Frequently Asked Questions
Browse commonly asked hardwood flooring questions below by category. Click the questions to see our answers.
GeneralExpand SectionCOLLAPSE SECTION
A solid hardwood board is milled from one piece of wood and is typically 3/4" thick (although some come in 5/16" thickness). These products can only be installed on or above ground. Solid hardwood should not be installed below ground level, such as in a basement or walk-out basement because it can react strongly to moisture or high humidity. A major benefit of solid hardwood is it can typically be sanded or refinished more than one time. It must be installed with nails, staples or glue.
An engineered hardwood floor is made up of layers (plies) of real wood that are adhered together to make the board more structurally stable than solid hardwood. Whether (and how many times) engineered hardwood can be sanded and refinished depends on the thickness of the top layer of wood. Refer to the warranty for your floor to determine the feasibility of being refinished. A benefit of engineered hardwood is that it can be installed on any level, even in basements, and typically has multiple choices for installation, such as floating, gluing or nailing/stapling down.
Learn more about the differences between solid and engineered hardwood.
Unfinished hardwood is installed in your home and then the finish is applied, which can be matched to existing or surrounding hardwood floors. Prefinished hardwood is stained and finished at the factory under carefully controlled conditions, which provides a more consistent appearance and superior durability. Prefinished floors allow you to enjoy your new floor much sooner, without the dust, noise, and time spent waiting for finishes to be applied and cured.
Due to the sophisticated finishing systems used on our products, they can be installed in high traffic areas. In addition, we always recommend walk-off mats at doorways and pivot points such as kitchen sinks, refrigerators, etc.
Care should be taken to control humidity levels within the 35-55% range. During dry seasons, a humidifier is recommended to prevent excessive shrinkage in hardwood floors due to low humidity levels. During wet seasons, proper humidity levels can be maintained by use of an air conditioner or dehumidifier. Avoid excessive exposure to water which can happen when tracking water indoors during periods of inclement weather.
Edge shapes are the finishing detail on the top edges and ends of hardwood planks. Different edge styles produce different visual effects. We offer:
- Square edges – smooth, seamless appearance
- Micro edges – subtle distinction between planks
- Beveled edges – distinct grooves between planks for a casual, rustic appearance
- Micro-beveled (eased) edges – features a mini-bevel about half the depth of a beveled edge
- Scraped edges – beveled edge with a texture that matches scraped flooring
- Pillowed edges – softly contoured, more rounded
Our hardwood is available in these widths:
- Strip Flooring (2.25" wide x varying length)
- Plank Flooring (3" wide or more x varying length)
- Wide Plank (5" and wider)
Consult a stain specialist that can custom blend a matching stain color to order. Most major paint stores and home centers offer custom mixing programs.
Yes, there is a natural variation in hardwood. Some species show more variation than others. Select a hardwood flooring product and click through to the item detail page to view the plank-to-plank color variation for your flooring choice.
ShoppingExpand SectionCOLLAPSE SECTION
You can find Hardwood Flooring by Armstrong at independent flooring stores or home centers. Find a flooring store near you
For pricing information and to buy flooring, please contact your local hardwood dealer Find a store near you.
No, we do not sell flooring products online. You can find Hardwood by Armstrong Flooring at independent flooring stores or home centers. Find a store near you.
Add 5 % on top of your estimate for standard layouts, and 10% for diagonal layouts. What you don’t use, keep for future repairs.
InstallationExpand SectionCOLLAPSE SECTION
Solid and engineered hardwood floor are a great choice for most rooms in your house, but are not recommended for rooms that are moisture prone such as bathrooms, laundry rooms and mudrooms. Solid hardwood should also not be installed in a basement. In basements, engineered hardwood is a better option.
Solid flooring should only be installed on or above grade (the outdoor soil line). Engineered flooring can be installed on, above and below grade — including basements.
We offer a line of coordinated trim and molding pieces for most of our floors. Choose from:
- Quarter round moldings – Finishes the space where the hardwood flooring meets the wall, cabinets or steps.
- Multi-purpose reducer – Provides a smooth transition from hardwood flooring to another type of flooring of a lower height. Also finishes the space where hardwood flooring ends against a vertical surface and where quarter round cannot be used.
- T-Molding – Used as a transition piece to join hardwood flooring between two rooms, often in doorways or hallways or to join hardwood flooring to another type of flooring of the same height. It can also be used to conceal expansion joints.
- Threshold – Conceals flooring edges against sliding glass doors, carpet and tile, and along wall bases and in doorways. Also provides a smooth transition between floors of different heights.
