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FLOORING – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQs

  • Factors to consider when shopping for a floor?
  • What Type of Hardwood Floor?
  • What Grade of Hardwood Floor?
  • What Type of Finish for Your Hardwood Floor?
  • Considering Radiant Heat?
  • Can ceramic tile be used outdoors?
  • What is the difference between glazed and unglazed tiles?
  • Should a sealer be used on ceramic tile?
  • What is the difference between sanded and unsanded tile grout?
  • If I drop something on my kitchen floor, is it going to crack the tile?
  • I’d like to buy ceramic tile for my great room, but won’t it be cold?
  • Why does porcelain tile cost more than ordinary ceramic tile?
  • Should ceramic tile be waxed?
  • How can I drill a hole through ceramic tile?
  • How can you tell if the grout joints need to be resealed?
  • What brands of flooring products do you sell?

Factors to consider when shopping for a floor?

The look, feel – and even the sound – of a floor are important. So are these practical considerations:

  • Health effects. Doctors often recommend hardwood floors when their patients have allergies to dust and pet dander.
  • Longevity. Can the floor be refinished and – if so – about how many times?
  • Durability. Will the floor stand up to the demands of everyday life? Hardwood floors certainly will. It’s no coincidence pro basketball courts have maple floors.
  • Installation and maintenance. Will laying the floors pose any particular challenges? Is maintenance simple?
  • Cost. How much does an inexpensive floor really cost if it only lasts several years? Hardwood floors will last a lifetime.
  • Sustainability. American hardwoods are sustainable, renewable and environmentally friendly. Every year, this country’s hardwood forests grow twice as much wood as we harvest from them.

What Type of Hardwood Floor?

Hardwood floors are environmentally friendly and they add to the value of a home. A recent survey of real estate agents estimates that hardwood flooring can add as much as $7,000 to $10,000 to a home’s resale value.

SOLID WOOD FLOORS

Solid Wood flooring comes in three basic types:

  • STRIP flooring accounts for the majority of installations. Strips usually are 2-1/4 inches wide, but also come in widths ranging from 1-1/2 inches to 3-1/4 inches. They are installed by nailing to the subfloor.
  • PLANK flooring boards are at least 3 inches wide. They may be screwed to the subfloor as well as nailed. Screw holes can be covered with wooden plugs.
  • PARQUET flooring comes in standard patterns of 6″ x 6″ blocks. Specialty patterns may range up to 36″ square units. Parquet often achieves dramatic geometric effects of special design patterns.
Type of Hardwood Floor  Standard Thickness  Standard Face Widths 
Strip Flooring 3/4″ 11/2″, 2″, 21/4″ & 31/4″
Strip Flooring 1/2″ 11/2″ & 2″
Plank Flooring 3/4″ 3″, 4″, 5″, 6″, 7″ or 8″

A solid hardwood floor can be installed on a concrete slab as long as the floor is on or above ground level. They can be sanded and refinished over several generations of use.

Solid wood flooring expands and contracts with changes in your home’s relative humidity. Normally, installers compensate for this movement by leaving an expansion gap between the floor and the wall. Base moulding is the traditional “cover-up” for this gap.

ENGINEERED WOOD

Made of several layers of different woods or different grades of the same wood stacked and glued together under heat and pressure. Engineered wood flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and can be installed above, on, or below ground level. Some engineered wood floors with thicker top layers can be sanded many times.

WOOD LAMINATES

A plywood base topped with a layer of veneer. Plies and thicknesses vary, but three-ply, 3/8 inch flooring is most common. (Remember that solid hardwood floors, at 3/4 inch, are twice as thick as wood laminates.) The veneer topping of wood laminate floors (commonly 1/8 inch thick) can be sanded and refinished three times, at most. Most manufacturer warranties cover the finish for five years.

