Coping Baseboard Joints

What Is Coping and Why Should You Do It?

Baseboard inside corner

Want your DIY baseboard job to look professional? You need to start coping baseboard joints. Learn more about what this means and why you should do it here.

Coping Baseboard Joints: What Is It and Why Should You Do It?

Chances are you don't really notice your baseboards. That is—until there's an unsightly gap at the corners. Then you won't be able to stop noticing them! 

A baseboard corner with a big gap looks unprofessional and untidy. And even if a corner starts off looking well-joined, a gap can form at the joint if the wood shrinks or the wall shifts.

The solution is coping baseboards so this doesn't happen. Read on to learn how to cope a baseboard corner and why you'd want to.

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Your Floor and Steam Cleaners

What Floors You Can and Can't Use a Steamer to Clean

Floor and Steam Cleaners: What Floors You Can and Can't Use It On

Hardwood Floor Being Steamed

Steaming the wrong type of flooring can leave you with expensive repairs on your hand. Learn more about floor and steam cleaners below.

You've invested money and time installing beautiful flooring. The last thing you want is to ruin those new surfaces by cleaning them the wrong way...

Proper care and cleaning of your flooring will keep it looking it's best, prevent unnecessary damage, and ensure your flooring lasts for years. The question is, do you know how to clean yours the right way?

Not to worry. Here's a breakdown of proper cleaning for your specific floor and steam cleaners--can you use them or not?

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Welcome to the Woods Znet Flooring

Welcome to the Woods Znet Flooring

Welcome to the Woods LVP

A Luxury Vinyl Floor

Mohawk's Bowman collection is a unique collection because it is a glue down luxury vinyl plank floor that feature a very nice looking bevel which gives this floor the depth of a real wood floor, making the planks more distinguished than a standard vinyl plank floor. This is truly a great looking glue down LVT plank.

Welcome to the Woods

As an online e-commerce flooring company, we try to keep up with what people are seeing when they google different flooring types. One day we stumbled across a blog post talking about a floating DIY vinyl floor installation. We left a comment on the blog post and one thing led to another...

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How to Use Vinyl Plank or Laminate Flooring on Walls to Create Stylish Accents

Create Stylish Accent Walls Using Vinyl Plank or Laminate Flooring

How to Use Vinyl Plank or Laminate Flooring on Walls to Create Accents

Looking for a creative way to add personality to your home? Learn how to use vinyl planks or laminate flooring on walls to create stylish accents!

There is a creative new trend using laminate or vinyl plank: install it on your walls. You can use laminate flooring on walls to create unique accents in your home. The added benefit is that it is easy for Do It Your Selfers to install. 

Read on to learn more about this hot new design trend. 

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What is Waterproof Flooring: A Guide to Waterproof Flooring Options

What is Waterproof Flooring?

Laminate Floor: Crest Haven - Summit Oak

There are several waterproof flooring options. Click here to learn about what waterproof flooring is along with the various types and what is best for you.

A Guide to Waterproof Flooring Options

There are eight ways to increase the value of your home without doing too much damage to your budget. One of them is installing new flooring. 

Even if you're not looking to sell your home just yet, if your current flooring is ripped, scratched or cracked, it's time to look into new flooring options. If you have kids or pets looking into waterproof flooring options is a good idea. 

Best of all, there are different types of waterproof flooring from laminate to tiles. With selections perfect for nearly every home and decor. 

To help you find the best waterproof flooring decor for your needs, keep reading. We've developed this guide to educate you on all your waterproof flooring options. 

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How to Choose a Great Floor Installer

Chooseing a Great Flooring Installer, One Who Knows What They Are Doing

Finding a Floor Installer Who Knows How to Get the Job Done Right

DIYing a floor can be a hard task and sometimes it is helpful to hire a contractor to do it for you.

In 2017 19.736 billion square feet of flooring was laid down. That amounted to $21.990 billion in sales, partly due to an increase in waterproof flooring products.

