FAQ

Living - carpet
Carpet FAQ Karndean and Amtico FAQ Laminate Flooring FAQ Vinyl Flooring FAQ Wood Flooring FAQ

Carpet FAQ

I already have underlay. Do I need to buy new underlay?

Yes, underlay is important in prolonging the life of your new carpet. Underlay degrades continuously over time.

In high traffic areas, your old underlay would have begun to collapse. This reduces its protection of your carpet, causing ridges and furniture indentations that remain, and loss of under-foot comfort. Underlay also absorbs spills, dirt and dust, becoming unhygienic over time.

Want to find out more about our underlays? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss carpets and carpet underlays with one of our experts?

Do you require an empty room before you fit carpets or do you offer a room clearance service?

We are happy to do as much or as little as you need from us. We can remove and replace furniture, uplift and dispose of old carpets, trim and rehang doors or anything else needed. Our lowest installation prices are for an empty room without floor covering, but we do provide a fully bespoke service, so please speak to our consultant during your home visit.”

Want to find out more about booking a home visit? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss booking a free design consultation?

Is a wool carpet the best carpet to buy?

Wool is recognised as the best fibre for a carpet because it is soft and flexible, naturally flame retardant and retains its shape and appearance. Each time your step imprints on your carpet, you want the pile to return to form. Wool does this better than any other fibre. The luxurious soft feel of wool cannot be replicated, which is why wool carpets are the most popular.

Is a wool carpet the hardest wearing?

A 100 per cent wool carpet does not necessarily mean it is suitable for hard-wearing areas in your home; the natural softness feels lovely but it does need toughening for the job. Manufacturers mix a percentage of heavy-duty, man-made fibre into the carpet to produce the ultimate combination.

What does 80/20 mean?

For a hard-wearing carpet, the best combination of fibres for both durability and appearance attention is 80 per cent wool and 20 per cent man-made fibre, known as 80/20. It offers the best of both worlds; retaining wool’s soft, springy benefits supported with a bit of man-made toughness.

Want to find out more about wool carpets? Why not email our St Albans showroom, hello@123floor.co.uk, with any questions you may have regarding wool carpets?

I'm thinking of having underfloor heating installed. How does this affect my choice of carpet?

According to recent research carried out by the Carpet Foundation in conjunction with the Underfloor Heating Manufacturers Association (UHMA), it has been proved conclusively that most carpets can be used effectively over underfloor heating without impairing the performance of the system.

The research showed that a carpet and underlay with a combined thermal resistance of less than 2.5 togs allows the underfloor system to operate efficiently.

At 123floor we will help you put together the best combination of carpet and underlay to work in conjunction with your heating system. We always recommend consulting your heating system manufacturer to ensure that you have the best combination for the type of system you are having installed.

Want to know more about carpet and underfloor heating? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss carpets suitable for underfloor heating with one of our experts?

Do I need to take my own measurements?

During the early stages of choosing your new carpet, having a rough idea of measurement enables us to provide you with a guide price, but we will always want to visit your home to carry out a proper survey before any order is placed to take notes and full measurements of the area to be carpeted. This ensures that our fitting teams have all the information they need to carry out the installation, as well as ensuring your perfect carpet or floor covering is just that ... perfect!

Want to find out more about carpet? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss booking a free at home design consultation?

What does your Lifetime Fitting Guarantee include?

At 123floor we only use manufacturer-approved materials and accessories. These, when laid by our award-winning installation team, ensures that your new carpet is fitted right, first time. There are occasions where carpets need restretching, for example, if fitted on a cold day. As a carpet warms up, it can expand and become more pliable, and sometimes needs restretching. Where this happens, one of our team will return and do this, quickly and free of charge, at any time during the lifetime of your new carpet.”

Want to find out more? Why not email our St Albans showroom, hello@123floor.co.uk, to request a copy of our Lifetime Installation Guarantee?

How do I look after my new carpet?

