What are the greasy marks that appear on the surface of the recently laid flooring? How can I get rid of them?

Those marks are just paraffin. They are not a defect, in fact, just the opposite, since they are the fruit of a long hard job to protect the edges of the boards, by using an anti-humidity product like paraffin. This moisture resistant seal gives the flooring a greater guaranty against the humidity problems to which laminate flooring can be exposed. These stains can be eliminated with a cloth, lightly soaked in water and pH neutral soap. If they do not disappear, try a cloth, lightly soaked in household-grade alcohol.

How should FINfloor (all models) be cleaned? How do I get rid of stubborn stains?

Clean Designer's Floor/FINfloor with a vacuum cleaner or dry mop, and if necessary, use a wrung-out cloth and synthetic cleaning fluid. Avoid using excessive amounts of water. To get rid of stubborn stains, you just have to use some household-grade alcohol on a cloth and rub gently. We recommend that you use doormats at exterior entrances to avoid walking in sand and dirt from the street which could damage the flooring.

What are the stains that appear on the inside of the product's box?

These oily stains are produced by the paraffin contained in the edges of the planks. As the cardboard packaging is porous it tends to absorb some of this paraffin, giving the box an oily appearance.
  • FINfloor
  • Hardwood
  • Laminate
  • Underlay
  • Installation
faq After how many lineal metres is it necessary to add intermediate expansion joints?

According to the recommendations, 5 lineal metres should not be exceeded vertically (the short side of the planks of FINfloor), neither 8 metres horizontally (long side of the pieces of FINfloor).

If these recommended dimensions are exceeded in the installations, intermediate expansion joints should be placed. Also, it is necessary to place intermediate joints in the door passages.

In rooms with an L, T, U shape, or similar, we can also place joints to to facitilate the expansion of the product.

faq All the surface of the flooring is curved? What has happened? Can it be fixed?

It is likely that the flooring has been exposed to a high level of humidity or that the peripheral or the expansion joints have not been respected. When the product expands due to environmental changes, this causes that it doesn't have room so it collides with the walls or with any obstacle causing the curving of the installation.

In case we see that the flooring begins to curve, we must remove the skirting and cut out all the perimeter in contact with the walls. This must be made as soon as possible to avoid the aggravation of the problem. In those cases where the curving is very noticeable, we must not walk or place weights on it because it would favour the breaking or the weakening of the plank union system. As a consequence, gaps between the planks can appear or even the planks can separate.

Another cause of curving is having fixed elements to FINfloor, as it is the case of screens, separating pieces etc. Laminate flooring is a floating surface and as so, it cannot have any keying elements that prevents it from normally expanding/ contracting.

faq Can a big surface be installed without any intermediate expansion joints?

If the laminate flooring is installed on a surface exceeding 5 or 8 mm. depending on the orientation of the installation and if no expansion joint is placed, one of the basic regulations in the instructions of the laying of the product will be not fulfilled and that will invalidate the warranty. The 10-mm expansion joint must be left all along the perimeter of the installation (and around any obstacle as columns, heating pipes, etc.).

It is enough for a place not bigger than 8 m (installation direction in the long side of the piece) x 5 (installation direction in the short side of the piece). If the surface to lay is bigger, the peripheral 10-mm expansion joint is not enought and an intermediate one must be added. To substitute the intermediate expansion joint in the perimeter (plus 10mm) is not recommenede and may not fulfill the desired function.

faq Can any of the ranges of FINfloor Quattro be sanded, polished or varnished?

Laminate flooring CANNOT be sanded, polished, varnished, etc, because that would damage the intrinsic properties of the product. The surface of FINfloor Quattro is protected to give it a long life and a high resistance to wearing. It is a finish product and it is no necessary to do any futher work on it, except for installing it. It is not necessary - and it is not possible either- to varnish or polish it.

faq Can FINfloor laminate flooring and any other kind of covering (vinyl, ceramic, tiles, etc.) be installed in the same room?

Yes, they can. If different products are going to be installed, beware of the possible different thickness of these products. It is necessary to take this into account when laying the balance layer on the base ground so that the sum of the paving and the different coverings is equal to a surface where all the products are at the same level (without any difference in height). A expansion profile should be used between the different coverings because each of these has a different level of expansion.

faq Can laminate flooring be installed on carpets, rugs?

