Ultimate Guide to Hardwood Flooring

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As a leader in the flooring industry, Mannington has put together a guide that details everything you need to know about hardwood floors. Whether you’re having a new home built or simply looking to make an upgrade to your home’s existing floors, hardwood is a beautiful, durable option! Before you decide on hardwood, here’s what you need to know.

Hardwood Flooring Options

There are three types of hardwood floors available to you:

  1. Solid hardwood flooring is a solid piece of wood from top to bottom.
  2. Engineered hardwood flooring is real wood from top to bottom that’s normally made using multiple wood veneers or slats of wood glued together at opposing directions. Mannington only produces engineered hardwood and here’s why:
    • It’s the most environmentally friendly. Engineered hardwood uses half as many trees as solid wood floors
    • Engineered hardwood floors can be installed where solid hardwood floors cannot. You can install engineered hardwood below grade and direct to concrete which you can’t do with solid hardwood floors.It’s so versatile, you can even install it on walls!
    • Engineered is more dimensionally stable and less likely to warp with seasonal change
  3. Composite engineered hardwood flooring contains real wood on the wearable surface only. The backing and core material may be made up of any type of composite material.

Benefits of Hardwood Floors

In addition to their natural beauty, wood floors are crafted to stand up to all phases of life.

  • Long-lasting. The life span of a wood floor can exceed 100 years, making it a tremendous value. When they start to lose their luster, some hardwood floors can easily be sanded and refinished multiple times to restore their beauty.As an alternative, if you do not wish to change the color, a screen and recoat process can refresh the coating and restore the luster of the floor. While hardwood floors are long-lasting, they can be prone to indentation because it’s a natural product. Keep this in mind while you’re shopping and try to find a brand that has extra protection – all Mannington hardwood floors have ScratchResistTM, Mannington’s patented high performance coating, with Aluminum Oxide to help keep floors looking newer longer.
  • Attractive. Whether your home is traditional or contemporary, brand new or centuries old, wood floors offer endless design possibilities to fit your personal style.
  • Easy to clean. Routine cleaning involves sweeping, dust mopping, or vacuuming on the bare floor setting.
  • Allergy-friendly. Hardwood doesn’t harbor mold, dust, or animal dander like carpeting does, which makes it better for homes of allergy sufferers.
  • Increase a home’s value. According to a Quantitative Evaluation of Real Estate Professionals for the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), homes with wood floors sell faster and for more money than homes without them. The study also found that many real estate agents indicate identical homes with wood floors can sell for up to 10% more.

Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors

Keep your hardwood floors looking their best with these cleaning tips:

  1. Remove dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris. Sweep or vacuum regularly, since built-up grit can damage the finish and surface of hardwood. The vacuum head must be a brush or felt type and be certain the wheels of the vacuum are clean and do not damage the finish. Make sure you disengage the beater bar on your vacuum to avoid damaging the surface of your hardwood floor.
  2. Use a misting hardwood cleaner to remove the dirt and debris that has built up over time on your hardwood surfaces. Use a cleaner that’s recommended by the manufacturer.Make sure it is a cleaner approved for use on pre-finished hardwood.Using a microfiber cloth mop, lightly spray the floor and use the mop to wipe the surface. Remove any excess with a damp or dry cloth – this is an important step, as standing moisture can cause your hardwood to bubble or buckle.
  3. Do not use oil soaps, liquid or paste wax products or other household cleaners that contain lemon oil, tung oil or ammonia.

Other Care and Maintenance Tips:

  • Wood is a natural product that lives in a comfort zone of 35% – 55% relative humidity, and between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  To ensure the long life of your wood floor, the HVAC system should remain active at all times.
  • Keep pets nails trimmed and paws clean and free of dirt, gravel, grease, oil and stains.
  • Use a dolly and protective sheets of plywood when moving heavy objects.
  • Make certain furniture casters and floor protectors are clean and operate properly minimum of 1″ continuous width is recommended).
  • Remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels before walking on the floor.

Misconceptions About Hardwood Flooring

Sometimes, hardwood flooring gets a bad rap! Mannington’s here to put those misconceptions about hardwood to rest:

  • Hardwood floors are hard to keep clean. Maintenance of your hardwood floors simply requires a sweep! Unlike carpet, which requires a wet solution to get a deep clean, all you need to refresh your hardwood is a broom or dusting cloth.
  • Wood flooring scratches easily. While any kind of flooring is susceptible to scratches, what can look like scratches in hardwood are in the finish, not the wood itself. Unlike tile or vinyl, all it takes is a simple color marker touchup and the hardwood is as good as new!
  • Wood floors get dirtier than other flooring options. Your floors will get dirty, no matter what type of floor you install! The dirt and dust we see on wood floors is the same amount that would collect on other flooring types – it’s just not as obvious on tile or carpet.
  • Hardwood floors make a room feel colder. Carpet is a flooring option that can retain heat and help insulate your home, but hardwood floors can do the same. Rich, dark shades of wood paired with the perfect accent rug can create a cozy space that will look and feel warmer.