How do you keep your new carpet looking good and extending its lifetime? Use a good quality doormat to reduce the amount of soiling from the outside, and vacuum your carpet regularly – to prevent dirt from matting the fibres. A quality upright vacuum cleaner, with brushes and/or a beater bar is highly recommended for all cut pile carpets. A suction-only vacuum cleaner works best for loop pile carpets as it prevents pilling.”

Want to ask us more questions about carpet care and maintenance? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 to find out more about our carpet cleaning and the carpet stain protection treatments we offer?

How can I remove a wine stain from my carpet?

Act quickly. The sooner a spill is dealt with, the greater the chance of avoiding a permanent stain.

Blot the surplus spillage or scrape off solids using a blunt spatula. Soak up as much as possible with a clean, absorbent cloth, kitchen towel or tissues.

Use clean, absorbent cloth, kitchen towel or tissues. Remember, always blot and never rub a stain or you could damage the carpet fibres. Work from outside of the spill inwards to avoid it spreading.

Use clean water and avoid cleaning agents if you can. Should you prefer to use a recognised carpet cleaning detergent, apply it directly to the cleaning cloth – never on to the carpet. Avoid ordinary detergents like washing-up liquid or soap.

Once applied, ensure the area where it has been used is thoroughly rinsed with clean water, but avoid excessive soaking of the carpet. After the stain has been removed, dry off with a hair dryer and gently brush the carpet pile back into place.

At 123floor we can offer a full stain protection process to all of our new carpets, as well as a spot cleaning and full cleaning service.

Want to know more about our stain protection or cleaning services? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss our carpet cleaning and stain protection services with one of our experts?

I have a pet. Is there any type of carpet I should avoid?

We all love our pets but not all carpets love our pets in the same way. A loop pile carpet is unsuitable for most pets, especially cats whose claws damage the loops. A cut-pile, stain-resistant, man-made fibre is the most suitable, but you know your pet better than we do, so ask in store or during your home visit and we will help you choose the right option.

Karndean and Amtico FAQ

How soon after installation can my new Karndean or Amtico vinyl tile flooring be washed?

Newly- fitted Karndean or Amtico vinyl tile flooring should not be washed for at least 24 hours to allow adhesives to cure properly, then use either Karndean or Amtico maintenance products for routine cleaning.

At 123Floor St Albans we stock all Amtico and Karndean maintenance and cleaning products in store.

Want to know more about Karndean or Amtico maintenance and care products? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss Karndean or Amtico care with one of our experts?

Can I use a steam mop or steam cleaner on vinyl tile flooring?

Steam cleaners are popular but they’re not what we’d recommend too frequently because the heat and steam can emulsify the Karndean or Amtico adhesive. With consistent use the Amtico or Karndean tiles may lift and become displaced. If you wish to use steam mops or steam cleaners, we recommend not using them more than once every 6 weeks or use them for an occasional deep clean.

To clean your floors easily, both Karndean and Amtico manufacture their own cleaning and maintenance products specifically designed to retain the original aesthetics of your floor, without causing damage. All Amtico and Karndean maintenance and cleaning products are stocked in store.

Want to know more about Karndean or Amtico maintenance and care products? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss Karndean or Amtico care with one of our experts?

Why is it important to use Karndean or Amtico cleaning and maintenance products?

Some household cleaning products contain harmful agents that can damage your new floor. To uphold both Amtico and Karndean manufacturer guarantees, it is recommended that you use either Amtico or Karndean products.

At 123Floor St Albans, we stock all Amtico and Karndean maintenance and cleaning products in store.

Want to know more about Karndean or Amtico maintenance and care products? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss Karndean or Amtico care with one of our experts?

What type of doormat should be used to protect either Karndean or Amtico flooring?

To avoid fine scratches, it is highly recommended that you use a good quality doormat in front of any external doors. Note though that certain types of rubber-backed mats may stain the floor. Only use mats with natural latex backing.

Want to know more about Karndean or Amtico maintenance and care products? Why not email our St Albans showroom, hello@123floor.co.uk, and ask us any questions you may have about Karndean or Amtico care?