According to the instructions given by the manufacturer, carpets, rugs or any other coverings of a textile base, are not a good base to place laminate flooring on it. So, the laying of laminate flooring on this type of coverings is not possible. It is recommended to remove this kind of coverings prior to the installation of the laminate flooring. The layer that makes the textile compound is very flexible and not hard. A installation of laminate flooring can suffer from big loads and efforts. If the support flooring is irregular and not hard, the joints between the planks tend to suffer a lot, going out of shape and even breaking.

faq Does FINfloor laminate flooring issue formaldehyde? Is it harmful for your health?

HDF floorings contain formaldehyde resins among other components. The flooring manufactured by FINSA is always E1(<= 8mg/100 g. of dry board) accoring to European regulation EN 120, that is, it has a low formaldehyde content. This levels are comparable to the emission levels of natural wood. Any of the ranges of FINfloor laminate flooring is therefore adecuate for being used, without any problem, in sensitive areas such as classrooms and kindergartens.

faq How are the Expansion, Transition, End and Stair profiles attached?

One of the main aspects in the installation of a floating laminate flooring is the attatchment of the different accesories so that the installation meets all the requirements recommended by the manufacturer. Attatching an expansion or any other profile is very easy. These accesories have a plastic rail we must fix to the ground by means of screws. This must be the first step before starting to install the flooring. Once the plastic rails are fixed and clasped in the corresponding place (door passages, rooms exceeding the recommended dimensions, etc.) we will proceed to the installation of the laminate flooring. When we reach the base, we must take into account that when we cut this last piece it has to be 10 mm different form the plastic rail, which will be used as a expansion joint in the flooring. If the installation continues, we must remove the following piece, also10-mm separated from the plastic rail, essential for the expansion joint. As a final step, before placing the top piece we must put some points of adhesive inside the base plastic rail, so that when we install the top pieces, they keep fixed to the plastic rail. These top pieces will hide these expansion joints and will give our installation the last touch.

faq How can I decide in which direction I have to lay FINfloor laminate flooring?

laminate directionTo lay FINfloor laminate flooring, it should be taken into account the main source of light (window, door). It is advisable to install it paralel to the direction in which the light enters into the rooms. We must also take as a reference that the wall from where we are starting the installation is the longest and straightest as possible to avoid any out-of-true installation.

faqHow can scratches on the surface of the flooring be fixed?

Laminate Flooring gives higher resistance to scratches than any other varnished flooring. But it doesn't mean that it doesn't get scratched. The best way to fix these is trying to avoid the scratches on the surface. To avoid this happening we will put felts in the legs of chairs, tables and pieces of furniture, etc. If we have castor chairs, their wheels must be W-type (in accordance with German Rule DIN 68131) or in their absence we will place a a polycarbonate mat to avoid them to be in direct contact with the flooring. It is also recommended to use a doormat in the main entrance to protect the flooring against sand.

faq How can the pieces next to the door frame be installed ?

With the help of a piece of a laminate flooring plank and underdlay ( as a guide to measure the thickness) we will cut the door frame in its lower part. Once the frame and the piece to lay have been cut, we will put this piece under the frame to fit it horizontally by pressure. We will do it using our FINfloor installation kit (never hit the heads directly).

faqHow is the last row installed?

To install the last row, we will take the distance between the wall and the last installed row. We will substract from this measure (the width of the board) 10mm correspondint to the essential expansion joint. The first piece is placed locking the long side in the normal way (in angle) Then, the long side is locked into the following piece, leaving the short sides of this piece and the former close to each other. Regarding the locking of the short side, they are locked by pressure, hitting very gently the hear of the board (never hit the boards directly).
What's the difference between engineered flooring and laminate flooring?
Let's start with the original term laminate flooring. Before plastic laminate flooring became popular in the mid '90's those in the hardwood flooring business called today's engineered flooring laminate. Engineered flooring is constructed in layers similar to plywood with an actual finished hardwood veneer layer on the surface.

Today's laminate flooring is a photographed image of finished hardwood and cannot be refinished, whereas many engineered products can be refinished. How many times will depend on the thickness of the veneer, or top wear layer, and finding someone knowledgeable enough to handle the work.

