All posts by greatwesternflooringco

Comparing Laminate Flooring Manufacturers

ivcus laminate flooring Alaskan Pine-min

When shopping for laminate flooring products, it is always best to do your homework and compare at least a few products from different manufacturers. There are a few important areas of evaluation and things you should consider to help you determine which manufacturer will offer the best value. Some of the most important considerations are design and color, warranty, ease of installation, materials used, service and support, price and reliability of the brand chosen.
Design and Color
Trusted manufacturers of laminate flooring will have many options when it comes to wood species design, finishes and stains. Be sure that you have a wide selection when it comes to choosing the floor of your dreams.
Manufacturer Warranty
Make sure that you evaluate each manufacturer’s warranty and conditions that cause it to be invalid. Reputable flooring manufacturers will often provide warranties of 20 years or more compared to some companies that may offer only a 5 year warranty. It definitely pays to know this information before making your choice.
Ease of Installation
Most laminate flooring should be easy enough to install for contractors and even the do-it-yourself homeowner. If you plan to install laminate flooring yourself, be sure that you clearly understand all directions and that all materials are included with additional material requirements included in your cost analysis.
Materials Used
Not all flooring products are made the same, and quality products will become easy to spot once you get a little familiar with knowing what to look for. Some companies apply added layers of coatings or offer additional options to suit specific environments.
Company Review and Reliability
See what others are saying about the flooring manufacturers you investigate, read their reviews and talk with other flooring professionals. See how they handle customer concerns, problems or warranty issues.
Price should not be the driving factor in your decision, as you just might get what you pay for. You don’t want to spend the time and money investing in a new floor to have to turn around and replace it in a few years. Your flooring must be affordable, however, and you should be able to find quality flooring that fits your budget with a little time invested.
Great Western Flooring Offers Assistance in Comparing Laminate Flooring
Speaking with a flooring specialist like Great Western Flooring will provide you with many benefits in your comparisons. We offer quality made products from reputable flooring manufacturers, with a wide variety of floor types, designs, colors and shades. We can help you to compare manufacturers to find the floor of your dreams, that meets your requirements and fits your budget. Stop by one of our conveniently located design centers in Naperville, Oswego or St. Charles for a free design consultation and to learn more about your many options with laminate flooring.
Great Western Flooring has over 35 years of experience pleasing customers in and around the Chicago area. We offer quality made products from the most respected names in flooring manufacturers. Contact us today to learn more about our wide selection of flooring and how to evaluate various manufacturers to fit your flooring needs.


Installing Shaw Laminate Floor Moldings

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Shaw laminate flooring gives the option to add the perfect finishing touch with coordinating moldings which add style and flair. Moldings are available in many colors and styles in either 7” or 10” lengths. Shaw provides a full line of trim pieces in either Threshold,T-molding, End mold and many other transition pieces that can be secured in place with a molding track which can be adhered to the subfloor to minimize using screws.

You must be sure to pre-drill holes in molding when using nails so the trim will not split. Use a miter saw when cutting trim with a carbide tipped blade to make nice finished cuts. Be careful to avoid nailing down at an angle to not attach wall base to the floor, this would prevent proper expansion.
Threshold molding is a good choice when transitioning from laminate floor to carpet, or when meeting up with vertical objects such as bathtubs, sliding glass doors or exterior doors. Always leave a 1” space between the floor and the vertical object.
T-Molding is the transition piece of choice when two level floor surfaces meet such as in an archway or doorway. Install the molding track first then push the T-molding in the track working it from right to left.
Quarter round is used to finish a perimeter of a room where seasonal expansion space was left for the floor to contract and expand. Remember when nailing moldings into the wall, never nail them to the floor.
Stairnose moldings are used to finish stair risers and treads, to provide a polished and finished staircase.
Great Western Flooring Offers Shaw Laminate Floor Moldings
If not sure how to install your Shaw laminate floor moldings, call on the flooring specialists at Great Western Flooring. We offer quality made products from the leading flooring manufacturers such as Shaw, offering a wide selection in color, shade and wood grain look. With coordinated Shaw laminate floor moldings, your room will stand out and look polished and finished.