While there are different types of flooring such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and tiles, all of them require installation. While some types are easier to install, most people prefer to hire a professional installer rather than attempt a DIY job. 

But it's not always easy to find the right type of professional floor installer. Not all of them are adept at handling each type of flooring.

We want to help ensure you find the right person for the job. Keep reading to learn how to choose a floor installer. 

flooring installer

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7 Important Tips for Installing New Floors

Installing New Floors: 7 Tips

Important Tips for Floor Installation

Laminate Floor: Southbury

Floor installation can be time consuming and difficult if not done properly. These are some important strategies and tips for installing flawless floors.

The demand for new flooring has increased throughout the United States, and it's only going to continue to grow in the coming years.

If you've been considering installing a new floor in your home, now is the time to take action. 

What's holding you back from installing a new floor? Are you worried about how time-consuming or complicated the process will be?

If this is the case for you, keep reading. Listed below are some helpful tips that will make floor installation go a bit smoother.

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DIY Laminate Flooring Installation

How-To: Installing Your Own Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is one of the best recent developments in DIY home improvement. This low-cost project requires few tools, little technical knowledge, and can be completed by a mildly experienced DIYer. Follow this step-by-step guide and learn how to choose and install laminate flooring yourself


Laminate Floor

Image courtesy of Armstrong Flooring

Necessary Tools

Renting vs. Buying Tools

Most of the tools on this list are probably already on your tool bench in the garage. The best part is, all of the necessary tools for this DIY project are pretty cheap. The major pieces of equipment you need are the electric saws.

An oscillating saw to undercut your doorjambs and casings can help make this DIY job look professional. An oscillating tool will come in handy for many future DIY home improvement projects, so it’s a great investment!

A miter saw can also work for this project. A sliding miter saw is preferable for its ease of use, you may need a bigger saw if you have wider planks and/or have diagonal cuts. Although an inexpensive jigsaw can get the job done, a sliding miter saw is a far superior piece of equipment. 

Another saw that can make the job easier that is not really necessary is a table saw, great for your rip, or long, cuts. A jig saw can also accomplish this task for a lot less money.

These are tools that you'll use over and over again if you DIY, and will be worth the investment in most cases. Considering the money that you'll save by doing the flooring yourself, skip the hassle of renting and buy these tools for yourself.

Locking System Flooring Product Options

Laminate flooring locking systems are glueless and are known for being universally easy to install. You have several high quality flooring products to choose from.

The neat thing about this style of flooring is that any product that uses a locking system basically installs the same way. That means that floating wood floors and floating water-proof vinyl floors that have locking systems can all use these same instructions! One minor difference is that vinyl flooring won’t require a miter saw, because it’s thinner it can simply be scored with a razor knife and then snapped to make most of your cuts!

Choosing the Right Product for You

For the best DIY flooring results, you need to shop trusted retail brands. These high quality products are simple to install and are professional grade, with warranties available.

Mohawk

  • RevWood is Mohawk's laminate flooring line. Designed to withstand the demands of real life, it is scratch and stain resistant, but with the beautiful realistic look of hardwood floors.
  • RevWood Plus is a step up in their product line, which includes a waterproof top coat, All Pet Plus protection, and a waterproof warranty if the edges are sealed. RevWood Select has the same warranty, but just for 10 years.
  • Mohawk’s locking system is called Uniclic by Unilin, used on all their floating laminate floor products. In more difficult areas to install, such as under your door casings, Mohawk’s Uniclic system will quickly and easily tap together with a pull bar, without needing to be shaved and or glued. Ideal for the DIYer with little flooring experience.

Shaw

  • Angle/Tap and LocNPlace (also referred to as Valinge) are Shaw's two glueless floating laminate flooring systems, mostly made in the USA. They securely install laminate flooring panels on all four sides, without an adhesive.
  • They feature wood grain designs as well as wide tile formats, and require no curing time meaning they can be walked on right away.
  • Shaw laminate offers 15-year, 20-year, 25-year and 30 year warranties for their laminate products. Warranty covers stains, wear, fading as a result of natural or artificial light, and manufacturing defects.
  • Shaw’s systems are known to install faster in big open areas, but in certain spots (such as under door casings) their locking system needs to be shaved off and the planks glued, which can slow down the project.

