FAQ / Support Center
Engineered wood flooring is the best choice when installing below grade (in a basement) or over a concrete slab. However, traditional 3/4″ thick solid wood floor works great above grade, and in some cases may be used on concrete slabs (not in a basement) when glued down and used with appropriate moisture barriers. (To be sure you can glue your floor to concrete, verify with the flooring manufacturer and glue manufacturer.) Solid wood flooring should not be installed over radiant heat systems, but many engineered floors are compatible with radiant heat.
There is no rule that you can’t. However, marble and limestone are more easily scratched than granite. The calcium carbonate structure of marble, limestone, and travertine is highly vulnerable to most household acids such as vinegar, mustard, ketchup, citrus and a host of other food related products. These acidic substances cause a chemical reaction that often damages the polished finish. However, consumers often find marble used in the kitchen as pastry slabs. It’s perfectly smooth, cool surface is ideal for rolling out dough and pie crusts.
A pre-finished floating floor isn’t directly attached to the subfloor. It has a foam underlayment on top of the subfloor to absorb sound and protect against moisture; the hardwood strips or planks are then laid on top. The flooring is glued or locked together with tongue and groove joints and the entire floor “floats” above the subfloor. It’s easy to install on nearly any surface. The “cushy” feeling you may sometimes feel with floating floors can be reduced or eliminated by ensuring your subfloor is as flat as possible using floor leveling products and a quality underlayment.
Since wood flooring expands and contracts seasonally, be sure to always leave an expansion gap around the perimeter of the floor following the manufacturers installation instructions. (This gap is hidden by baseboard and base shoe and allows the floor to move without creating high spots or buckling).
Porcelain and ceramic tile is resistant to germs and bacteria and it is also among the easiest of flooring materials to clean. You can clean your porcelain tile with a damp sponge mop. A solution of 1/4 cup of white vinegar to 2 gallons of water works best- allowing time for drying. You can also sweep or vacuum. Although the glaze of a tile is impervious, it is still possible for its surface to discolor from certain chemicals.
Yes. Lower flooring grades will have a larger number of character markings and color variations, but you can expect some color variation in all grades. Keep in mind that certain light stain colors can emphasize color variation, while darker stains can help to reduce the appearance of color variation.
Due to the available sizes of sheet material, a “standard” countertop is typically a solid color, is 24? deep, has a 4? set-on backsplash, a simple 1 2? edge, and a top mount sink and/or cooktop cutout.
It is important to understand that even though “standard” counters are substantially less expensive that an “upgraded” counter, the same level of craftsmanship should be apparent on both types of counters.
Slabs are almost always sold intact. Buying random slabs would be analogous to buying fabric remnants. Like a tailor, your fabricator buys the raw material and bases his price on the complete fabrication and installation of your job. The number of slabs and the amount of resulting waste is determined by the size and configuration of your countertop. The fabricator will lay out your job in a way that minimizes waste and maximizes the natural beauty of the material you selected.
From the time you place the order, it generally takes about 3 weeks to have a finished counter. If we are installing your product, we prefer to make the template (countertop pattern) 7 – 10 days prior to the installation date.
All wood flooring is more or less photosensitive, and some species are very sensitive to ultra-violet light. It’s important to prevent the sun’s rays from discoloring your floor by shielding it against direct sunlight. However, it’s normal for hardwood floors exposed to even indirect sunlight to darken or lighten after a while, so for consistency, rotate rugs and furniture to equal out the amount of sunlight exposure and variances will eventually fade away.
Yes, hardwood floors can last for generations; real estate agents agree homes with wood floors sell faster and for higher prices.
A standard counter typically costs substantially less in solid surface material. Quartz, Dekton and granite have about the same price range and are generally more expensive than a solid surface counter.
We offer many products and techniques that will bring your floor back to its original appearance; just follow the directions on the product label and your floor’s beauty will reappear. You can also hire a flooring professional to come in and screen off the top coat of finish with a buffer, and apply a new coat of finish which will eliminate surface scratches and restore the original shine and luster of your hardwood floor.
High impact blows can harm granite, especially to the corners and edges. Its crystalline structure makes it somewhat vulnerable to chipping from the blunt force of very hard objects. Products such a oil, coffee, juice, and wine can cause stains or discoloration on unsealed granite. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect granite under normal circumstances.
In the event that your granite does become damaged, Premier Countertops offers a repair service. We also offer a 15 year granite sealer to preemptively protects your surface for years to come.