How do I remove scratches?

It is recommended that all newly-installed Karndean or Amtico floors should be treated with either Karndean Refresh or Amtico floor dressing products. Both of these products add a protective layer over your new floor. Light scratches and scuffmarks on this protective layer can now easily be removed using Karndean Remove or Amtico Stripper. Finish the process by wiping off any remaining residue with a mop and rinsing thoroughly with clean water. You can then either reapply another coat of Karndean Refresh or Amtico Dressing. At 123floor we can arrange for this protective layer to be applied after installation and can carry out all subsequent reapplication for the lifetime of the floor.

Want to know more about Karndean or Amtico maintenance and care products? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss Karndean or Amtico care with one of our experts?

How should I protect my new Karndean or Amtico flooring against furniture?

Both manufacturers recommend putting felt pads under the feet and sharp edges of your furniture. By doing so, you can avoid table and chair legs scratching your new Amtico or Karndean floor. These pads are available for purchase in store as well as being found in both Amtico starter packs and Kardean maintenance kits; both available in store to purchase separately.

Want to know more about Karndean or Amtico maintenance and care products? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss Karndean or Amtico care with one of our experts?

I have noticed websites offering Karndean and Amtico online. Can I buy Karndean or Amtico online?

“It is NOT recommended as neither Karndean nor Amtico will honour any guarantee if the products have been purchased online rather than from one of their recommended authorised suppliers, such as 123floor.”

Want to know more about Karndean or Amtico Flooring? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss Karndean or Amtico with one of our experts?

Can I fit Karndean or Amtico design flooring myself?

Neither Karndean nor Amtico is a DIY product. To maintain guarantees, an authorised Karndean or Amtico supplier and installer must carry out your installation. At 123floor, every Karndean or Amtico floor we supply and install is covered by our unique industry-first Lifetime Installation Guarantee. If any 123floor floor installation occurs during your floor’s natural lifetime, we will return to rectify it, free of charge.

Want to find out more? Why not email our St Albans showroom, hello@123floor.co.uk, to request a copy of our Lifetime Installation Guarantee?

Is Karndean or Amtico suitable for underfloor heating?

Yes, because the thickness of both Amtico and Karndean tiles or planks is 3mm; perfect for rooms being considered for underfloor heating. We always recommend that you consult your heating system manufacturer to ensure that their system and the flooring solution are compatible.

Want to know more about Karndean or Amtico flooring suitable for underfloor heating? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss Karndean or Amtico flooring with one of our experts?

Can I use Karndean or Amtico next to a log burner or open fire?

Yes, but you must ensure that the vinyl flooring should not come in direct contact with the hot surface of the stove or fireplace. Both Karndean and Amtico will burn if flames or a spark lands on the vinyl.

Want to know more about Karndean or Amtico flooring? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss Karndean flooring or Amtico flooring with one of our experts?

Laminate Flooring FAQ

Is laminate scratch resistant?

Laminate floors have excellent scratch resistance; it has a tough melamine top layer. This top layer helps repel everyday business family wear and tear – but no flooring is indestructible. Some scratching may occur, for instance, when dragging heavy furniture over it. With any hardfloor we recommend attaching felt pads to the bottom of your furniture to help reduce the risk of marking. Our showroom stocks felt pads along with other care and maintenance products. Ask in store for more details.

Would you like to know more? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss Quickstep laminate flooring with one of our experts?

Is laminate cold underfoot?

Unlike stone, ceramic or porcelain tiles, laminate flooring is warm to the touch. Constructed mainly from wood and heavy-density fibreboard, in the case of Quickstep, laminate floors have the room’s ambient heat – a warm, comfortable and family-friendly floor covering solution.

Would you like to know more? Why not email our St Albans showroom, hello@123floor.co.uk, with any questions you may have regarding Quickstep laminate flooring?

Is laminate water resistant?