Step-by-Step DIY Installation Process

Pre-Installation Steps

It is important to remember that for your warranty to be valid you must follow the product instructions with fidelity! No cutting corners, or skipping steps. Quality is in the details, so follow the instructions carefully to achieve the best possible DIY results. Note: these pre-installation steps are recommended by Mohawk and Shaw Flooring.

Preparation: Laminate flooring, of any brand, is a floor covering but is not supposed to serve as a structural material itself. Begin by clearing away carpet, padding, or wood flooring that is currently installed on your subfloor. Be aware that laminate flooring materials are not designed to be used in rooms with sump pumps or floor drains.

Acclimation: Do not store unopened boxes of laminate flooring in the sun or nearing cooling vents. Laminate flooring materials need to set unopened for 48 hours in the space in which they will be used so that they can acclimate to the correct temperature and moisture of the space. Some flooring brands do not require acclimation, but we suggest you do so regardless for a more trouble free installation.

Subfloor preparation: Laminate flooring installation requires a clean and dry subfloor surface that is up to code. Sweep away and clean any debris from the subfloor. Next, fill in any holes or cracks depressions in subfloor and level any peaks with floor leveling compound. Some high spots may need to be sanded or grinded down which is a dusty process. This is when using your straight edge comes in handy! Mohawk suggests no more than 3/16” unevenness per 10-foot span, to achieve best results with their RevWood products.

Concrete subfloors require installation of a vapor barrier to prevent unwanted moisture underneath the laminate flooring. Most of the time, the recommended 6 mil polyethylene film comes with the underlayment pad as a combo. No vapor barrier is required for a wood subfloor.

Subfloor moisture testing: Mohawk flooring recommends the following for moisture testing your subfloor, "When using a calcium chloride moisture test for concrete subfloors, values must be ≤ 5 lbs/1000ft2/24-hr or <80% RH with an insitu probe. Moisture readings of wood subfloors must be ≤ 12%. Acceptable job site conditions, including relative humidity and subfloor moisture conditions, must be maintained throughout the lifetime of the flooring." On a wood subfloor, the moisture content must not be greater than 12% when checked using a pin-type wood moisture meter.

Remove baseboards and undercut door frames and casings: Undercutting provides a professional look for your DIY flooring project. You should plan to slide the flooring at least 1/4” underneath the door frame and wallbase, and leave a concealed 3/8” minimum expansion space under each. Use 3/8” spacers to maintain the proper expansion gap around the entire perimeter of the floor.

Start by removing any floor molding, some people choose to leave baseboards on and install a shoe molding or quarter round to cover the expansion gap to finish their install. When removing your baseboards, be sure to cut the tops with a utility knife to prevent the caulking from tearing your drywall paper up the wall.

Next, lay a loose plank upside down against the door frame and on top of the underlayment. This measurement will be your guide for the right height to allow laminate planks to float under the door frame.

Using your oscillating tool, cut the bottom of the doorjamb and case molding back to the wall studs so that 3/8” expansion gap is maintained when laminate is fitted under doorjamb case molding. For Shaw and Mohawk flooring products, T-molding is required for doorways less than 36" wide. Don’t cheat here, skipping this step could cause flooring to come loose or exposed over time. Fine, you can cheat here, however doing so may cause extra work later should a problem arise. Many professionals will run the flooring through the doorway which will sometimes result in a call back to cut a t-molding into place, if expansion problems should come in the future.

Installing underlayments: An underlayment padding needs to be installed between the vapor barrier and laminate flooring. Note: if the pad is already attached to the vapor barrier, there is no need for additional underlayment. Rather than cover the entire space at once, roll out just enough underlayment for the next several rows of planking you will install. After laying the planks, repeat with another section of underlayment.

