Frequently Asked Questions
1. How old is the principle of “balanced construction”?
The use of adhering cross-banded layers, or plies, of wood goes back to ancient Egypt and China. The French and the British also used the technique beginning in the 17th century. The most common use of this principle today is plywood. Almost all plywood is constructed with an odd number of plies of cross-banded material, enabling the movement of each layer to be countered by an opposing layer.
2. What makes Virtu 3-layer Floors more stable?
True Balanced Construction is a balanced face and back sandwiching a thicker, cross-banded and segmented core. This is the most stable type of flooring construction available. The face and back are the same thickness, species and grain alignment (quarter sawn or flat sawn). The core is individual 3” pieces, with its grain running perpendicular to the face and back, to minimize shrinkage and maximizes stability. We use a ratio of 55% core to 45%. face and back. This scientifically derived ratio provides the optimum in stability and wear layer for a 3/4" floor. It is the combination of True Balanced Construction and the stiffness of the core that makes Virtu Floors more stable than other solid or engineered floors.
3. What else makes Virtu Wood Flooring more stable?
The glue used is a uniquely formulated elastomeric flooring adhesive. This VOC-free glue is not rigid, but instead has the ability to move slightly in the direction of the shrinkage, greatly reducing the stress generated by moisture-related movement. Because of the glue, each layer can move independently, with the overall construction always working to maintain flatness. It is more expensive than many types of glue used in other engineered floors, but the difference is the superior quality of the final product.
4. Why aren't there more 3-layer, true balanced floors available?
3-layer floors are traditionally much more expensive to manufacture. We have developed some of the most technologically advanced production techniques and equipment to produce a 3-layer floor more efficiently, without sacrificing quality.
5. What is the wear layer in a Virtu Floor?
Virtu Flooring has a wear layer of about 3/16”, so there is enough thickness for several re-sandings. Virtu’s True Balanced Construction will maintain its flatness more than other products, so less material will be removed when re-sanding is required. On balance, Virtu Flooring will have the same life—and possibly a longer life—than conventional solid wood flooring.
6. What are the advantages of Virtu Wide Plank Flooring with in-floor, radiant heat applications?
In-floor, radiant heat is gaining in popularity, but having the heat transfer through wood flooring presents challenges. A heat source that is operating for 16 to 20 hours every day will force moisture from the wood, to the extent that gapping between the boards will occur.
Virtu Flooring is one of the most stable wide plank flooring available particularly for radiant heat installations. By using the forces of natural wood movement to counteract the problems of stability, True Balanced Construction has proven to be the perfect solution for those who want both the beauty of wide plank and the luxury of a radiant heated floor.
7. Do you manufacture Virtu 3- layer in narrow widths?
We manufacture Virtu 3-layer in widths starting at 4”. A high quality 2- layer "wood on plywood" floor such as Virtu 2-layer flooring can also be an excellent choice for narrower width floors.
8. Explain the design of a Virtu 2-Layer floor.
The design principle of ‘wood on plywood’ construction is that the strength and stability of the plywood will keep the wood flat when it shrinks and swells due to changes in humidity. That’s why Virtu 2-Layer is 19 mm (3/4”) thick - 4 mm wood face backed by 15 mm Baltic Birch plywood, the best plywood available.
9. What makes a Virtu 2-layer floor stable?
A 15 mm Baltic Birch plywood backer gives the floor a robust stability. Our unique Tongue & Groove profile is designed to minimize cupping. The elastomeric flooring adhesive reduces stress generated by moisture-related movement. These add up to a more stable floor.
10. Virtu 2-layer has 4 mm wear layer and is ¾ “ overall. Some engineered floors use 4 mm + 5/8” thick overall. Why the difference?
The additional 25% of mass in 15mm plywood used in Virtu 3/4 “ flooring as compared to the 12mm used in 5/8” thick flooring increases the plywood‘s ability to resist the forces of movement in the top layer.
11. Some floors have 5mm or even 6 mm wear layer. Isn’t bigger better?
This is a fallacy that has been very costly to homeowners over the years. The thicker the wear layer, the greater the force of the moisture related movement, and the more “lumber-like” the flooring behaves. These thicker layers move with more force, causing more distortion and in extreme cases, can even cause the plywood layers to separate! Virtu’s 4mm thick face layer is the sweet spot between wear life and stability.
12. Do I choose Virtu 3-layer or Virtu 2-layer flooring?
Virtu 2- Layer is designed for narrower wide plank floors; 4” – 6” is standard. Virtu 2-layer is generally less expensive than Virtu 3-layer.
For 7” and wider flooring, choose Virtu 3-Layer. Its True Balanced Construction is by far the most stable construction for flooring.
13. Are Virtu floors pre-finished?
Virtu Floors are custom finished either on the jobsite or pre-finished to specification. Contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve the right finish for your project.
14. What widths and lengths are available?
Virtu Flooring provides an unprecedented level of stability found only in the highest quality flooring. Virtu 3-layer Flooring is manufactured in wide widths up to 12" and 16’ lengths or longer.
Virtu 2-layer flooring is available in 4” to 8” widths and 3’ to 10’ lengths. Contact us to discuss specific widths and lengths needed for your project.
15. What grades are available?
The Virtu team has manufactured millions of square feet of the highest quality custom floors, from heavy character to pristine. As a true custom manufacturer, we will meet your specific requirements.
16. What is the core in Virtu 3-layer?
Virtu uses a variety of stable, readily available domestic hardwoods in the core. Depending on the project, we may use a high quality plywood core.
17. Why are there no grooves in the back of the Virtu 3-layer board ?
Grooves are utilized on the back of solid wood flooring to relieve the movement stress caused by moisture content changes on either the face or the back. In Virtu 3-layer flooring with True Balanced Construction, the grooves are unnecessary because the face and back layers oppose each other equally across a stable core.
18. Should my builder or flooring installer order the flooring?
Virtu Floors may be purchased by developers, flooring professionals, installers, architects and designers.
19. Who should install Virtu Flooring?
Virtu Flooring is easy to install but wide plank flooring installation is not for the inexperienced. We will work with your builder or flooring professional from purchase through installation and finishing.
20. How is the flooring protected from moisture and dirt?
Virtu Flooring is wrapped in stretch wrap plastic to protect against moisture and dirt.
21. Do you have a minimum order?
Technically no, but smaller quantities do cost more to produce, and that will be reflected in the price.
22. Can I use Virtu Flooring if I do not have room for a NWFA approved sub-floor?
Generally, the answer is “yes”. Every job has unique conditions, and it depends on the site’s specific conditions and the flooring specification, but the natural stability of Virtu enables successful installations in places where other flooring would fail. Call us to discuss your specific project.
23. How long should Virtu 3-layer flooring be on-site before installation?
Acclimation is the amount of time that wood flooring should be stored in the job site environment before being installed. Virtu 3-layer requires less acclimation than solid wood, but the site conditions will determine the appropriate acclimation time. Contact us to discuss the acclimation period.
24. Does Virtu import any flooring?
All Virtu flooring is proudly made in America.