FAQ

Installation
About wood flooring
Care & support
Can I expect my floor to have natural color and grain variations?
As a natural product made from wood timber, all grades of hardwood flooring will have color variations. Natural wood characteristics such as pinholes, knots, and mineral streaks are more common in some flooring lines than others.
Can I install hardwood over a radiant heat system?
Mullican Flooring follows the guidelines established by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), which allows the installation of engineered White Oak or Red Oak hardwood flooring.
Can I use tape, e.g., blue painter’s tape, frog tape, etc., on my hardwood flooring?
Tape of any kind should not be applied directly to hardwood flooring. The adhesive used on the tape can cause finish issues, peel off parts of the finish, or leave behind a sticky residue. If tape has been used and you are experiencing issues, you must reach out to the tape manufacturer to determine how to correct the issues you are experiencing. We do not manufacture tape and are unable to provide information on how to remove residue or correct issues that arise from using tape.
Do I need to use a moisture inhibiter or underlayment under my flooring?
Mullican Flooring recommends that, for nail or staple-down methods, a vapor inhibitor of 15-pound felt paper, Mullican Moisture Mat, or Aquabar® B be placed between the solid or engineered hardwood flooring and the wood subfloor to help prevent moisture from reaching the floor.  

If an engineered floor is installed with a floating method, a foam underlayment designed for hardwood flooring should cover the subfloor. If installing over concrete, also install a 6-mil poly film first (unless the underlayment you are using includes a 6-mil poly layer).

No underlayment is required if an engineered floor is glued down. 
How much expansion space should I leave around walls and vertical obstructions?
Leave a gap equal to the thickness of the flooring next to any walls and vertical obstructions. For example, a 3/8-inch-thick floor would require a 3/8-inch space between the flooring and the edges of the room or any vertical obstructions. This will allow the floor to naturally expand and contract with the seasons without causing any problems.
What type of molding or transition pieces will I need?
Mullican Flooring offers a line of moldings and transition pieces to complement our many flooring species and colors. When installing prefinished moldings, pre-select flooring pieces that complement the transitions and moldings you have picked out to place next to those moldings and transitions. Hardwood flooring will have color variations, and this will ensure the flooring installed against the molding complements the transition well. Moldings vary based on their intended use.
When ordering hardwood flooring, how much extra is needed to allow for waste?
Mullican Flooring recommends adding 7 to 12 percent for waste and cuts, depending on the skill level of the installer and the layout of the space. For example, a diagonal installation will result in more waste than a traditional installation. Some retailers may allow the return of unopened boxes of product.
Why is it important to mix planks from multiple boxes during installation?
All hardwood flooring will have color variations. Different boxes of the same species can vary noticeably in color and grain. By mixing the pieces from multiple boxes during installation, the shade variations across the entire floor will blend and appear random.
How does moisture affect hardwood flooring?
Excessive moisture causes hardwood floors to expand, and insufficient moisture causes hardwood floors to contract. While hardwood flooring will naturally expand and contract as the seasons change, non-ideal moisture conditions can lead to undesirable changes to the floor, such as cupping, buckling, gapping, or cracking. 

Before installation, the moisture content of the flooring and the subflooring should be checked, making sure they meet manufacturer recommendations, and the flooring should be acclimated to the job site. Once the flooring has been installed, the humidity level inside the building should be kept within the recommended range of 35-55 percent, and the temperature should be kept between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
What is the difference between sliced, sawn, and rotary-cut engineered floors?
Sawn engineered floors are made with a thicker wear layer. Depending on the way they are cut from the log, they can have up to three distinctive grain patterns on each plank: the wide grain patterns achieved from plainsawn cuts, the narrower grain patterns achieved from quartersawn cuts, and the tightest grain patterns achieved from riftsawn cuts. 

Sliced engineered floors are cut in the same horizontal or vertical directions as sawn engineered floors, offering a similar visual appearance. Rotary-cut engineered floors are made with a veneer that has been peeled from the outside of a spinning log. Because of the difference in technique, rotary-cut veneers often have more random grain variations.
What is the difference between solid and engineered flooring?
Solid and engineered flooring are two very different types of wood flooring. 

Solid hardwood flooring is cut from a single piece of lumber—it’s solid all the way through. At 3/4-inch thick, solid flooring allows homeowners to strip, sand, and re-stain the planks several times without issue. Since solid flooring is cut from natural lumber with unique grain patterns, it can expand more dramatically in size and shape under excessive moisture conditions. As a result, solid hardwood must be nailed down, and it is not recommended for areas of the home with high moisture content, such as the bath and basement.

