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Find the answers to your flooring questions with our product FAQs.

  • Where is my nearest store?

    We have two conveniently located showrooms in the Vancouver Lower Mainland. Click here for a map and directions to our stores. Showrooms are open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 5:30pm and Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm. We are closed on Sundays and Stat Holidays.

  • How can I request a sample?

    The easiest way to request a sample is to visit a Sammy’s Designer Flooring showroom. We represent some of the most reputable flooring manufacturers in the world and our knowledgeable Sales and Design consultants will be here to assist you to browse our catalogues and find the flooring styles and colours that speak to you. Need a sample? No problem. We will be happy to provide you with colour swatches that you can take home.

  • How can I estimate the square footage of the area that I need flooring for?

    In order to determine how many slabs, tiles, hardwood or vinyl products you will need for your project, you must take accurate measurements of your room. To do this, simply measure the room across its longest and widest parts. Make sure to measure into any alcoves and under doorways. When you bring your diagrams and measurements to our showrooms, our estimators will review this information with you and provide you with a complimentary quote for your project.

    Alternatively, you can schedule an in-house consultation and meet with one of our Sales and Design consultants. We will be glad to speak with you about your requirements and take exact measurements of your space. We will also be happy to show you samples and explain the attributes of each product and answer any questions that you may have. Last but not least, we will provide you with a quote for your project and let you know whether purchase of any ancillary products might be required.

  • Can I purchase products on your website?

    Currently, purchases cannot be made over the internet. It is also important to note that not all products that are available to you are represented on the Sammy’s Designer Flooring website. Please visit our showrooms to experience our entire catalogue including brand New items.

  • How long will it take to install my new floors?

    Installation time varies depending on a number of factors, including: 1. Product availability (most products are readily available in stock but some custom options may have to be ordered) 2. Size of the project (number and size of the rooms), 3. Removal of existing flooring, 4. Condition of the subflooring (uneven floors may take longer to complete). Please keep in mind that disposal of current flooring and removal of furniture pieces and obstacles is required prior to installation.

    Also, depending on the flooring product that you order, it may be necessary to remove moldings and reattach them after installation of your new floors. Please keep in mind that some moldings (particularly quarter rounds) are very fragile and may break. Scratches or nicks to baseboards are also a common risk. In these rare cases, it will be your responsibility to replace them.

  • Do I need to supply anything?

    Our team of expert installers will provide the installation equipment and muscle power. All you need to supply, is access to an electricity outlet so that they are able to operate their electrical tools. In order to minimize dust and noise production, they will typically work on areas such as porches or a garage which they may use to store their equipment overnight. It is also your responsibility to provide an adequate supply of fresh air during installation of your new floors.

  • What’s the difference between solid and engineered hardwood?

    In solid hardwood floors, every board is made from a single solid piece of timber and installation is typically done over a plywood subfloor using a nail down system. This is the most traditional form of hardwood flooring.

    In engineered floors, every board is made from several layers of wood (plywood, common softwood or even high density fiberboard) with valuable hardwood used only for the surface or “wear” layer of your floors. Each layer is stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bonded together under heat and pressure. As a result, engineered wood flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity allowing you to install it at all levels of your home.

  • Can I install hardwood floors anywhere in my house?

    Installation of solid hardwood flooring can virtually be done in any room that is “above grade” (2nd level or higher) with some exceptions -including in damp locations (such as bathrooms and laundry rooms) or in rooms that could potentially flood or require wet mopping.

    Installation of engineered hardwood flooring can also be done in any room including “on grade” (at ground level) or “below grade” (any floor below ground level such as basements or sunken living rooms). Installation of a moisture barrier underlayment is required. Some exceptions apply. For more information, please speak with one of our knowledgeable Sales and Design consultants.

  • What are the pros and cons of different hardwood finishes?

    In most cases, buyers of hardwood products aspire to bring a natural, high-end look to their homes. When it comes to selecting the texture or finish of a new hardwood floor, it is quite common for people to lean towards selecting a smooth finish for their floors. The reason for that, is simply because a smooth finish hardwood floor will reveal the silky touch and natural grain of each wood species much better than others and contribute to the overall luxurious, flawless look of your floors. While this is true, you must keep in mind that over time, the regular wear and tear of your floors (dents and scratches) might become more noticeable with a smooth finish hardwood.

