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    Find answers to the most frequently asked questions

    Do the finishes on Mercier products emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?

    Mercier’s Generations and Generations Intact 2500 finishes don’t contain harmful chemicals or emit VOCs that are bad for your health or the environment. They have been tested by an independent laboratory and have obtained the Greenguard Gold certification for finishes that do not contain substances harmful to human health. So you can use Mercier flooring with complete peace of mind. (Reference: LEED Environmental Data Sheet)

    What's the difference between Solid flooring and Engineered flooring and which one should I choose?

    Mercier Solid and Engineered flooring are both excellent choices. They are available in a variety of species, grades, colors, widths, glosses, and finishes. Here’s what sets them apart:

    Solid wood flooring

    Made of 100% hardwood. Solid flooring can be nailed or stapled to the subfloor and installed on the ground floor and subsequent stories. Solid flooring is not recommended for use in basements due to humidity levels that could affect its stability. Neither glued nor floating installation is recommended for these products. Solid flooring can be sanded up to five times.

    Engineered wood flooring
    Engineered flooring is made of a hardwood plywood base and a real hardwood top layer. It comes in 1/2" and 3/4" thicknesses. The layered design makes it more stable in humid conditions. It can be installed anywhere, including basements. Engineered flooring can be installed on all types of subfloors, including those with in-floor radiant heating and soundproofing membranes. With most species, the flooring can be glued, nailed, stapled, or installed in a floating configuration. (Some exceptions apply, see the Engineered flooring installation guide for more details.)

    For more information on installation, please refer to the Mercier installation guides. Your Mercier dealer can also advise you on the most appropriate type of flooring for your application.


    Why is my dealer telling me to order more flooring than required for the area I'm covering?

    Depending on the site and type of installation, you should order 3% to 5% more flooring than the surface area you are covering to compensate for loss resulting from cuts.

    Installation of the flooring at an angle with respect to the walls (e.g., at 45°), results in increased cutting loss and may require between 7% and 9% more flooring.

    For installation of Herringbone floors, you’ll need to order an extra 15% or so to compensate for cutting loss.

    It’s also a good idea to keep any remaining flooring for future repairs.

    How can I fit the color of the wood stain on my stairs to my future floor?

    Depending on the product chosen, a floor surface can show a variety of natural hues or color variations from one board to another. For a smooth transition between the wood floor and the stairs, moldings, or other neighboring material, we suggest not to use just one board as a reference guide. For example, if the reference board selected is much lighter than the floor surface that is adjacent to your future staircase, the contrast between the two will be very pronounced, and the result may not live up to your expectations. Ideally, in this situation, you should select the exact boards that will be installed near your stairs and match the stain with the help of your merchant by using these boards as a reference. If the floor has already been installed and you have some unused boxes left, select a few boards that are closest in appearance to the floor installed near your staircase and use them as a reference to create the color of stain you need. For the reasons mentioned above, we do not recommend that you use the sample boards available on our website as a guide to create your stain.

    How can sample boards sold online help me choose my floor?

    Samples ordered online are meant to show the species, color, and gloss. Since the surface is small, it is not possible to fully represent the grade and its character variations. However, these sample boards can help you to eliminate some choices, and especially identify which look you prefer, facilitating your choice when you are in the store. We recommend that you go to a Mercier retailer to look at the large sample panels before making your final choice, you will have a better visual of the floor’s appearance on a larger surface.

    How should I prepare the subfloor for installation?

    Good preparation will have a direct impact on the quality of the installation and your satisfaction with the finished product. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

    Site preparation

    Installing the hardwood flooring should be the very last step in the process. Before the flooring is delivered, inspect the installation site and make sure that:

    • All concrete, plaster, paint, and subfloor is completely dry.

    • Any heating, ventilation, or air conditioning systems are functional and running.

    Moisture requirements differ slightly depending on the type of flooring being installed. Here’s what you should be looking for:

    Solid wood flooring
    The indoor temperature should be about 68°F (20°C) and the relative humidity should be around 45%.

