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Friday, April 3, 2015

Don't Be Afraid Of Your Floor


Mohawk Love Your Floor Sale
It is that time of year!  Take advantage of Instant Rebates up to $500 and the lowest prices of the season on Mohawk ColorCenter carpets, hardwoods, tile and laminate floors.  Or you may prefer the long term financing----33 months interest free on installed purchases of Mohawk flooring.  You get to decide!  Come by today and Love Your Floor again!





We Have Never Installed Lumber Liquidators Products
In the wake of the recent "60 Minutes" report alleging that Lumber Liquidators sells laminate flooring with excessive levels of formaldehyde, many of our past and current clients have questions and concerns. Here are some answers to some of the common questions that have materialized since the airing of the "60 Minutes" episode: 

Are other flooring companies involved in this report?
No. The allegations focus solely on laminate flooring products sold by Lumber Liquidators from Chinese suppliers.

Do the allegations in the report pertain to Lumber Liquidators' wood flooring as well as their laminate?  No, the report focused exclusively on the company's laminate flooring, which is not wood flooring. In the report they tested Lumber Liquidators' laminate made in China, which, in 30 of 31 cases, was found to be at unacceptable levels as defined by CARB standards. Lumber Liquidators disputes the methodology used for the testing.
What is CARB?
CARB is the California Air Resources Board, which is a state agency that creates regulations governing everything from car exhaust to emissions from televisions.  Engineered wood flooring and laminate flooring sold in the state of California must be compliant with CARB's Phase 2 requirements, meaning that the cores used to manufacture the products are in compliance with the formaldehyde emissions deemed acceptable by CARB.
 
Do the CARB requirements apply to the rest of the country? 
No, but most manufacturers find it too expensive to produce two different types of product, one to be sold only in California, and another for the rest of the country.   It is also expected that the EPA will enact the regulations nationwide this year.

 
What are the health hazards of formaldehyde?
According to the EPA, formaldehyde can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. High levels of exposure may cause some types of cancers. The level of exposure is the issue; formaldehyde is present in many natural materials and foods
 and is produced by the human body.

 
How do I know if my floor is safe?
Again, the episode only investigated Chinese-made laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators. Consumers who are concerned about their flooring may have it tested. The testing starts at around $350 (the National Wood Flooring Association has a list of independent testing labs). For the most common test, the homeowner sends in a sample of the flooring and emissions from the finished sample are measured. Deconstructive testing can also be done, in which the face is taken off the flooring, but that is more expensive and is only done by a few labs in the country.

 
Are there special removal procedures to use when dealing with flooring that may have excessive formaldehyde?
No, it isn't like removing products with mold, lead paint or asbestos.

We understand that many customers are concerned that our laminates are affected.  They are not.  We carry Mohawk, Palmetto Road, HGTV Home by Shaw, Quick Step, and Armstrong; all of which are CARB2 compliant and are completely safe for your family.  Our manufacturers tell us the following:

Quick Step:
"Quick Step flooring is made in the USA and not in China.  Quick Step controls every step of the production process, and Quick Step laminate flooring is CARB2 compliant based on third party approved lab results.  Our floors meet strict formaldehyde emissions standards for healthy indoor air quality."

Mohawk:
"Customer satisfaction and safety are paramount at Mohawk.  We take these obligations seriously and constantly insure we are in full compliance with all regulatory requirements as well as our own internal requirements.  All laminate and engineered wood flooring manufactured and sold by Mohawk Industries has been tested and approved to be compliant."

Shaw:
"Shaw carefully considers the impact of our products throughout their lifecycle on the environment and society.  Our laminate, as well as solid and engineered hardwood products meet or exceed CARB2 requirements."

Armstrong:
"Our product specifications require adherence to all environmental, health and safety requirements, including formaldehyde emissions.  Our suppliers have their products tested at independent certified labs and then provide the test results to us on a regular basis.  As part of our commitment to product quality and safety, we will continue to conduct random annual testing to ensure the compliance of our products.  Based on our testing practices, certification and specification requirements and experience, our products meet or exceed all applicable formaldehyde standards, just as they always have."
Palmetto Road:
"All of the Palmetto Road products that are made in China adhere to strict environmental and safety requirements including formaldehyde emissions and meet CARB2 compliances.  These products have been tested in reputable, certified labs and have passed all emissions testing as required by CARB2."

Design Tip:  Jetted Tubs
In the 1980s, whirlpool bathtubs were a hot commodity. Now, we are noticing that people aren't using them as much as they used to.  Jetted tubs take up a lot of space that can be used in other ways that tend to be more desirable for people today, like bigger showers or his-and-hers vanities.  They can also cost homeowners big bucks when it comes time to pay the water bill. One whirlpool bath can use between 80 and 100 gallons of water.  If you still want the look and feel of a spa-like master bath, a smaller soaking bathtub can create a similarly relaxing environment and save you money in the long run.   A shower with a bench, shelves for bath products and a rainwater showerhead is on today's "must have" list; whirlpool tubs rarely are.

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