Frequently Asked Questions…

1. ABOUT ATROGUARD®

  • What is AtroGuard?

    AtroGuard is a water resistant floor with a 100% natural wood fiber core. It combines the rigidity and the realistic wood look of laminate flooring with water-resistance and durability of luxury vinyl. The result is a beautiful and truly multi-functional flooring with click that can for the first time:

    • Be wet and steam mopped
    • Installed in bathrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms
    • Be installed over 4x larger areas than traditional laminate floors without unsightly transition moldings in the middle or the room or in doorways
      (4000 sq. ft. (400 m2) instead of 1000 sq. ft. (100 m2) for traditional laminates)

  • Why AtroGuard vs. a regular laminate?

    Compared with regular laminate flooring, AtroGuard has a 60% more stable core! This means you can:

    • Install it over an area of up to 4000 sq. ft. (400 m2) without unsightly transition moldings in the middle or the room or in doorways.
    • Wet-mop it, unlike regular wood fiber based floors such as laminate.
    • Install in full bathrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms!

  • Why Atroguard vs. resilient & vinyl based floors (such as Luxury Vinyl or W.P.C.)?

    Typically, resilient and vinyl flooring have certain advantages to normal laminate, such as its waterproofness, but with AtroGuard it is no more relevant, as AtroGuard floors can now also be wet & steam mopped and installed in moist-rooms.

    So what are the disadvantages that Atroguard solves?

    ·       Shrink and expanding with temperature variations √ Solved with Atroguard
    ·       Sensitivity to small scratches and wear √ Solved with Atroguard
    ·       Flexible and wobbly telegraphing imperfections of the subfloor √ Solved with Atroguard
    ·       Deep synchronized texture for a truly authentic wood look √ Solved with Atroguard

  • How is AtroGuard flooring constructed?

    AtroGuard consists of several layers of materials bonded together under extreme heat and pressure. Absolutely no harmful glues or toxic chemicals are used in the bonding of our products, ensuring safe and worry-free flooring for your family.

    • The first component is the wear resistance layer. While a standard CE laminate is usually provided with an AC3 wear rating, not compatible with a commercial use, AtroGuard comes with an AC4 highly resistant commercial rating. This means you don’t have to worry about high foot traffic or kids and pets having fun in the house. However, no floor covering is impervious to damage.
    • The second layer is a decorative graphic sheet. This layer provides the beautiful and unique look that you will not find anywhere else.
    • The third component is AtroGuard’s SureCore™ – ultra-stable 100% natural wood fiber core. It is 60% more stable than standard laminate floors*. We also apply 2 pass power sealing process that makes AtroGuard moisture-resistant.

    *Compared to U.S.A. standard NALFA/ANSI LF-01-2008 and EU standard EN 13329

    • The forth layer is the balancing layer; this moisture-resistant backing layer guarantees a perfectly balanced board that will not cup or bow when properly installed and maintained.
    • Certain products come with a pre-attached backing will provide a natural sound barrier and extra joint support for superior noise resistance.

  • I’ve been hearing news about the danger of formaldehyde in laminate flooring. Is AtroGuard safe?

    Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring substance not only in all wood, formed by elements found in our environment like carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, but also at low levels, usually less than 0.03 parts per million (ppm), in both outdoor and indoor air. While formaldehyde is naturally occurring, high levels can be harmful to humans.

    All Atroguard floors are subjected to rigorous tests that are designed to ensure that all products abide by the highest standards and do not harm indoor air quality. This makes our floors safe for you and your loved ones.

    All Atroguard floors in the United States are in full compliance with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) 93120 Title 17 Phase II standards for formaldehyde. All of our sources for composite wood components have been tested by an independent, third party CARB-approved certifier and confirmed to meet the exacting standards of the state of California. We also regularly check our certifications to make sure they are updated and that all requirements are continuously being met.

    In addition to this we have taken steps for certification by another third party, the Greenguard Environmental Institute. It is an industry-independent organization that aims to protect human health by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to pollutants by certifying products for extremely low chemical emissions.

