General

1.What’s the difference between laminate, luxury vinyl and vinyl composite core floors?

Laminate, luxury vinyl and vinyl composite core are all categories of manufactured flooring.

Laminates are a hard surface flooring manufactured from several layers of material fused together with heat and pressure to form rigid, fixed size boards. The primary material used is medium or high density fiberboard (MDF or HDF) which forms the core.

Luxury vinyl is a ‘soft surface’ flooring. Good quality products like Evoke are made from real vinyl; some inferior brands may use composite or filler material. They’re also made in fixed size tiles or boards, but they are flexible and come in a variety of installation options.

Vinyl Composite Core, or VCC for short, is a new comer to the manufactured flooring world. VCC combines the very best features of both laminate and luxury vinyl. The boards are rigid planks with a click together joint system like laminate, but they’re constructed from a water-resistant vinyl composite material, which gives them the ‘install it anywhere’ flexibility of vinyl flooring.

A common feature of nearly all laminate, luxury vinyl and vinyl composite core floors is that they have the appearance of being made from wood, stone or other natural material.

2.How do I know which is the better choice for my application?

If you’re flooring a ‘wet room’ like a laundry area or bathroom, luxury vinyl or vinyl composite core are the better choices. Laminates aren’t recommended for use in wet areas. 

Otherwise, it’s largely a matter of personal preference based on appearance and ‘feel’ – do you prefer a soft or hard surface? All three products have similar wear, durability and performance characteristics. If in doubt, ask your dealer for input. 

3.Are these products less susceptible to pet damage than hardwood floors?

Most of the damage pets cause to hardwood flooring is fine scratches in the finish, which can give the surface of the floor a dulled or etched appearance. Evoke floors have a finish layer similar to that of hardwood floors and they are susceptible to the same type of damage. And while these finishes are ‘scratch-resistant’, they’re not scratch-proof.

Larger pets’ nails can cause deeper gouges or indents in wood flooring; that is less of an issue with laminate, luxury vinyl and vinyl composte core floors as they have greater impact resistance than wood.  

4.What does FloorScore certification mean?

FloorScore certification indicates that the product has been tested and complies with indoor air quality emission requirements adopted in California, one of North America’s strictest air quality programs.  In other words, floor coverings bearing the FloorScore seal have been tested and proven to contribute to cleaner, healthier indoor air through lower emissions of VOC’s. 

5.What does FSC Certified mean?

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC sets high standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way.  Products that have FSC Certification have been manufactured in accordance with FSC guidelines for sustainable forestry. 

Several Evoke Laminate products qualify for FSC certification because the HDF core which forms the bulk of the products’ composition is a wood-based material produced to FSC standards.  

6.What is an AC rating?

An AC rating refers to how suitable a product is for use in a commercial environment.  A rating of AC3 means the product is suitable for a light commercial application like an office or a small retail space.  An AC5 rating means the flooring is durable enough for a medium industrial use, like a care home or light manufacturing facility.  

Laminates

7.Is there a limit to how large an area laminate flooring can be installed in?

Generally speaking, laminates should not be installed in an area larger than 30’ by 30’.  In installations larger than this it is recommended an ‘expansion’ space be incorporated into the floor and covered with a molding.  

8.Can it be installed over radiant heat?

Yes, all Evoke floors are approved for use over radiant heat.  Refer to the installation guide for special instructions and use of the floors over radiant heat systems. 

9.Can laminate floors be damaged by moisture?

Yes.  The principal component of a laminate floor is the HDF core which, like any wood-based material, can absorb moisture and deform.  Evoke laminate floors all use premium grade HDF with very low absorption rates, which means they have a certain measure of moisture resistance, but as a general rule laminate floors should not be exposed to moisture. 

10.Your floors come in different thicknesses. Is thicker better?

No, the thickness of a laminate floor is not an indicator of quality.  A thicker HDF layer is often used in products that have a deep or aggressive surface treatment such as ‘hand-scraping’, where the core needs to be thick enough to accommodate the manufacturing of the surface effects.  As far as performance, a thin, good quality HDF core will perform just as well as a thick one. 

11.Do I need to install an underlay?

Most Evoke Laminate floors have an integral underlay built-in to the underside of every board.  These products require no additional underlay.

Some products (primarily the Au Naturel collection) do not have an integral underlay so one must be installed prior to installing the floor.

If a vapor barrier is required for the installation, it must be installed even if the floor has integral underlay.  For more information, consult the installation instructions. 

12.Can I install the floor myself?

In most cases, yes.  A big attraction of laminate floors is that they require no special tools or skills and can be installed by any careful, capable homeowner.   Be sure to follow the installation instructions and pay special attention to preparing and leveling the subfloor; that is the ‘trade secret’ to a good installation. 

13.How do I clean the floor?

Regular sweeping and vacuuming are sufficient to keep the floor clean.  For a more thorough cleaning, use a product recommended for laminate flooring.  We recommend the Therapy by Kentwood floor care system, available at your Evoke dealer.

Luxury Vinyl

14.Which installation method should I choose?

It depends on many factors: the type of traffic, the location, installation requirements, and more.  Discuss with your Evoke dealer and they can help you choose the style best for your application. 

15.Is there a limit to how large an area luxury vinyl flooring can be installed in?

If using Stick or Quick products, there is no limit to the size of area that can be installed. 

If using a Click product, the floor should not be installed in an area larger than 55’ by 55’.  In installations larger than this it is recommended an ‘expansion’ seam be incorporated into the floor and covered with a molding.  

16.Can it be installed over radiant heat?