Measuring planks: You need to strategically measure at the beginning of your project, because you want the first row of planking to be the same width as the last row (most people do not actually do this with wood look flooring). A good approach is to measure the width of your room in inches and divide by the width of a plank. This allows you to find out how many full width planks can be used and what size width you'll need for the last row. Note: the last row cannot measure less than 2" in width! This means you might need to cut the first row of planking shorter, to allow for a nice even looking match will the last row.

Inspect boards for damage: This simple step will save you a big headache down the road. Carefully inspect each plank of flooring for damage prior to installing it. Look carefully for chips, cracks, etc. It would be a serious pain if, later on, you realized a board in the middle of the floor was compromised!

Installation Steps

Flooring install, locking system

Image courtesy of Unique Wood Floors

Note: these installation steps are for floating, glueless laminate flooring products.

1. Whenever possible, start by laying planks under the doorjamb and finish installing planks on a wall without a doorjamb. Planks should be installed parallel to the main light source of the room. If there is no natural exterior light source, planks need to be installed parallel to the longest wall. Remember, the first row of planks should be approximately the same width as the last row! Make your necessary cuts.

2. For a natural look avoid using a repeating pattern. Alternate pulling planks from several different cartons at a time to achieve a random appearance. Tile look laminate floors are installed in a 33% or 50% offset in a pattern, but a wood look laminate floor is meant to be placed at random. This is a common DIY mistake! Always use cut pieces from the end of each row for starting planks on the next row, and stagger end joints a minimum of 12” (narrower planks can be less).

3. Using a saw, you may need to remove the tongue on the planks that abut the walls. This will allow room for spacers and prevent problems from spills. Note: Mohawk recommends cutting pattern side-down when using a jigsaw, sabre saw or circular saw. Cut pattern side-up when using a laminate cutter, handsaw, table saw or crosscut saw.

4. The smallest usable piece will be 12-inch in length, and you should allow for 5/16-inch min to 3/8-inch max expansion around fixed objects such as pipes, etc.

5. Working from left to right, install planks lengthwise in rows while facing the starting wall. Once lengthwise connection is set, lower plank into place and simply apply pressure by pressing end down to lock into place. Note: no hammer needed!

6. To measure and cut the last piece in a row, rotate your plank 180°, butt one end against the wall, mark it where the row ends (remember to account for expansion), cut, rotate back 180° and slot into space.

7. Continue with this method of assembly to add additional rows, once enough flooring is down, you should work on top of the newly installed laminate. Working on top of your original start rows, pull the planks toward you to position them before locking them into place. As you do so, you now are working right to left.  It is important that all joints are a tight fit, you don't want any gaps. If a joint is loose or if all edges are not even with adjacent planks you need to stop and reconnect. Tip: it helps to set a full carton of laminate on top of the first planks in a row, it helps prevent them from unlocking as you work down the rest of the row.

8. When the length or width of the planks measures 40-feet, an expansion gap T-strip is required. Transition strips must be placed in all doorways measuring 36 inches or less. Most installers ignore these rules, however issues may occur, and you would need to add the t-moldings later. Also, if you ever have a warranty claim, the inspector could report the floor as being installed incorrectly.

9. You've made it to the last row! Cut the last row to size, if the cut isn't straight, you can scribe it. To easily scribe, set full boards directly on top of the most recently installed row, then take a scrap that has it's full width still, but maybe just 3-4 inches long and remove the tongue. Then slide that scrap along the wall with a pencil on the other side marking the plank sitting on top of the last installed row. It couldnt hurt to number these planks so you don't forget which order to install them after they are cut to size, you would then cut these planks with your jig or table saw. Depending on their size, you may need to install them with your pull bar or crowbar.

