Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I buy directly from Great Lakes Wood Floors?

A: Great Lakes Wood Floors does not sell directly to consumers. We only sell our hardwood flooring through distributor companies that make our products available to dealers or retailers. Please use our Find a Dealer tool to locate a dealer near you. 

If a dealer isn’t listed in your area, please contact us and we will put you in touch with your local distributor. 

Q: What are the benefits of hardwood flooring?

A: There are four benefits of hardwood flooring:

1. Hardwood floors can add value to your home because of their beauty and durability.
2. Hardwood offers a variety of grain patterns, natural color variations and the beauty of a natural material.
3. Hardwood floors are easy to clean.
4. Hardwood floors are ideal for allergy sufferers because they do not promote dust or harbor dust mites.

       

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

      A: Yes. Hardwood flooring is made from wood timber and is a natural product, so you should expect to find natural color variations in the wood. Although lower grades of flooring tend to have more character blemishes, color variations are visible in all grades of wood. Exotic floors will have much more color variation than what is found in domestic species.

      Q: What is the difference between solid and engineered flooring?

      A: Solid wood is milled from a single 3/4-inch thick piece of hardwood. Due to its thickness, a solid hardwood floor can be sanded and refinished over several generations of use. Solid wood flooring expands and contracts with relative humidity changes in your home. Installers compensate for this movement by leaving an expansion gap between the floor and the wall. Baseboard molding or quarter round is generally installed around the edges to hide the extra space. 

      Engineered flooring is produced using five to nine layers of hardwood, with each layer stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bonded together using heat and pressure. As a result of this process, engineered floors are less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and can be installed in all levels of the home. 

      Q: Why is it important to avoid installing all the planks from one box and then moving to the next one? 

      A: Different boxes of the same hardwood can vary noticeably in color and grain, so mixing the pieces from different boxes will ensure that shade variations look random after installation. Also, before starting, take time to place the planks from varying boxes around your room, giving them a minimum of 48 hours to acclimate to the interior temperature and atmosphere. Otherwise, the boards may expand or shrink considerably after installation.

      Q: What should I use to clean my floor?

      A: Please click here to be redirected to Floor Care.

      Q: Can I use a steam cleaner on my hardwood flooring?

      A: Never use a steam cleaner on a hardwood floor, because it will damage the product and could void your warranty.  

      Q: I have used an oil base cleaner. How do I get back my floors’ original shine?

      A: Please contact the manufacturer of the cleaner to find out how it can be safely removed.

      Q: Where can I find a stain match to my flooring?

      A: Please click here to be redirected to Stain Matching.

      Q: I have glue left on my floor from installation. How do I remove it?

      A: Because there are a wide variety of installation glues available, we recommend that you contact the specific glue manufacturer involved to find out the safest way for removing the product from your floor. 

      Q: Can I apply polyurethane to my prefinished floor?

      A: Never add a polyurethane coat to your prefinished floor. Doing so will result in an uneven finish and void the product’s warranty. Some of our customers have tried to apply an extra coat of polyurethane and were so displeased with the results that their floors had to be sanded and refinished by a professional.  

      Q: The floor beneath my rug is lighter than the exposed floor. What can I do?

      A: Some floors are light sensitive, meaning that the wood darkens over time. It may take six months to a year (depending on the species) for floors to reach their full rich color. To eliminate obvious tone differences, it’s best to rotate rugs and furniture periodically so that floors get equal amounts of sun exposure. Eventually, any variations in color tones will fade away.

      Q: When ordering hardwood flooring, how much extra is needed to allow for waste?

      A:  Add 5 percent to 11 percent for waste and cuts, depending on your skill level and the layout of the area.

      Q: Can I install hardwood over a radiant heat system?

      A: Great Lakes Wood Floors follows National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) guidelines when installing over radiant heat, which allows installation of 1/2-inch or more of engineered OAK hardwood flooring. NWFA also recommends solid riffed and quartered oak to be installed over radiant heat. 

      Q: How does moisture affect my hardwood flooring? 

      A:
      Excessive moisture can lead to numerous changes to your floor, such as cupping, buckling or cracking. 

      Q: What is the Proper Moisture level of wood flooring? 

      A:
       Please click here to be redirected to Answer.

      Q: Do I need a moisture barrier for an above grade flooring installation? 

      A:
      Yes. We recommend that a vapor barrier of 15-pound felt paper be placed between the hardwood flooring and the wood subfloor to prevent any moisture from getting to the floor.

      Q: What are the different moldings and how are they applied?

      A: Please click here to be redirected to Moldings.