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FLOORING FAQs

Have a question about Bruce hardwood or laminate flooring? Search our FAQs for the answer.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Find answers to your questions about Bruce hardwood and laminate installation, maintenance, repairs, warranties and more in this section.

BRUCE HARDWOOD FLOORING - GENERAL

 

Where can I purchase Bruce hardwood flooring?

You can find Bruce products at independent flooring stores or home centers. Find a flooring store near you.

 

Where can I get pricing for flooring?

For pricing information and to buy flooring, please contact a local flooring store in your area. If you would like to get an estimate for the floor you have in mind, use our online project estimator.

 

Can I buy Bruce flooring directly from Armstrong?

No, Armstrong does not sell flooring products directly to consumers.

 

When ordering hardwood, how much extra should I order to allow for waste or damage during installation?

Add 5-10% on top of your estimate. What you don’t use, keep for future repairs.

 

How can I get a brochure on Bruce Hardwood flooring?

View a Bruce Hardwood brochure online or order a printed version.

 

Where can I get a copy of the warranty for my Bruce Hardwood flooring?

Download Bruce Hardwood warranties.

 

Is my Bruce warranty transferable?

No, the warranty is valid only for the original purchaser.

 

What is the difference between unfinished and prefinished hardwood?

A. Unfinished hardwood is installed in your home before the finish is applied. Prefinished hardwood is stained and sealed by the manufacturer prior to installation.

 

Can an engineered wood floor be refinished?

Yes, in most cases, you can refinish an engineered floor a few times. You can’t refinish an engineered floor that is hand-scraped or has a veneer thickness that is less than 2mm.

 

What are edge treatments?

Edge treatments are the finishing details on the top edges of hardwood boards. All edge treatments provide different visual effects.

  • Square edges: – smooth, seamless appearance
  • Micro or eased edges: – subtle distinction between planks
  • Scraped edges: – scraped bevels artfully handcrafted
  • Pillowed edges: – softly contoured plank edges
 

If I have an issue with my floor, what do I do?

Go back to the flooring store where the material was purchased. We rely on flooring retailers who are trained and authorized to handle customer claims. Make sure to take your sales receipt as your proof of purchase. From your receipt, the flooring store should be able to identify the name and model number of your floor.

If your problem is a warranty issue, the flooring store will submit a claim form to Armstrong® (Bruce is an Armstrong brand). However, if the problem is the result of an installation or on-site related issue, it would not be covered under our warranty.

Even if your floor was not installed by the dealer you purchased it from, the dealer is still responsible for starting the inspection process. If the dealer does not know what to do, please have them contact Armstrong (Bruce is an Armstrong brand) at 1-800-233-3823.

If the flooring store where your floor was purchased is no longer in business, please contact Customer Care, and they will assist you.

If you purchased your home through a builder, the builder should be able to provide you with the name of the flooring store where your floor was purchased. Contact this store to file your claim.

 

If my question is not listed here, how can I get an answer?

Online: Contact Armstrong
Phone: 1-800-233-3823

BRUCE HARDWOOD FLOORING - PERFORMANCE back to top

 

How does moisture affect hardwood flooring?

Moisture on a hardwood floor can cause cracking, cupping (when the outer boards are higher than the center boards), and crowning (when the center boards are higher than the outer boards), so make sure to mop up spills right away.

 

What is an acceptable moisture content for hardwood floors?

An acceptable moisture content level can range from 4-18%, depending on the area of the country where the floor was installed and the time of year.

 

Should I expect color variations in my hardwood floor?

Yes, there is a natural variation in hardwood. Some species show more variation than others. Select a hardwood flooring product swatch and click through to the item detail page to view the color variation for your flooring choice.

 

My wood is denting. I thought I was buying hardwood flooring.

Different species have different hardness ratings. View the Janka hardness scale to see the hardness rating for each species.

We recommend using Armstrong® Residential Floor Protectors on the feet of heavy furniture and area rugs in high traffic zones of the home to prevent dents and dings.

 

I moved my area rug, and the wood is lighter where my rug was. What happened?