    The installer must check the moisture content of the subfloor (plywood or OSB) at various locations using a wood moisture meter. The moisture content of the subfloor must never exceed 12% and the difference in moisture content between the subfloor and flooring must not exceed 4% (internal moisture of the boards will be between 6% and 9%). If the moisture content of the subfloor or the difference between the flooring and the subfloor is too high, heat, ventilate, and dehumidify the site and delay delivery and installation of the flooring. For boards that are 4" or more in width, the difference in moisture content between the subfloor and the flooring must not exceed 2%.

    Engineered wood flooring
    The indoor temperature should be about 68°F (20°C) and the relative humidity should be between 30% and 65%.

    The installer must check the humidity of the subfloor (plywood or OSB) at various locations using a wood moisture meter. The moisture content of the subfloor must never exceed 12% and the difference in moisture content between the subfloor and flooring must not exceed 4%. If the moisture content of the subfloor or the difference is too high, heat, ventilate, or dehumidify the site and delay delivery and installation of the flooring.

    If the subfloor is a concrete slab, plan to let it dry for at least 30 days to obtain a reliable moisture reading. The moisture reading on the concrete subfloor should not exceed 4%. If there is moisture, test using calcium chloride. The moisture level measured with the calcium chloride test must not exceed 3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. over 24 hours.

    Subfloor preparation and repair
    • Recommended subfloors: Sheets of 3/4" (19 mm) plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) for joists spaced up to a maximum of 19.2" (488 mm) on center. Sheets of 5/8" (16 mm) plywood for joists spaced to a maximum of 16" (406 mm) on center.

    • The subfloor must be level. Repair minor surface irregularities using a sander or floor leveler (allow the leveler to dry completely before installing the wood flooring).

    • The subfloor must not be more than 3/16" (5 mm) out of level over 6' (1.8 m), or 1/4" (6 mm) out of level over 10' (3 m).

    • The subfloor must be structurally sound and securely fastened to the joists with flooring screws to avoid any movement of the plywood, which could lead to cracks.

    • The subfloor must be clean. Remove any glue or staples and drive in all visible nails.

    • For glued installation on a concrete slab, make sure the concrete is not low density (less than 3000 psi) or crumbling.


    What is a pre-installation acclimatization and does it apply to all types of wood flooring?

    Pre-installation acclimatization for wood flooring refers to a period of time when the flooring is left in its original packaging and stored in the location where it will be installed. You should first make sure the conditions inside the room are suitable. Wood is a living material. The purpose of acclimatization is to allow it to adapt to the conditions in the room.

    Verify that the product is consistent in terms of species, grade, color, finish, size, and quality. If it is, let the wood acclimatize for a minimum of 48 hours prior to installation. Never store boxes of floor boards in an unsuitable location such as a shed, an unheated garage, or a basement. Please notify your dealer immediately if there is a problem.

    Follow these recommendations based on the type of flooring you are installing:

    Solid wood flooring
    Solid flooring must acclimatize for at least 48 hours indoors in a controlled environment before being installed. The relative humidity should be about 45% and the temperature should be around 68°F (20°C).

    Engineered wood flooring
    Because of the way it’s designed, this type of flooring doesn’t need to acclimatize prior to installation. (Reference: Mercier installation guides)

    Is it possible to install the flooring in the same direction as the floor joists?

    We strongly recommend installing flooring on a 45° or 90° angle with respect to the floor joists. 

    Can I install solid wood flooring over a radiant heating system?

    No, we do not recommend installing Solid wood flooring on a subfloor equipped with a radiant heating system. The good news is that Engineered flooring is great for this purpose, with the exception of Hickory species. See the Engineered flooring installation guide for more details.

    Are there transition moldings that match Mercier flooring?

    Yes of course! Moldings add the final touch to any installation project. You can get T-molding, quarter round, thresholds, stair nosing, and even vents to match your Mercier floor. Ask your dealer for more information. (Reference: Molding and vents product sheet)

    How do I maintain the floor to preserve its original appearance?

    Proper maintenance of your wood floor is essential to preserve its original beauty for as long as possible. We recommend using Mercier cleaning products, which are available from your dealer.

    Put protective felt pads under the legs of chairs and furniture to protect the floor. We also strongly recommend using protective mats at entrances and in other areas where they are needed. It is also very important to trim your pets’ nails. (Reference: Maintenance guide)