Popular Types of Flooring
Flooring varies greatly in price and design. Here's what to know about each type.
The appeal of hardwood floors stands the test of time. With shades including cherry, maple, oak, walnut, and more, it can fit any design without sacrificing durability. Despite its allure, hardwood comes with a higher price tag. You also need to stick to a consistent refinishing schedule every few years, filling in the gaps with specialty wood cleaners. The more time you invest in maintenance, the longer your floors will last.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood gives you the beauty of hardwood without the extra maintenance. They use a plywood base with a layer of real hardwood on top – ultimately saving you money. While it's less likely to warp than true hardwood, it sounds more hollow to walk on and can't be refinished more than once.
Laminate is another more affordable flooring option, consisting of a particleboard base, wood or tile finish, and protective plastic coating. It's easy to clean, scratch-resistant, and available in many different colors and styles. However, it's more susceptible to water damage and chipping.
Maintenance with vinyl floors is a breeze. You can purchase them in luxury vinyl tile (LVT) or luxury vinyl plank (LVP) styles, with each option equally long-lasting. They also come at a reasonable price point, somewhere between laminate and engineered wood.
Tile flooring is suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, and other moisture-prone areas. It offers years of life with little need for maintenance, and is available in many patterns, colors, and materials. However, it requires intensive prep work before installation and can be cold and slippery to walk on. Pricing depends on the material you pick, with porcelain being more expensive than ceramic.
Granite, travertine, marble, and sandstone aren't just for the outdoors. Inside, they can give you a bold look and unparalleled water resistance. Despite its unique flair, it's not easy to clean, and long-term maintenance could be a bit more expensive.
Linoleum is made from cork and linseed oil and can last for many years if maintained properly. It’s a cost-effective option with many design possibilities. However, the softer material is easier to dent or scratch, and it's known to discolor with sun exposure. It’s also not suitable for moisture-prone spaces like kitchens and bathrooms.
Carpet is the most affordable flooring option. It can make a space feel more cozy and is great for reducing sound. You don’t have to fret about scratches or dents, and the cushioning makes it a safer choice for babies and toddlers. However, the fibrous material easily holds onto stains, odors, and moisture, which isn't ideal for allergy sufferers in Los Angeles' perennially-high pollen levels.
How to Choose a Los Angeles Flooring Company
Choosing the right installer makes all the difference for your new floor's longevity. We recommend screening different companies using the following criteria.
Reputation and Reviews
The first thing to note is whether a company is known for good service and high-quality work. You can learn more about previous clients' experiences from review sites like Google, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Yelp, and Trustpilot. Every flooring installer will have a mix of positive and negative feedback online. If a company addresses issues in an amicable and satisfactory way, it's generally a good sign. However, if you find more negative reviews than positive ones, it's better to avoid working with it.
Portfolio and References
Most floor installers keep portfolios of their previous work. We recommend requesting a copy so you can study the crew's handiwork. It's also good practice to ask for references from former customers. Once you have their contact information, contact them to ask about their experiences.
Specialization and Services
Look for a provider that specializes in the type of flooring you're interested in. For example, a crew might be experienced with carpet but not stone. A company's service offerings can also make a difference. At the very least, you should choose a provider that offers to haul away your old flooring materials. However, businesses can also offer hardwood refinishing or design assistance.
Cost is key to consider, but it should be less important than quality in your selection process. We recommend getting three to five different quotes for your flooring job to compare pricing and workmanship. Many companies offer on-site and online estimates to ease the process.
Warranties and Guarantees
You should look for two different warranties in your company search. A manufacturer's warranty protects you in case of a product defect, while an installer's warranty covers workmanship. Depending on the installer and flooring brand you pick, warranty coverage could be limited to a fixed term. Other times, it continues for the life of the floor. Ask an installer about its warranty terms, including extensions that could give you additional coverage.
Time management is essential for a successful flooring job. Before you sign a contract, ask for an estimated timeline and inquire about what issues could impact the project. If a company assures you it'll finish the job by a certain deadline, get that guarantee in writing and convey your expectations clearly as the work progresses.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Flooring in Los Angeles
What are the best flooring installation prices?
See our guides to how much each flooring type typically costs:
What's the most popular flooring material in Los Angeles?
What are the licensing laws for Los Angeles flooring companies?
What is the best type of flooring for a kitchen?
How do I decide which flooring material is right?
Other questions to consider are the following:
- Does the room see a lot of moisture or foot traffic?
- What style best compliments my walls, furniture, and millwork?
- What are the long-term benefits of choosing one material over another?
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