Yes, all Evoke floors are approved for use over radiant heat.  Refer to the installation guide for special instructions and use of the floors over radiant heat systems. 

17.Can I install the floor myself?

With Click and Quick product, probably. These require no special tools or skills and can be installed by any careful, capable homeowner.   Be sure to follow the installation instructions and pay special attention to preparing and leveling the subfloor; that is the ‘trade secret’ to a good installation.

Stick products, which are glued down to the subfloor, should be installed by a professional flooring installer.  

18.Can luxury vinyl floors be damaged by moisture?

This is a bit complicated.

Luxury vinyl planks (or tiles) are, in themselves, completely water-proof and cannot be damaged by exposure to moisture.  For that reason they are an excellent choice for laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens and other areas where moisture is around. 

However, when LV is installed over concrete, there is a possibility that moisture under the floor – whether it seeps down from above or is emitted from the slab – can react with chemicals in the concrete to create high levels of alkali, which can degrade the vinyl. 

In other words, simple moisture can’t affect the LV, but when it comes into contact with concrete, it can give rise to a problem.

For this reason, installations over concrete should always include moisture testing and moisture control measures for the slab.  Installations in ‘wet rooms’ should also include measures to ensure that the seams and perimeter of the floor are well sealed to prevent moisture getting under the luxury vinyl onto subfloor below. 

19.Do they get slippery when wet?

Evoke luxury vinyl floors have a textured surface which helps reduce slipperiness when wet. There is also a slip resistance factor in the polyurethane finish.  Grease or other contaminants may also contribute to making the surface slippery. For the slip resistance of a particular style, please consult your Evoke dealer. 

20.Can I install this product in a cabin or cottage that is only used seasonally?

Yes, with certain cautions.  Luxury vinyl will expand and contract slightly when exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations.  Click and Quick style products are both ‘floating’ installations and can accommodate some movement.  If using a Stick product, ask the installer to use an epoxy adhesive, which performs better in a situation where there may be big temperature variations. 

21.Can I install luxury vinyl directly over plywood or OSB?

Yes, provided it meets the specifications required for subfloor preparation. Bear in mind that plywood and OSB substrates tend to get ‘roughed up’ during construction, and any imperfections in the surface will eventually telegraph through to the surface of the floor.  Consider using a surface preparation product to provide a smooth surface on which to install the luxury vinyl. 

22.Can I install luxury vinyl directly over particleboard?

Yes, but the manufacturer of the particle board must warrant that it will not stain the flooring.  Some older styles of particleboard tended to emit a stain that bled through into the flooring above.  

23.Will high levels of sunlight discolour or fade the flooring?

Yes.  The finish on Evoke Luxury Vinyl floors contains a UV inhibitor to help minimize the effects of exposure to sunlight but fading may occur over time.  To reduce fading, use shades or blinds to minimize the floor’s exposure to direct sunlight.

24.Can I use rubber mats on the luxury vinyl floor?

Rubber-backed or latex-backed mats should not be used directly on a luxury vinyl floor unless they are marked “colorfast” by the mat manufacturer.   Many of these products contain chemicals in the non-slip backing which can permanently stain the floor.

25.Can I turn some of the planks around to make a more varied appearance in the floor?

Yes.  Stick and Quick products can be ‘reverse laid’ easily.  To reverse lay Click products you will need a Board Replacement and Inlay Kit, available from your Evoke dealer.   

Vinyl Composite Core

26.Is there a limit to how large an area Vinyl Composite Core flooring can be installed?

Generally speaking, vinyl composite core flooring should not be installed in an area larger than 40’ by 40’.  In installations larger than this, it is recommended that an ‘expansion’ space be incorporated into the floor and covered with a molding.  

27.Do I need to install an underlay?

Currently, all Evoke Vinyl Composite Core floors have an integral underlay attached to the underside of every board. These products require no additional underlay.

28.Can it be installed over radiant heat?

Yes, all Evoke floors are approved for use over radiant heat. Refer to the installation guide for special instructions and use of the floors over radiant heat systems.

29.How do I clean the floor?

Regular sweeping and vacuuming are sufficient to keep the floor clean.  For a more thorough cleaning, use a product recommended for vinyl flooring.  We recommend the Therapy by Kentwood floor care system, available at your Evoke dealer.

30.Do they get slippery when wet?

Evoke vinyl composite core floors have a textured surface which helps reduce slipperiness when wet. Grease or other contaminants may also contribute to making the surface slippery. For the slip resistance of a particular style, please consult your Evoke dealer. 

31.Will high levels of sunlight discolour or fade the flooring?

Yes. The finish on Evoke Vinyl Composite Core floors contains a UV inhibitor to help minimize the effects of exposure to sunlight but fading may occur over time. To reduce fading, use shades or blinds to minimize the floor’s exposure to direct sunlight.

32.Can I use rubber mats on the Vinyl Composite Core floor?

Rubber-backed or latex-backed mats should not be used directly on a Vinyl Composite Core floors unless they are marked “colourfast” by the mat manufacturer. Many of these products contain chemicals in the non-slip backing which can permanently stain the floor.

33.Can I install Vinyl Composite Core directly over plywood or OSB?

Yes, provided it meets the specifications required for subfloor preparation. Bear in mind that plywood and OSB substrates tend to get ‘roughed up’ during construction, and any imperfections in the surface will eventually telegraph through to the surface of the floor. Consider using a surface preparation product to provide a smooth surface on which to install the Vinyl Composite Core. 

34.Can I install vinyl composite core directly over particleboard?

Yes, provided it meets the specifications required for subfloor preparation.