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Frequently Asked Questions: Luxury Vinyl Flooring - Products

Frequently asked questions about luxury vinyl flooring

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Ambient's floors are 100% safe for you and your family. In fact, we're one of the few companies (if not the only one!?) that test all products annually to ensure they fall within the CARB Phase 2 indoor air standard, which is the most strict in the world, and we've also achieved Floorscore Certification.  The CARB Phase 2 indoor air standard requires less than .05ppm off-gassing of formaldehyde, and all of our floors consistently test at under .015ppm which is considered “Below the Limit of Qualification” or “effectively zero”. We highly recommend you check out our safety information and testing page as well as our informative article here. As you might know, formaldehyde is a naturally occurring substance that even our bodies generate, so no substance on earth is truly "formaldehyde-free", but Ambient solid strand woven floors are NAUF (no added urea formaldehyde).

More info about formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde exists in a wide array of household products including paint, wood furniture finishes, and cleaning supplies amongst others.  Formaldehyde is also a naturally occurring substance found in air. 

More info about CARB Phase II.  We recommend further reading from the California Air Resources Board

We do not sell random length or random width planks. Almost all of our floors come in single length planks lengths of six, four, and three feet depending on the product. Our Copenhagen XtraWide click bamboo flooring is the exception with both four-foot and two-foot planks included in every box.

One of the benefits of this is that you will have a lot less waste as with random lengths you are usually left with a lot of the smaller pieces that you will not be able to use. You can still achieve the randomized look of the flooring planks by cutting the starting plank in each row at a random length.

Yes, Ambient is proud to be FloorScore® certified!  FloorScore is a voluntary certification program whereby floors must meet the most stringent indoor air quality standards in the world to gain certification.   Additionally, Ambient is the only flooring brand that proactively and voluntarily tests its floors annually for off-gassing and safety.  You can find Ambient's full test results and other technical information on our product and safety testing information page or learn more about the Floorscore® program here.

All of our floors have micro-beveled edges.  The reason for this is because, on pre-finished floors like ours, square edges can splinter up or chip off when kicked under normal foot traffic.  Square edges typically only exist on unfinished hardwood floors.

 

There's a common misconception that thinner floors are less sturdy than thicker floors.  This is only true if you buy cheap engineered floors that have a razor-thin veneer layer, because they can't be refinished, and the wear layer is easily perforated when you drop something heavy and sharp on it.  All Ambient hardwood and bamboo floors can be refinished a minimum of 2 times including our engineered bamboo flooring (which has a thicker-than-normal wear layer). 

In fact, all of our bamboo and hardwood floors come with a lifetime structural and finish warranty regardless of thickness.  The driving factor between whether to choose thick over thin is usually a matter of the layout of your home and subfloor.  Some people get thinner floors to increase the headroom in their homes, while others choose thicker options so that they can more easily transition to other floors on the same level without using transition pieces.  Sometimes door frame heights are also taken into account when choosing thickness.  Also, if you want 6-foot long planks those usually require greater thickness to remain stable, while 3-foot and 4-foot long planks can be thinner and still retain their dimensional stability.

Yes, we do provide discounts for large quantity orders.  If your order falls into a category below and you do not already have a coupon code please feel free to reach out to our customer support team at (301) 498-0234 to see what discount codes are currently available:

  • Flooring orders over 1,000 sq ft
  • Plywood orders over 25 sheets
  • Magpanel orders over 100 sheets

To check the length or other dimensions of our floor moldings, we recommend you check out our moldings & trim page - here you can click any item to go to its product detail page, which will contain a dimensions diagram with all the information you need.

1.    What type of subfloor (usually plywood or concrete) will the floor be installed over?  (this may determine the type of flooring you purchase, such as engineered vs solid)
2.    Do you already have a specific plan to float, nail, or glue down the floor, and if so, why?
3.    What other types of flooring will the floor be butting up to?  Will you require transition moldings and if so how many?
4.    How much flooring will you need to complete the job?  Have you added 10% for cutting and waste?  (this may depend on how you're installing, for example for diagonal installations you'll need 15% extra)
5.    When do you plan to start, and when do you need to receive the flooring material?
6.    Will you be installing the floor yourself, or hiring a professional?

At Ambient we value the brave men and women that serve in our nation's armed forces and law enforcement agencies. We offer a 5% discount off all products for active-duty members of our U.S. armed forces and full-time local and state law enforcement. Clearance items and odd lots do not qualify for this discount and it cannot be combined with other promotions.

For flooring and plywood we strongly recommend ordering a sample before placing your final order, so you can ensure that the shading will be to your liking.  Our flooring and plywood samples have a dye lot number sticker on the back of them. Our website checkout process will ask you to type in this dye lot number before final payment; alternatively, if ordering via email or over the phone simply mention this lot number to your Ambient representative and we will update the order with it and ship that exact lot number.  If we don't have that lot number available (it has sold out) but we have a matching lot, we will ship the matching lot.  If we do not have a matching lot, we will not ship your order until you approve samples of the new lot.