Can I have a solid 3/4" hardwood glued to concrete?
You'll find some retailers will say yes. However, those that have dealt exclusively in hardwood flooring for some time will say no. In recent times some of the big box stores and adhesive manufacturers have been advocating this procedure. Only time will tell if it's a viable procedure, but it's safe to find an alternative.

What kind of hardwoods can I place on concrete subfloors then?
If moisture conditions are acceptable, two of the most widely used applications would be engineered hardwood floors glued direct with the proper adhesives, and floating engineered flooring types. The latter typically glued by tongue and groove and floated over a foam cushioned underlayment. Floating floors are also available in the click together style that require no gluing.

More traditional 3/4" solid hardwoods on concrete can be accomplished with the addition of a plywood subfloor, used as a nailing base over the concrete. However, this raises problems with door entries and other items. Overall vertical height of the new floor will increase by 1 1/2 inches. Unfinished engineered hardwood floors eliminate vertical height issues and can be stained or finished to any desires.

I have a particleboard subfloor. Can I have nail down hardwoods installed?
Many confuse particleboard with OSB(Oriented Stand board). True particleboard commonly used in some manufactured homes does not have the holding power of hardwood flooring fasteners and will loosen over time. There are certain types of OSB that can be used for solid nail down hardwood floors. It is best to consult the manufacturers warranty specs.

When should hardwood floors be installed?
If you're having a home built or making some renovations it is highly suggested to have the hardwood flooring work scheduled very near the end. Unfortunately too many times, builders rush hardwood flooring projects and don't realize the consequences until it's too late and major repairs become necessary or moisture problems caused by other work rears it's ugly head.

It seems everyone is selling hardwood floors. Who knows what they're doing?
In the last five years alone we've noticed the yellow page ads explode with so called "hardwood specialists." Our suggestion is to look far and deep for the right installer. After all, hardwood flooring doesn't come cheap and replacing gets very expensive should installation problems occur.

A few suggestions to ask installers right off the bat would be; what kind of moisture meters they use. Other useful questions would be; how long should the flooring be acclimated? Some aren't aware of the need to acclimate material. This is especially important with hardwoods.

What to choose? Prefinished hardwood floors or ones that are installed and sanded in place?
Today's prefinished hardwood floor finishes are vastly improved and are finished in controlled settings. Many offer more than six coatings whereas a normal site finished (sanded in place and finished) floor would be two or three. Prefinished warranties are exceptional but cannot be passed on from the original owner. There are advantages and disadvantages of both. Nearly all solid prefinished hardwood floors are beveled to some extent. On the other hand, a site finished hardwood floor that has been installed in it's raw unfinished form, then finished will have a flawless uniform appearance upon completion. However, maintaining the appearance requires close attention to climate control during seasonal changes.

What are the advantages of laminate flooring over solid wood flooring?
Laminate flooring is an alternative to solid wood flooring and, in general, is between 50-80% cheaper. It's quick and easy to install, and the fact that neither glue nor nails are needed speeds up and makes the installation a lot cheaper and faster. It's anti-allergic and doesn't accumulate dust-mites. It doesn't fade in sunlight and has excellent abrasion resistance.

Does laminate flooring build-up static-electricity?
Both the wood fibres and resins of the internal support board and surface have a low level of electrical conduction; however, these materials are susceptible to electro-static charging. These charges are of low intensity. In humid conditions of 25% humidity and 25°c they should be less than 2KW (EN 1815). The most influential factor on these charges is humidity – if the environment is very dry, the charges tend to increase. By maintaining a humidity of 50-55%, these charges lessen or disappear completely. If Designer's Floor/FINfloor is fitted in areas of high static electricity (i.e. Offices, computer rooms, etc.), the use of an anti-static underlay (with an aluminium coating) is recommended, or failing that, you can place some strips of aluminium foil between the floor and the underlay, thus earthing it. Another possibility is to increase the humidity of the room; the greater the dryness, the greater the amount of electrical charges.

Is FINfloor (all models) fire retardant?
All Designer's Floor/FINfloor (all models) products is resistant to Grade 2 cigarette burns (i.e. it doesn't leave a visible mark) in accordance with regulation EN 13329 (EN438). Designer's Floor, FINfloor, FINfloor COMM and Country FINfloor have an M3 classification in accordance with regulation UNE 23727:90.

