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MIRA Floors Leadership Change

James Alisch will be ceasing his involvement in day-to-day sales operations at MIRA Floors & Interiors as of January 31, 2014. He will remain a silent co-owner of the company.

“I’m proud of everything the MIRA team has accomplished since I started here five years ago,” said James Alisch. “Together we have achieved tremendous growth – 272% from 2008-2013. Given the current strong, cohesive team and dedication to providing an exceptional customer service experience, I am excited for a future of continued success at MIRA.”

“We thank James for his commitment to MIRA over the years. His leadership of the sales team and commitment to growth was appreciated.” said Kevin Bergstresser, co-owner of MIRA Floors & Interiors. “The ownership team had been planning this transition since early Fall 2013 and decided that the start of the new year was best time for this change. We wish him the best in his future endeavours outside of the flooring industry and are excited to have him still involved as a partner.”

Business will continue as usual at MIRA Floors & Interiors. Co-owners Kevin Bergstresser and Lyndon Friesen will continue managing day-to-day operations. To ease the transition, other members of the sales team will be following up with customers about any upcoming projects, jobs in production or any other outstanding requests.

If you have any questions about this leadership change, please contact the MIRA office at 604.856.4799.

Laminate Flooring FAQ

Laminate Flooring FAQ

We have answered our most frequently asked questions about laminate flooring to provide you with a comprehensive guide to laminate.

What is laminate flooring?
How is laminate flooring made?
What is the difference between laminate and engineered hardwood?
What are the advantages to using laminate?
What is an AC rating?
Where can I install laminate flooring?
Do I need to use underlay?
Can laminate be refinished?
How do I clean laminate flooring?

What is laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer man-made flooring surface. It is a durable, cost effective plank flooring option. Most laminates mimic the look of hardwood but there are some options on the market that look like tile.

How is laminate flooring made?

Laminate floors are made of several layers fused together using high pressure. The four layers that make up laminate floors are:

1. The Backing

This layer is designed to support the structural integrity of the floor and create a barrier against moisture.

2. The Core

Each manufacturer uses different materials for the core. HDF (High Density Fibreboard) and MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) are two commonly used core materials. Using a fibreboard core creates a structurally strong flooring surface.

3. The Photographic Layer

The core is topped with a high resolution photograph of real hardwood planks. This layer gives the laminate its “wood look.”

4. The Wear Layer

The top layer of laminate flooring is the wear layer. It is an extremely hard protective coating that protects the photographic layer from the wear and tear of everyday life and gives the flooring texture.

What is the difference between laminate and engineered hardwood?

Some misconceptions exist about laminate and engineered hardwood. They are not the same! Engineered hardwood floors have a real wood layer on the surface. This real wood layer is identical to the wood solid hardwood is made of. Laminate floors on the other hand, are not made using a real hardwood. They are made of fibreboard instead and the photographic layer gives the planks their “wood look.”

What are the advantages to using laminate?

Laminate is an inexpensive, durable option that gives the look of hardwood without the hefty price tag. It is more scratch, stain and fade resistant than hardwood.

What is an AC rating?
AC (Abrasion class) ratings are a standardized measurement that measures resistance to moisture, impact, abrasions, stains and burns. The AC rating is an indicator of where the product can be installed.

For your home, a laminate with an AC3 rating is highly recommended as the best choice that balances durability and value.

Rating Description
AC1 Moderate residential – best for areas with light traffic such as bedrooms and closets.
AC2 General residential – best for areas with medium traffic such as bedrooms and closets.
AC3 Heavy residential/Moderate commercial – best for all rooms in a house and for light traffic commercial areas such as small offices.
AC4 General commercial – best for higher traffic commercial areas such as boutiques, restaurants, and busier offices.
AC5 Heavy commercial – best for high traffic commercial spaces like department stores and public buildings.

Where can I install laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is well-known for its versatility and can be installed almost anywhere. It is suitable for installation over above grade or below grade wood or concrete subfloors. Laminate flooring should not be installed in moist areas such as bathrooms, saunas or enclosed porches. Exposing laminate floors to moisture for extended periods of times may cause the floor to warp or swell.

Do I need to use underlay?

Yes, underlay is necessary for all laminate floor installations. It helps soundproof the floor and hides very minor deviations in the subfloor. Underlay with a vapour barrier is recommended for all below grade installation to keep the moisture away from your floors.

Can laminate be refinished?

No. Laminate floors cannot be refinished like hardwood floors can.

How do I clean laminate flooring?