We provide expert installation from experienced flooring technicians, and free design consultations from any of our convenient locations in Naperville, Oswego or St. Charles.
Great Western Flooring is a leading flooring and tile company pleasing customers in and around the Chicago area. We provide quality flooring products and accessories as well as professional installation. Contact us today for all your flooring and tile needs and to learn more about Shaw laminate floor moldings.

Installing Laminate Wood Flooring is Easy with Preparation

mannington laminate flooring Chestnut Hill-minInstalling laminate wood flooring provides the same natural beauty as hardwood, although is easier to install and offers additional benefits like scratch and stain resistance. Plastic composite planks come completely assembled with a polyethylene foam pad on the bottom, for a secure glueless installation with planks that snap into place. If you plan to DIY with installing laminate wood flooring, you’ll need to prepare for a successful installation.

Tools Needed for Installing Laminate Wood Flooring

You’ll need to prepare for your laminate wood flooring installation with the proper tools which include the following:

  • Handsaw or table saw
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Pull bar
  • Tapping block
  • Spacing blocks
  • Tape Measure
  • Utility knife
  • Pencil

You’ll also need the proper materials which include:

  • Laminate flooring
  • Underlayment
  • Shoe molding
  • Finishing nails

Once you have all of your tools and materials, you’re ready to begin.

Follow These Simple Steps to Install Laminate Wood Flooring

1) Acclimate the flooring. Flooring should lay flat in the room intended for installation at least 48 hours prior to installing which allows it to contract or expand and acclimate to the room’s temperature. This is important to prevent buckling after installing.
2) Remove the baseboard. Use the pry bar to remove baseboard from the wall and set aside to reinstall after your floor installation. Installing floating laminate planks should be done on a smooth, hard surface such as vinyl or the subfloor. If installing over the subfloor, make sure to remove all debris, nails, staples before rolling out the underlayment. Installing a foam underlayment makes the floor more resilient and helps to deaden sound.
3) Plan your layout. Plan to lay your planks lengthwise with the longest wall, avoiding a narrow strip at the focal point wall, with planks in the last row measuring at least two inches wide. Leave a ¼” gap against each wall to allow for expansion. *If the last row would measure under two inches, add the width to the width of a plank, divide by two and cut the first and law row planks to this width.
4) Cut your first row of planks. Cut with the finished side down when using a power saw, or with the finished side up when using a handsaw, keeping your planks secure with clamps when cutting. Wedge the spacers between the wall and planks to leave the ¼” gap against the wall.
5) Install your first row of planks. Install your first row with the tongue side facing the wall, or cut the tongue edge off as recommended by the manufacturer. Lay each plank next to the other connecting the tongue and grooves. Make sure the planks fit snugly together with the pull bar, hammer and tapping block if necessary, cutting the last plank to fit.
6) Install all rows of flooring. As you lay the next row, stagger the seams at least 12 inches from the adjoining rows. Keep any scrap you cut off at the end of rows if they are longer than 12 inches, and you can often use them again when starting new rows. Gently pry your planks into place at an angle for a tight fit and be sure leave the ¼” expansion gap at the wall.
7) Cut around door casings. Use the jamb saw to cut the door casing above the height of the floor, rather than cutting the planks around the door casing.
8) Reinstall trim. Reinstall your baseboard with a hammer and finishing nails once your planks are in place.
Now that you are finished with successfully installing laminate wood flooring, you can sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful new floor. If this seems like too much work, call on the flooring experts at Great Western Flooring. We offer wood laminate flooring in all types, shades and wood grains from the best flooring manufacturers. We provide experienced installation for a beautiful floor that will last for many years.
Great Western Flooring is a leading floor and tile company offering quality flooring products. We offer complimentary design consultations and professional installation. Contact us to learn more about our full line of flooring products and for any questions you may have with installing wood laminate flooring.

Find the Best Vinyl Tile that Looks like Wood

There are many options when choosing flooring products today, with a very popular choice being vinyl tile that looks like wood.  Vinyl flooring today is manufactured to look like a natural replica of real stone tiles or natural hardwood, in an endless array of colors, styles and texture.  Vinyl tile offers the beauty of natural wood with a softer underlayment, making it much more comfortable when standing for any period of time.  Vinyl provides comfort and warmth, making it desirable over stone in some environments where the floor is cold in cooler months.

