Swiss Krono USA Offers Parents, Kids a Healthier Flooring Option

Swiss Krono USA, one of the largest manufacturers of laminate flooring in the U.S., announced on February 26, 2018, that its laminate wood flooring earned UL GREENGUARD Certification, giving families a healthier flooring option. Recognized and referenced by over 400 codes, rating systems, and procurement policies worldwide, UL’s GREENGUARD Gold Certification Program requires that products meet some of the world’s most rigorous standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor environments. Using dynamic environmental chamber testing, Swiss Krono USA laminate wood floors were tested for total VOCs, formaldehyde, and over 300 VOCs with health-based limits. The GREENGUARD Gold label validates that these floors are low-emitting and support healthy indoor environments. “Swiss Krono USA has always been focused on offering safe, sustainable flooring. But with asthma reaching epidemic proportions, we saw a need to ensure that consumers know our flooring continues to be safe for homes, especially for kids and pets. The GREENGUARD Gold Certification provides consumers with third party verification that our laminate floors are a healthier option than other floors in the market. We want to deliver families great products and peace of mind,” said Erik Christensen, CEO and President of Swiss Krono USA. “By earning the GREENGUARD Gold Certification, Swiss Krono USA has demonstrated their dedication to supporting healthier indoor environments, a critically important effort, as Americans spend upwards of 90% of their time indoors,” said Alberto Uggetti, Vice President and General Manger, UL Environment, a division of UL (Underwriters Laboratories) that works to advance global sustainability, environmental health, and safety by supporting the growth and development of environmentally preferable products, services, and organizations.... Read More
Wood Laminate or Luxury Vinyl Tile: Which Is Right for You?

Wood Laminate or Luxury Vinyl Tile: Which Is Right for You?

Is Laminate Flooring The Right Choice? Have you wondered how laminate flooring and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) compare as flooring solutions and which is right for your home? After all, in the world of hard-surface flooring (as opposed to the soft carpeted kind), laminate flooring such as Swiss Krono USA American Concepts and LVT are highly popular with homeowners. LVT is part of what is known as “resilient flooring” that also includes sheet-vinyl and rubber flooring. Let’s compare LVT and laminate flooring so you can decide which material is right for you. How laminate flooring and LVT are similar: Both have cost and durability advantages over such other solid-surface flooring choices as hardwood, ceramic or stone. Both laminate flooring and LVT have become master imitators of natural surfaces like wood, stone and other flooring types. Both are easier to maintain than wood or tile. Hardwood or engineered-wood floors may need refinishing, and some tile types may need resealing or regrouting. Both can be installed either professionally or by a reasonably skilled do-it-yourselfer who has the right tools and instructions. Both can allow for repair by replacement of a damaged plank or tile. Both have wear layers. Swiss Krono USA’s laminate flooring has an extremely hard aluminum-oxide wear layer that resists scratches and UV protection to prevent fading from prolonged exposure to sunlight. LVT may have a clear-vinyl and urethane coating to protect it. How Laminate Flooring and LVT are different: They’re made from different materials. Laminate flooring is made of layers. The primary layer (the core) is made of high-density fiberboard that gives laminate flooring its rigidity and strength.... Read More
How to Decide Between Hardwood and Laminate Flooring

How to Decide Between Hardwood and Laminate Flooring

There comes a time in the flooring decision-making process when you realize that it comes down to hardwood vs. laminate. You’ve come to your senses regarding that shag carpet. You’ve done tile before and, like most everyone else, wished you’d picked a different color, size, kind, grout, etc. We’ve all been there. And now you’re here, where most people eventually arrive, at the hardwood vs. laminate debate. In the past, it used to be no contest: Got lots of money? Spring for the hardwoods. Not so much money? Get the wood laminate. Now, though, the debate is bit more complicated — mostly because laminate flooring options have become extremely attractive in a lot of ways. First of all, consider how much of your home’s flooring you’re replacing. Are you tying the floor into another space that already has laminate vs. hardwood? If you’re tying into an existing floor, you might stick with the same flooring in order for it to match. Matching an existing hardwood floor, however, is much easier said than done. But if other floors in your home aren’t an issue, here are the basic arguments when considering hardwood vs. laminate flooring. Durability. People often make a big fuss about how long hardwoods last. The funny part is that they have to be refinished every 5 to 10 years or so depending on the amount of traffic or, in some cases, the destructive tendencies of young children. A high quality laminate is resistant to wear, fading and staining. So it will look as good as it did the day you installed it after 20 years or more... Read More
Our Laminate Flooring Is Healthier for Your Home and the Planet