Check with your manufacturer to see what cleaning methods and products are recommended to keep your floors clean. If you have purchased laminate from MIRA, feel free to give us a call to find out what company manufactured your laminate. If you don’t know the manufacturer of your laminate, we recommend following these basic guidelines:

  • Use a damp cloth to clean up spills as soon as they happen.
  • Sweep, dust or vacuum regularly. If using a vacuum, use a hard surface attachment not a beater bar.
  • Clean the floor using cleaning products designed for laminate floors to prevent harsh chemicals from damaging the finish. We recommend  Bona or Shaw R2X.
  • Use entry mats to collect dirt and grit that could be tracked onto your floor and scratch it.
  • Do not wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, detergent or any other liquid cleaner.
  • Do not use steam mops or any polishing/buffing machines.

Do you have a question that we didn’t answer? Feel free to give us a call at 604-856-4799.

Guide to picking carpet for strata complexes

Strata commercial carpet

Common areas of a strata complex are part of the first impression for residents and visitors. When it comes time to replace flooring in the common area, many residents will be invested in the decision because they are passionate about creating a great first impression for their building. Getting all these passionate residents to agree on a new carpet for the common area can often be challenging.

Why do strata complexes experience challenges picking new flooring?

  1. Design is subjective. While Mrs. Smith in Unit 306 may love leopard print patterned carpet, others in the building may not. Each person added to the decision making process brings a new set of interior design ideas to accommodate.
  2. There are an overwhelming number of commercial carpet choices. There are thousands of styles and patterns, each with many different colour choices. It is challenging for one person to pick from all these samples, let alone a whole group of people.

Don’t endure multiple strata meetings and get into arguments over shades of blue and carpet fibres. Here are a few simple tips we recommend to make the process of picking commercial carpet easier:

  1. Only have a small group responsible for picking the carpet. Designate one or two people as the carpet selection committee. They will work with the salesperson to find a carpet that fits your building’s needs and works with the colour scheme.
  2. Narrow down the options before you show them to the whole strata. Pick a few favourite carpet samples and leave the rest in the showroom. Limiting the options makes it easy for the strata to vote. After a quick “majority rules” vote, the carpet will be picked.
  3. Ensure all decision makers have the same knowledge about carpet. Not all carpets are created equally. Colour and patterns are only two of many important factors to consider. Invite your salesperson to spend 5-10 minutes at your meeting educating all decision makers on factors to consider when picking commercial carpet. Once everyone has the same knowledge about carpet, they will be more confident when making their decision.
  4. Get the full picture with the big samples. Commercial carpet sample books often have tiny swatches – think 1 inch by 1 inch. Your salesperson can order larger samples to help you better visualize what the carpet will look like in your common area. Manufacturers such as Patcraft have tools on their website to show what your carpet will look like in a larger space and using different carpet tile installation methods.
  5. Consider using a designer. If interior design isn’t your forté or the strata is planning a renovation with many components (carpet, tiles, paint etc), a designer will help with the decision making process. The designer will provide great advice on interior design trends and put together visual representations of the components of the design. A visual representation is helpful for working around any language barriers you may have.

While there’s no guarantee of pleasing everyone when making a decision with a large group of people, following these steps will help you come to a fair decision, quickly and easily.

Best floors for good resale value

Hardwood floors, good for resale value?

If renovation plans are part of your new years resolutions, it’s a wise decision to consider how the renovation will affect the resale value of your home. Instead of guessing if hardwood floors will increase resale value, the Appraisal Institute of Canada has the answers for you. The institute surveys its members to find out what renovations had the highest impact.

The institute has three basic guidelines that apply for anyone embarking on a renovation:

  • Amount of money spent isn’t everything. The changes you make must be in line with current trends to appeal to the majority of buyers.
  • Beware of passing fads. If you aren’t planning to sell your home right away, passing fads will make your home look dated when it is time to sell.
  • Avoid projects that will dramatically set your house apart from others in the neighbourhood. Renovations on homes that are already above the average value of the homes in the neighbourhood will return less on the investment.
Best floors for strong resale value

1. Hardwood floor installation – Wherever you install it, you can expect to have 50% to 75% of your investment recovered in the resale price.

2. Kitchen flooring – Upgrades to the kitchen usually result in 75% to 100% of the investment recovered. We recommend tile or engineered wood as the best return on investment for this room.

3. Bathroom flooring – Bathroom upgrades have 75% to 100% of their investment recovered. Tile is the best choice for the bathroom. However, if that’s not in your budget and you have a 1970’s vinyl that needs to go, even replacing it with a modern looking luxury vinyl tile will bring the space into the current decade.

4. Unfinished basement flooring – Finishing off an unfinished basement brings a 50-75% recovery of investment. We recommend a warm and cozy carpet to transform an unfinished basement into a liveable space.

Want to know how other renovation projects will increase the resale value of your home? A full list can be found here.

WCFA ICC Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce Insurance Brokers Association CHOA Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association Better Business Bureau BCAOMA Aviva