    All Atroguard products worldwide are certified by the GREENGUARD Certification Program which requires that products undergo independent, scientific testing and ongoing monitoring of their chemical emissions. Only products that meet its stringent emissions standards qualify for certification. These standards are based on established criteria from key public health agencies.

2. INSTALLATION

  • How easy is AtroGuard to install?

    With its extra stable core and tight-lock installation system, AtroGuard is easy to install, and thanks to floor’s rigidity, it only requires a minimum subfloor preparation (subfloor should be leveled to 3/16” (5mm) within a 10 ft (3m) span). A do-it-yourselfer can click together a living room size floor in about a day, and start enjoying it immediately.

  • In what rooms can I install AtroGuard floor?

    AtroGuard flooring can be installed in any room inside the house where the floor is solid and flat, including full bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements. Special precautions should be used when installing in some areas, such as bathrooms with showers or mudrooms, by adding a silicone sealant in the expansion spaces at the perimeter and all vertical interruptions. AtroGuard should not be installed in rooms with sump pumps or floor drains, or in motor homes, boats or planes.

  • Can AtroGuard be installed in Kitchens and Bathrooms?

    AtroGuard floors are water-resistant; however, special precautions should be used when installing in some areas such as kitchens, bathrooms with showers or mudrooms, adding a silicone sealant in the expansion spaces at the perimeter and all vertical interruptions.
    Water spillage as is the case in bathrooms and kitchens won’t damage the floor but standing water must be avoided at all times. Localized, topical water spills must be cleaned up as soon as possible within 72 hours.

  • Are there rooms that are inappropriate for an AtroGuard floor?

    Very few: a room with a floor drain, sump pump or one that is exposed to the elements.

  • What are the elements of an ideal installation?

    1. Ensure that the subfloor is flat and level.
    2. The subfloor moisture level must be max. 2.5% moisture content (CM method).
    3. Crawl space and/or basement should be ventilated and dry.
    4. Acclimate AtroGuard in the room in which you intend to install it a minimum of 48 hours before the installation.

    For installation instructions and tips, please see our detailed AtroGuard Installation Manual.

  • Do I need to acclimate AtroGuard floor before installation?

    For the best result, it is recommended to acclimate AtroGuard floor prior to installation. Keep the boards in room temperature for at least 48 hours in unopened package before you start the installation. The room temperature must be between 60˚to 95˚F (15° to 35°C) before, during and after installation. Relative Humidity Levels of your room should be maintained at 30-65 % before, during and after the installation.

    For floor surfaces exceeding 4000 sq. ft. (400 m2) and or lengths exceeding 66 ft (20m) and overlaps to new rooms and floor surface which do not join symmetrically, use expansion joints to divide the floor sections.

  • Does the subfloor need to be leveled prior to installing AtroGuard?

    Although AtroGuard is very rigid and can hide minor subfloor imperfections. However, the subfloor must be clean and leveled to 3/16” (5mm) within a 10 ft (3m) span.

  • How do I determine the direction in which to install my AtroGuard flooring?

    Install parallel to incoming light from any windows or if lighting is not a concern, parallel to the longest wall in the room.

  • What is the recommended expansion space for AtroGuard floors?

    The recommended expansion space for all AtroGuard floors is 1/2″ (1cm) for all vertical interruptions, be they the walls, moldings, pillars, HVAC vents, flooring receptacles, masonry, toilet flanges, pipes, etc.

  • How large is the area that AtroGuard can be installed over before having to use transition strips?

    AtroGuard installation allows up to 66 ft (20m), in either direction, with no unsightly transition moldings needed as long as the flooring can freely move. That’s 4000 sq. ft (400 m2). Make sure to respect the 1/2″ (10mm) expansion space around the perimeters of the room.

  • Do I need to install a molding for each door opening?

    As long as you are within the limit that does not require transition strips, unsightly door transitions are fortunately not required either. AtroGuard installation allows up to 60 ft (20m), in either direction, with no transition moldings needed. Make sure to respect the 1/2″ (10mm) expansion space around the perimeters of the room.