Sunlight exposure is the most probable cause, which can darken or lighten the exposed area. Wood reacts to ambient light and ages over time. Some degree of color change will naturally occur. We recommend occasionally shifting furniture and area rugs to prevent noticeable shading in the floor.

 

When I walk across my hardwood floor, I hear popping sounds. Why?

Reasons may include:

  • Uneven subfloors (Refer to subfloor tolerances in our hardwood installation guide.)
  • Incorrect use of trowel and/or adhesive during installation
  • Use of improper underlayment prior to installation

View flooring installation guides

This problem may be corrected by your installer. Always follow Bruce installation procedures and use Bruce-specified adhesives.

 

My wood floor has some damage. Can it be repaired?

Yes, repairs include:

  • Color-blend filler for minor chips
  • Touch-up kit for scratches
  • Board replacement
  • Sanding and refinishing for worn, deeply scratched floors
 

Is there a stain formula available to match my hardwood floor?

We do not offer stain or stain formulas. Consult a stain specialist that can custom blend a matching stain color to order. Most major paint stores and home centers offer custom mixing programs.

BRUCE HARDWOOD FLOORING - INSTALLATIONback to top

 

How do I acclimate my hardwood floor?

Open the flooring boxes in the room where the floor will be installed and leave the boxes for 5-7 days. This process “acclimates” the flooring boards to the conditions in the room.

 

Where can I install solid wood or engineered wood products?

Solid wood products should be installed on or above grade. Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed on, above, and below grade.

 

Can I install hardwood flooring in my bathroom?

Hardwood is not recommended for rooms with a shower or bathtub due to the potential for water damage.

 

Can I install hardwood flooring in a basement?

Only engineered hardwood flooring should be installed in a basement.

 

Can I install hardwood over a vinyl floor?

It depends on how the vinyl floor was installed. If the vinyl is securely attached to the subflooring or has a strong cushion beneath it, you may be able to float an engineered hardwood floor on top. Check with your Bruce flooring retailer or call Customer Care first.

 

Can I install hardwood flooring in high traffic areas?

Due to the sophisticated finishing systems on our products (Dura-Luster® Plus), the finish, which is very durable, is acceptable for high traffic areas. In addition, we always recommend walk-off mats at doorways and pivot points such as kitchen sinks, refrigerators, etc. You’ll also find Bruce commercial-rated products for commercial environments.

 

Can I install my floor on the wall or as a backsplash?

Bruce floors are not recommended or warranted for installation on vertical surfaces, such as wall coverings or backsplashes.

 

Can I install a solid wood floor over a concrete slab?

You can install thin-profile solid wood (5/6” thick) over concrete, but NOT standard 3/4” solid hardwood.

 

How do I install my Bruce Hardwood floor?

View hardwood installation guide.

 

Do I need a moisture barrier if my hardwood flooring will be installed above grade?

Yes, the barrier will help prevent moisture from reaching the floor and causing damage. The barrier should be installed between the subfloor and the hardwood flooring.

 

May I glue down a 3/4" thick solid floor?

We encourage the use of a wood subfloor when installing ¾” solid hardwood. Some adhesive manufacturers have had substantial success with direct glue applications using a variety of different adhesives and moisture retardant systems. Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations and check their warranty coverage. In a situation where you must direct glue to concrete, please review the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendation for proper application, proper adhesive, and correct trowel notch and spread rate.

 

May I nail down a 3/8" engineered floor?

Yes. We call it a “staple-down” because you use a stapler to install the floor.

 

What type of adhesive do I need to use with my hardwood floor installation?

Please review the hardwood installation guide.

 

Can I use a non-Armstrong® adhesive with a Bruce flooring product?

We do not test other manufacturers’ products and cannot warrant their use or performance. Any endorsement or warranty for that product would be the sole responsibility of the manufacturer of that particular product.

BRUCE HARDWOOD FLOORING - CLEANING & MAINTENANCEback to top

 

How do I maintain my hardwood floors?

Follow our instructions for hardwood floor care.