Hardwood Floor Installation

Installing wood floors is a lot more complicated than painting your walls or replacing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets, so it is not recommended as a DIY project. In the long run, you will save money and time by using a professional.

See Mannington’s great selection of stylish, durable and award-winning hardwood floors.

Ultimate Guide to Laminate Flooring

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As the leader in flooring, Mannington has put together a guide that details everything you need to know about the laminate flooring options on the market. From an overview on the different options available, to benefits, misconceptions and cleaning tips, take the confusion out of floor shopping by reading this handy guide.

Laminate Flooring Options

Laminate flooring is offered in a variety of colors, textures, and styles. It is one of the most affordable and versatile types of flooring for homes and commercial spaces, as it is designed to emulate the appearance of real wood, tile, or stone with vastly superior performance benefits. Laminate floors can come in styles such as:

  • Handscraped & Rustic – Expensive treatments in hardwood simulated in laminate
  • Reclaimed – Another hardwood lookalike with a lighter, more natural feel.
  • Weathered & Distressed – Yet another hardwood look works perfectly with the farmhouse style of décor.
  • Marquetry – This visual uses an inlaid pattern to form an intricate design. Chevron is a popular marquetry look today.

Laminate Floor Layouts & Patterns  

The way laminate flooring is installed can completely alter the way it looks and feels in a space. There are a variety of arrangements laminate can be installed, including:

  • Wide Planks – This style of laminate is great for larger areas. Because of the width of the planks, the installation is fast and easy and the visual fills large spaces
  • Mixed Width – Planks in varying widths or planks that have a mixed width appearance make for a uniquely rustic laminate floor.
  • Diagonal – Traditional laminate planks are laid out diagonally to create visual interest and depth in a space.

Benefits of Laminate Floors

Laminate floors offer a variety of benefits, including:

  • *Waterproof. Not all laminate flooring is waterproof, but Mannington’s Restoration Collection® laminate floors feature our SpillShield® Waterproof Surface Warranty.There’s no need to worry about spills, melting ice cubes, water dripping dogs and more which makes it great for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements and mudrooms.
  • Affordability. Laminate can provide you with the look of hardwood or tile at a fraction of the cost.
  • *Superior indoor air quality. This is a very important topic for homeowners and all Mannington laminate is FloorScore® certified for superior indoor air quality.Laminate also does not trap dirt, dust, or allergens, making it perfect for homes where this is a concern.
  • Low-Maintenance. Laminate provides you with the appearance of hardwood without having to re-stain or re-finish the floor. Plus, it’s easier to keep clean than carpeting or tiled floors.
  • Extremely durable. Laminate floors provide you with up to 5x more scratch resistance than hardwood.
  • Variety. If you’re looking for flooring that’s going to help your home stand out from the others in your neighborhood, laminate can help! With so many colors and styles to choose from, it’s easy to amplify your home décor with flooring.
  • *Made in USA. Mannington laminate floors are proudly made in the USA.
  • *NALFA Certified – Mannington Laminate floors must pass a rigorous 11 point test to certify to the North American Laminate Flooring Association standards.Not all laminate can do this!

*When looking for a laminate floor, be sure to do your research especially around these topics. Mannington offers floors with these attributes, but not every flooring manufacturer does.

Cleaning Your Laminate Floors

Laminate is one of the easiest floors to clean and maintain. Sweep, dust, or vacuum regularly and periodically clean with products designed specifically for laminate surfaces. Avoid using soap or detergents mixed with water, as these can cause the laminate to swell or bubble. Never use abrasive materials like steel wool on laminate, as they can scratch the surface.

When spills occur, use a damp cloth to blot them up as quickly as possible. Always avoid leaving liquids standing on your laminate floors.