Please remember that photographs on our website are taken from a variety of devices and under many different lighting conditions, and are viewed on a wide range of computer monitors and contrast settings, thus we do not guarantee that any floor will match the photographs on the website. If you order your flooring sight unseen (without receiving samples first), Ambient is not responsible for light or shading variation or differences and thus not responsible for return shipping costs (which can be expensive and can vary greatly depending on where you live and the size of your order). 

If you receive the order from the exact lot number you requested, or you order sight unseen (you do not provide a dye lot number at checkout), and you decide after it arrives that you want to return the order, you will be responsible for return shipping charges. For flooring orders, please see our 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee for more information.

Small floor samples with click lock profiles may appear to be loose when you click them together, however you'll notice when clicking full planks together that they fit much more tightly.  This is by design and the floors will not slide around once installed.  The reason there is a bit of space is because on longer flooring planks there has to be some room simply to be able to click the planks together - if there was no space for play, it would be impossible to click the long planks together (you'll have to trust us on this one!).  In fact, a not infrequent complaint from installers about low-quality click floors is that the click system is too tight and they have difficulty even getting the planks to click together - which adds time and cost to the homeowner.  Here at Ambient we're known for excellent overall quality and this extends to our milling machinery – in fact, installers comment all the time on how well-milled our planks are and how little waste they get when they install our floors.  

 

Below is an overview of the types of moldings and trim commonly used for flooring installations.

T-Molding: This is used to transition between two floors of equal height or within 1/8 inch in height of each other.

Threshold: This is used to transition between two floors of unequal heights.  The bottom of this molding is commonly cut (ripped) as needed depending on the height of the lower floor.  Also commonly used at exterior doorways and sliding glass doors.

Reducer: This is used to transition down to the ground.

Quarter Round: Some installers call this shoe molding and although they serve the same purpose and are usually interchangeable they are slightly different dimensions-wise.  This molding goes all the way around the installation and is often paired with baseboard but not always.  It's used to cover up the expansion gap left around the perimeter of the installation.

Baseboard: This is used to cover the expansion gap all around the edges of the installation and is sometimes used with quarter round for a finished look.

Stair Nose: Also known as bull nosing, this piece is used to transition down to a lower level such as a landing, and at the top of a staircase.

Stair Tread: This is typically one entire piece to cover the stair step, we sell most of them in 48" lengths and some in 72" lengths.  Many of our treads come with two rounded sides and rounded front, so that they can be used on open staircases.

Stair Riser: This is the vertical piece on the staircase in between each tread and they're usually 48 inches in length but we also carry some 72 inch versions.  We stock them for our most popular colors, and we also sell the white stained poplar risers which are very popular and usually more affordable than the matching wood risers.

Register Vent/Dampener Covers: We have mostly flush mount register vents with a removable inner grill, but we also carry drop in vents in some colors.  We carry the most common vent dimensions of 4x10 and 4x12 but also some 4x20 versions in popular colors.
 

Cove Molding: These pieces are glue up under stair treads and noses to give a more finished look, where the nosing/tread meets the vertical wall or riser.  Most treads and noses aren’t finished underneath, so when you look up at them from below they’ll look nicer if you add a cove molding.

Spline: Bamboo spline helps transition when you change direction in your flooring planks. It allows you to place two planks (tongue sides) together and continue your flooring installation.

 

We sell only prefinished floors but can special order unfinished flooring with a 3-4 month lead time and minimum order quantity of 5,000 sq ft.  If you're interested in such an order feel free to reach out to our support team at (866) 710-7070.

For legal businesses that qualify as a trade account (must be in the building trades), or you plan to order more than $10,000 cumulatively in building materials in the future on multiple projects, we encourage you to apply for a trade account on our B2B page.   Our wholesale discounts vary depending on sales volume and can range from 5% to 35% off our retail prices.  We also offer container level pricing for large projects at extremely competitive prices, and can manufacture a large array of products not featured on our website such as custom thicknesses, lengths, widths, colors and surface treatments (minimum order quantities apply).

Our industry-leading Accuseal Ultra® Finish System is so tough, we apply it to all of our floors and moldings, and it is backed up by an unbeatable lifetime warranty.   This finish is a UV-cured acrylic urethane with aluminum oxide added in for additional durability; it is a proprietary process that endures scratches and abrasion better than almost any other floor on the market.  These floors can last for decades without wearing through and needing to be being refinished (loss of luster may occur as with all floors in very high traffic areas and does not qualify as wear through).  Please note that it is always recommended to use Scotch Delicate Surfaces tape on wood floors and moldings, as other types of tape can peel away even the toughest hardwood floor finish!

 

If you're looking for the safest flooring available to you and your family, you've come to the right place. Ambient is the only flooring brand that voluntarily, randomly, and extensively tests for safety and off-gassing every single year (since 2006!) to ensure that our products are safe for our customers. Since 2006 we have compiled an unbroken run of yearly test results showing "effectively zero" off-gassing, a feat that is unmatched in our industry.  Additionally, all of our floors are also Floorscore Certified and meet all standards associated with the Toxic Substances Control Act (Title VI).  All of our flooring adhesives used for installation are ultra-low and zero VOC as well.

 

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