Our Laminate Flooring Is Healthier for Your Home and the Planet

If protecting the environment — globally as well as inside your home — is important to you, then you should know how laminate flooring sustainability could enhance both. Swiss Krono USA uses fresh pine harvested through ecologically sound forest thinning operations, which creates less impact on the environment and means that you get the look of exotic hardwoods without harming any real exotic or endangered wood species. The manufacturing process is so efficient and results in such little waste that we end up using almost every part of the tree in the construction of our planks. Laminate flooring sustainability advantages don’t end at the manufacturing plant. It carries right over into your home, beginning with the installation of your new floor. Our tongue-and-groove locking system installs easily without the need for glue or nails. This simple installation process means fewer power tools are needed, which results in less energy use. After installation is complete, scraps can be disposed of with the rest of your household garbage. Ours is also a much healthier floor to live with for years to come. Our American Concepts require little maintenance. Regular dusting and occasional damp mopping with a 3:1 water and vinegar solution will keep your floor looking like new with no need for harsh cleansers. Unlike hardwoods, our laminate floors will never need to be refinished — a process which introduces toxic levels of dust and noxious chemicals to your home. Laminate flooring focused on indoor air quality You’re not the only one concerned about indoor air quality. We are, too. In fact, we use absolutely no harmful substances — halogen, chloride,... Read More
Healthy Homes Start at the Floor

Healthy Homes Start at the Floor

For years now, we’ve been taking the recycling bin to the curb, buying organic food, and making a conscious effort to be less wasteful. But while many brands and consumers have been focused on doing what’s good for the planet, many of us have neglected to do what’s good for our own environments — the spaces inside our homes that we inhabit each and every day, for decades on end. Since its beginning, Swiss Krono USA has gone above and beyond to do what’s better for the planet. The fresh wood fibers used in the core of our planks is harvested through ecologically sound forest thinning operations. This minimizes our impact on the environment and gives you the look of exotic hardwoods without harming any real exotic or endangered wood species. Efficiencies in our manufacturing process enable us to use almost every part of the tree, as well, creating less waste for the landfills. But unlike many other brands of laminate flooring, Swiss Krono also does what’s better for the indoors, helping the people who live on our floors to lead healthier lives. We avoid using any harmful substances, like halogen, chloride, PVC, PCB, or dioxin in the construction of our product. Plus, the decorative paper layer that gives our planks the look of real wood is printed using water-based, low volatile organic compound (VOC) inks. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, VOCs contribute to increased levels of indoor air pollution, which can cause everything from eye, nose, and throat irritation to central nervous system damage and even cancer. Laminate flooring that’s right for the Earth and our... Read More
The ‘Can I Install Laminate Flooring Over This?’ Guide

The ‘Can I Install Laminate Flooring Over This?’ Guide

The 'Can I Install Laminate Flooring Over This?' Guide Shop Laminate Flooring   We’re listing alphabetically all of the flooring types available so that you can easily determinewhether you can install laminate over that specific flooring type. Remember that laminate flooring, like Swiss Krono USA’s Laminate Wood Flooring, is a floating floor — it will expand and contract as temperature and other conditions change. This means that the choice of subfloor (i.e., what you install laminate over) needs to provide the right support.   Bamboo: Not recommended.thick    Brick: No. Even with a brick floor in excellent condition, there is the potential for too much surface deviance that could stress the laminate-flooring locking system. And if the floor is below grade, moisture migration will be too difficult to control.   Carpeting, tufted: No. Carpet, its padding, and all its staples must be completely removed — down to the subfloor — before you install laminate flooring.   Carpeting, commercial or needle-bond: No. Some types and styles of commercial or “indoor/outdoor” carpeting may look harmless, but it and any adhesive used to glue it down must be removed before installing a laminate floor.   Carpet tiles: No. Everything has to go. Only the subfloor may remain when you install laminate.   Ceramic tiles: Yes, provided the surface of the floor is flat and level (per our laminate subfloor specifications) and the condition of the floor is good. The tiles themselves must be smooth. You must use padding. Check for cracked or loose tiles and grout — these could be signs of a poor floor condition caused by settling that could cause... Read More
Wood Laminate or Luxury Vinyl Tile: Which Is Right for You?