    Choosing a hand scraped, wire brushed or a distressed-look hardwood is an ideal alternative for counteracting the imperfections in your floors that may arise over time. A hand scrapped or distressed floor will also add to the character of your home and provide a warm and welcoming feel to your space. If you have a young family or pets living at home or if you want to ensure that your floors maintain that high-end, brand new look over time, a hand scrapped, wire brushed or distressed hardwood floor is the way to go.

    Other specialty hardwood finishes include antique finish, were gentle sculpting is applied to the surface of the wood which gives it a slightly distressed look. Special stains may also be applied in order to provide a more rustic, vintage look to your floors.

  • What are the different hardwood installation techniques?

    There are four basic installation techniques for hardwood flooring:

    • Nail down: Occurs when the boards are fastened to a plywood subfloor using cleats or staples
    • Glue down: Occurs when the boards are glued to the subfloor with a special flooring glue
    • Floating:  Occurs when the boards are glued to each other (but not to the subfloor below) floating over a cushioned underlay.
    • Glueless: Known as a popular variation to the floating installation, in which the boards have a specially designed joint system that allows the boards to be “clicked” together without glue or fasteners.
  • Are there any special considerations for installing hardwood floors in the suite of a strata building?

    Yes. Many strata councils have specific regulations regarding the installation of hardwood flooring in their suites. One of the most common requirements is that an acoustic underlay must be installed under the wood flooring in order to minimize sound transmission between floors. Please check with your strata council to find out about the specific requirements they may have.

  • What does FSC certified mean?

    The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging responsible management of the world’s forests. Established in 1993, FSC has become one of the most respected and recognized certification programs in the world. The familiar FSC logo (found in many of the wood products that we carry) indicate that the product that you are looking at, has been made with wood that is certified by the FSC to have been responsibly and sustainably harvested.

  • What should I know before buying tile?

    Before selecting tile, you must ensure that the tile style that you choose, is suitable for your project. Please review the list of questions below and make sure to speak with one of our Sales and Design consultants about your requirements:

    • Resistance to abrasion: Are the tiles going to be installed in areas of intense commercial traffic or heavy traffic residential areas such as kitchens, entryways or stairs?
    • Water absorption: Where are the tiles going to be installed? Tiles with a water absorption rate of less than .5% of their weight (such as porcelain tiles) will be much more suitable for applications such as pools, saunas and bathrooms. Porcelain tiles are very dense and have a very low absorbency rate. Ceramic tiles on the other hand are more porous and generally less durable than porcelain tiles as they have a less dense body composition.
    • Resistance to frost: Are the tiles going to be installed indoors or outdoors? What type of climate are they going to be exposed to? Frost resistance is directly related to water absorption. If tiles absorb water and freeze, the tiles may fracture (or break) as the tile expands.
    • Chemical resistance: Decorative tiles –such as those with a metallic, frosted or textured finish- can’t be exposed to acid or abrasive cleaners; otherwise, the distinctive finish will wear off. We recommend avoiding installation of these products in areas that will be heavily used or areas that are likely to be exposed to oil splatters or harsh chemicals.
  • Can I use a high gloss tile on my kitchen countertops?

    We do not recommend installation of glass tiles or high gloss tiles on your kitchen countertops or any work surfaces as the high gloss will eventually show scratches.

  • How do I cut and work with glass tiles?

    Each glass tile product that we sell will have installation instructions that are specific for that line. Please follow those directions exactly. Important general guidelines include: a) glass tile must be scored with a glass cutter and cut with a diamond blade wet saw; b) glass tile must be installed over a crack suppression membrane using an inorganic tile adhesive or white thin-set; c) each glass tile piece must be back buttered.

  • What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles?

    Porcelain and ceramic tiles are constructed differently. Both porcelain and ceramic are made of water and clay, but porcelain contains denser clay minerals like quartz and feldspar. Porcelain tiles are denser and less porous as a result.

    Because porcelain is less porous, it’s more durable. It’s less likely to chip than standard ceramic, and it can even handle the freeze/thaw conditions of the outdoors.

    Porcelain can also have a through body color, meaning the top layer of the tile matches the body of the tile, or a color body, which means the body of the tile closely matches the color of the surface design.

    These options allow you to install porcelain in high-traffic areas because wear and tear are less obvious. Meanwhile, ceramic tile typically has a red or brown body color, which can be really noticeable if the surface chips or gets worn.