Why is laminate flooring more abrasion-resistant than other wooden flooring?
Unlike other varnished wooden flooring, laminate flooring is protected and covered with paper, called an 'Overlay'. This paper is partly made up of Aluminium Oxide Al203 (Corundum) particles, one of the most resistant and hard-wearing metals after Diamond. This protective laminate finish is offers more resistance than any varnish used in wooden flooring. Furthermore, the protection it offers means that the laminate flooring won't get marked by cigarette burns, something which varnish cannot withstand.

Why do the edges of the product have a seal?
The sealed edges give the Designer's Floor/FINfloor/FINfloor COMM/Country FINfloor extra protection so it doesn't get damaged if liquid is spilt on it. This protection improves the performance of the core board which, by itself, is already resistant to the effects of moisture. This seal consists of applying a paraffin film to the edges of the base board, which makes it repel moisture when exposed to severely humid conditions or direct water spillages.

Why should an expansion gap of at least 10mm be left around the perimeter of the room or around any obstacles?
Designer's Floor/FINfloor (all models) laminate flooring is derived from wood and, therefore, undergoes natural contractions and expansions, depending on room conditions (temperature, humidity). This perimeter gap is needed so that the flooring has enough space to expand under atmospheric changes. If you do not leave this gap when laying the flooring, it won't have enough space to expand. If the flooring meets an obstacle which hinders its lateral expansion, it will keep on pushing until it buckles and deforms the board's joints.

Does FINfloor give off formaldehyde? Is this harmful?
Flooring made with HDF contains formaldehyde-based resins, amongst other things. The flooring manufactured by FINSA is always E1 (<= 8mg/100g of dry board), or rather, low in formaldehyde, in accordance with EU regulation EN 120. These emission levels are comparable with the emission levels of natural wood. Designer's Floor/FINfloor (all models) laminate flooring is, therefore, approved for use even in sensitive areas such as classrooms or children's play areas.

The most popular species are oak and hard maple, followed by birch, ash, beech, cherry, and walnut. Exotic, deluxe woods are also available, such as Brazilian cherry, santos mahogany and sapele, which are very warm in color and extremely hard. For home use, the hardness factor is not a serious issue.
What Exactly Does IIC, INR and STC Mean?
Sound rating methods have been established by the Federal Housing Administration (now HUD) and the National Bureau of Standards. These sound rating methods are recognized by building construction regulatory bodies and agencies. ASTM and ISO acoustical testing methods are used as the criteria to determine acceptable sound transmission standards.

Impact Insulation Class (IIC)
- Impact sound originates when one body strikes another, such as in the case of footsteps, hammering, and objects falling. Impact sound travels through the structure with little loss of energy if the structure is continuous and rigid. Transmission of impact sound can be controlled by isolation. The higher the IIC number the better the impact insulation.

Impact Noise Rating (INR)
- The earliest single-number rating system was called the Impact Noise Rating (INR). This has since been replaced by Impact Insulation Class (IIC) as described above. IIC values will usually be around 50 points above the corresponding former INR values. This explanation of INR is given here simply to assist those still working with the old INR methods.

Sound Transmission Class (STC)
- Sound Transmission Class (STC) numbers have been adopted by acoustical engineers as a measure of resistance of a building element such as a floor or wall to the passage of audible sounds. Audible sounds are defined as voice, music, or any other noises not related to impact sound. The higher the STC number the better sound barrier.

To understand the grading system, compare two samples of the same species with different grades. Also ask to compare a number of strips from the same box to check the grading and manufacturing. For some manufacturers, products graded in the third category are not guaranteed and may have knot holes or manufacturing and finishing defects.
Once laid, can you take up and re-fit Designer's Floor/FINfloor (all models) flooring?
Our flooring can be taken up and re-laid. You have to be careful when taking up the flooring so that the profiles don't get damaged – if damage does occur to any boards, they should not be re-used. The best way of taking up FINfloor is to lift up the length side first and the lift the boards by their ends so they are freed.

How do I decide which way around to fit the laminate flooring?
When fitting the flooring, you should take into account the room's main source of light (i.e. A window, the door...) as it is usually fitted parallel to the way in which the light enters the room. You should also make sure that the wall from which you start fitting the flooring is the longest and straightest possible (to avoid going off line).