Within the first 12 – 18 months of installation of a stone floor, especially filled and honed travertine, you can expect 5 – 10% of the floor, especially in high traffic areas, to experience exposure of new holes. This occurs due to the nature of travertine itself; a capillary filled stone. When the tiles go along the filling line, the machine can only fill the holes that are visible at that time. However, there are other holes/pores lurking just below a razor thin surface of stone just waiting for that first rubber heel, chair, etc. to expose them. As mentioned prior, you will notice this most frequently and visibly in high traffic areas. This is not a defect of the stone. It is a normal and expected occurrence with travertine.
To remedy this issue, it is best to wait at least 12 months, for most of the shallow pores to expose themselves and begin to fill the exposed holes/pores. At this time, clean out any loose debris in the exposed area – do not dig or stick sharp instruments into the hole as that would exaggerate the problem and could possibly open up more holes than would not occur normally with natural foot traffic. Make sure the area around the void to be repaired is sealed well as to not allow any new grout to adhere to the stone’s surface. Fill the holes with regular sanded or epoxy grout (whatever color is deemed appropriate to match the stone). After this application is fully completed, make sure these newly grouted areas are sealed with any regular non-solvent based stone sealer.
Granite’s crystalline structure always has tiny pits and small spaces between the various mineral crystals. Such pits are not readily apparent on large pieces because the overall appearance is polished and mirror like. Additionally, some granite slabs have natural fissures and cracks that are not necessarily structural defects. These fissures occur naturally and are the result of the immense heat and pressure which originally formed the granite.
Please be aware that slate is a natural stone. Because of this, slate (as well as all natural stone) will have variance from piece to piece and from lot to lot. Different quarries, even though mined from the same part of a certain Country, will have high variation.
This is the natural beauty of the product.
Note that if you are trying to add to a slate job that was installed previously, it maybe difficult to get the same tones in any new batch of slate purchased.
Also note that slate is a sedimentary rock which is composed of compressed layers of stone. It is a natural occurrence of slate to peel or slake especially in freeze thaw areas. It is not recommended to allow water to stand on natural slate as it may cause the slate to rust due to the natural mineral components within the stone. It is highly recommended to place a good quality sealer on all slate products.
Grading refers to where the soil, or ground, meets your house. Basements, even walkout basements, are always considered below grade since at least one wall is below ground level. Your home’s first floor sits at ground level (except for a walk-out basement) and is considered “on grade.” Any floors above ground level are “above grade.” It is very important you know the grade level of the floor(s) you want to install. Engineered flooring is designed to work at any grade level, and traditional 3/4″ solid flooring is only for “on grade’ or “above grade.”
The short answer is Brazilian Walnut with a Janka rating of 3680. The long answer is, all hardwood flooring is very dependable and resilient, and the quality of the finish on top of the floor is the most important factor in durability. Different species do have different hardness ratings. Although species do have different hardness scales, you would not notice any appreciable differences from one to another in your wood floor under normal wear.
While both stones are quarried from the earth, granite and marble (and marble’s cousins: limestone, onyx and travertine) are very different. Granite is made of crystallized minerals formed deep in the earth’s mantle at extremely high temperatures. It is characteristically very hard and highly stain and heat resistant.
Marble starts out as sediment, animal skeletons, shells, plant matter, and silt at the bottom of bodies of water. After millions of years, this solidifies into stone. Since its main component is calcium, marble is softer and less resistant than granite to acids such as vinegar and citrus beverages.
As with any natural stone, certain exposure to heat may cause cracks due to thermal shock. We do recommend that you always place them on a trivet or cutting board to protect your countertop. (Review your electric appliance manual as a reference.)
Solid surface, quartz, granite and Dekton are all mid to high-end countertop materials. Typically, individuals interested in a specific look that is only available with a specific material will not necessarily be happy with a compromise. Each material has its advantages. However, there is no such thing as a perfect counter material. View each product page and choose the material that is right for your lifestyle.
Underlayment refers to the material placed between the subfloor and new floor.
It serves many purposes depending on the quality of the material. The primary purpose is to provide a moisture barrier. Some underlayments can also provide an acoustical barrier to make the new floor quieter when walked on especially in multi-level homes. Underlayment should be used with every floor, and always according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Etching happens when acid comes in contact with a marble, limestone or unsealed granite surface. This causes a chemical reaction, which damages the polish and roughens the surface. Green marbles, such as the ‘jades” from China are resistant to etching, and granite is impervious to most common household acids.