Engineered hardwood flooring is produced by bonding five to nine layers of hardwood in a cross-grain configuration. As a result, engineered flooring is more stable and less likely to be affected by humidity changes than solid hardwood flooring. Engineered flooring can be installed with staple-down, glue-down, and floating methods on all levels, including the basement.
What is the difference between unfinished and prefinished flooring?
Unfinished hardwood strips or planks have not been stained or sealed at the factory. As a result, all the sanding, staining, and finishing must be done on the job site. You can select your own finish and stain to customize your flooring, but additional job site work is needed to seal the floor before use.

Prefinished flooring is stained and sealed by the manufacturer. The aluminum oxide coating on a factory-finished floor provides a stronger, and generally more durable surface.
What is the Janka Rating System?
The Janka Rating System has become the hardwood flooring industry’s standard for determining whether a particular wood species is suitable for flooring. Standardized in 1927 by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Janka Rating System indicates a wood’s relative hardness.

Testing is conducted by measuring the force required to embed a .444-inch steel ball to half its diameter into a wood sample, a reliable method for assessing the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear. Higher ratings are assigned to harder woods, which tend to be more durable than softer woods.

Janka Hardness Chart
Can I apply polyurethane to my prefinished floor?
Applying an extra coat of polyurethane to prefinished floors not only voids the product warranty but also can result in an uneven finish.
Can I buy directly from Mullican Flooring?
Mullican Flooring sells its products via a network of 40 distributors and 5,000 retail stores across the United States and Canada.

Use our Dealer Locator tool to find a dealer near you. If a dealer is not listed in your area, please contact us, and we will put you in touch with the distributor for your area.
Can I use a steam cleaner on my hardwood flooring?
Steam cleaners should never be used on a hardwood floor; they can damage the product and void the warranty. Steam mops create drastic temperature and moisture changes that may warp the wood or lift the finish.
Can my engineered floors be refinished?
Yes, they can be refinished professionally. Depending on the thickness of the wear layer or veneer, your options may be to either sand & finish or pad & recoat. NWFA guidelines dictate that the minimum thickness for sanding & refinishing is a 2.5mm veneer, but there is no minimum wear layer required for a pad & recoat.  

Sanding & refinishing involves sanding the top part of the wear layer to even out any scratches and discoloration, then refinishing the floors. Padding & recoating involves abrading the current finish to then bond a new layer of finish onto the floors. A pad & recoat cannot be done if any wax products, silicon cleaners, or oil soaps were used on the floors, as they will prevent the new layer of finish from bonding. For either method of refinishing, follow all directions of the finish manufacturer.

Once the flooring has been altered, the person who altered it assumes the finish warranty. If you are using a professional contractor, ask what warranty they might provide.
How do I find a stain match for my Mullican Flooring product?
Our stains are commercially mixed, but close matches can be obtained by calling 1-800-441-9695 and selecting option three to find a paint store in your area that can mix a stain to match a Mullican Flooring product.

For the best results, make sure you are staining a species of wood that is identical to your flooring product. When applying the stain, apply a small amount to a test area before staining the entire area. The color will vary by how much stain is applied to the wood, and not all species absorb stain in the same manner.

Learn more about stains and touch-ups.
How do I remove glue left on my floor from the installation process?
Please contact the manufacturer of the glue to determine the safest way to remove the product from your floors.
I used an oil-based cleaner. How do I get the original shine back to my floors?
Please contact the manufacturer of the cleaner to learn how the cleaner can be safely removed from your floors.
What can I do to repair small scuffs, chips, and dents?
For scuff marks on polyurethane floors, use an eraser to remove them. For small dents and chips, use a stain marker to fill in any gaps in the finish. See our touch-ups page for more information.  
What should I use to clean my floor?
Mullican Flooring has developed guidelines and recommendations for proper floor care. It is important to follow the recommendations of the flooring manufacturer because failure to do so may void the product’s warranty. Please note, wood floors should never be wet mopped.
Why is the floor beneath my rug lighter than the exposed floor?
All wood species are light sensitive, some more so than others. This means that wood flooring will lighten or darken over time with UV exposure. Depending on the species, it may take six months to a year for floors to reach their full, rich color. To eliminate tone differences, rotate rugs and furniture periodically so each area of the floor gets equal amounts of sun exposure. Eventually, any variations in color tones will fade away.

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