  • Over what types of existing floors can I install AtroGuard?

    AtroGuard floors can be installed over most existing hard surface flooring, including wood, concrete, and vinyl sheet. You can also install over tiles, as long as it is not a floating installation.

    The exceptions are laminate, floating floors of any type, loose lay, and perimeter fastened sheet vinyl. These types of flooring should be removed prior to installing AtroGuard. The existing floors still have to meet the level requirements, which is no more than a 3/16” (5mm) difference in a 10 ft (3m) span.

    You should install a foam underlay, unless your product has a pre-attached pad. If you are installing over a concrete sub floor, a 6-mil (0.15mm) poly (plastic sheeting) is to be installed under the foam underlay. Note: Many foam underlays already have this plastic sheeting pre-attached).

    Please refer to AtroGuard Installation Manual for more detailed information.

  • Does AtroGuard require a moisture barrier?

    Moisture barrier needs to be installed over concrete substrates. In the case installation is done over a wood substrate on or below-grade a vapor barrier must be installed if there is not a vapor barrier existing in a well-ventilated crawl space. A minimum 6-mil (0.15mm) plastic poly sheeting should be used as a moisture barrier. Underlayment thicker than 2/16” (3.0mm) are not advised.

    Note: Some collections may have a pad factory pre-attached to the back of planks, in that case no additional pad is needed.

     

  • Can I install AtroGuard over radiant heating system?

    Yes, AtroGuard is compatible with water based floor heating systems. You should ensure the radiant heat surface temperature doesn’t exceed 81°F (27°C).

    Due to the speed of sudden temperature changes, which has the potential to negatively affect laminate flooring construction, it is not recommended to install over any electrical radiant heating system.

    For detailed instructions regarding the installation over water based heating systems, please refer to AtroGuard Installation Manual.

  • Can I install AtroGuard on a wall or ceiling?

    Yes, you can. For wall and ceiling installation the planks need to be fully glued down on the substrate. For this job we recommend Taylor 2091 (for commercial applications) and Henry© 650P glues.

    Many designer use AtroGuard for partial wall installation because of the unique and highly realistic color available in the AtroGuard selection. However, the AtroGuard warranty do not cover wall installation

  • Can I install kitchen islands directly over my AtroGuard floor?

    Do not install your kitchen cabinets directly over your AtroGuard floor. The floor’s quality can be guaranteed as long as the floor can move freely.

  • Are AtroGuard floors suitable for wheel chairs or motorized chairs?

    AtroGuard floors can be used in homes where wheel chairs are needed, but AtroGuard should not be applied to ramps. We recommend that you glue the joints when motorized chairs will be used.

  • Why add foam pad or cork to the back?

    An optional pre-attached backing will provide a natural sound barrier and extra joint support for extra noise resistance attributes versus traditional laminates or click vinyl planks. And best of all – you will not need to use any extra underlayment!

  • Should I add an underlayment if my AtroGuard floor comes with a pre-attached foam backing?

    No. If your AtroGuard floor has a pre-attached foam backing, an underlayment should not be added. Note: Adding an underlayment to AtroGuard with pre-attached foam backing will void your warranty.

3. AFTER INSTALLATION

  • How do I clean and maintain my AtroGuard floor?

    Clean the floor regularly. For general cleaning, use a dust mop or vacuum with the correct hard surface attachment – never a rotating brush, floor scrubbers, jet mops, buffers or similar products. If necessary, the floor may be cleaned with a wet mop and a laminate cleaner.

    Avoid using too much water, and be sure to squeeze the water out of the mop before mopping, and rinse the mop frequently.

    The use of residential steam mops on this product is allowed. Use at lowest power with a suitable soft pad, and do not hold a steam mop on one spot for an extended period of time. Refer to the steam mop’s manufacturer instructions for proper usage.

    Do not allow for moisture to remain on the floor for longer than 72 hours.

