Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What makes From The Forest products so innovative?

A: The biggest problems with wood flooring is that it can be destroyed too easily and it takes a lot of wood to make a floor. From The Forest has addressed these issues with our HDF Core products. By using 100% recycled hardwood to make our 2x more dent resistant HDF cores, and when coupled with our superior Wearmax XT finish the necessary size of the wood veneer is minimal. These innovations ensure that our customers will pay less for a more durable, environmentally friendly floor all at a lesser cost.

Q: What is HDF?

A: Not to be confused with MDF or Medium Density Fiber which is usually found in laminates, HDF stands for High-Density Fiber which we use as the core material for many of our products. The HDF we use is recycled from excess hardwood veneers used on our flooring, we then mix it with a water-resistant resin and press it. This engineered wood product can be almost 2x harder than other wood flooring products and also can be up to 5x more resistant to moisture when compared to a laminate or other wood products in the industry.

Q: Is all HDF the same?

A: No, HDF can vary in quality and performance depending on what it’s made out of and how it’s engineered. From The Forest, LLC has always used the highest quality HDF which comes from hardwood trees such as Hickory and Oak, instead of softwood trees such as Pine and Poplar which makes a big difference as to how the product will perform over time.

Q: Is the Baltic Birch made in the USA?

A: For as many as 60 plus years, North America has tried to make a well balanced plywood core substrate out of pine, fir, alder, basswood, spruce and so on. The challenge with North American manufacturers is they are able to produce the product, but having a consistent platform and having a well-balanced substrate on a consistent basis has been a huge challenge. Also, North American manufacturers of plywood typically slice all veneers under the Imperial dimensions, 1/10”, 1/8”, and so on. These thicknesses are too thick to build a strong balanced product. The consistency of moisture content with rotary peeled technology, are not tight enough standards for building a substrate for engineered flooring . The plywood manufacturers in North America are very good at building construction grade plywood panels as building materials for home construction, this also goes for Canada, as well as South America.

If you were to take a survey of all the manufacturers of engineered hardwood flooring in the United States, you would find more than 80% of them rely on Russian Baltic Birch as their platform of choice. Russian Baltic Birch is sliced in the metric system which is a much tighter standard in veneer layers , and they are also thinner than domestic manufacturers can produce. When buying Baltic Birch platforms, the veneer layers are typically 1.1 millimeters up to 1.3 millimeters depending on the overall thickness of the platform being produced. These thin layers create a well-balanced moisture content with rotary veneers made of spruce are outstanding when it comes to engineered hardwood flooring. The product is made out of a spruce tree which is considered part of the hardwood family. Russian Baltic Birch is unmatched in quality and consistency when looking to build a quality product in engineered flooring.

The statement on our website referring to “flooring raw materials sourced in North America” is mostly referring to the decorative face, the top layer that you see and walk on. The construction is 100% hardwood flooring.

Q: What is Wearmax DWR?

A: Wearmax DWR is our ceramic based aluminum oxide finish that we use on all of our products. Our chemists have developed a way to make our aluminum oxide particles smaller so that we can add more per square inch of the boards which makes it more resistant to scratching. This is perfect for homeowners with an active family life.

Q: What is the difference between laminate, engineered and solid wood flooring?


  • Laminate: pressed particle or medium density fiber (MDF) board with a photograph of wood applied to the surface. Laminate flooring contains NO actual wood. It can be installed almost anywhere, using a click together or glue installation.
  • Solid: Generally a 3/4” thick solid block of wood. It can be installed on or above grade by a staple or nail down application.
  • Engineered: Engineered floors are better suited for areas where environmental temperature and relative humidity cannot be held to a consistent level. It can be installed above, on, or below grade using glue, nail, and staple or floating applications.

Q: Why do some of your products have a thinner veneer of wood on the top?

A: Contrary to popular opinion, by using a thinner veneer of wood we can minimize the size of indentations that will inevitably happen during the life of the floor. From The Forest believes that having a floor that is more durable and that lasts longer is better than having a floor that will require numerous sanding’s because it can damage easily. This is also why our products that have the thinnest layer of wood and thicker engineered HDF cores carry the best warranties because of their superior performance.

Q: Can I request a custom color of engineered hardwood flooring?

A: Yes, we offer custom color runs for quantities of 3,000-5,000sf. We request you send us an example of the color you would like matched for us to develop. You will then be asked to sign a document that commits to placing the order due to the high manufacturing costs of color matching. We then send you samples of the created custom color to review and agree upon. Once all parties agree, we will then proceed with production. Custom color requests for less than 3,000sf will be considered and pricing will vary by quantity requested. Please contact an expert to discuss pricing and lead time.