- Reducer strips – Slightly sloped molding transitions hardwood flooring to another type of flooring of a lower height.
- Flush stair nose – Finishes the flooring edge at staircases, step downs and landings. Connects at the same level as the flooring for a smooth, finished look.
- Overlap stair nose – Used where the flooring meets a step down or landing. Has a slightly raised profile that overlaps the flooring surface.
- Uneven subfloors (refer to subfloor tolerances in our installation instructions)
- Incorrect use of trowel and/or adhesive
- Use of improper underlayment
This problem can be corrected by your installer. Always follow the installation procedures for your hardwood floor and use the specified adhesives.
Yes, repair options include:
- Color-blend filler for minor chips
- Touch-up kit for scratches
- Board replacement
- Sanding and refinishing for worn, deeply scratched floors (not all hardwood floors should be sanded)
We suggest that you contact your local flooring retailer for more information.
Your new hardwood floor should be conditioned to the space it will be installed in. For specific recommendations, see the installation instructions for your floor.
Both solid and engineered can be installed over well bonded existing vinyl sheet and tile, if the vinyl is installed over a suitable subfloor. See the installation procedures for more details.
Our 3/8" and 1/2" engineered hardwoods can be installed on walls.
Solid 5/16" hardwood can be glued to a concrete slab. Solid 3/4" hardwood can be installed over wood panels that have been applied to the concrete. For more information reference the installation instructions for your specific hardwood floor.
We encourage the use of a wood subfloor when installing ¾” solid hardwood. With our Summit Select hardwood adhesive, 3/4" solid can be glued to a concrete subfloor. Only the straightest boards can be used, so increase the cutting allowance to 20%. In a situation where you must direct glue to concrete, please follow the recommendations for proper application, trowel notch, and spread rate.
Please review the hardwood installation guide.
Maintenance and CareExpand SectionCOLLAPSE SECTION
With sufficient impact or pressure, any hardwood can dent. We recommend using floor protectors on the feet of heavy furniture and area rugs in high traffic zones of the home to prevent dents and dings.
The most probable cause is sunlight exposure, which can darken or lighten the exposed area. Wood reacts to ambient light and ages over time. Some degree of color change will naturally occur. We recommend occasionally shifting furniture and area rugs to prevent noticeable shading in the floor.
We recommend cleaning your hardwood floor with Armstrong Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner.
No. Water can prematurely age your hardwood floors causing them to crack and split. We recommend using Armstrong Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner with a microfiber mop.
We recommend not introducing heat and moisture as this may damage your floor. If damage occurs as a result of using a steam mop, it will not be covered under the warranty.
We suggest using floor protectors on the feet of furniture and chairs, area rugs in high traffic zones and door mats by any exterior doorways to help prevent scratches on your hardwood flooring. Frequently sweeping up loose soil or debris will also reduce scratches and wear.
To avoid denting or scratching your hardwood floor, we recommend using strips of 1/4" hardboard or plywood as a runner under the wheels (if rolling) or furniture legs (if sliding).
We recommend using a non-staining rug or mat that is made of a breathable material. Do not use rugs with solid backing, or those with a rubber or latex backing. A grid-patterned, non-staining polypropylene backing is acceptable as long as it is breathable. The rugs must be made of a breathable material to prevent moisture entrapment. All questions about the rug or mat should be referred to the rug or mat manufacturer. Jute-backed rugs are not recommended because jute is very abrasive and will scratch the surface of hardwood floors
Waxing is not recommended.
It is not necessary and we do not recommend sealing your hardwood floor.
Color coordinated touch-up kits for scratch repair are available from your local flooring retailer.
Contact the store where you purchased your flooring. They have access to the full line of hardwood floor care products by Armstrong Flooring.
WarrantyExpand SectionCOLLAPSE SECTION
Go back to the flooring store where the material was purchased. We rely on flooring retailers who are trained and authorized to handle customer claims. Make sure to take your sales receipt as your proof of purchase. From your receipt, the flooring store should be able to identify the name and model number of your floor.
If your problem is a warranty issue, the flooring store will submit a claim form. However, if the problem is the result of an installation or on-site related issue, it would not be covered under our warranty.
Even if your floor was not installed by the dealer you purchased it from, the dealer is still responsible for starting the inspection process. If the dealer does not know what to do, please have them contact us at 1-866-243-2726.
If the flooring store where your floor was purchased is no longer in business, please contact Customer Care, and they will assist you.
If you purchased your home through a builder, the builder should be able to provide you with the name of the flooring store where your floor was purchased. Contact this store to file your claim.