SYNTHETIC PLASTIC LAMINATES

Usually 1/2 inch thick, plastic laminate flooring consists of a fiberboard center wrapped in top and bottom layers of high-pressure laminate — a tougher version of the same material used in many kitchen countertops. These floors cannot be sanded or refinished and must be removed when they wear out. They usually come with 10- or 15-year manufacturer warranties against fading, stains and wear.

Look closely at an entire laminate floor, and you’ll see that the faux “wood grain” pattern repeats itself. That’s because laminate flooring is actually a photograph of real wood stuck to a wood composite. Laminates don’t sound like real wood either.

 

What Grade of Hardwood Floor?

When it comes to hardwood flooring, the term “grading” is sure to come up. Grading refers to the system used by manufacturers to assess the appearance of hardwood floors. NOFMA: The Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association grades emphasize color, grain pattern and other markings that occur in wood. Color is determined by what part of the tree the wood comes from, and the grain pattern is determined by species and how the wood is cut.

Color
Heartwood, the oldest, densest, innermost section of the log, is often darker and richer in color than sapwood, which lies closest to the bark. The color difference may be so pronounced that heartwood and sapwood from the same species are marketed under separate names. See the tree diagram in the “Natural Variations in Appearance” article.

Cut
Boards can be cut from a hardwood log in several directions: tangent to the annual rings (plain-sawn or flat-sawn), or radially, across the rings (quarter-sawn and rift-sawn).

Arched or flame-shaped markings, evident in bold-grained hardwoods such as oak, characterize plain-sawn wood, while rift-sawn and quarter-sawn or “quartered” boards show a pattern of roughly parallel lines. Both have advantages depending on application and species.

Unfinished Flooring
If your choice is unfinished oak, you will have four NOFMA grades to choose from:

  • NOFMA Clear
  • NOFMA Select
  • NOFMA No. 1 Common
  • NOFMA No. 2 Common

NOFMA Clear and select grades are further identified by sawing direction:

  • NOFMA Clear Plain
  • NOFMA Clear Quartered
  • NOFMA Select Plain
  • NOFMA Select Quartered
  • Factory finished

NOFMA also maintains grading standards for pre-finished oak flooring:

  • NOFMA Prime
  • NOFMA Standard
  • NOFMA Tavern

What Type of Finish for Your Hardwood Floor?

You can choose from two types of finishes: surface finishes or penetrating finishes.

SURFACE FINISHES – these are the most popular choice and involve applying a stain to achieve a particular color, followed by a top coat of polyurethane or varnish to give a protective coat. Surface finishes are durable, they resist moisture, and are easy to maintain. There are four options for the top coat, and each has its own benefits:

OIL-BASED URETHANE is the most commonly used floor finish. Available in gloss, semi-gloss, and satin sheens, oil-based urethane is generally applied in two or three coats, with drying time of up to 8 hours for each coat. This type of finish emits fumes as it dries, so adequate ventilation is important. Clean up is accomplished with a solvent similar to paint thinner. An oil-based urethane finish ambers with age.

WATER-BASED URETHANE provides a clear, non-yellowing finish and produces fewer odors than other choices. This product dries quickly, and clean up can be accomplished with soap and water. Some manufacturers make available additives called “cross-linkers” that can be mixed into the water-based finishes for added durability.

MOISTURE-CURED URETHANE is a solvent-based polyurethane that is more durable and more moisture-resistant than other surface finishes. It is mostly used in commercial, high-traffic settings like stores or offices. This finish is available in a satin or gloss non-yellowing formula, as well as one that will take on an amber hue with age. This finish has a strong odor and its application is best left to the professional.

CONVERSION VARNISH is a clear, non-yellowing product that dries in about 8 hours. Like moisture-cured urethane it produces a very strong odor and should only be applied by a skilled wood flooring professional.