 

After my floors are installed, should I apply a finish coat to seal them from moisture getting into the cracks?

It’s not necessary, and we don’t recommend sealing Bruce Hardwood, as this will alter your finish warranty. If you have reason to be particularly concerned about moisture on the floor, sealing joints can prevent moisture from getting down in the cracks through one seasonal cycle: one cooling (winter) and heating (summer) season. Wood will continue to expand (summer) and contract (winter) throughout its lifetime. Therefore, sealing of the joints will only last until the first heating or cooling season.

 

What can I use under my furniture to protect the hardwood floor from scratching?

We suggest using floor protectors on the feet of furniture and chairs.

 

How do I fix a small scratch on my hardwood floor?

Armstrong (Bruce is an Armstrong brand) offers touch-up kits for scratch repair. They are available from your local Bruce flooring retailer.

 

Can I wax my urethane floor?

Yes, but it is not recommended. Once a floor is waxed, it should be maintained as a wax-finished floor. Wax may inhibit the adhesion of any future application of top coating materials or make it slippery.

 

Can I refinish my Bruce Hardwood floor?

In most cases, yes. We suggest that you contact your local Bruce retailer for more information.

 

My hardwood floors have lost their shine. How do I get them to look like they did when they were new?

Armstrong offers a product called Bruce® Fresh Finish that can be applied to a urethane-finished floor to refresh the original appearance.

 

Where can I find cleaning and maintenance products?

Contact the store where you purchased your flooring. They have access to the full line of Bruce maintenance products.

 

What should I use under my area rugs?

A breathable rug underlay. Mesh or grid patterns are best. Latex, rubber, or vinyl mats may discolor the floor.

 

What other cleaning products do you recommend for my hardwood floor?

Other than the recommended cleaners and maintenance products manufactured by Bruce Hardwood Floors exclusively for factory-finished hardwood floors, you can use dry dusting products and/or a vacuum.

 

How should I move heavy furniture across my hardwood floors?

When moving or rolling heavy furniture or appliances, use protection-like strips of 1/4" hardboard as a runner under the wheels or legs. Always move items with caution across hardwood floors.

 

Can I mop my hardwood floors using hot, soapy water?

No. Water will prematurely age your hardwood floors and cause damage.

 

Can I use a non-Armstrong® or Bruce maintenance product on my Bruce floor?

Since we don’t manufacture the product and have not tested it, we don’t recommend its use with our floors. If you choose to use a non-Armstrong or Bruce maintenance or cleaning product, and you have an issue, we recommend contacting the manufacturer of that product for recommendations on how to resolve it.

BRUCE LAMINATE FLOORING - GENERAL back to top

 

Where can I purchase Bruce Laminate flooring?

At a flooring retail store near you.

 

Where can I find pricing on your products?

For pricing information and to buy flooring products, please contact a local retailer in your area.

 

Can I buy Bruce flooring directly from Armstrong?

No, Armstrong does not sell any products directly to the consumer, so we can’t offer any pricing. We have distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada who distribute our products to individual flooring dealers.

 

How can I get a brochure on Bruce Laminate flooring?

Request a laminate flooring brochure.

 

Where can I get a copy of the warranty for my Bruce Laminate flooring?

Read about Bruce laminate warranties.

 

Is my Bruce Laminate warranty transferable?

No, the warranty is valid only for the original purchaser.

 

What is the difference between Good, Better, Best, Premium and Commercial in Bruce Laminate Flooring?

All Bruce laminate floors have a Magnum HDF core that provides stability, lasting durability, and moisture resistance. However, the thicker the Magnum HDF Core – 12mm, 8mm, and 7mm – the more substantial the feel of your floor underfoot and the greater the sound absorption.

All Bruce laminates have our exclusive G3™ wear layer that is AC-rated, which protects against scratches, scuffs, and surface spills. The higher the AC rating – AC 3, AC4, AC5 – the better the wear resistance and durability of the product. As you progress from Good to Premium Bruce laminate, you will notice a difference in the realistic visual detail, the texture and embossing, and edge finishing on each plank.

