Design Time & Tile :: General Flooring Questions
6800 Westside Road, Redding, CA 96001
(530) 241-8693

Installing Vinyl Tile

How do I prepare my floor for vinyl tile installation? Once it is installed how do I safely clean my new floor?

ANSWER: Hi Glenda. The kind of subfloor you are installing the vinyl on would dictate how you would prepare the floor for installation. Here are two standard examples of vinyl floor prep:

Remove the existing vinyl and adhesive by using a hand scraper or a vinyl stripping machine can be rented to do the removal. Once the vinyl is removed, a patching compound should be used to smooth the floor and fill in any cracks in the concrete.

You will need to use an embossing leveler to smooth the existing vinyl. You can overlay the old vinyl with quarter-inch plywood and nail or staple the plywood in place. Once attached, sanding the plywood joints is recommended.

Once the new vinyl is installed, follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to maximize the life and look of the product.

Porcelain vs Ceramic

We are having some tile work done and we were told that going with the Porcelein tile would be a lot better than regular ceramic tile in the long run. We were told that regular cramic tiles will chip easily and are not as durable as the Porcelein. I wanted to find out if there is any truth to this because the Porcelein is more expensive. Is it worth the extra money?

ANSWER: Paralee, you have been informed correctly. Porcelain tile is a superior tile product. It is more dense and will not crack or chip as easily as regular ceramic tile. In the long run, it's well worth the extra money that you will spend.

RV Flooring

Hi Mark, we are thinking about replacing the carpet in our RV with tile. Is there a type of tiling that would work well for that? What about wood? We want something durable and non-slip. - Travis

ANSWER: Hi Travis, I would recommend that you consider a product made by Congoleum call "Dura Ceramic" or "Dura Wood". I think that either will work very well for your RV. You can see samples in our showroom at Design Time, or on the Congoleum website.

Reducing Wood Floor Gloss

Hi! We have polished floorboards. Is there any way to remove the shine as every footprint is visible? I've tried everything to keep them clean. - Ethel

ANSWER: Hi Ethel. If your floor is real hardwood, the finish may be recoated with a low gloss finish, which should be done by a trained professional. If you have a laminate floor there is nothing that can be done.

Bamboo Flooring

What is the difference in durability between bamboo and hard wood flooring? Will bamboo hold up like wood over the long haul? Is it any easier to put down? - Cindy

ANSWER: Hi Cindy, Bamboo flooring is on the softer side of the hardness scale for hardwood. The darker the color, the softer it becomes due to the process that is used to darken the bamboo. Bamboo flooring will not hold up like regular oak or maple hardwood flooring. As far as installing bamboo flooring, it would be the same as installing regular hardwood flooring. Here at Design Time and Tile we have both bamboo and hardwood samples to help with your selection process.

Stamped Concrete Flooring

We recently went to look at the Shasta Builders exchange green homes. One of the recommended floor coverings was stamped concrete. Do you know anything about this type of flooring? Will it be cold in the winter? We live in the foothills where it snows. Also, what about cost? Is it cheaper than tile flooring? When the builder pours the foundation, will that be the floor that is later stamped or do they pour on top of that? Thanks. - Jay

ANSWER: Hi Jay. My knowledge is very limited about stamped concrete. I would recommend that you speak with a reputable concrete contractor, one that I know is Ralph Gasser of Gasser Inc. He is very qualified and I'm sure that he could answer any of your questions. He can be contacted at (530) 246-7977.


Hello! I would like to know what the proper procedure is for screwing down plywood subflooring before the installation of hardwood flooring. Can you properly screw down plywood subflooring from below in the basement? Any information that you can give me would be greatly appreciated! - Will

ANSWER: Hi Will. There is a very good web site that explains in detail the proper procedure for installing plywood underlayment in a PDF here (you may need to download Adobe Reader free to read the file). This document should tell you everything that you need to know about installing your underlayment. I would also recommend that you use a minimum thickness of 1/2" and not fasten your underlayment from your basement.

Blending Two Floor Types

We are remodeling our floors and do not know what is the best flooring choice for our kitchen and family room. The design of the two rooms is that there is no definite dividing line. We would like ceramic tile for the kitchen and wood for the family room. My question is, how do you blend two floor types when there is no straight dividing line between the rooms? - Jim

ANSWER: Hi Jim. I would really need to see your home or floor plan in order to give you my recommendation. If you could stop in at Design Time with your floor plan, or give me a call so I can come to your house and evaluate your situation, I'd be happy to help you out.

Removing Old Linoleum

We are thinking about putting in hard wood floors. Do we have to replace the subfloor before doing this? The old floor covering was linoleum so there will most likely be some issues with getting it up. Is there a cleaner that will remove the old glue or whatever they used? - George

ANSWER: Hi George. If you are on a raised foundation, you should have underlayment under your vinyl flooring. I would recommend that you remove your underlayment as well prior to installing your wood flooring. You should not have to remove any adhesive if you take up the vinyl and underlayment. Usually a Skil saw is used to cut the vinyl and underlayment into strips approximately one inch wide, then a pry bar is used to take up both layers at once. Make sure to set the depth of the saw so it only cuts thru the vinyl and underlayment, and have fun!