All laminate floors will withstand spillages, but care is needed to prevent water seeping between the planks. The most common cause of damage to laminate floors is the overuse of water with consistent washing. In time, water can get between each board, resulting in swelling and warping. When washing your laminate floor, make sure that the mop is fully wrung out before using it. Wipe up any excess surface water with a tea towel or something similar. By following these guidelines, your Quickstep laminate floor will remain looking beautiful for many, many years.

Would you like to know more? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss Quickstep laminate flooring with one of our experts?

Is laminate noisy underfoot?

All wood or laminate floors will be slightly noisier than a soft floor covering, such as carpet or vinyl. By using a quality underlay, with excellent sound-reducing properties, you can minimise keep noise. Ask in store for a demonstration.

Would you like to know more? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss Quickstep laminate flooring with one of our experts?

Where can I install laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is a perfect, maintenance-free flooring for almost any area of the home, but it needs care in areas vulnerable to moisture. Laminate flooring is fine for the kitchen if you clear up spillages quickly and check that appliances (washing machines or dishwashers) are not leaking.

In bathrooms, Quickstep Lagune offers a 10-year water resistance guarantee. Nevertheless, take additional care by using a quality bathmat and opening windows or using extractor fans to quickly reduce humidity. Note that wet laminate can be extremely slippery.

Would you like to know more? Why not email our St Albans showroom, hello@123floor.co.uk, with any questions you may have regarding Quickstep laminate flooring?

Can I install laminate over underfloor heating?

Yes, laminate flooring is suitable if you are considering underfloor heating. Always consult with your underfloor heating manufacturer before deciding on any floor covering to be completely sure about the particular system you have installed. Use a special underfloor heating underlay.

Would you like to know more? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss Quickstep laminate flooring with one of our experts?

Do I need to leave an expansion gap when fitting laminate?

Yes, like all wood-based floor coverings, laminate flooring will expand and retract in differing humidity and temperature environments. By leaving a 10mm perimeter expansion gap around the room and pipework, allowances for this are made. Skirting board or beading covers up this gap.

Would you like to know more? Why not email our St Albans showroom, hello@123floor.co.uk, with any questions you may have regarding Quickstep laminate flooring?

Is laminate flooring suitable for People with allergies?

Its very useful in these cases. The tightly-fitting click system that joins each plank together eliminates dust accumulation. With regular vacuuming and cleaning, dust mites and other allergy-inducing pests cannot survive; good news for asthma and dust allergy sufferers.

Would you like to know more? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss Quickstep laminate flooring with one of our experts?

Vinyl Flooring FAQ

Is vinyl flooring cold?

Vinyl flooring is an excellent insulator, regardless of your subfloor or the weather outside. Vinyl will be warm to the touch and comfortable underfoot.

Want to find out more about vinyl flooring? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss vinyl flooring with one of our experts?

My room is very wide. Can you join vinyl flooring?

Although vinyl floors, unlike carpets, don’t have pile that hide the joins, by choosing a design with planks or tiles, joins are optically hidden in the grout lines or between the planks. During your home visit to measure and survey the room that you are considering vinyl flooring for, our consultant will clearly show you where or if a join in your new vinyl flooring is required.

Want to find out more about booking a home visit to dicuss vinyl flooring in more detail? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss booking a free home design consultation?

I have floorboards in my room. Can vinyl be fitted straight on top?

Vinyl cannot be fitted directly over floor boards. Vinyl flooring needs to be fitted over a flat subfloor to avoid lumps or bumps showing through. This also prevents premature wear in the raised areas. We recommend fixing a 6mm thick plywood layer over your floorboards to smooth out any irregularities.

Want to find out more about vinyl flooring? Why not email our St Albans showroom, hello@123floor.co.uk, with any questions you may have regarding your subfloor?

Can vinyl flooring be slippery?

Providing your vinyl flooring is kept clean and dry, vinyl is perfectly safe. Most vinyl flooring samples displayed in store have a non-slip surface for added protection. Where a vinyl floor becomes wet with water or with other liquids (grease, cooking oils, etc.), they can become slippery. Spillages should be mopped up immediately to ensure your safety.