 

What is an AC rating?

An AC rating indicates a laminate’s resistance to abrasion, impact, stains, and cigarette burns. The rating also indicates that the product has been tested for the effects of furniture legs, castors, and swelling along its edges.

The AC rating levels are designated AC1 through AC5. The primary application is divided into two groups: residential and commercial. Each group is further divided into traffic intensity levels: moderate, general, or heavy. All Bruce laminates have an AC rating of 3 or higher.

 

If I have an issue with my floor, what do I do?

Go back to the flooring store where the material was purchased. We do not have individual representatives to inspect your floor. We rely on our flooring store partners who are trained and authorized to inspect our floors for us. You’ll need to show your sales receipt as your proof of purchase.

If you bought your home through a builder:

The builder should be able to provide you with the name of the flooring store where the material was purchased. Contact this store to file your claim.

If you have a warranty issue:

If you have a warranty issue, the store will submit a claim form to Armstrong. However, if the problem is the result of an installation or on-site related issue, it would not be covered under our warranty.

My floor wasn’t installed by the store where I bought the flooring:

Even if your floor was not installed by the store where you purchased it from, the store is still responsible for starting the inspection process. If the store employees don’t know what to do, please have them contact Armstrong.

My flooring store has closed:

If the flooring store where your floor was purchased is no longer in business, please contact Customer Care, and they will assist you.

 

Are laminate floors good for people who suffer from allergies?

Yes. The surface of laminate flooring is solid and the joints are closed, so dust cannot accumulate in any crevices. Plus, dust mites and other allergy-causing organisms can’t survive on clean laminate floors, and Bruce Laminate floors are easy to clean.

 

If my question is not listed here, how can I get an answer?

Online: Contact Customer Care
Phone: 1-800-233-3823

BRUCE LAMINATE FLOORING - INSTALLATIONback to top

 

How is Bruce Laminate flooring installed?

Get laminate installation guide.

 

Where can Bruce Laminate flooring be installed?

Bruce laminate flooring is suitable for use in any room in your home – basement, laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, living room, etc. Bruce laminate is made to stand up to high traffic and high impact.

You can install Bruce Laminate flooring over most existing floors – wood, wood underlayment, concrete, ceramic tile, resilient tile, vinyl sheet flooring, even carpet – if it's fully adhered to a wood subfloor, and it’s no more than 1/4" thick. That means you don't have to pull up old floors and deal with the mess or the hassle of repairing most subfloor damage. Just make sure your subfloor is structurally sound, dry, clean, and flat.

 

I'm a DIYer. Can I install laminate flooring myself?

Yes. Bruce Laminate flooring is an excellent choice for DIY applications. While the basic installation instructions are printed on the back of every carton of Bruce laminate flooring, we recommend that you check here for the laminate installation guide for your product.

 

How do I determine the direction to install my laminate flooring?

To decide where to begin the layout of your laminate floor, consider the incoming light. It is usually best to install Bruce Laminate flooring with the planks running parallel to light coming in the windows or glass doors. For any installation, the starting wall should be long and as straight as possible.

 

Can laminate flooring be installed on stairs?

Yes. You'll need to fully adhere the flooring to the stairs without using foam underlayment and follow the special instructions inside a laminate flooring installation guide for stair installations.

 

Does laminate flooring need to be acclimated?

Bruce Laminate does not require acclimation*. However, the room temperature should be at a minimum of 65°F (18°C) for 48 hours before, during, and 48 hours after the installation. During and after installation, the room temperature should not exceed a maximum of 100°F (38°C).

In addition, relative humidity must be maintained between 35% and 55%.

*We recommend acclimating the product if you are in a very dry or very humid climate.

Note: For all installations where environmental conditions cannot be controlled, where the relative humidity level is below 35% or exceeds 55% at the time of installation or where the relative humidity cannot be maintained between 35% and 55% consistently after the product has been installed, a 3/32” bead of glue must be applied to the end groove of each plank.

 

Is the Quiet Comfort™ underlayment really needed?