With the many options of style, texture and color, vinyl tile that looks like wood is a great way to get the most bang for your buck with a spectacular looking floor at a great value.  Vinyl tile flooring provides many benefits with simple DIY installation making it easy to create your own unique design.

Great Western Flooring Offers Vinyl Tile that Looks like Wood

Great Western Flooring Company offers one of the widest selections of flooring products from the best names among flooring manufacturers.  Not all vinyl tile products are manufactured the same and it is important to know the difference.  LVT is manufactured in varying thicknesses of the durable wear layer and with varying textures in the top layer, all contributing to a quality made final product that stands up to the test of time.

Luxury vinyl tile and planks offers long lasting beauty and durability, with scratch and stain resistant products requiring very little maintenance. Great Western offers quality made LVT from manufacturers such as Shaw and Armstrong, providing high performance floors at an affordable price.  We provide complimentary design consultations from one of our conveniently located flooring design centers in Naperville, Oswego and St. Charles.

Great Western Flooring has over 35 years of experience pleasing customers in and around the Chicago area with quality made flooring products and professional installation from experienced flooring technicians.  Contact us today or stop by a design center for a complimentary consultation and to see our wide selection of LVT and LVP including vinyl tile that looks like wood.


How is WPC Different from LVT?

WPC, or wood plastic composite, is a form of luxury vinyl tile, LVT, but not all LVT is WPC. Lots of acronyms to say that WPC is a specialty product type of luxury vinyl tile, offering additional benefits such as water-resistant material. Luxury vinyl tile typically includes multiple layers consisting of a thick durable underlayment, a tough wear layer, image layer displaying realistic looks of wood or stone and a textured surface.  Not all LVT is manufactured the same, however, and there is quite a difference between quality made LVT or LVP (luxury vinyl planks) and poorly made material.

WPC is often times referred to as waterproof core, which is one of the main benefits of WPC flooring.  This quality makes WPC quite desirable for homeowners looking to install a new floor in rooms which may be exposed to moisture such as kitchens, bathrooms, mud rooms and basements.  It’s the waterproof core that makes WPC flooring such a stable product, which means it will not contract or expand when exposed to climate or humidity changes.

WPC is a popular choice for any room in the house and also in commercial properties.  When comparing WPC vs LVT, consider the temperature and climate of the room in question, and also the wear and tear it will take.  Both WPC and LVT are quite durable in either residential or commercial applications, offering much bang for your buck with long lasting, resilient flooring that keeps on performing year after year.

Both WPC and LVT offer a durable floor requiring low maintenance.  With the modern technology used by floor manufacturers today, it is difficult to tell the difference between natural hardwood and luxury vinyl tile.  LVT and WPC flooring will not succumb to scratches and stains like hardwood, and is much easier to maintain.

Great Western Flooring Offers Wide Selections of WPC and LVT

Great Western Flooring is a leading flooring and tile company offering a wide selection of WPC and LVT flooring from the best names in the business.  We have over 35 years of experience in pleasing customers with quality products and professional installation.  Stop by one of our conveniently located design centers in Naperville, Oswego or St. Charles to speak with a flooring specialist for a complimentary design consultation.

Great Western Flooring offers complimentary design consultations from experienced flooring specialists. We offer quality products from trusted names in flooring manufacturers with professional installation.  Contact us today to learn more about our wide selection of flooring products and for answers to all your questions on how WPC is different from LVT.

Where to Find the Best Premium Luxury Vinyl Tile

While some vinyl flooring products may look the same, the difference between poor flooring products and premium luxury vinyl tile become evident upon close examination and especially after installation.  A premium vinyl tile product will have a high quality look up close and the durability and thickness of the wear layer is evident upon standing on the floor.  Don’t leave your new floor installation to chance, be sure to find the best premium luxury vinyl tile available to extend the value of your home improvement.

If wondering where to find the best luxury vinyl tile products and which manufacturers offer the style and features you’re looking for, read on to learn more about the many options from the best names in flooring manufacturers.