    Pet stains (including urine, feces and vomit from domestic cats or dogs) need to be cleaned within 24 hours.

    AtroGuard floors must never be waxed, polished, sanded or refinished when cleaning. Do not use detergents, abrasive cleaners, soaps, waxes or polishes.

    To protect from scratches, place walk-off area rugs or mats inside exterior doorways to collect small bits of gravel. We recommend using felt protectors on the legs of furniture and replacing plastic or metal casters with rubber wheels.  Replace plastic or metal casters on chairs with rubber wheels and lift rather than slide heavy objects across the floor.

  • Which kind of rugs can I use on AtroGuard floor?

    You can use any type of rug on AtroGuard floor. The most important question is which type of backing the rug has.  We recommend to NOT use rugs with a rubber or latex backing, as these could permanently stain your floor.

  • Are AtroGuard floors easy to clean?

    Yes, ordinary vacuuming or sweeping is usually sufficient to keep the floor clean. If needed, the floor may be cleaned with laminate cleaner.

  • Can I use a steam mop on my AtroGuard floors?

    The use of residential steam mops on this product is allowed. Use at lowest power with a suitable soft pad, and do not hold a steam mop on one spot for an extended period of time (longer than 5 minutes). Refer to the steam mop’s manufacturer instructions for proper usage.

  • How do I remove difficult challenging spots?

    For chocolate, grease, juice and wine stains, use lukewarm water and a non-abrasive cleaner. Nail polish, tar, markers, crayon, lipstick, ink and cigarette burns can be removed using nail polish remover or denatured alcohol. For candle wax and chewing gum, scrape carefully with a blunt plastic scraper.

  • How durable is AtroGuard flooring with pets?

    While no similar flooring is guaranteed against scratching or loss of gloss, the surface of Atroguard is textured with a medium graining and a tough wear layer for durability. We warrant that Atroguard will not stain from pet (domestic cat or dog) stains, including urine, feces and vomit, providing it is cleaned within 24 hours!

  • Do I need to wax my AtroGuard floor?

    No, it resists staining, is easy to clean and requires no waxing. Waxing is not compatible with this product and using wax will void warranty.

  • What type of chair protectors can I use on AtroGuard floor?

    Support furniture with wide-bearing, non-staining floor protectors. Ideally, the protectors should be at least one inch in diameter, made of non-pigmented, hard plastic and rest flat on the floor. Non-staining felt protectors are also acceptable. Casters with a minimum 3/4″ flat surface width or floor protectors are recommended for all moveable furniture. Make sure any metal protectors are rustproof. Replace your narrow-dome furniture rests with wide-bearing ones.

  • Is AtroGuard scratch proof?

    AtroGuard floors feature AC-4 scratch resistant commercial rating, which is highly scratch resistant but not scratch proof. Here is some information that might help you down the road to prevent or minimizes scratches:

    • Use felt pads on the bottom of all chairs/tables/sofas.
    • Change all plastic or metal casters on rolling furniture to rubber casters.
    • Do not drag heavy furniture across the floor.

    Trim pet nails frequently.

  • Can AtroGuard be easily repaired or replaced?

    To repair scratches, small chips and dents color fill kits, wood finish repair sticks or putties are easy to use. If significant plank damage, an option may be to replace a plank. Plank replacements can be challenging to the average do-it-yourselfer, we recommend you contact your retailer or a flooring professional who has the proper tools and training for plank replacements.

  • Can I refinish or recoat my laminate flooring?

    No. Laminate flooring cannot be refinished or sanded.

  • I'm not happy with my floor. How do I make a claim?

    If you feel that you have a warranty related problem, you should take your original purchase receipt, back to the retailer where you purchased the floor and file a warranty claim with that store. The store will then contact us to begin the warranty process. An inspector may come to your home to evaluate the conditions and determine what caused the problem. Once an evaluation is complete you will be contacted with the results. The whole process could take up to 20-30 business days, depending on the circumstances, although most issues are resolved much faster.

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