Misconceptions About Laminate Flooring

Laminate has quite a few misconceptions around it. Read below as we help clear up some of the most common myths associated with laminate flooring:   

  • Laminate damages easily. This may have been true of laminate floors in the past, but today laminate is constructed with thick, durable layers that are resistant to everyday wear and tear, from high heeled shoes to pet claws and children’s toys. Be mindful that not all laminate options are created equal – it’s important to look for quality. Mannington offers is extremely durable laminate that is resistant to stains, moisture, scratches, and general wear and tear.
  • Laminate is expensive. Laminate is one of the most affordable options on the market, especially when it’s compared to the costs of installing carpet, tile, and hardwood.
  • Laminate looks cheap. Laminate floors today take on incredibly realistic wood and tile visuals and are far from cheap looking. In fact, it can be difficult to tell the difference between real hardwood and laminate. Did you know? Mannington’s award-winning Restoration Collection® laminate floors are created by an in-house styling team, giving Mannington some of the most realistic designs on the market today.
  • Laminate is another word for luxury vinyl. Many people think that LVT and laminate are the same, but they are constructed very differently. LVT has a vinyl core while laminate has a wood-fiber core, which causes them to react differently to moisture.

Laminate Floor Installation

To prepare for a flooring installation, any furniture or appliances will need to be removed from the area. Then, the current flooring and trim will be removed, along with any hardware that’s present. In some cases, the subfloor may also require preparation.

If your subfloor is concrete, it needs to be clean and dry to apply new laminate flooring. Any holes or cracks present need to be repaired, as well as any high spots or bumps. If your subfloor is linoleum or vinyl and in good condition, laminate can be applied on top of it. If the subfloor is worn, a coat of leveler may be necessary. If you’re installing the flooring yourself, be sure to seek installation instructions or DIY videos from the flooring manufacturer.

Browse Mannington’s great selection of stylish, realistic, durable and award-winning laminate floors and find a local Mannington retailer today.

Style Spotlight: ADURA®MaxAPEX Loft

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At Mannington, we never compromise style when it comes to flooring. No matter what room you enter, your flooring should make a statement, while remaining easy to maintain. Meet one of our new 2019 vinyl plank ADURA®MaxAPEX introductions: Loft.

Loft features small slats of wood creating a unique, seamless pattern that can complement a variety of home décor styles. Combining the unique beauty of natural oak hardwood with artistic design, this high-style parquet floor will elevate the tone of any room.


When we were designing Loft, we thought about the hardwood floors we were used to seeing in decades past and wanted to modernize them. We updated the colors and used fresh materials to give this retro design a new take. Our efforts resulted in an elegant floor that gives versatility throughout the home.

Gray Wood Slat Vinyl Plank Flooring
APEX Loft, Color: Daybreak

Décor Styles

ADURA®MaxAPEX Loft fits into many home interior styles like Retro, Bohemian/Global, Industrial and Mid-Century Modern. In my opinion, the home interior style that best suits Loft is Mid-Century Modern.

Color Palette Recommendations

Loft comes in four neutral and gray colors: Sunrise, Horizon, Daybreak and Dusk. Home décor color combinations that pair well with Loft are navy blue, charcoal, and dark muted colors with pops of neutral tones.

Slat Vinyl Plank Flooring Colors
ADURA®MaxAPEX Loft, Colors: Sunrise, Horizon, Daybreak and Dusk (clockwise from top).

Styling Tips

A dark colored navy blue or charcoal wall creates a striking effect when paired with Loft. To balance darker elements, use pops of neutral décor elements like pillows, art pieces, throws or a rug. Use Mid-Century Modern furniture and accessories—the clean lines and geometric shapes are the perfect match for Loft. This is a style that embraces patterns and textures which is exactly what this flooring encompasses. Use my trend board below for inspiration!

ADURA®MaxAPEX Loft vinyl plank floors are the perfect floor for any formal, contemporary, or rustic interior setting. Find Loft by visiting a local Mannington retailer today. 

The Right Type of Flooring for Every Room in Your Home

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With the help of Consumer Reports, here is a guide that will help you choose the best flooring options for your kitchen, bathrooms, dining room, and the rest of your house!


Wood wins the prize as America’s favorite hard-surface flooring type, outselling vinyl, porcelain tile, and every other ­option. But wood can be a loser in the kitchen, where a dropped can of peas can literally leave a lasting impression. Or in the laundry room, where a splash of bleach can blemish its finish.

Each room in your home—from steamy bathrooms to high-traffic family rooms—comes with its own challenges, so a flooring material that’s perfect for one space could be a problem in another.

Fortunately, homeowners no longer have to choose between form and function: Advances in printing technology have allowed manufacturers to create vinyl flooring that’s a dead ringer for reclaimed barnwood and porcelain tile that easily passes for Calacatta marble. And unlike the faux flooring of the past, today’s products eliminate pattern repetition and incor­po­rate texture for a double dose of realism.