Compare your furnishings with hardwoods’ natural colors, distinctive grain patterns and visual effects such as knots and mineral streaks; also consider texture, grain, cut and hardness (density) of different species – high household traffic may require a denser species or a hand-scraped texture. If you like, our flooring experts will be happy to help guide you through the selection process to create your perfect floor.
Yes. Bacteria, dust, dirt and allergens cannot cling to wood flooring as they do in other flooring options; simply dustmop, sweep, or vacuum regularly and your wood floors stay pollutant free.
Although it should look similar, each hardwood tree differs from others and even wood from the same tree can show variance. Wood is a 100% organic material shaped by nature. No trees or boards are alike, and variation should be expected and appreciated as nature’s unique signature.
This refers to allowing your new solid wood flooring to adjust to your home’s average temperature and humidity levels in the room where it will be installed. Acclimation is a critical step in the installation process, and if skipped, can result in damage to flooring after it has been installed-damage that would not be covered under warranty. If, for example, you live in an area with high temperature and humidity swings, you probably would need to install humidity controls to help maintain a consistent environment for your wood flooring. There is no set time period for solid flooring to acclimate to your home. It is important for the installer to have a good quality wood moisture meter to be able to measure the moisture in the wood and know when it has reached equilibrium with the home.
Yes, many churches, schools and auditoriums request wood flooring for its warmth, comfort and acoustic benefits. Protection from footfall noise can be achieved by using an underlayment that also serves as an acoustic barrier. A properly installed floor over a good quality subfloor and underlayment should not squeak excessively when walked on.
Surface craftsmen use many of the same disciplines as wood craftsmen. The materials are crafted using similar methods and tools of the trade are common to many professional wood shop environments. While each surface manufacturer supplies relatively consistent high quality sheet goods, a surface application is only as good as the craftsman who built it.
Evidence of master craftsmanship can be seen in the details:
Check the seams. Solid surface materials are designed to be seamed together with virtually invisible seams. With the exception of certain textures, colors, and high polish finishes, seams should be nearly invisible to the naked eye. Seams that are obvious or separated are unacceptable.
Check the silicone. Set-on backsplashes and undermount sink finishes require the installer to rely on matching silicone to seal seams and conceal minor irregularities. However, under all circumstances, silicone should be used discreetly and sparingly. Excess silicone is often evidence of an inexperienced installer.
Check the edge. The edge overhang should be consistent throughout the perimeter of the counter.
Check the fit. Surface counters are most appropriately measured using a template. This insures that your counter will fit properly and will accommodate any imperfections in your walls, cabinets, or appliances. A sloppy fit generally indicates sloppy craftsmanship.
Stainless and cast iron are the most common sinks, but we have virtually any kind you like! Most of our customers choose an under-mount application for ease of cleaning debris into the sink. Solid surface sinks are also available for solid surface countertops and we offer Kohler and Blanco sinks. View the Sink, Hardware and Backsplash product page for more information.
Yes! It is important to understand that while regular sealing is important, too much sealer can become a problem. Once a week or even once a month sealing can begin to build up in your granite material and begin to make the granite surface appear cloudy and dull. If this build up occurs we do recommend that you contact a stone restoration specialist to come out and clean and reseal your granite professionally.
We have about 90% of all solid surface and quartz samples. We encourage you to stop by our showroom for FREE samples. Each product page has links to our manufacturers’ websites were you can view their color selections.
All samples are FREE, just stop by our showroom.
All types of stone are porous to varying degrees and will absorb stains. It is important to use a penetrating sealer to prevent stains from oil, wine, or other liquids soaking into the surface.
No, all warranties are not the same and we encourage you to read the manufacturer’s warranty before you make your decision. Granite does not come with any warranty past the initial one year Premier Countertops craftsmanship warranty.
No. You should never install solid hardwood flooring below grade; however, it is possible to install engineered hardwood floors below grade either by gluing down or floating over the concrete.
No. Trees are a natural, renewable resource that can be continually harvested and replanted without serious environmental impact.
- Wood floors last generations making replacement a nonissue
- Wood floors use less water and energy to produce than other flooring options
- Average annual net growth for hardwoods is greater than average annual harvesting
- Indoor air quality is better with wood floors
- Trees are carbon neutral and produce oxygen while storing carbon during lifecycles
- At the end of its extended service life, wood flooring can be burned as fuel or recycled
Solid Surface comes with a standard “matte” finish. “Satin” and “polished” finishes are available for an additional charge.
