Laminate and Engineered Hardwood Flooring Terms For The Smart Shopper Part 1

At Johnson Fine Floors, we strive to meet high standards of customer service that we ourselves want when we wear the consumer or shopper hat, we want to know our industry inside and out. Indeed, efficiently helping our customers pare down all the flooring options to the essentials requires in depth knowledge. In this post, let’s go over some Laminate and Engineered Hardwood Flooring Terms that the smart shopper should know to make the best decision for their home or office floor.

What is an “AC Rating” and why should the smart shopper know it?

The AC Rating is only applicable to laminate, and defines the product’s resistance to wear on a scale from 1 to 5. They are as follows:

AC 1: Home use with little foot traffic
AC 2: Home use with medium foot traffic
AC 3: Home use in all foot traffic areas
AC 4: Home use in all foot traffic areas and can meet some commercial standards
AC 5: Will withstand heavy commercial traffic

Colorfastness The ability of a flooring material to retain its original color after exposure to light or other sources of degradation (i.e. light resistance).

Acclimation Because wood expands and contracts depending on the level of moisture in the air, a good practice in most climates is to let your wood and some laminate flooring should sit in the location for two to three days before installation so it has a chance to come into equilibrium with your location’s moisture content. This is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for your Austin Texas home or office.

Click-Lock Installation This innovative type of flooring installation is done without the need for nails or even glue. Instead, this design allows the installer to lock the two planks together — with a just a click — creating a strong, stable joint.

Edge/End Treatment The stylistic design around the perimeter of each flooring plank. Certain edge/end treatments, like the square edge/end, allow planks so seamlessly transition from one to the other, while other treatments, like the micro-bevel or rolled bevel, offer a more pronounced and eye-catching look, emphasizing the outline of each plank.

Core The base of a laminate floor, typically constructed from perpendicular plies of (high density fiber) engineered wood. The core gives the laminate plank or engineered hardwood strength and stability. A very important consideration for any flooring shopper who values durability, and wanting a long lasting floor.

Dimensional Stability This defines ability of a material in the flooring product to resist changes in measured dimensions, such as thickness and width, caused by changes in environmental factors like moisture or temperature. Very important in more extreme climates, or even specific circumstances to your home or office. Ask us about this important detail.

Décor When mentioned in the context of Floor Coverings, this term is specifically about the top layer of wood or paper on an engineered or laminate floor.

Stay tuned to this space for Part 2.

Stone Tile Flooring and the Travertine options

Travertine is a natural stone, just like marble, granite, and limestone—in fact, travertine is a type of limestone, as is marble. (We know today that marble actually began as a limestone before it underwent metamorphosis from immense pressures and high temperatures over time.) However they are not the same.

The key difference between Travertine and other natural stones lies in the formation of the rock, the hardness of the stone and the appearance. Travertine is formed in hot springs and/or limestone caves.

Let’s review what Stone Tile Flooring manufacturer, M S International, Inc.

Veneto Porcelain:

“A classic beauty with a twist, Veneto introduces a fresh take on vein cut travertine that showcases its luxurious linear movement in several stunning colors. Veneto boasts the most popular sizes in the tile industry offering planks, two rectangles, and a bullnose to create those dreamy floor and wall combinations with ease. Incorporate this elegant travertine look with confidence knowing it is uniquely designed in high quality porcelain.”

Updates To Our Hardwood Flooring Maintenance Tips Video List

We just updated our Hardwood Flooring Maintenance Video series with our latest compilation:

7 Hardwood Maintenance Tips


If you prefer simply to quickly skim these tips, here they are:

Vacuum or sweep your floor regularly with a soft-bristled attachment or broom, especially in high-traffic areas. This prevents gritty dirt and particle buildup that can scratch the wood’s surface. Don’t use vacuums with a beater bar or power rotary brush head.

Use a humidifier during heating seasons to help reduce wood shrinkage and humidity between 35% and 55%

Use ice to harden tough substances like wax or chewing gum, and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper or a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the surface and wipe the area clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth.

Avoid walking on your hardwood floors with spiked or damage-heeled shoes.

Resist wet-mop, damp-mop, or cleaning your hardwood with water or other liquids.

Don’t use oil soaps, liquid or paste wax, or other household products containing lemon, citrus, or tung oil, or silicon to clean floors.

Stay away from harsh cleaning aids like steel wool pads, any scouring pads containing metal, or scouring powders.

Don’t use 2-in-1 cleaners that contain acrylics or urethane polish to restore gloss.

If you have unfortunately done damage to your wood floors by cleaning them improperly, give us a call to go over your options. You can replace a piece or even give your Austin, Texas home or office an entirely new look by having us install brand new flooring.

Can Your Dog Clean Your Hardwood Floors?

We are such dog lovers at Johnson Fine Floors, your friendly neighborhood Flooring Store Nearby. This was just too funny to not share.

It’s friday and we wish all of our customers and visitors to our content channels a good restful weekend and encourage them all to give their dogs a super nice treat.

Flooring Store Near Me

North Austin, where Johnson Fine Floors is located, has been growing consistently for almost a decade now. According to city-level population estimates released on May 13th, Georgetown, is the fastest-growing U.S. city with more than 50,000 new residents. It grew by an eye opening 7.8 percent from mid-2014 through mid-2015, adding 4,611 residents and raising its population from 59,105 to 63,716.

How has the city of Austin’s growth been? It grew at a slower clip than its outskirts neighbors between 2014 and 2015, expanding by 2.1 percent with the addition of 19,117 residents to rise to a population of 931,830.

