About Us

Stephen Perrera, native Tucsonan since 1955 has been in the flooring trade for over thirty two years. He started out working for a flooring contractor for his apprenticeship of five years. Then working for clients like Sears, Color Tile, Standard Brands, and Sam Levitz. Afterwards  working a stint in the Bay Area for some of the same clients and interior designers during the mid 80's. He is now working for a host of high end builders, designers and remodeling contractors along with generation of his own work and clientele.

He is licensed, bonded and an insured state of Arizona Flooring Contractor # 094751, installing a variety of floor coverings from cork, tile, laminate hardwood and leather floors along with the typical carpet and resilient installations. Over Thirty two years of experience on the floor!

Please read Donna's story below and especially the article about buying engineered hardwood. 
Donna and her new floor

Donna's Story: Wet Spots and Termites

Having been formally trained by taking NOFMA/NWFA classes and a NWFA approved Inspectors Hardwood Course for LN Inspectors I notice lots of things other contractors may not notice about jobs.

When I bid on her job I was the last of four other contractors to be there. Her living room was a sunken living room. This makes it a below grade installation. Engineered hardwood is allowed below grade but extra precautions need to be taken if gluing like moisture testing, a vapor retarder like Bostiks MVP or the like is also needed because even though the moisture tests may come out good, it can change for the worst later ruining the floor. This can be the case on any on-grade slab as well no matter what the age of the concrete.

Donna had taken out the carpet so the concrete could be seen. I ran a quick check with my Tramex meter finding a very wet area in the far corner where she is pictured standing on the front page photo. No other contractors performed this test and simply wanted to glue it with an acrylic adhesive which would have failed in no time. Since her funds were limited being a single mom with two kids we then decided to float the wood job and use 6 mil plastic under her 2&1 vapor retarder/cushion for extra protection.

The other contractors just wanted to put quarter round on the perimeter and not take off the base plus run quarter round on the perimeter tile that ran down from the top on grade floor. I convinced her that would look horrible. So we decided to undercut the ceramic and slide the wood under it, also take off the base board and place it on top. Well good thing we did because behind the first piece of base board I took off  there were live termites! 

We called a local exterminator who quickly took care of it and they also found other termites around the house which had just begun to eat her house. Had we just installed the floor without taking off the base like the other contractors wanted to do (get in get out quick) we would never had found the termites, her floor would have been eaten in a matter of weeks!

After checking the perimeter of her house I found a large pooling spot outside the sunken living room where she had just put up a wall. The wall guy did not leave any hole for water to run out. To alleviate or solve this problem I drilled weep holes (drainage holes) to allow the water to drain properly and thus preventing water build up that termites love and excessive water getting into the below grade sunken concrete substrate.

Besides all that she only had five extra square feet of hardwood which she bought from a guy on Craigslist. But we made it work by putting some tile in front of the fireplace. I had to pull off the job for a day because of the termite guys but in the end I think we prevented a disaster.

Engineered Hardwood

Buying Properly Manufactured Engineered Wood Flooring: Checking, Splitting, Delamination and Humidification of Hardwood in Dry Zones

If you've been out shopping for engineered you may have noticed a large difference in pricing structure of engineered floor. Mainly this is due to the amount of layers, 3-ply 4-ply etc.,, thickness of the top veneer or exotic species. But particularly the foreign made versions are much cheaper than U.S. manufacturer's.

One of the main reasons besides cheap labor is the construction of the material. Many foreign manufacturer's do not manufacture to our U.S. Standards.
The HPVA (hardwood plywood veneer association) set standards for the manufacture of hardwood plywood which engineered hardwood flooring falls under that standard which is ANSI/HVPA EF 2002. (Posted bottom of article)

There are engineered manufacturers that recommend the use of their product only where the environmental conditions are within a specified relative humidity range, typically from 35% to 50 – 65%. Note that these are the same as with solid wood. When issues arise, particularly those associated with delamination, claims have been denied because the recorded humidity was above or below the recommended range. Both NOFMA and the HPVA (Hardwood Plywood Veneer Association) feel that properly manufactured engineered flooring should not delaminate under normal environmental conditions associated with any area in the USA. This includes the desert southwest with typically low humidity and the gulf coast and southern coast with typically high relative humidity.   

Many of these foreign  made engineered floors are simply not manufactured to the HPVA standard using improper adhesives and or manufacturing processes.

My advice to my clients is to stick with a name brand manufacturer and one that is a reliable U.S. manufacturer that states their product is made to U.S. standards. Now many manufacturers will try and deny a claim as I have witnessed before doing inspections due to low relative humidity in the home. However this is closely attainable using a humidifier. Small checking of the finish and very small splits might be noticed in environments with low Rh. This also has a lot to do with the species as exotic species from rain forests are more sensitive. But absolutely no delamination should be seen..

You will not win this claim trying to fight a manufacturer in China or other country's that do not adopt a similar standard as written below. If you read all this you will find that engineered wood is not to be affected by indoor environments no matter where it is installed. The material can be flooded three times, dried three times and have minimum delamination and THEN ONLY AT THE EDGES... how about them apples?

The American National Standard for Engineered Wood Flooring, ANSI/HPVA EF 2002 3.5 Bond Line – All adjacent surfaces of each ply shall be uniformly and securely bonded. The flooring shall conform to the requirements of the bond test described in 4.2 3.7 Construction – The flooring pieces shall be of balanced construction, which means that they are free from warp or twist to the extent that they do not interfere with the installation or negatively affect the intended use of the product. The purpose of this requirement is to provide a product which will perform satisfactorily over the typical range of humidity and temperature in an indoor environment, when installed according to
the instructions of the manufacturer. Any construction with an even or odd number of plies, and any combination of thicknesses and shrinkage characteristics that meets the requirement for balanced construction is permitted. No two adjacent plies shall have coinciding openings greater than 12.7 mm (1/2 inch) 4.2 Bond Line Test – Two test specimens, 50.8 mm (2 inches) wide by 127 mm (5 inches) along the grain, shall be cut from each flooring sample tested. The specimens shall be cut from opposite sides of the flooring after all tongue and groove portions have been removed. The specimens shall be submerged in water at 24 C+-3C (75 F +-5F) for 4 hours, and then dried at a temperature between 49 and 52 C (120 and 125 F) for 19 hours,
with sufficient air circulation to lower the moisture content (based on oven-dry weight) of the specimens to a maximum of 8 percent. This cycle shall be repeated until all specimens fail or until three cycles have been completed, whichever occurs first. The flooring shall be considered as failing when any single delamination between two plies of either specimen is greater than 50.8 mm (2 inches) in continuous length, over 6.4 mm (1/4 inch) in depth at any pint, and 0.08 mm (.003 inch) in width as determined by a feeler gauge 0.08 mm (0.003 inches) thick and 12.7 mm (1/2 inch) wide. Specimens shall be examined for delamination at the end of each cycle. Delamination due to tape at joints or inner plies or defects allowed by the grade shall be disregarded. For performing the bond line test, the flooring samples shall be selected in multiples of ten in order to provide for a sufficient number of specimens (two specimens per sample) to which the acceptance levels are applied. Ninety-five percent of test specimens shall pass the first cycle, and eighty- five percent of test specimens shall pass the third cycle.