Q: How do I repair flooring damage and unfilled knots in my flooring?

A: To repair the flooring damage and unfilled knots you will need the following tools: hot glue gun, steel weight, black sharpie marker, black filler sticks, razor scraper, WearMax Top Coat and UV light.
1. Use hot glue gun to fill knot or damaged area with black filler
2. Place steel weight on top of filler and apply pressure
3. When filler is hardened, use razor scraper to scrape excess filler
4. Use black sharpie to fill in light spots along the edges, if necessary
Due to top coat residue in the knots, sometimes the filler as applied above, may not stick. If this occurs, follow these instructions:
1. Scuff up the knot with a knife to remove any residual top coat
2. Use black sharpie to fill in light spots
3. Apply WearMax top coat according to instructions on the bottle
4. Use UV light to harden the top coat

Q: What is the average length of the boards in each carton and how much difference is there?

A: Depending on the product, up to 65% of the carton will be full-length boards, the remainder will be random lengths starting at 12"-15” long. Also, most cartons will have up to two “row starter" and/or “end boards” for the installer’s convenience.

Q: Do your products have low chemical emissions?

A: Our products have tested to be Phase 2 Carb Compliant for lowest possible air emissions and there are no added formaldehyde to our products. All of our raw materials are sourced from managed forests in North America.

Q: What is the fire and smoke rating in a commercial setting?

A: The fire and smoke ratings received below were provided to us from a customer who arranged for the testing for a commercial application.
Fire rating ASTM E648 :classified as Class I which means that the average critical radiant flux (W/cm2). From the Forest samples came in at 0.58 which is Class I.
For smoke (ASTM E662) FTF samples need to be less than 450 for Dm Corrected. The FTF samples average 318 & 343.

Q: Is the warranty on my floor transferable?

A: No. The warranty applies only to the original purchaser of the floor. As the purchaser, you must register the floor and keep a record of your purchase.

Q: Do you ship to Canada?

A: Yes, however we do not offer any free shipping offers on these orders. The buyer of the order is the responsible party for all shipping costs, taxes, and duties.

Q: What is the difference between hydronic radiant heat and electric radiant heat? Is From The Forest Flooring approved to be installed over radiant heat?

A: Our manufacturer's product warranty covers "wear thru of the finish and the construction of the product" only. We do not cover anything with the installation but we do recommend installation techniques and what the relative humidity and subfloor conditions need to be for a successful install. We also provide guidance for radiant heat in the installation instructions.
Hydronic heat: is water based heat. It is always a new system in a home, has floor sensors, has even heat and does not get too hot. For that reason, we know our HDF core flooring will not be negatively affected by hydronic in-floor heat.
Electric heat:   The heat is from looping wire or coils. Sometimes it is on the concrete subfloor or the pad that is right under the wood floor. Depending on the age and quality of the electric radiant heat there can be "hot spots" that occur in areas and the heat is often tough to regulate.   For that reason as a national manufacturer, we cannot recommend our flooring be put over electric heat because of all the variables. That does not mean that electric radiant heat will be bad. Many of the newer systems are very good ... however, the homeowner or dealer needs to put the responsibility on the supplier of the radiant heat. That manufacturer needs to certify that their system is approved for use under engineered wood flooring. If any issues occur they would be the responsible party.

Q: What is the acclimation period prior to installing my floor?

A: Flooring should be allowed to acclimate for a minimum of 24 hours or until conditions are at normal living conditions and meet minimum installation requirements for moisture content. Relative humidity should be between 35-55% at all times during and after installation.

Q: If I want to staple down part of the wood and float other parts, do I have to order different cartons?

A: You can use both a staple and a floating installation as long as the different installation methods are in separate rooms and divided by a t-mold or some other transition piece that will allow the floating side to float without restriction. Also, they need to be the same depth (e.g. 3/8" or 1/2"). Be sure to follow installation instructions which will be packed with the flooring.

Q: How many times can this floor be sanded and refinished?

A: All of our products that have a 2mm veneer (top layer of wood) or more can be sanded down. Our 1mm products can NOT be refinished. We’ve engineered our 1mm products (Vineyard and Click & Tap) to be 2x more dent resistant than average hardwood so that sanding should never be necessary. If you do experience damage over the years, you can screen and recoat (buff and coat) as many times as desired.

Q: Can I install a hardwood floor in a full bathroom?

