleaners, but for best results you should make sure to follow the hardwood manufacturer’s recommendations when choosing a cleaning product. Do not use wax based cleaners or finishes, harsh detergents, abrasive cleansers, or corrosive chemicals. In cases of hard to remove stains, apply the recommended cleaning product to a soft cloth and scrub the area as necessary. Do not use any steel wools or abrasive scouring pads, as these could cause scratches on the floor’s surface. In areas where there is a risk of water spills, such as kitchens and laundry rooms, use a mat to protect the floor. In case a spill does occur, use a dry cloth or slightly damp mop to wipe it. We recommend protecting the floor from furniture legs, using non-scratch, colorfast carpets, and avoiding walking with high-heel shoes or long exposures to sunlight to protect the surface of your hardwood floor.

Q. How much waste should I expect when ordering hardwood?

A. As a rule of thumb, you should expect 5 to 10% for waste and cuts depending on your expertise, skill level and the layout of the area.

Q. What are the different mouldings and how are they used?

A. There are various mouldings used for various purposes. For the purposes of this discussion, we will only describe the hardwood mouldings supplied by Casa Reno Direct. The Reducer moulding is used as a transition between two floors when there is a height difference. The Stairnose moulding is used to cover the front edge of a stair tread, step, mezzanine or other similar surface. If used on a stair, flooring is installed behind the Stairnose to cover the stair tread. Other mouldings exist on the market, such as T mouldings, used for transitions between two floors of similar height.

Q. Where should I avoid installing hardwood floors?

A. Because hardwood flooring is a natural flooring product susceptible to warping, swelling and cracking, you should avoid installing it in wet locations such as bathrooms, saunas, outdoor locations, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Since some hardwoods are softer than others, certain species should not be installed in high traffic areas. Please refer to the Janka hardness scale for more information.

Q. How do I install hardwood flooring?

A. First of all, read the installation instructions carefully, and make sure the sub-floor is flat, smooth and dry. Keep in mind that hardwood floor sold by Casa Reno Direct is not suitable for installation over a radiant heating floor. You must always let your hardwood floor acclimate to the room where it will be installed for 48 to 72 hours prior to installation to avoid warping damage due to the room’s humidity level. Make sure to add 5% to 10% to your square footage when ordering to compensate for waste and cuts.

Q. What are the benefits of hardwood flooring?

A. One obvious advantage of hardwood flooring is its appearance. Various species feature different grains and color variations, and their look is often enhanced by staining and varnishing the surface. They do not promote dust accumulation, which is a great benefit for those suffering from allergies. Also, they are a very long-lasting product. Even if a floor is scratched or damaged, the surface can be sanded and restained to increase its longevity.

Q. Can I expect my floor to have color variations?

A. Yes. Hardwood flooring is a natural product, and every tree is different. While these variations can be more prominent with lower grade woods, they are natural and should be expected of all hardwoods, regardless of grade.

Q. What are the benefits of unfinished and prefinished hardwood?

A. Unfinished woods are ideal if you are trying to match to an existing hardwood floor, because you can choose the exact stain and finish. Keep in mind that this will have to be done on site, causing additional delays before you can use the room. Prefinished floors are a more convenient choice if time and access to the room are an issue.

Q. What does it mean when hardwood is sold in random lengths?

A. Lengths will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some manufacturers sell only boards of a single length. Those boards sell generally at a higher cost because they need to be of a higher quality. Others sell boards of random lengths. On the boxes of most of those manufacturers, you will find indicated  only the lengths of the shortest and the longest boards, but some manufacturers of random lengths have each board’s length indicated on the boxes.

 

ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING

Q. What is engineered wood flooring?

A. Engineered wood flooring consists of a core of plywood or HDF and a top layer of hardwood glued to the top surface of the core. As a result, the surface has all the characteristics of wood on the surface, as opposed to the photographic layer featured on laminate flooring. It can be nailed or glued to the subfloor, but several models can also be installed in the same manner as a floating floor thanks to a click system similar to the one used for laminate floors. It is commonly used in condos.

Q. What are the main advantages of engineered wood over other types of wood flooring?

A. As mentioned above, engineered wood is a versatile product which can be installed by various methods and is relatively more stable than other types of wood floor. It is also very easy to install and remove. Regardless of installation methods, it is ideal on a concrete subfloor.

Q. How many layers does engineered flooring have?

A. Engineered wood usually has three or more layers. This would include one or more plywood or HDF core layers, as well as a thin hardwood veneer. Engineered woods with more layers are generally more stable.

Q. Does engineering affect the appearance of hardwood floors?

A. No. The hardwood veneer used on the top layer is not affected by engineering, so you can enjoy the natural richness of solid hardwood with all the advantages of engineered wood flooring.

Q. What is the thickness of the hardwood veneer?

A. The hardwood veneer (hardwood top layer) of our engineered wood varies in thickness from 1 to 4 mm. The thickness and quality of the veneer ensures your engineered wood floor will last many years.

Q. Can I sand my engineered floor?

A. Depending on the thickness of your hardwood layer, as a general rule, you can expect to be able to sand your floor 1 or 3 times at most. However, due to the extensive process involved in refinishing a floor, damaged planks are usually removed and replaced by a professional. If you wish to go ahead with sanding your engineered wood floor, the professional sanding procedure removes 1/32 of an inch.

