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Frequently Asked Questions: Luxury Vinyl Flooring - Products

Frequently asked questions about luxury vinyl flooring

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High quality at low prices.  What really sets Ambient apart from other brands is our unparalleled quality control process, which takes place before, during, and after we manufacture our products.  A quick web search about complaints and reviews on real sites like Yelp, ComplaintsBoard.com, and Reseller Ratings will show you that our quality is without peer in the industry. Additionally, Ambient does not sell through distributors or resellers, so you truly get the lowest prices on the highest quality floors.

100% Waterproof LVP. Homeowners with small children, pets, or who spend a lot of time entertaining can rest easy. Ambient's rigid core LVP flooring is impervious to moisture, spills, wet mopping, and humidity. This worry-free flooring is great for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements.

Safe for you and your family.  If you're looking for safe, ultra-low emission floors, look no further.  Our LVP is Floorscore certified and passes the most strict indoor air standard in the world: CARB Phase 2. We take the health of our customers very seriously - as if it were our own – that is why many of our employees and their families have our floors in their homes.

Solid to the core. Ambient® LVP provides a waterproof stone polymer composite core. The planks won’t contract or expand due to temperature fluctuations. The rigid core vinyl plank is high density providing for a thinner plank without sacrificing durability, making it perfect for commercial and high traffic areas.

We are a one-stop shop.  We provide a wide range of trim, moldings and installation supplies for our floors. We do all that we can to ensure that you have a finished look that will get compliments for years to come.

Ultra-realistic wood-look wear layer. Ambient® LVP uses the most real-life design imagery available and is visually and texturally similar to hardwoods. The protective wear layer makes it less likely to scratch or dent than laminate. The rigid core vinyl plank flooring wear layer is UV cured with an aluminum oxide finish, backed by a 30-year residential warranty and 10-year light commercial warranty.

Don’t take our word for it – do a web search.  If you do a web search on our company name vs other brands you will see we have earned a reputation for quality that is unequaled.  We guarantee that if installed correctly, our floors will not shrink, buckle, or warp – problems that can plague other brands.

Nope! Our luxury vinyl plank floors already come with an attached acoustic underlayment with a high STC rating for sound absorption and comfort underfoot. 

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 tests 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

Yes! Our rigid core LVP are 100% waterproof and safe from spills, moisture and humidity. They are ideal for wet environments like bathrooms and kitchens, and also hold up well to pets.

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 an 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.

Dimensional stability refers to the ability of a substance or part to retain its shape when subjected to varying degrees of temperature, moisture, pressure, or other stress. Luxury vinyl floors do not expand and contract (in the way that bamboo and hardwoods do) when temperature or humidity changes, meaning they are very dimensionally stable and are much less likely to experience issues that are more common in hardwoods like cupping, gapping, and warping. 

We do! To see the full list of LVP trim and moldings we carry, click here.

Ambient® Luxury Vinyl Plank floors consist of three layers, beginning with an underlayment to absorb sound and add comfort. The rigid core layer is made with waterproof stone polymer composite to accommodate for uneven subfloors and add durability. The luxury vinyl print layer provides ultra-realistic hardwood imagery and is topped with a protective aluminum oxide poplyurethane finish to help protect the floor from stains, scratches, dents, and other damage.

SPC Luxury LVP Corner Profile Web Short

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.

Dimensional stability refers to the ability of a substance or part to retain its shape when subjected to varying degrees of temperature, moisture, pressure, or other stress. Bamboo floors, like hardwoods, are made of a natural and hygroscopic material, which means they are subject to dimensional change when exposed to variations in temperature, moisture, and humidity.

Engineered bamboo floors and hardwoods are typically a bit more dimensionally stable than solid floors (the former expands and contracts a little less) however this mostly comes into play with floating vs nail/glue down. 

Engineered floating bamboo floors are very stable, conversely when you are floating a solid bamboo floor (solid means the plank is wood all the way through, and floating means the planks are clicked or glued to each other instead of being nailed down or glued down to the sub-floor) you must have very strict humidity controls inside your home or it may pull apart and out from under walls (even if it is click lock). This is part of the reason we do not recommend floating solid tongue & groove bamboo floors.

STC and IIC sound ratings indicate the ability of a material to muffle footfall noise and reduce sound transmissions between levels. An underlayment or adhesive with a high STC and IIC rating will not only reduce sound transmission between levels more effectively, but it will also reduce footfall noise within the room more effectively.  Materials with higher STC and IIC sound ratings tend to be more expensive, and sometimes thicker, than underlayments with low sound ratings.

If you live on the West Coast and buy an Oak or Maple floor (which comes from the East), there is more embodied energy in that product than a bamboo floor made near the coast in China and shipped over the water. Ocean freight is simply that much more efficient. And this does not even take into account the fact that the tree cut on the East Coast will take 50 years to grow back and the bamboo plant will take only 5 years to grow back.

One interesting tidbit that people don't know is that a large chunk of wood flooring (apart from bamboo) harvested in Canada, Russia, Brazil, etc, gets shipped over to China first for milling and finishing, and then gets shipped back over to the US, which in effect doubles the transportation distance and CO2 emissions.

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. You can also check out our Moldings 101 page!

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.

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