Hard Surface Flooring

We are looking to replace some old carpet in our family room. My husband wants to put down new carpet but I'd like to look into hard surface flooring instead, maybe wood or tile. What are my choices if I go that way besides those two? How much longer would that type of flooring last in comparison to carpet? I want to have my arguments lined up before talking to my husband. Thanks so much for your help. - Shirley

ANSWER: Hi Shirley. New flooring will definitely enhance your home. Besides wood and tile, your other choices would include the following: sheet vinyl, vinyl tile, laminate, linoleum, and cork. In addition, if you have a concrete slab foundation staining your concrete is also an option. Hard surface flooring will usually outperform carpet, and some hard surfaces will last for the life of your home. In contract, carpet will last 5 to 25 years depending on the quality selected. Hard surface will usually cost more than carpet initially, but the cost benefit over the long term favors hard surface flooring. Unsurprisingly, hard surface flooring has become more and more popular than carpet in all living areas since as a "lifetime" product it increases the value of the home.

Travertine Flooring

What is the best product to clean travertine and should travertine be ground and polished on an annual basis? - Ronald

ANSWER: Hi Ronald. We carry the Aqua Mix brand for our maintenance product line. We feel that Aqua Mix is the best product to use on travertine floors. We also have a cleaner and a sealer to maintain your floor. That really is all you need to do. You should never have to grind your floor.

Wood Flooring Problems

We put in a wood floor last year. The flooring came already stained and sealed but it doesn't seem to be holding up. There are a couple places where white marks have shown up. Is there a way to cover those up? They aren't big but are very noticeable. Another problem is a spot where the flooring appears to be rising up. Can this be fixed without tearing up the whole floor? What would cause something like that? It is at a spot where the wood comes together but the wood is only rising on one side. Help! - David

ANSWER: David, without actually seeing your job, it will be difficult for me to make a completely accurate evaluation and remedy for your problems. The white marks on your floor could be caused by something being dropped on it, damaging the finish. Another reason for the white marks could be failure of the finish in various areas. The raised spot in your flooring could be caused by delamination (separation of your flooring). A proper evaluation can only be done by an on-site inspection. Please come in to Design Time to make an appointment for an inspection.

Carpet Types

I have three very active kids and we are going to put down new carpets. What are the differences in the types of carpet and what makes one better than another? What will hold up the best under my kid's abuse? Thanks. - Angie

ANSWER: Congratulations on the three kids! There are basically two fiber types in the carpet industry. The first is nylon, which is extremely durable, and usually will not pack or mat down. The second fiber is polyester, which has excellent stain and fade qualities but has been known to pack and mat down. Besides the two fiber types mentioned above, there has been a new product introduced to our industry. Instead of being a petroleum-based product, it is corn-based, which qualifies it as a "green" product. This new carpet fiber has pack and mat warranties, but also has stain and fade warranties. As a result, this new carpet may be one to consider. You need to look for a face weight of 40 oz. per square yard or heavier. Another feature to look for is a twist level of at least 6 twists per inch or more. Last, but not least, I would recommend a darker color. With a darker color it would not show dirt and stains as much as a lighter color, and would not have to be cleaned as often. We have all these products for you to see and feel in our showroom at Design Time.

Subfloor Replacement

I am remodeling my kitchen on a 40-year-old house with a raised foundation. On top of the wood subfloor is some really old tile and two layers of vinyl. Would I have to replace the subfloor to do tile? And, if I replaced it what would I replace it with so I can tile?

ANSWER: I would recommend that you remove the tile vinyl and underlayment, exposing the subfloor, then 1/4" hardi-backer using thin set mortar under the hardi-backer, then screw the hardi-backer down. We sell all the products that you will need to do your job. Come in and see us.

Black Film on Cement Under Carpet

I just ripped up all the carpet in my built-out basement. I was thinking about staining the cement but after removing the carpet pad there was a black film on the cement. I'm not sure if it was a glue to hold down the pad. Do you know what the film might be and if there is a product that would safely remove it so I can still stain the cement floor?

ANSWER: The black film that you have on your concrete could be cut-back adhesive, which is an adhesive that was used to adhere vinyl tile or asbestos tile to the concrete. Pacific Flooring Supply carries a product called "Desolve It" which works fairly well. Another method would be to use a scrape away blade that you should be able to rent at your local rental store, such as Guy Rents or US Rentals.

Need New Carpet Recommendation

We are getting ready to put new carpet in our home. We are very hard on our carpet. We also have a dog and grandchildren. My husband has allergies and asthma. What would be your carpet recommendation?

ANSWER: I would recommend continuous filament nylon fiber as a yarn type. Continuous filament nylon will not shed, so it would be a wise choice for your husband's allergies and asthma. I would suggest a cut pile yarn, which will give your grandchildren much more comfort than other types of carpet. A carpet with a tight twist will help your carpet look and perform better over time. I would also recommend a darker color, which will show less soiling and not have to be cleaned as often, which is a good idea with your dog and heavy traffic. We have a wide selection of all types of carpeting, so come down and I'll give you a tour of the showroom!

Need New Carpet Durability

What do you think is the most durable and that is most resistant to stains? How do you charge for moving furniture in rooms that are carpeted?

ANSWER: The most durable carpet fiber is nylon, and continuous filament is the best. The most resistant to stains is a solution-dyed nylon. There are many 100% nylon carpets on the market today the are not solution-dyed but are stain treated, such scotchguard, stainmaster, etc... and they protect from stains very well.