The proper underlayment is crucial to a successful laminate installation and should be installed prior to laying planks. It is the moisture barrier between your subfloor and the laminate. It also reduces sounds and gives your floor a more substantial feel.

Use the pre-applied tape for a seamless moisture barrier, especially over concrete. These underlayments can also be used with any floating floor installations. Bruce Laminate floors come with full warranty coverage when installed with Armstrong® underlayments.

 

When I walk across my laminate floor, I hear sounds. Why?

Reasons may include:

  • Uneven subfloors (Refer to subfloor tolerances in our laminate installation guides.)
  • Excessive subfloor deflection
  • Use of improper underlayment
  • Inadequate expansion space
  • The floor is being pinched by trims or moldings.

This problem may be corrected by your installer. Always follow the Bruce flooring installation guides and use Armstrong specified underlayments.:

 

Can I glue down my laminate floor?

While no Bruce Laminate product requires glue ever for installation to the subfloor, there may be instances where you want to completely eliminate the “hollow” sound that can come with laminate flooring installations. Armstrong’s Quiet Comfort™ and Quiet Comfort™ Premium underlayments provide excellent sound improvement, but you may want to completely eliminate any hollow sound associated with a floating floor. If you want the sound performance that mirrors hardwood, we recommend the following adhesive products with Bruce Laminate installations to achieve the sound of real hardwood:

Armstrong® Pro Connect™ S-740

Bruce Equalizer

Armstrong® Summit All-In-One™

*NOTE: When moisture remediation is needed, prepare the substrate with Armstrong VapArrest S-135 Professional Moisture Retardant System. Use Armstrong Equalizer™ with the Armstrong VapArrest S-135 Professional Moisture Retardant System.

 

How do I know which molding pieces to use and where?

Armstrong (Bruce is an Armstrong brand) provides a line of coordinated transition pieces that have been styled to coordinate with each of our flooring designs:

  • Quarter Round Moldings: – finish the space where the laminate flooring meets the wall.
  • Multi-Purpose Reducers: – finish the space between the laminate flooring and other flooring surfaces of lesser height, including around sliding glass doors, toe kicks, or carpet.
  • T-Moldings: – used in doorways or entryways and finish the space between two pieces of laminate flooring, or are used when your room is longer than 80 ft. or wider than 52 ft.
  • Baby Threshold Moldings: – used at sliding glass doors, along wall bases, door thresholds, and carpet.
  • Reducer Strips: – used to make the transition from Bruce Laminate flooring to another type of flooring, like vinyl.
  • Flush Stair Nose: – finishes the flooring edge at staircases, step-downs, and landings.
  • Overlap Step Nose: – used where the flooring meets a step-down or landing.
  • Wall Base: – the classic finish to a laminate floor, and is used wherever the wall and flooring meet.

BRUCE LAMINATE FLOORING - CLEANING & MAINTENANCEback to top

 

How should I clean and maintain my laminate floor?

Get laminate floor care instructions for cleaning your floor with Bruce Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner. It’s a specially formulated no-rinse cleaner that allows you to just spray and mop.

 

Where can I buy Bruce Hardwood & Laminate floor Cleaner?

Find a store near you.

 

What type of rugs can I use?

All types of rugs are fine for Bruce laminate. Just be sure the mat is colorfast and non-staining.

 

Should I use chair protectors with my laminate floor?

You may use felt floor protectors on chairs and other furniture. As a general rule of thumb, the heavier the item, the wider the floor protector should be.

 

If I damage my floor, can it be repaired?

While Bruce Laminate flooring is very durable, no floor is indestructible. You can easily make minor nicks or scratches disappear with the correct color-matched Laminate Floor Touch-Up Kit. Look for it at flooring retailers. For major repairs, we suggest you contact a professional as plank replacement is a possibility.

 

Can laminate flooring be refinished/polished/waxed/coated?

No, there is no need to refinish, polish, wax, or coat your laminate floor to maintain its natural beauty.

For more information about hardwood and laminate floors, visit http://www.wfca.org.

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