PENETRATING STAINS AND FINISHES – these finishes do exactly what their name implies: they penetrate the wood to form a protective seal. The stains soak in to provide color, and a wax coating gives a low-gloss satin sheen that can be maintained with additional thin application. These finishes require special care—water-based products should never be used to clean or maintain the floor, only solvent-based waxes, buffing pastes, or cleaning liquids specifically made for wax-finished wood floors.

SHEEN – High gloss, low gloss, satin finish – your choice is a matter of personal preference. Keep in mind, however, that high gloss finishes show scuffs and scratches more readily than low gloss or satin finishes. High gloss finishes reflect more light and are typically used in more commercial or contemporary settings, while satin finishes reflect less light and are favored for more traditional settings.

EXTRA-DURABLE FINISHES – the latest trends in finishes include products designed to further extend the life of hardwood floors and make them more durable than ever. Some polyurethane finishes contain aluminum oxide to enhance the abrasion-resistance qualities of the floor. Some manufacturers report that this finish is 10 times more abrasion-resistant than other wood finishes, and are guaranteed for up to 25 years.

Swedish finishes are resin-based finishes that originated in Sweden. They form a tough film that is thin enough to allow the grain of the wood to be felt. Swedish finishes do not require waxing and can be recoated without sanding.

Acrylic finishes provide an extremely hard, durable barrier to dirt, moisture, and wear and tear because the finish is actually forced into the pores of the wood at the factory. Acrylic-impregnated floors are among the most expensive and are often used in commercial settings.

Considering Radiant Heat?

Thanks to advances in the heated floor industry, you can install hardwood floors over radiant heat – with confidence. That means you can enjoy the natural beauty of oak, ash, cherry, maple, hickory, walnut and other fine hardwoods and the comfort and efficiency of radiant heating.

As early as 60 AD, the Romans discovered one way to heat an enclosed space is to introduce heat below the floor surface and let it radiate upward into the structure.

Millennia later, radiant heating is more energy-efficient than conventional forced-air heating systems. Some manufacturers say their radiant heating systems will cut energy bills by 20 to 40 percent by avoiding the heat loss associated with forced-air systems. In most buildings, heat loss is greatest in the top half of the rooms and that’s where heat is concentrated with forced air heating systems.

Manufacturers also say radiant heat is more efficient because it warms the feet – where circulation is poorest – making people feel more comfortable.

How Radiant Heat Works

Today’s radiant heat systems use a three-stage process to convey heated water to its destination.

1.      A water heating system – comprising a standard boiler, water heater, geothermal heat pump or solar panels – warms the water.

2.      A series of controls then pumps the heated water through a tubing network that is installed in the subfloor.

3.      As the warm water moves through the tubing network, it releases its energy and returns to the boiler system to be reheated. This makes for smooth and gentle temperature variations.

Radiant heat systems can be installed in just one room or throughout a new or existing home. A plumbing and heating contractor typically performs the work in conjunction with a flooring installer. Most radiant heat system manufacturers will provide the names of contractors in a given area.

Installing hardwoods over radiant heat isn’t much different from laying a typical hardwood floor.

The moisture content of the wood flooring itself is important too. For that reason, it should be kept in the room in which it will be installed for a couple of weeks before it is laid.

Hardwood Flooring Types and Radiant Heat

Radiant heat works well with many different flooring types, including strip flooring (pieces that are less than 3 inches wide) and parquet patterns. The only design option that should be avoided is plank flooring (pieces that are more than 3 inches wide) because seasonal variations in moisture content may cause gapping between the boards. With or without radiant heating systems, all hardwood floors undergo some expansion and contraction as seasons change. You can compensate for this by allowing expansion gaps at the edges of the floor (to be concealed by the overlapping baseboard) and by using tongue-in-groove strips and strips with beveled edges.

Can ceramic tile be used outdoors?

To be used outdoors, we recommend the tile must be frostproof and unglazed for floor use. Make sure the absorption rate is 0.5% or less. Since our ceramic tiles are glazed, they are not suitable for outdoor installation.