10. Time to put on the finishing touches. Remove all spacers and install your moldings. This way the floor can expand and contract under the molding. Do not attach the molding to the floor! For a perfectly edged finish around pipes, use flexible silicone sealant. If there are spots where moldings cannot be placed, simply fill expansion gaps with flexible silicone sealant. Most professionals will use a high-grade construction adhesive to install any transition strips instead of using the supplied tract system. Note: Do not caulk the bottoms of your baseboards, as your floor will move and the caulking will pull away.

Installing in Limited Clearance Area

When working with Shaw flooring products, sometimes you might encounter a space that just won't allow for 20 degree angle clearance, such as under a radiator, cabinet, or door frame. When this is the case with long edge joints, you'll have to remove the top part of the groove profile and use quality wood glue to make the connection. You'll slide the plank into space horizontally and slot into profile, rather than snapping and locking it into place at an angle. Use your blue painter’s tape to hold these planks together while the glue dries.

Protect Your Work: Floor Care & Maintenance

Routine Care & Cleaning

When you put a lot of time and effort into a DIY flooring project, you want to make sure it looks great for years to come, follow these recommendations!

To keep your laminate flooring in pristine condition: 

  • Always use felt pads on the bottom of your furniture.
  • Never use wax, polish, oils, soaps, detergents, shine enhancers/restorers, or varnish on the floor.
  • For dry maintenance, we recommend a dust mop or vacuum cleaner with soft bristle brush attachment only. No beater bars or spinning heads.
  • For slightly damp maintenance, we recommend an approved laminate cleaner which you spray directly and lightly on a duster.
  • Never put moisture directly on the floor. Always wipe dry immediately until no more moisture is visible on the floor. The use of other cleaning products might damage your floor
  • For bevel edge products, we strongly recommend dry cleaning only.
  • Do not use any type of cleaning machine such as steam cleaners, spray mops, power cleaners or buffers.
  • Wet maintenance will damage the floor. Remove any water immediately.
  • For tough stains such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, or ink, use acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth to wipe clean.

Follow this guide and you are good to go. With the right tools, products, and careful attention to detail during installation, you’ll be DIYing a new laminate floor in no time!

What Is Mohawk Hardwood and Why You Should Have It

Mohawk Hardwood Flooring

Mohawk Hardwood and Why You Should Have It

Hardwood flooring

Mohawk Hardwood Floors are Beautiful and Improve Your Home or Business.

Are you looking to renovate your beloved home? Or, perhaps you're looking to bring life to a newly purchased fixer-upper. Whatever your current situation is, if you're looking to buy new hardwood floors, then you need to consider Mohawk hardwood. 

Mohawk hardwood flooring is absolutely stunning and brings life into all homes ranging from old fixer-uppers to modern houses in need of a warm and aesthetically pleasing floor. But don't stop there, Mohawk hardwood is great not only for homes but for offices and businesses as well. For those looking to replace frail and worn down flooring with beautiful and durable hardwood continue reading.

Here is a break down of Mohawk hardwood flooring and why your home or business needs it. 

The Mohawk Difference: TecWood

Mohawk offers hardwood, also referred to as TecWood, in several different styles and colors. Because of this, we guarantee that there is something to match every person's style. But what makes Mohawk different from the rest?

Mohawk hardwood is specially engineered to be more durable, more stable, heavier, and flatter than other hardwoods. You'll find many types of woods in our Mohawk selection such as Maple, Hickory, Oak, and more. When it comes to the flooring industry, Mohawk hardwood is one of the most acknowledged brands. 

If you're looking to purchase hardwood for your home or business, then it's a no-brainer: choose Mohawk's TecWood. 

Mohawk Hardwood Options

There are so many hardwood options when it comes to Mohawk hardwood flooring. There are different colors, styles, and woods being used. This gives you a wide variety to choose from.

Listed below are just some of the options that you'll have. However, do keep in mind that this is not an exhausted list and is only used to show the wide variety available. 