Where can I install Designer's Floor/FINfloor (all models)?
Designer's Floor/FINfloor (all models) is extremely versatile, and you can fit it in all areas of your home, except in places of high humidity, such as bathrooms or saunas, where it should never be used.

How do you fit boards where the door frames are?
Using a piece of Designer's Floor/FINfloor (all models) board as a guide, you can mark out and then cut the thickness of a board from the bottom of the door frame. Once the door frame is cut, you can slide the flooring underneath, pressing hard to make sure it is fitted well in place, lengthways. This can be done using the FINfloor Installation Kit tools.

When fitting some 9m flooring lengthways, should I fit expansion profiles?
This is what we recommend, however if you do not want to do this, it is not essential provided that a gap of 10mm is left between the end board and the skirting to allow for expansion (this can be even slightly more than 10mm if the skirting allows).

Should gaps for expansion of the flooring be left in doorways?
Expansion profiles should be used to separate different rooms at meeting points with other flooring. These separations or expansion profiles, fitted in doorways between rooms, fulfill an important double function:
– they create a more natural aesthetic flow through rooms;
- the laminate flooring is made up of wood fibres. These fibres add a 'live' element and, as such, can cause dimensional variations in the product, in conjunction with the atmospheric conditions of the different spaces. By using expansion profiles in doorways, we can create “watertight” expansion compartments in each room, helping us to avoid adversely effecting the expansions and contractions of adjoining areas.

Can laminate flooring and other types of coated products (vinyl, ceramic, coated floor tiles, etc.) be fitted in the same room?
Yes, they can. Whenever you want to lay different products, you have to take note of the different thickness' of the products you are putting down. This has to be borne in mind at the time of laying the flooring base (underlay, etc.) so that the total thickness of this gives us a level surface with the other products fitted. Expansion profiles should be used between all of the different products, since each one has its own level of expansion.

Can you lay flooring over a large surface area without using intermediary expansion profiles?
If the flooring is laid over approximate 24ft wide or 33ft in length, it is recommended to fit expansion profiles. The 10mm expansion profile which should be used along the entire perimeter of the flooring (and around any obstacles, such as columns, heating ducts, etc.) is valid for an area, no more than 8m in length by 5m in width. If the surface onto which you are going to lay the flooring exceeds these dimensions, the 10mm perimeter expansion profile alone is not enough, and an intermediary expansion profile should also be used. Replacing the intermediary expansion profile by leaving a bigger gap for expansion at the perimeter (more than the 10mm) is not recommended.

Every how many linear metres should expansion profiles be placed?
An expansion profile should be fitted every 5 linear metres, widthways across the FINfloor/FINfloor boards, or every 8 linear metres, lengthways. With flooring laid under 5 linear metres wide or 8 linear metres long in total, an expansion profile is not considered necessary. In areas of 'L', 'T', 'U' or similar shape, profiles should also be fitted to ease expansion of the product.

What preparation should I do prior to laying FINfloor?
The surface onto which you want to lay the flooring must be clean and dry and there should not be any uneven areas of more than 3mm (per linear metre). If there are, these areas have to be evened out using a leveling paste. Optimum room temperature is 18°c. You should let the product rest for 48 hours prior to use, with the boxes left closed, in a horizontal position. You should fit insulated, sound-proofed, moisture resistant FINfloor underlay. You should avoid fitting damaged pieces, checking them prior to install it.

The surface of the flooring is buckling, what has caused this? Can it be fixed?
This is probably due to the fact that either the flooring has been exposed to excessive humidity or the recommended expansion gaps and profiles at the perimeter have not been adhered to. This means that when the product expands as a result of changes in the atmosphere of the room, it doesn't have the room to grow and, therefore, pushes against the walls and buckles. If you see the first signs of buckling, you should take up the base of the flooring and re-cut all of the edges that have been in contact with the walls. This should be done as soon as possible so that the problem doesn't escalate. You should not walk over nor put weight on the areas where the bowing is very prominent as this could cause a rupture or weakening of the bonds between the boards. This could cause gaps between boards to appear and can even cause the boards to become separated. Another usual cause of buckling comes from fixing features such as partitions to the Designer's Floor/FINfloor. Laminate flooring is a “floating” surface and as such should not have fixtures fitted to it that prevent it from expanding and contracting as normal.