What is the difference between glazed and unglazed tiles?

Glazed tiles are coated with a liquid glass, which is then baked into the surface of the clay. The glaze provides an unlimited array of colors and designs as well as protects the tile from staining. The unglazed tiles are pretty much the same as the glazed tile, except that their surface is not coated. Unglazed ceramic tiles do not show wear because their color extends throughout the tile, making them ideal for commercial applications.

Should a sealer be used on ceramic tile?

A glazed tile is already stain proof, so there is no purpose to putting on a sealer. You may put a penetrating sealer on your unglazed tile or your grout joints. The penetrating sealer is an invisible, stain resistant shield that is absorbed into the surface.

What is the difference between sanded and unsanded tile grout?

Unsanded tile grout is used on ceramic tile that has been installed with a grout joint width of less than 1/8 of an inch wide and should always be used on polished natural stone products. Sanded tile grout is used on tile with a grout joint width equal to or greater than 1/8 of an inch.

If I drop something on my kitchen floor, is it going to crack the tile?

It depends. With proper installation, ceramic tile is very durable. If you drop a glass or dish, the glass or dish will most likely break, while the tile may chip or crack.

I’d like to buy ceramic tile for my great room, but won’t it be cold?

Not necessarily. Porcelain tile is no different in temperature than anything else in the room; it’s just that we tend to equate smooth with cold. (Of course, cool is good in warm weather climates!) Still, it’s easy to warm things up with an area rug or two.

Why does porcelain tile cost more than ordinary ceramic tile?

Because you are getting a superior product. Porcelain tile requires the finest natural ingredients and a rigidly controlled manufacturing process that utilizes the most advanced processes and technology.

Should ceramic tile be waxed?

Glazed tile should never be waxed. The purpose of the glaze is to give you a maintenance-free floor. If you wax the glaze, you will create more work for yourself. To keep your tile looking new, use a small amount of vinegar in warm water, plus a clean rinse.

How can I drill a hole through ceramic tile?

Use a diamond drill bit.

How can you tell if the grout joints need to be resealed?

If you put a few drops of water on the grout and they bead up, the sealer is OK. If the water absorbs into the grout, it is time to reseal.

What brands of flooring products do you sell?

Our flooring products are separated into four categories:

Laminate Floors

  • American Concepts
  • Nuvelle

Hardwood Floors

  • Kahrs
  • Monarch
  • Nuvelle
  • A&M

Ceramic Tile

  • Happy Floors
  • IWT
  • Nuvelle

POLYMERIC

  • Nuvelle
  • Dalcuore
  • Gem Core
  • Vintage
  • Tuscan Coast
  • Aqua Lok
  • MetroFlor/Engage
  • Fusion
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UPDATE YOUR FLOOR – POLYMERIC

Looking for that fresh and updated look? Consider a floor change.

A polymeric floor is beyond versatile. Its quality standards are unequaled.

100% water proof

Scratch proof

Perfect for busy and wet areas of the home

Easy installation

 

Call Us Today at (800) 282-6237

FREE Estimates

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DEGEORGE ECO FRIENDLY FLOORING

Factory direct Hardwood Flooring products for your kitchen, living, dining, family, great rooms, bedroom/master suite, and study.

You can find these recognized brands in our showroom:

  • Kahrs
  • Mirage
  • Monarch
  • Ascend
  • Cambridge Estate
  • DuChateau
  • Dalcuore
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Traingulo
  • Well Made Bamboo Flooring
  • Bella Cera
  • Nuvelle
  • Artisan Mills Flooring
  • Cortlandt Manor
  • Anderson
  • Columbia
  • Woods of the World
  • Johnson Hardwood
  •  LM
  •  HT
  •  UA
  •  MULLICAN
  •  Forrest
  •  Floors Nature
  •  Shaw
  •  Mohawk
  • Pinnacle
  • Indus Parquet

Call DeGeorge – the Room Improvement Specialist – for a FREE in-home consultation today!