Granite Maple

The Granite Maple flooring has a hand beveled edge, the shade is medium and has scraped surface type. The gloss is matte and the finish is aluminum oxide. This hardwood pairs perfectly with dark neutral colors on the walls

Mohawk KeyWest Granite Maple Flooring

Rustic Tobacco

The Rustic Tobacco flooring has a lightly scraped surface. But don't let that fool you, these floors are bursting with character. In these, you'll notice mineral streaks, knots, and other unique characters. 

Mohawk Byrch Valley Rustic Tobacco

Castlerock Maple

Another great candidate to show off amazing characteristics is the Castlerock Maple flooring. On these floors, you'll find natural cracks, knots, and splits. The gray and white tones available for this flooring goes perfectly with modern designs.

Mohawk Northaven Castlerock Maple

Seattle Oak

Seattle Oak is a clean shade of hardwood flooring with a matte finish. And because the matte finish does not reflect much light, it's hard to see any unnatural scratches or damage caused by normal wear and tear. 

Mohawk City Vogue Seattle Oak

Why You Need Mohawk Hardwood Floors

With so many choices of hardwood floors, Mohawk TecWood makes the decision an easy one. Mohawk offers different collections that you can browse through and then select the right color, wood type, and style that best suits your home or business. And because Mohawk hardwood has Enhanced Engineered Core (EEC) technology, you won't have to worry about reliability. 

Here at Znet Flooring, we offer you a wide variety of Mohawk hardwood flooring options at an affordable price. Be sure to browse through our selection and feel free to contact us with any questions and orders.

Don't forget to protect your wood flooring by putting self adhesive Felt Pads on the bottom of your furniture. If you are considering a DIY installation of your new Mohawk wood floor, it could be help to browse our installation posts.

Undercutting

The Importance of Undercutting for Your Flooring Project

Lets Talk About Undercutting

Professional installers will already know what to do and will have the tools. Typically you would want to at least undercut your door casings and door jambs so you can tuck your flooring underneath, allowing enough room for proper expansion and contraction (I suggest allowing 1/4" each direction, so the goal would be a 1/2" or more to be cut out). Some installers may even undercut stone, metal, and/or mortar; all of which can prove to be quite diffucult for your average homeowner, do-it-yourselfer, and even a less experienced handiman.

Pictures of Undercutting for Waterproof Vinyl Flooring

Scrap flooring won't fit under door casing and jamb.


As you can see in the above photo, the flooring will not fit under the door casing and jamb, many homeowners and/or handymen will cut around the casings and it will look sloppy, for a more professional look:

Scrap flooring now will fit under door casing and jamb.
In the above photo the casing and jamb were both cut so the flooring can slide underneath. Here are a few more photos of cut door casings and jambs:


cut casing

The Tools Needed for Undercutting for a Professional Flooring Installation

Standard tools used to undercut (cutting objects not made of wood may require different blades), some may have more versatility allowing the homeowner to not feel they bought a tool for just one job, while others are quite specialized.


For a homeowner installing their own floor, I would suggest an oscillating multi-tool because they can likely find other uses for it around their home, in fact, they may already have one if they have done other home projects themselves.



Here is an inexpensive oscillating tool that might be ideal for someone who wont use it often:

Genesis Oscillator

Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool

Here is a more expensive oscillating tool that would be better if you planned on using it more often:

DEWALT Oscillating Multi-ToolDeWALT DCS355B 20V XR Oscillating Multi-Tool (Tool Only)

There are even inexpensive hand version of undercut saws. I grew up using these, they work pretty well, however if you have a lot of cutting to do it may take you a while:

Crain Hand Undercut Saw

Crain 336 Undercut Saw

This is a more specialized tool and it is more geared towards professionals who do a lot of undercutting, most professionals will carry the above saws with them as well, as some work better in certain situations than others:

Undercut Saw

Crain No. 835 Heavy-Duty Undercut Saw

Thanks guys for taking a look, if you guys have any questions about undercutting or installations in general please leave a comment or fill out our contact form, I love to talk flooring and emails are super easy to squeeze in. Also for more recommended tools, we have a few listed in this Installation 101 post.