How to Decide on Your Laminate Floor’s Thickness

If you’re trying to figure out how to choose laminate wood floors for your home and wondering how thickness fits in, here are answers to your questions. How is laminate flooring thickness measured? For laminate flooring, plank thickness is measured in millimeters (mm). A millimeter is roughly 0.039 inches. Flooring products like Swiss Krono USA’s American Concepts will state plank thickness on their packages or in their advertising by measuring the entire plank thickness — from the bottom surface that rests on the subfloor to the top of the plank. So if a plank has an attached pad (meaning the underlayment is actually attached to each individual plank), you may see a plank thickness of 14 mm. That means it’s a 12 mm thick plank with a 2 mm thick pad attached, equaling 14 mm. Therefore, plank thickness doesn’t refer strictly to the core of the plank but instead to the combination of all layers that make up the plank. Is laminate flooring thickness a guarantee of durability? Not necessarily. At Swiss Krono USA, we see durability provided by the aluminum-oxide wear layer that’s on top. The wear layer makes the laminate floor able to stand up to foot traffic and minor abrasions, thus improving its durability. Impact resistance, or the ability of a laminate floor to withstand the impact of a falling object, is related to plank thickness. In general, the thicker the plank the more resistant the floor becomes to fracture from a dropped object. Brands like our American Concepts floors meet and exceed a light commercial rating on “Large-Ball Impact Resistance” and “Small-Ball (Dart) Impact Resistance”... Read More
Why Laminate Floors Stand Up Better to Pets

Why Laminate Floors Stand Up Better to Pets

Many homeowners have seen their beloved dogs pretty much shredded their hardwood floors. They might have heard that laminate floors stand up better to pets, but is that true? Yes, laminate floors definitely stand up better to pets because they’re designed to be both durable and beautiful — something that simply can’t be said of hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are essentially wood planks with a clear coat of lacquer applied to the surface. This lacquer is easily worn and scratched away as pets or people move across the floor. What’s more, some hardwoods are actually soft woods, which can be easily gouged or dented. Laminate flooring like Swiss Krono USA American Concepts, on the other hand, is actually constructed so that the layer of decorative paper (the layer that gives the plank its wood grain appearance) and the resilient top layer are fused together for an abrasion-resistant surface. The high-density core of laminate planks also helps it resist dents and gouges. To learn more about taking care of your laminate floor if you do have pets, read more here. When you’re ready to buy laminate wood flooring, visit our American Concepts flooring line. We have 10 different floors that are moisture resistant; their lifetime warranty protects for spills that can sit for up to 24-hours. Plus we have 13 other flooring options ranging from 12mm thick with a lifetime warranty to 7mm thick and a 15-year... Read More
Laminate Flooring Cleaning and Care Tips

Laminate Flooring Cleaning and Care Tips

Never leave any amounts of liquids (water, juices, soft drinks, alcohol, etc.) on the floor for more than the time necessary to clean the spill. Immediately wipe up wet areas from spills, foreign substances or wet shoes. Don’t use any cleaning agents containing wax, oil or polish. Leftover residue from these agents can leave a dull film on the floor. Don’t use steel wool or scouring powder, which could scratch the floor. Use either a natural or colorfast doormat outside and inside each entrance to your home to prevent dirt, sand, grit and other substances from being tracked onto the floor. Use wide-bearing, non-staining floor protectors such as hard plastic or felt pad protectors under chair and table legs. Never use a floor steam cleaner, which could harm your floor and void your warranty.   Cleaning Stains and Other Problems:  Cleaning technique: Chocolate, Grease, Juice, Wine Dampen a rag with water and laminate floor cleaner and spot clean. Asphalt, Cigarette Burns, Crayon, Dried Foods, Ink, Nail Polish, Paint, Shoe Polish Dampen a rag with rubbing alcohol or 100% pure acetone and spot clean. Candle Wax, Chewing Gum Allow to harden and gently scrape with a plastic... Read More
How to Clean Your Laminate Wood Floors

How to Clean Your Laminate Wood Floors

The day your Swiss Krono USA American Concepts are installed is a lot like the day you drive a brand new car off the lot. You find yourself staring at their pristine beauty with bittersweet pride, thinking, “They will never look this perfect again.” Unlike the car, though, laminate wood floors are designed to be beautiful and durable, which means you can recapture that “just-installed look” any time by simply cleaning them. It’s actually very easy to clean laminate wood floors. One of the easiest methods is using the vacuum cleaner. Just make sure to turn your vacuum to the wood-floors setting, and off you go. Another popular method is to use a dry dust mop, like Swiffer®, which can be great for quickly removing any dust bunnies or pet-hair tumbleweeds. Here’s a little tip for you: Several laminate flooring manufacturers sell laminate-flooring cleaning kits, which cost from $20 to $60 and usually contain a dust mop and bottle of cleaning solution. Save yourself the money and skip the kit. Chances are you already own a Swiffer® or something similar. And below we’ll tell you how to make your own cleaning solution for next to nothing. If you have the time and inclination, you can go for a more professional cleaning. You’ll need a sponge mop, but a dry dust mop can work in a pinch, too. You can buy a bottle of laminate-floor cleaner from your independent flooring retailer, or prepare a homemade cleaning solution using three parts water to one part vinegar. Just pour the solution into a spray bottle and go. Remember to always spray the... Read More