A: Installing a wood floor in a full bathroom is not recommended due to the high moisture associated with these areas which usually increase the potential for problems to develop.

Q: Can I install an engineered floor over a concrete subfloor?

A: The benefit of an engineered floor is that in most cases it can be installed directly over a concrete subfloor that is clean, flat, dry and structurally sound. Click on the Installation/Warranty link for more detailed installation guidelines.

Q: How do I install moldings for engineered hardwood flooring?

A: Prior to installing the floor, determine where the trim will end. Determine the proper placement, and mark a line on the subfloor. During installation of the floor be sure to stop all materials at this line. Once flooring is installed, cut molding to length and check for fit. After proper fit is established, place a ¼” bead of construction adhesive (follow adhesive application instructions) to the subfloor and put the trim in place. If nailing, pre-drill holes in the molding to prevent splitting, cracking, or bending the nail. Be sure not to attach the molding directly to the both sides of the flooring in floating floor applications.

Q: How do I install the Floor Muffler underlayment?

A: Please watch this Floor Muffler installation video!
The underlayment will naturally try to roll itself back up. Place a weighted item at one end to keep the muffler in place. This will make installation easier!

Q: How do I install engineered flooring on stairs?

1. Start by removing the old carpet, etc. including the padding and clean completely
2. Measure the distance of the extended tread nosing beyond the riser
3. Cut 2 x 4 for length and plan thickness to your measurements and nail or screw securely to existing riser
4. Measure the starting step for height and length / cut - build and install your first flooring riser. Nail into 2 x 4 and nosing of existing tread
5. Measure and cut modified flush stair nosing. Finish nail securely into place
6. Measure / build your first tread. Dry fit to insure that you're satisfied with appearance and function
7. Using a pry bar, force the tread securely forward into the attached modified stair nosing that is securely nailed into place
8. Repeat step #4
9. Finish your stairs by installing quarter round molding at the base of each step

Q: How do I stagger the flooring?

Click and Tap
  • Stagger end joints from row to row by at least 12". Avoid ‘H’ patterns, where planks just two rows away from each other end in the same location. Continue installing the second row and cut the last board to size just as you did in the first. After installing three rows, recheck your spacers to ensure that the proper 3/8" expansion space is being maintained.

Tongue and Groove

  • Stagger end joints (at least 8”) and randomly install different lengths to ensure natural appearance. Do not create discernible patterns such as “H” or “steps”. Select boards to create a uniform appearance without clusters of short lengths or sections of light or dark planks. Do not install any objectionable boards that have visual defects or are not consistent with the grade being installed

Q: Can I lay a mat or a rug on my flooring?

A: All mats or rugs should be cleaned and/or replaced on a regular basis. They should also be moved occasionally to allow natural color changes caused by light to occur evenly in all areas. To prevent the rug from moving or slipping, place a non-skid grip liner underneath the rug or mat. Never use latex or rubber backed mats; they will permanently stain the floor.

Q: Why does my flooring look cloudy?

A: Hardwood flooring can become dull or cloudy looking over the years if you use a cleaner that has allowed a build-up of wax or other cleaning agents on it. If there is a build up from the cleaning products, full strength acetone can often do the trick. You would need to use rubber gloves, a clean, lint-free cloth, and be in a well-ventilated room.

Q: The installation adhesive I used to glue my floor left a residue. What is the best way to clean and remove this?

A: You can use full strength acetone or goo gone to remove the adhesive. Remember to change the rag frequently to avoid spreading the glue during clean up. We would recommend starting with a small area first and clean it directly with acetone ( 2'x2' area). Make sure the rag remains clean. If the rag gets build up on it, you will only continue to spread the glue around the floor. Once the 2'x2' area has been cleaned with acetone, then wipe it down with straight water (damp mop or rag, be sure not to saturate the floor). It will take some time and effort to remove all the installation adhesive or haze off the floor.

Q: Which cleaner should I use on my engineered hardwood floor?

A: The only approved cleaner for our flooring products is our From The Forest Hardwood Floor Cleaner. Our cleaner is environmentally friendly and will keep your floor looking beautiful. We do not recommend using Bona or any other cleaners on our products. Order our Hardwood Floor Cleaner here:

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Q: How do I clean a stain off my hardwood floor

A: We only recommend our Hardwood Flooring Cleaner for stains and sustainability. If the Hardwood Cleaner does not remove a stain, we recommend full strength acetone to the spot. When applying the full strength acetone remember to use rubber gloves, a clean, lint-free cloth and be in a well-ventilated room.