Want to find out more about vinyl flooring? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss vinyl flooring with one of our experts?

Vinyl flooring – Is it water resistant?

Vinyl floors are perfect for all areas of the home. However, they are practical and perfect for bathrooms and kitchens because of their water-resistant materials. Spillages and splashes are easily wiped up.

Want to find out more about vinyl flooring? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss vinyl flooring with one of our experts?

How can I protect my vinyl floor from damage?


The most common cause of damage is the indentation left as a result of high pressure points, for example, stiletto heels and the legs and castors of furniture or appliances.

We recommend the use of felt pads or castor cups under all items of furniture, especially chair legs, to help protect against this.

In the kitchen, you can also avoid potential damage from appliances by placing a sheet of hardboard underneath all appliances and when moving them out simply slide them from one hardboard sheet to another.

Want to find out more about vinyl flooring? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss vinyl flooring with one of our experts?

How can I prevent my vinyl flooring from staining?

Vinyl flooring is very easy to maintain and is extremely resilient to spills and stains. However, care still needs to be taken to prevent damage.

Use a doormat near external doors. However, read the question below on which type is suitable, and wipe up all spills and marks as quickly as possible.

In certain cases, scuffs and stains maybe removed by diluting a solution of household ammonia or white spirit with water.

Want to find out more about vinyl flooring? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss vinyl flooring with one of our experts?

What kind of rugs or mats can I use on my vinyl floor?

Avoid the use of rubber or latex-backed rugs or mats because of the chemical that is used in these mats can permanently stain your floor. Only use a non-staining vinyl-backed mat or woven rug that is stated as being ‘colourfast’.

Want to find out more about vinyl flooring? Why not email us at our St Albans showroom, hello@123floor.co.uk, and and ask one of our experts a question?

Can vinyl flooring be coved up the wall, in a walk in shower for example?


Domestic vinyl flooring is not designed for wet rooms or walk in showers, although it is suitable for rooms, which are wet i.e. kitchens and bathrooms. At 123Floor we do offer specialist products that are designed for such areas.

Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss vinyl flooring for wet rooms with one of our experts.

Can vinyl flooring be used with underfloor heating?

Yes, vinyl flooring can be used with underfloor heating, providing the flooring temperature does not exceed 28 degrees centigrade.

Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss vinyl flooring with one of our experts?

Is vinyl flooring suitable for wheelchair users?

Yes, due to its smooth, flat surface vinyl flooring can be a great choice for wheelchair users, however please bear in mind that because the tyres contain rubber, this could result in some discolouration over time. To help hide any potential discolouration, we recommend choosing a darker coloured vinyl, which will help hide any discolouration.

Want to find out more about vinyl flooring? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss vinyl floors with one of our experts?

Wood Flooring FAQ

Why should I buy quality wood flooring?

Wood floors for your home represent a long-term investment, many wood floors are hundreds of years old.

There are, online, solid wood floors for sale from £14m². But the quality must be doubted. Raw oak for a wood floor purchased in Europe or North American costs a lot more; it has to be dried, machined several times, graded, filled, sanded, lacquered, measured, boxed, transported, shipped, customs-cleared, warehoused and transported to a retailer.

Wood at this online price raises questions; where does it come from? Was it paid for? How was it manufactured for such a low cost? How much were the workers paid to produce it?

Would you like to know more? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss engineered wood flooring or solid wood flooring with one of our experts?

What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered wood flooring is the most common flooring type sold today. It is a compression of two or more layers of wood, glued together at right angles to create a plank of 14mm to 20mm thick. These layers provide more stability than solid wood flooring. It has an organic wood veneer (4 to 7mm thick) on top. It can be sanded down and treated to restore the original finish when it becomes scuffed, worn or damaged.

Would you like to know more? Why not email our St Albans showroom, or email hello@123floor.co.uk to ask any question you may have regarding engineered wood flooring or solid wood flooring.

What is the difference between oiled oak wood flooring and lacquered oak wood flooring?