Toll-Free 1-800-282-6237

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Mirage Engineered Wood Flooring – Tampa Bay

Mirage: Top in Quality Hardwood and Engineered Flooring

Mirage epitomizes attention to detail and the desire to create a product in perfect harmony with its environment. Since purchasing a wood floor is both an investment and an important part of any décor, each and every person associated with Mirage adds a personal and unique touch of expertise to each floor produced, as if it were destined for their own home.

 

Call DeGeorge Tampa Bay Flooring, the Room Improvement Specialist, for a FREE in-home consultation today!

Toll-Free 1-800-282-6237

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Kahrs Hardwood Flooring – Tampa Bay

Kahrs Hardwood Flooring has always worked with wood, and this is something that has developed into a 150-year love story. Today Kahrs are the world’s oldest wood floor manufacturer that is still in business. As the world shrinks, and the wheel turns ever faster, roots become even more important.
Kahrs strong belief in craftsmanship that has distinguished them right from the start is deeply rooted. This means that the high quality Kahrs stand for is represented in every single piece of wood that passes through their hands.

 

 

 

Call DeGeorge Tampa Bay Flooring, the Room Improvement Specialist, for a FREE in-home consultation today!

Toll-Free 1-800-282-6237

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About DeGeorge Flooring in Tampa Bay

It’s hard to put your finger on it, but there’s something about a DeGeorge floor that just brings a room together.

All the beautiful things which make up your home are somehow even more so. And surprisingly, your not-so-beautiful furnishings are transformed as well. (And let’s face it, we don’t all have decorator-perfect homes.) Maybe it’s the old sofa which suddenly takes on a relaxed charm. The inherited end table which is now quaint, not clunky. Or the favorite arm chair, surprisingly now endowed with extraordinary character.

In a sense, the power of a new DeGeorge floor extends well beyond the realm of decor. If you believe that beauty holds sway over the mind, it’s not hard to imagine a floor as the foundation of your personal sanctuary – a calming influence far away from such worldly concerns as early-morning meetings, traffic jams and obsessive bosses.

With over 65 years of excellence in customer satisfaction and being the nation’s only full service ceiling, flooring and custom cabinetry company, we have maintained a reputation of the highest quality – if you want the absolute best, you’ve found it.

Call DeGeorge Tampa Bay Flooring, the Room Improvement Specialist, for a FREE in-home consultation today!

Toll-Free 1-800-282-6237

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Happy Floors Tile Flooring – Tampa Bay

Happy Floors carries the most complete collection of beautiful ceramic and porcelain tile to custom fit your home or office.

The Italian tile industry is known as the world leader in design and technology. Italian tile manufactures also are very environmentally conscious and take multiple steps to reduce their carbon footprint. In general majority of Italian tiles contain recycled materials. The Happy Floors porcelain tile collection is 95% Italian made.

 

Serving Tampa Bay Since 1953!
Call Us Today at (800) 282-6237

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IWT Tesoro Tile Flooring – Tampa Bay

Tesoro tile is made up of 100% porcelain or natural stone, and the collection includes a vast selection of borders and accents to complement your selection. Available in hundreds of hand-picked styles to appeal to your personal tastes, Tesoro is perfect for flooring, walls, countertops, backsplashes, foyers, fireplaces and pools and also has a selection of styles for bathroom accents. All Tesoro tiles carry a 15-year manufacturer’s warranty.

 

Serving Tampa Bay Since 1953!
Call Us Today at (800) 282-6237

 

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FLOORING – A POLYMERIC TO THE RESCUE!

POLYMERIC IS HERE TO STAY!