Q. What is the Janka hardness rating?

A. The Janka test measures the hardness of wood species and the force needed to lodge a 0.444 inch steel ball in the wood species to a depth of half the ball's diameter. This will also indicate how difficult it is to drive a nail through a wood plank of a given species, or cut it with a saw. Harder wood species have a higher rating. Red oak, which is a popular choice, with a Janka rating of 1290, is usually considered a benchmark for comparing various species. Obviously, the Janka rating applies to both hardwoods and engineered woods, since both these types of floor coverings are made of natural wood.

Q. How should I install my engineered hardwood?

A. Most of the engineered flooring sold by Casa Reno Direct is intended to be installed as a floating floor over a flat, smooth sub-floor either of plywood or concrete. An underlayment should be installed over the surface and the planks can simply be clicked together in a manner similar to the one used for a laminate floor.

A few of our models can be installed by nailing down or gluing the planks. For nail down installation, you should use a plywood subfloor with a thickness of ¾

inch. For a glue down installation, an urethane based adhesive is recommended.

Be aware that this information is not intended to replace a complete installation guide. Read the installation instructions provided carefully before you begin to install your floor.

 

CORK FLOORING

Q. What is cork flooring?

A. Cork flooring is made from ground cork oak tree bark processed into sheets, which are heated so as to produce planks. It is most usually harvested in Portugal and other southern European countries. The bark of the cork oak trees grows and sheds naturally following nine-year cycles, making it a highly renewable resource as well as an exceptionally environment-friendly product.

Q. What are the advantages of cork flooring over other materials?

A. In addition to its environment-friendly nature, cork flooring features a host of other very interesting characteristics. In particular, its natural structure consists of millions of microscopic air pockets, making it highly resistant to impacts, traffic and pressure from furniture legs. Additionally, cork flooring is very warm to the touch, remarkably moisture-resistant, and has excellent sound insulation properties, which makes for very quiet and comfortable rooms.

Q. How can I install my cork flooring?

A. Our cork flooring features a glueless locking system to facilitate installation, making it as easy to install as a laminate floor. The subfloor, whether in wood or concrete, must be clean, dry and level. In most cases, underlayment will need to be installed prior to the flooring itself.

Q. What should I do to keep my cork floor in good condition? 

A. Regular mopping with a damp mop will be sufficient in keeping your cork flooring tile clean. Harsh cleaning agents and excessive water are not recommended. In case of spills, simply use a paper towel or sponge.

 

PORCELAIN TILES

Q. What is the difference between ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles?

A. Ceramic tiles are made from clay heated in a kiln at high temperatures and are finished with a glaze which gives the tiles their color. These tiles are most often classified according to a PEI rating from 0 to III (see below) and are therefore easier to cut than porcelain tiles. Ceramic tiles are usually suitable for light to moderate traffic and are generally more susceptible to wear and damage than porcelain tiles.

Porcelain tiles are produced by a different method than the normal ceramic tiles. The glaze, instead of being applied to the tiles themselves like it is done for the ceramic tiles, is blended with the clay. This porcelain clay "body" is then pressed at extreme pressure in a highly sophisticated hydraulic press, what will give form to the porcelain tiles. They are then fired at very high temperatures exceeding 1200ºC, resulting in extremely hard, dense, homogeneous tiles. They are more resistant to frost, as well. As such, they are suitable for all kinds of areas, from light traffic residential spaces to commercial spaces, to even outdoor areas in the case of full body (PEI V) tiles.

Q. What makes full-body tiles suitable for commercial use over other types of tiles?

A. The main difference is that full-body porcelain tiles are made in such a way that their color carries through the whole thickness of the tile, so that if a tile chips for any reason, the damage will not show. Additionally, full-body tiles are incredibly resistant, so they are not affected by even the heaviest traffic.

Q. Should I use a sealer when installing tiles?

A. Since glazed porcelain tiles are stain proof by virtue of their manufacturing process, putting on a sealer is irrelevant, except for the grout joints. Of course, if you use unglazed tiles, you may need to apply a sealer. This will not affect the color of your tiles, since the sealer would be absorbed by them.

Q. What is a PEI rating?

A. The Porcelain Enamel Institute rating scale is a scale that measures the durability of porcelain and ceramic tiles and is useful in indicating in what kind of spaces they can be installed.

PEI 0 - No Foot Traffic:
These tiles are intended for installation on walls and should be avoided for floors.

PEI I - Very light traffic:
These tiles can be used where traffic is expected to be barefoot, for instance, and is ideal for bathrooms and spas.

PEI II - Light Traffic:
These tiles should be considered where traffic is not expected to be heavier than what would be expected in a bathroom or bedroom.

PEI III - Light to Moderate Traffic:
These tiles are suitable almost anywhere in residential areas, with the possible exception of entrances and kitchens if heavy traffic is a concern

PEI IV - Moderate to Heavy Traffic:
These tiles are sturdy enough to be used anywhere in residential areas, and wear due to traffic will not generally be a concern with this grade. Most of the tiles sold by Casa Reno Direct are of this rating.

PEI V - Heavy Traffic:
These tiles are the hardest possible rating, and can be used anywhere, even in garages or outdoors, like on balconies.

Q. Does Casa Reno Direct install tiles?

A. We do not install tiles, however, we may be able to help you find an installer in your area.

Q. How much breakage should I expect with an order?

A. Depending on the amount of cuts necessary, skill level and simple accidents, you should add roughly 5 to 10% of waste to the floor area you wish to cover. The damaged tiles may still be used for cuts, so the amount of waste could actually be less than that. If you are experiencing more than 10% breakage, we advise that you stop your work and consult a professional installer.