Lacquered

Lacquered wood flooring is extremely tough and hard wearing – an ideal choice for the average family home. This type of finish, usually factory applied, is available in gloss or matt finish.

Lacquered finishes are low maintenance and extremely easy to clean, needing only a soft brush and an occasional wipe with a suitable wood floor cleaning product.

Bear in mind that all wood will scratch and lacquered wood is no different.

Oiled

An oiled floor brings out the full glow of the wood and retains a lovely, natural appearance. Oiled wood floors need more maintenance than a lacquered one as the oil needs to be periodically replenished.

Oil ensures that the wood retains its beauty as well as removing minor scuffs. Unlike lacquered floors, you can spot-repair a scuff mark by wiping oil over the affected area.

Would you like to know more? Why not call our St Albans showroom, 01727 844408 and discuss engineered wood flooring or solid wood flooring with one of our experts?

Why is one type of wood floor more expensive than another?

The main price factors between the different wood flooring types are:

The grade of wood

Rustic wood flooring is usually the least expensive, having more knots, when compared to select or prime grade, which has the fewest defects.

Where in the world the wood has been sourced from

Cheaper wood flooring tends to be imported from China, which has a different climate and humidity level to the UK, this difference in humidity level is likely to cause cupping, warping or splitting of the boards.

Width of plank

Wider planks are more expensive to produce which impacts the purchase price.

Unfinished or Factory Finished?

Unfinished floors can give unlimited stain colour options, but they take time to apply and days to dry. Factory finished floors cost more because they’re more convenient and there is no drying time.

Thickness

Thicker planks are more expensive. Consider using thicker planks when fixing wood flooring over existing floorboards to reduce bounce and springiness but use thinner planks when installing on top of underfloor heating. The thicker plank gives more opportunities for sanding.

Would you like to know more? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss engineered wood flooring or solid wood flooring with one of our experts?

Why can’t we use solid wood flooring over underfloor heating?

About 10% of wood is water, so planks will shrink if dried out through heating. Engineered wood floor construction allows some moisture to evaporate before shrinkage, but there is a limit.

Would you like to know more? Why not call our St Albans showroom on 01727 844408 and discuss engineered wood flooring or solid wood flooring with one of our experts?

Does wood flooring mark or scratch?

Everyday living on a wood floor is no different to doing the same to a dining room table. Dragging furniture over it will scratch it, dropping something heavy will leave indentations, walking with stiletto heels will pock-mark it. We say though that a few marks and scratches give a floor a loved, lived look. But a sand down to bring it back to life is an easy restoration.

Would you like to know more? Why not email our St Albans showroom, hello@123floor.co.uk and ask any question you may have regarding engineered wood flooring or solid wood flooring?

Can a wood floor be fitted in a bathroom?

Yes, but minimize water spills by using a good quality bath mat, open windows and turn on extractors after showering or bathing to reduce humidity. We remove the loo and the basin pedestal before installation and reinstall them on top of new flooring to reduce long-term damage.

Would you like to know more? Why not visit our St Albans showroom and discuss engineered wood flooring or solid wood flooring with one of our experts?

Why do we have to leave an expansion gap around the room and doorways?

Timber is organic; it contracts and expands depending on room humidity and ambient temperature. Wood floors need to breathe a bit into the perimeter expansion gaps. Because about 10% of wood is water, drying conditions will shrink it and moist conditions will expand it. These expansion gaps prevent warping.

Would you like to know more? Why not visit our St Albans showroom, and discuss engineered wood flooring or solid wood flooring with one of our experts?

How do I look after my wood floor?

Maintenance prolongs the life of a wood floor. It protects the finish and its health. The maintenance method depends on how the floor was finishe as an oiled floor needs different treatment to a lacquered one. It must be regularly swept, brushed or dry-mopped to remove dust and grit. At 123floor, St Albans, we have cleaning and maintenance products in-store to help your new floor look good for years and years.

Would you like to know more? Why not visit our St Albans showroom, and discuss engineered wood flooring or solid wood flooring with one of our experts?

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