We’ve analyzed key areas in a typical home and chosen the top two flooring materials to meet the challenges in each. Follow our suggestions and you’ll have floors that will continue looking great for the long haul and hold their own against countless assaults from foot traffic, sunlight, moisture, and even bleach.


Kitchen & Mudroom

The Challenge
Grit-covered shoes grind in dirt, raincoats drip, chairs drag back and forth, and heavy cans crash from the countertop to the floor. Simply put, the kitchen requires the hardest-working flooring in your home.

Though wood remains a widely used aesthetic choice, it won’t stand up well to that assault: Our tests show that, in general, wood floors are far more prone to denting than other materials, and with very few exceptions, foot traffic is tough on the finish.

Top Choice: Porcelain Tile
A natural fit for high-traffic areas of the home, porcelain tile outperformed every other flooring material we tested for resistance to scratching and denting. Plus, porcelain tile comes in a range of styles to fit any décor. You can get small-format hex tiles for a traditional early-20th-century house, for example, or 4-foot faux reclaimed-ash planks that, when laid tightly ­together with a matching grout, will convincingly create the look of wood. Tile is also low-maintenance, never ­requiring more than a vacuuming and mopping, and it’ll last a lifetime. 

Runner-Up: Vinyl
Sheet vinyl floors became popular with homeowners in the 1950s (sometimes with layer ­upon layer put down as tastes changed) for several good reasons. First, it’s an affordable way to cover an expan­sive space. 

Today’s vinyl is also more durable than it was in the past, but it’s still the material most prone to scratching in our tests. Keep fresh felt bumpers on the feet of kitchen stools, and buy an extra bundle of planks now to ensure that you have a perfect match down the road. If any planks get damaged, you can remove them and ­install replacements as needed.


Bathroom & Laundry Room

The Challenge
These floors don’t face the stress of foot traffic or the constant sunlight that can fade solid and engi­neered wood. Rather, the flooring threats in these rooms come in liquid form. Bathers splash, showers drip, and toilets overflow. Urine can stain and even etch into some natural stone flooring, particularly marble, and bleach can affect the finish of some flooring (particularly wood and laminate, in our tests).

Top Choice: Porcelain Tile
Even purists who refuse anything, but real wood should seriously consider porcelain tile for their bathrooms and laundry room. After all, tile is a traditional choice in these rooms because it holds up well in wet places.

To avoid slippery-when-wet floors, choose a more textured product rather than one with a highly polished surface. And for a bathroom floor that’s warm and welcoming in the morning, you can install an electric heating element under the tiles connected to a timer control.  

Runner-Up: Vinyl
Once again, for a less expensive (though less durable) alternative to porcelain tile, turn to vinyl, which will cost roughly 30 percent less than tile, based on the materials we tested.

All of the vinyl tiles and planks we tested received an Excellent rating in our test for ­resistance to moisture. Luxury vinyl tiles, which tend to imitate stone, and luxury vinyl planks, which mimic wood, will deliver the most realistic looks. They can even be laid in the pattern of your choice, just like the real thing.


Dining, Living & Family Rooms

The Challenge
Though it’s true that furniture feet, pet claws, stiletto heels, and kids’ toys with wheels can damage a wood floor, any other material can feel substandard in these cozy common areas. 

Top Choice: Solid Wood
By this we mean prefinished wood flooring. There are plenty of reasons to opt for prefinished planks. You won’t have dust from sanding or fumes from finishing to contend with during installation; depending on how it’s installed, you might be able to walk on the floors right away; and prefinished flooring also tends to be less expensive. Perhaps most important, the factory-­applied finishes are significantly tougher-wearing than what your contractor would be likely to apply once the floor is installed.

Runner-Up: Engineered Wood
Though it mimics the look of solid wood, engineered wood flooring has just a thin veneer of finished wood, such as oak or maple, attached to a plywood like substrate. Engineered wood provides several significant advantages. And with an engineered product, you can affordably get an exotic wood species, such as Brazilian walnut or tigerwood, both of which tend to be more scratch- and dent-resistant than oak or maple.

Engineered wood floors are also less susceptible to seasonal shrinking and swelling because the layers in the plywood backing are arranged with their grain in alternating directions. Some can even be installed directly over a concrete subfloor, which isn’t always possible with solid wood. In fact, engineered flooring is often low-profile enough to install over an existing floor—representing a huge potential savings. Still, this choice lacks the longevity of solid wood, particularly for the (very) long haul. In certain household environments, a wood floor might need refinishing every decade or two. Most engineered products can be refinished only one to three times (depending on the thickness of 


Enclosed Porch or Sunroom

The Challenge
Depending on how exposed your porch is, this floor might contend with intense sunlight, rain blowing in through screens, a concrete subfloor (which limits your options because you can’t nail planks ­directly to it), recreational-equipment storage, and even freeze-thaw cycles if it’s installed in a three-season room.