Can FINfloor (all models) be laid over under-floor heating systems?
Yes, as long as you use the FINfloor Silent Underlay, as recommended by the manufacturer. For the flooring and its underlay to be fitted over under-floor heating, their combined thermal resistance should not be more than 0.15 (m2·K)/W. FINfloor's Silent Underlay and flooring have a combined resistance of 0.102 (m2·K)/W for the 7mm FINfloor, and 0.127 (m2·K)/W for the 8mm FINfloor COMM. See the installation instructions on the underlay's labels. It is also essential to take note of the following installation guidelines: Subsoil Moisture Content: It is very important to check the moisture content of the mineral subsoil (cement, plaster floors, etc.) of all existing, recently laid and already covered floors (with ceramic floor tiles, real stone, plastic, etc.). You can check the moisture content of the mineral subsoil by using the magnesium moisture test (CM) or by using test equipment that measures the relative moisture. Maximum acceptable moisture content of mineral subsoils: Main cement floor..........<2.0 CM% Plaster floor-<0.5 CM% You are ideally looking for a figure less than 0.3 CM. The surface temperature of the area onto which you are going to lay the flooring should be kept at around 18°C before, during and at least three days after installation. After three days, the temperature should be slowly increased until it reaches the desired operating temperature, however, the surface temperature of the heated sub-floor should not exceed 28°C. If you have an electric system, we recommend not exceeding 60W/m². We advise you not to lay the flooring until this period of heating and cooling has transpired so that it is not subjected to unnecessary expansion and contraction, and, therefore so that the gaps left for this expansion are correct. Preparation of the laminate flooring: Depending on the time of year, laminate flooring is subject to climate and temperature fluctuations. In view of this, the preparation of the product prior to its installation is of the utmost importance. The packs of flooring should be stored and conditioned to the rooms where they will fitted, at least 48 hours prior to installation. The micro-climatic conditions of the area where the flooring is going to be laid should be maintained before, during and at least three days after installation: Surface temperature of the floor - 15°C min. Room temperature-18°C min. Relative humidity-75% max. Special attention should be given to insure that the laminate flooring, whilst stored for acclimatisation, is not exposed to air currents and not rested against any walls. They should, ideally, be placed horizontally, away from any walls.

How do you lay the final row of flooring?
To lay the final row of flooring, we have to measure the distance between the end wall and the adjacent row of flooring. The width of the final row will be this distance minus the 10mm gap that we have to leave for the lateral expansion of the product. The first piece is placed so it locks into the side of the already laid boards as usual. The next pieces are fitted likewise, leaving all of the cut sides next to eachother, parallel to the end wall. As for the widths, once they are next to eachother they are locked together using pressure, by applying a very gentle strike to the head of the board (VERY IMPORTANT!!: never strike the board directly*) so that the board slips in and fits into the previous one. *- Use the plastic block from the FINfloor Installation Kit as a buffer or, alternately, a scrap piece of board. This process is repeated up to the final board. To fit this last one, you need to use the metal lever from the installation kit, as there will not be enough space to hit the end of this board. This lever becomes essential to “pincer” the board so it fits into the adjoining one.

Why should an expansion gap of at least 10mm be left around the perimeter of the room or around any obstacles?
Designer's Floor/FINfloor laminate flooring is derived from wood and, therefore, undergoes natural contractions and expansions, depending on room conditions (temperature, humidity). This perimeter gap is needed so that the flooring has enough space to expand under atmospheric changes. If you do not leave this gap when laying the flooring, it won't have enough space to expand. If the flooring meets an obstacle which hinders its lateral expansion, it will keep on pushing until it buckles and deforms the board's joints.

Can the ends or widths of the boards be fitted together using force? What is the best way to fit them?
In order that the pieces lock together correctly, the best way to fit them is to slide the boards into eachother, as is the design of the material. They can also be fitted together using force, as long as you bear in mind the following points:

- This method should only be used if necessary, and not as the usual form of installation.
- This method should be used on the final row of flooring if there is not enough space between the wall and the last row to slide the boards into eachother.
- This method should be used under door frames and radiators wherever it is not possible to fit the boards together in any other way.

With prefinished hardwood floors, you can choose to install different colored strips to frame a room or accent a particular feature of your decor in a contrasting color.