Growth like that has reflected in rising residential values. With such a redistribution of living spaces, Austin residential renovations and home improvement spending has been on an enviable upward trend. Of the most popular home improvement projects. Flooring renovation has seen a particularly notable rise. Swapping out old floors for the new innovative hardwood, stone tile and laminate flooring has been a favorite of Interior Designers and homeowners alike.

Anyone looking for a Flooring Store “near me” in Austin Texas, as is done so often, will have a handful of options. Johnson Fine Floors is located at 3301 Steck Ave #107 Austin, TX. Our location is in North Austin, in what is called the North Shoal Creek area. Across from MoPac Highway 1, looking Northwest and between Highway 360, are the affluent areas of Serena Woods, Spicewood Forest, Twin Mesa, Mountain Ridge, and Vista North. To the East of the North Shoal Creek area, is the North Austin Civic Association area. Growth in these areas has matched the overall North Austin growth trends.

What is to the North of Johnson Fine Floors? The areas of NcNeil, North Burnet, Jollyville, and Wells Branch.

What are the growth projections for the future? According to this new research by American City Business Journals, The population of the Texas capital, which reached 2 million last year, is projected to soar 98.5 percent to nearly 4 million by 2040. Businesses involved with home improvement and renovations are likely to benefit from the phenomenon of migration, and the following home sales.

Stone Tile Lasts A Lifetime

Stone Tile is a luxurious product that may last a lifetime, which ensures it will more than pay for itself.

tileflooring14708363_1768016490120381_16997897099086862_nNatural Stone is a product that has this way of bringing the colors and texture of Nature right into your home. It can even do that while adding a quality and warmth to a room that proponents say is just not possible with any other material.

it is important that customers are aware of the inherent nature of stone and the upkeep. Proper maintenance of stone will ensure that their investment lasts.

And for anyone who indulges in putting their personal touch into their moments, Natural Stone tile creates a look that is truly unique and can’t be fully replicated with products made to look like natural stone. No two Stone floors can ever be exact matches.

It’s not just used for beautiful floors but also can be used for countertops, wall tile and decorative mosaics. Ask us more about this in our flooring showroom, if you like.

“As technology continues to advance, we will see increased creativity with stone mosaics,” said Roy Viana, director of natural stone and slab for Daltile. “The increased demand for textured mosaics has helped drive the advancement to three-dimensional tile, which adds depth and character to any room.”

“Additionally, these improvements are enabling us to offer more stones in larger formats, such as 8 x 36 planks or 18 x 36, which used to either be a challenge or was in limited supply,” Viana said. “The natural stone industry continues to reinvent itself through new stones, finishes and formats in all categories, with a larger focus in limestone and marble products.”

Most often, one finds themselves walking on Natural Stone floors when visiting Court and State buildings. Think back to your most recent visit to any elaborate and older buildings, like the Capitol building here in Austin Texas, and you will remember the stunning Stone work in those halls. To this day, the floors still look stunning. With the new affordability of Stone, consumers are now putting it in their bathrooms and other places to get what is called a “classic look”.

Some Flooring options go through many style, color and design trends, while others have to be replaced every decade or so just from normal wear and tear; natural stone is neither of these. Stone has a timeless “classic look”, and does not appear that it ever will be subject to trends. You can feel good knowing that your Natural Stone floor is so permanent.

Green Building Materials Are Proliferating

Construction Industry journals like are tracking just how much “Green” Building materials are being used throughout America’s construction activity. It’s going well, apparently. “Burgeoning green building materials market set to reach $255B by 2020”

  • The global green building materials market is on pace to hit $255 billion by 2020, growing at an annual CAGR of approximately 12%, according to a report from Zion Research.
  • Zion found the green materials market was valued at $127.5 billion in 2014, with the public facilities, education, commercial and industrial sectors dominating market demand. Public facilities alone represented more than 20% of the total green building materials market in 2014.
  • North America and Europe are the two global regions seeing the strongest growth in demand for green building products. In 2014, North America accounted for more than 40% of the total green building materials market, according to the report.

It’s important for us, living in an eco-conscious city like Austin TX, to keep up to date on building materials, and make sure we are using the right tools, adhesives, and materials. If you have a question about “Green” materials or anything else that has you curious about the technological edge in flooring.

Announcing Our Flooring Channel On Facebook

facebook10We enabled our Facebook page once again… and so far, we like using it. If you are active on Facebook, come visit our page at:

There was some interesting Flooring Industry news…

Kronospan announced the company plans to launch its new, comprehensive product line for the North American market, at its exhibit, booth 603, at the 2017 Surfaces trade show in Las Vegas. The company said during the Surfaces show, it will unveil its complete product line, which includes five design collections, featuring 94 new laminate flooring products.

“Our design and innovation team has worked hard to develop what we believe will be the best fashion-forward laminate product assortment currently available to the U.S. market. All 94 laminate products will be on display at Surfaces and the fresh, exciting collection will be of great interest to the design community,” said Babula.

The new Kronospan USA laminate flooring collection includes five design-inspired assortments: Authentic, Bohemian, Downtown, Pioneer, and Voyager. Kronospan will unveil its entire new product collection, with special attention to its Made in the U.S.A. products and capabilities.

Source: Floor Coverings Weekly 

We will be anxious to see what they come up with.  Laminate flooring technology, as reliable as ever, is changing, believe it or not.

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Johnson Fine Floors 3301 Steck Ave #107 Austin, TX 78757 (512) 795-9008 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am - 5:00pm Sat 10am - 3:00pm

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