Quartz and granite come with a standard “polished” finish. “Honed” and “leather” finishes are available with some brands and colors for an additional charge.
Make sure you purchase a Non-Toxic sealer. The sealer should say on the bottle that it is safe for food preparation areas. If it doesn’t, investigate further and please give us a call.
Solid surface is comprised of acrylic material with aluminum trihydrate. This creates a very durable, non-porous surface.
Quartz consists of approximately 80% natural quartz crystals, suspended in a polymer compressed under extreme pressure. The result is a non-porous surface that is extremely scratch resistant.
Granite is a 100% natural product mined straight from the earth. It is mined in large blocks, cut into slabs, polished, and delivered to our facility for manufacture into a countertop.
Dekton is a surface material made of ultra-compacted glass, porcelain, and quartz. This ultra-compaction contributes to the material’s low porosity, making it low-maintenance and a life-long product.
Drano, Liquid Plumr, oven cleaners and floor strippers will harm quartz surfaces. Do NOT use these or any other harsh chemicals on your surface.
We recommend that you seal your stone countertops anywhere from every 6 months to once a year. The frequency of sealing is typically based on the type of stone you have selected and the amount of traffic in the kitchen.
For everyday cleaning there are a number of products available on the market specifically designed for natural stone (such as Black Diamond brand stone cleaners), or a solution of 2 parts water to 1 part Simple Green works well. A very simple method is to use warm soapy water and wipe the entire counter surface on a daily basis. You do want to avoid common household cleaners that have a bleach or ammonia base. These cleaners can damage your sealer and leave your counters more susceptible to stains.
Corian is just one of many solid surface materials available. While it is the most well known brand, there are many excellent brands available. View the solid surface product page for more information.
Yes. Bevels are added to the sides of the board to soften the edge and help boards line up next to each other with even thickness for easier installation and structural stability. Bevels help to prevent the edges of the flooring finish being crushed when the flooring expands. This is why there are very few square edged prefinished floors. Some prefinished floors have bevels on all four sides of the board, and some only on the two long sides.
There are three main ways to install wood flooring: glue down, nail down and floating. The method you choose should depend on where the floor is being installed, and over what type of subfloor. Traditional 3/4″ thick solid wood floors can be nailed or glued down over plywood, or glued down over concrete (not in a basement). Engineered wood floors can usually be nailed, glued, or floated over plywood or concrete, above or below grade.
Seasonal expansion and contraction of flooring boards is considered normal. There is more humidity during the summer months and your floor soaks it up causing it to expand. Winter months are usually less humid and the floor dries out resulting in gaps between boards. While considered normal, you can minimize expansion and contraction by keeping the humidity in your home between 35 and 55% by using an air conditioner, humidifier or dehumidifier.
Counters are only limited by your creativity and budget. Features such as coved backsplashes, full-height backsplashes, extra-wide peninsulas, seamed-in and undermount sinks, color lines, inlays, sandblasting, and large edge profiles are all available at additional charge.
With proper care and maintenance, solid wood floors can last for hundreds of years and they will remain looking beautiful for generations. They can be rejuvenated with sanding and refinishing every 10 – 15 years to retain their original condition and value.
Although we never recommend placing hot pots or pans directly on your countertop surface, Granite and Dekton are able to withstand those high temperatures without burning, scorching or cracking. You’ll never have to worry about your Crock Pots degrading the quality of your surface. Quartz and solid surface are also heat resistant, but are not heat proof.
Although all products can withstand high heat, we recommend using a hot pad or trivet under pots and pans.
Actually, yes! Wood flooring can handle heavy traffic and the occasional spill while retaining its luster and beauty. Our finishes are designed to more than hold their own against heavy residential and commercial foot traffic. We do suggest using mats in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room, and walk-off mats at all home entrances to protect against spills and tracking in dirt or other objects that could scratch the floor. If spills do occur, do not let them remain on your floor, just wipe up with a clean cloth or dry mop.
Pre-finished: advantages are faster and easier installation, minimal disruption to your home, fast cleanup time and usually less expensive labor costs because sanding, staining and coating are performed in the factory. Also, you usually get an extended warranty with prefinished flooring, and finish that is very scratch resistant.
Unfinished: Advantages are availability of more wood species, widths and cuts that can be matched to existing wood floors. Also, unfinished flooring allows for custom onsite sanding, staining and coating with a protective sealant after installation to achieve a beautiful unique floor.