  •  Simulates natural materials. Polymeric flooring takes on one of two forms. Either it simulates stone (slate, travertine, marble, etc.) or it simulates wood (teak, maple, oak, walnut, and pine).
  • Waterproof.
  • Often plank-shaped. Another thing that distinguishes a polymeric tile is the shape of individual pieces. Traditional sheet vinyl flooring comes in room-widths and -lengths to minimize or even eliminate seams. Normal vinyl tiles are usually square: 12″x12″ or 16″x16″ most often. Because this product often imitates solid wood flooring it comes in plank shapes. In this respect, polymeric and laminate flooring are the same. Sizes vary, but the general shape is long and narrow. A typical size is 7″ wide by 48″ long.
  • Soundproof. Most products have a sound reducing membrane product for use under the polymeric.
  • Extended Warranty. Commercial and Residential Warranty

BRANDS WE CARRY:

  • Fusion, Engage Genesis, Engage Metro Flor, Nuvelle Density, Aqua Lok, Tuscan Coast, Berry Aloc-Pure Click, Vintage, Natural Elegance, Dalcuore

 

For a FREE estimate, call: (800) 282-6237

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Hardwood Flooring – Tampa Bay

DeGeorge ECO Friendly Flooring - Servicing Tampa Bay Since 1953!

With over  65 years of excellence in customer satisfaction and being the nation's only full service ceiling, flooring, and cabinetry company, DeGeorge has maintained a reputation of the highest quality for your family. Factory direct Hardwood Flooring, Luxury Vinyl/Polymeric Flooring, Laminate Flooring, Tile Flooring and Bamboo Flooring products for your kitchen, bath, living, dining, family, great rooms, bedroom/master suite, and study.

Factors To Consider When Shopping For A Floor!

Hardwood flooring can add as much as 10% to 15% to a home's resale value. Doctors often recommend hardwood floors when their patients have allergies to dust and pet dander. Is maintenance simple?

Beautiful Design - Hardwood Flooring

 Whether it's a residential interior, or a commercial installation, hardwood floors add an air of class, as well as structural strength. Hardwood floors are said to lend a sense of permanence to an interior and remain to be the most popular flooring choice for those who value tradition the most.

Call DeGeorge - the Room Improvement Specialist - for a FREE in-home consultation today!

Toll-Free 1-800-282-6237

Click Here for directions to our office and visiting our BIG showroom in Clearwater.

Email DeGeorge Ceilings.

Kahrs Hardwood Flooring - Tampa Bay

Kahrs Hardwood Flooring has always worked with wood, and this is something that has developed into a 150-year love story. Today Kahrs are the world's oldest wood floor manufacturer that is still in business. As the world shrinks, and the wheel turns ever faster, roots become even more important.

Kahrs strong belief in craftsmanship that has distinguished them right from the start is deeply rooted. This means that the high quality Kahrs stand for is represented in every single piece of wood that passes through their hands.

Call DeGeorge Tampa Bay Flooring, the Room Improvement Specialist, for a F

REE in-home consultation today!

Toll-Fre

e 1-800-282-6237

Click here For directions to our office and visiting our BIG showroom in Clearwater.

Email DeGeorge Tampa Bay Flooring

 

Free In-Home Consultation

It's hard to put your finger on it, but there's something about a DeGeorge floor that just brings a room together.

All the beautiful things which make up your home are somehow even more so. And surprisingly, your not-so-beautiful furnishings are transformed as well. (And let's face it, we don't all have decorator-perfect homes.) Maybe it's the old sofa which suddenly takes on a relaxed charm. The inherited end table which is now quaint, not clunky. Or the favorite arm chair, surprisingly now endowed with extraordinary character. Home flooring transforms an ordinary room into a heaven.

In a sense, the power of a new DeGeorge floor extends well beyond the realm of decor. If you believe that beauty holds sway over the mind, it's not hard to imagine a floor as the foundation of your personal sanctuary - a calming influence far away from such worldly concerns as early-morning meetings, traffic jams and obsessive bosses.

Contact DeGeorge Flooring Tampa Bay today for a FREE in-home consultation.

Toll-Free 1-800-282-6237