Top Choice: Porcelain Tile
This durable material will stand up to most of the abuse it gets in these rooms. In addition to faux wood and stone, porcelain tiles can be ­designed to look like handmade ­ceramic tiles, a welcoming choice for these casual hangouts. If your porch isn’t fully heated and protected from the elements, make sure to choose a tile that’s rated for outdoor use in your climate.

Runner-Up: Engineered Wood
If you’d rather pass on cold-to-the-touch tile—and your porch is weatherproofed and heated—engineered wood offers a warm, this-room-is-not-an-afterthought look. Engineered wood flooring can also usually be installed over a concrete subfloor. But for a porch that’s ­exposed to weather, you’d do better with a tropical hardwood, composite, cedar, or pressure-treated pine.


For the best recommendations what will fit your needs for your home, come on into Distinctive Carpet and Tile today for a free no-cost consultation.  


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Congratulations to Distinctive Carpet and Tile for winning the prestigious 2018 Angie’s List Super Service Award. This award is only given out to businesses who achieved and maintained a superior service rating on Angie’s List for 2018!


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Your flooring is one the best investments you can make in your house, condo or apartment. How do you know it is time to replace your existing flooring and upgrade to a new look? Here are just a few signs that it is time. For a complete list, feel free to call a flooring expert at Distinctive Carpet and Tile.


#1 – Your carpet is starting to look bare.

One way to tell that your has begun to look ‘thread bare’. This occurs when the fibers of the carpet have been worn down over time and original color and/or pattern has begun to fade and is starting to look thin. Carpets do generally start to lose its color over time. However, there are certain factors that can speed this process up. Direct sunlight bleaches your carpets color. Keep your carpets as clean as possible by removing shoes in doors and treat all stains as quick as possible. Finally, if the corners of your carpet is looking thin and starting to fray, you should consider purchasing a new one.


#2 – Your flooring is heavily stained.

While most flooring has a coating on it, no flooring is completely stain proof. Accidents can happen. Over time, your carpets, laminate and tile, anti-stain coating will start to fade. While there are a range of sprays and shampoos you can use to remove stains, over time discoloration will happen caused by heavy foot traffic.   


#3 – Your flooring is really not pet friendly.

Another reason it is time to change your flooring is your pet. Pets easily can scratch, stain and ruin your flooring.  When choosing a future flooring, you might want to consider a vinyl or tile flooring. These types of flooring are more resilient to the wear and tear of pets are quite easy to clean. Stay away from carpet and hard wood floors. They stain easy and will wear down quicker over time. 


#4 – Your vinyl flooring has begun to fade                                                                                       Vinyl flooring is an attractive option and is more cost-effective. However, over time it can be worn down. Direct sunlight can lead to its loosing its color and luster. Heavy traffic and moisture can also cause it to bubble, peel and lift-up. A quality sub floor and vinyl will help your flooring look new for many years to come.


#5 – You have bad moisture damage or mold

Mold is the true enemy of your flooring and your health. It is a real danger and can cause serious allergic responses including skin irritation, asthma attacks, eye problems and sneezing. Your carpets is one of the most at risk types of floorings for mold growth, because the mold spores easily bind to carpet fibers. Areas that get commonly wet and/or are below ground level are highly susceptible to mold and you should best consider another flooring option. You can reduce the chances of getting a mold infestation by reducing the humidity in your house. Air condition, fans are dehumidifiers can help. Also, a quality padding beneath the carpet will help to absorb mold growth.


#6 – You’re tired of your shade of wood                                                                                         Hardwood flooring, which may be more expensive is made to last a long time. It has an excellent resistance to water, spills and is harder to stain. However, wooden floors are easily scraped and get scratched. You need to be very careful when moving things around and walking on it. The good thing is that minor scratches can be easily repaired with waxes and polishes that can be purchased at your local Home Depot. You may want to replace your flooring to change the look of your room and increase your houses value.


#7 – You are planning on selling your property                                                                                    A few things help to add to the value of your property. Kitchens, bathroom and flooring. Flooring is the most cost-effective way to get more for your property when selling it. Changing out the carpet or vinyl flooring will help to give your home a fresh look and make it look new again. You can also get rid of any floor stains or pet smells that have gathered in it over time.


For more information and recommendations on how to maintain or upgrade your flooring, please call us today or schedule an in-store complimentary consultation.