Shaw is known for excellence in flooring products and their line of luxury vinyl tile does not disappoint.  With several choices including Premio, Easy Street, Classico, Navigator and Aviator, Shaw offers 7 different lines of vinyl plank with 13 species and color variations.  Shaw’s line of premium luxury vinyl tile encompasses the whole gamut of luxury vinyl plank, (LVP), from thick, thicker and premium selections at 6.5 mm for exceptional durability.  With the quality we have come to expect from Shaw, even the middle of the road products offer an excellent flooring choice.


Armstrong offers an LVP line called Luxe Plank in variations of favorited wood species replicas such as Oak, Walnut and Maple.  The top of the line  LVP Luxe Plank line from Armstrong offers thickness at 4 mm which is a nice durable, middle of the road choice suitable in many applications.


Mannington offers including entry-level Adura and the premium line, Distinctive Plank. The Adura line is cost effective at 4mm thickness and comes in the basic wood species such as Maple and Oak.  The Distinctive line offers additional color options in soothing, darker tones with a more complex and realistic embossing, although comes in the same 4mm thickness as the Adura.


Karndean is name well known in the UK for quality flooring products and offers a line of premium luxury vinyl tile with realistic wood looks and easy installation.  Karndean includes the Art Select brand of LVP, which provides a natural wood-parquet look in various hews and classic looks.  The Art Select brand comes in 4.5mm thickness with 20 mils of wear layer.

Great Western Flooring Offers Premium Luxury Vinyl Tile

Great Western Flooring Company is a leading flooring and tile company with more than 35 years of experience in pleasing customers in and around the Chicago area.  We offer the premium luxury vinyl tile from the most well known brands in the industry ensuring quality product at a the best available cost.  Stop by one of our conveniently located design centers in Naperville, Oswego or St. Charles for a complimentary design consultation from an experienced flooring specialist.

Great Western Flooring is a leading floor and tile company offering quality flooring products from experienced flooring specialists.  We offer complimentary design consultations and professional installation.  Contact us to learn more about our full line of flooring products including a wide selection of premium luxury vinyl tile.

Cleaning Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Tips

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring provides many benefits to consumers including beauty, comfort and durability.  Even durable vinyl flooring needs proper care and cleaning to maintain it’s initial luxurious look.  Here are some tips to cleaning your luxury vinyl flooring:

Initial Vinyl Plank Flooring Care within 24 hours of installation:

  • Avoid stepping on the seam if the floor has been seamed to allow it to completely dry undisturbed
  • Keep foot traffic very light during the first 24 hours after installation to allow any adhesive to thoroughly dry
  • Always protect the floor with wood or hardboard runways when moving furniture and appliances across the floor
  • Wait at least three days before washing or scrubbing the floor, you can spot clean with care to avoid the seams

Routine Daily and Weekly Cleaning of Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

  • Wipe up spills promptly to prevent stains
  • Sweep regularly to remove loose dirt
  • Mop occasionally with a recommended vinyl floor cleaning product, avoid soap and detergent products which will cause a dull film to develop.  Rinsing is typically not required but may leave a higher shine
  • LVP floors are typically low-gloss, a mop-n-shine product or polish can make the finish shiny
  • Several applications of polish may require an occasional stripping.  Manufacturer cleaner and stripper products are available to restore LVP floors to a luxurious luster.
  • Use caution when cleaning as resilient floor are slippery when wet

Simple Guidelines to Protect Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

  • Always use a doormat outside of each entrance door to prevent tracking in dirt and other substances
  • Keep your blinds or curtains closed during times of high sun exposure as excessive sunlight and heat will cause furniture, carpet and even resilient floors to fade over time
  • Furniture and appliances should be supported with non-staining floor protectors.
  • Always use strips of wood or hardboard runways when moving heavy furniture and appliances across the floor, even if using a dolly or if the appliance has wheels

Contact Great Western Flooring for more information on cleaning luxury vinyl plank flooring and for all your floor care needs.  We offer complimentary design consultations, high-quality floor products and professional installation.  Contact us today to speak with a floor care professional.