Popular Types of Flooring
Flooring varies greatly in price and design. Here's what to know about each type.
Homebuyers across Washington seek out hardwood flooring for its beauty and durability. It's available in several varieties to accommodate different designs, from oak and maple to cherry and walnut. 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 cleaners. The more time you invest in maintenance, the longer your floors will last.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood provides you the resilience and timeless design of hardwood without the extra maintenance. Typically, it uses a layer of real hardwood attached to a plywood substrate. Despite the lower retail cost, it might feel more hollow to walk on, and the thin hardwood layer can only be refinished a single time. That said, its lower propensity to warp could still make it a worthy investment.
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 countless different colors and styles. However, it's more susceptible to water damage and chipping.
Maintenance with vinyl floors is uncomplicated. You can purchase them in luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or luxury vinyl tile (LVT) styles, with each option equally resilient. They also come at a budget-friendly price point, somewhere between laminate and engineered wood.
Tile flooring is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and other moisture-prone areas. It provides years of life with minimal maintenance needs, and is available in many materials, colors, and patterns. However, it requires intensive prep work before installation and can be cold and slippery to walk on. Pricing relies on the material you choose, 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 decades 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 fade with sunlight exposure. It’s also not suitable for areas with excess moisture 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, moisture, and odors, which isn't ideal for pet owners or those with allergies.
How to Choose a Washington Flooring Company
Choosing the appropriate installer significantly affects your new floor's longevity. We recommend assessing 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, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Trustpilot. Even the most reliable flooring installers will have both positive and negative reviews. Look for how a business deals with complaints and interacts with others. If it works toward a satisfactory resolution and acts in good faith, that's an encouraging sign. However, if it's combative or has a high negative-to-positive review ratio, it's advisable to avoid working with it.
Portfolio and References
Most flooring contractors keep portfolios of their past projects. We recommend requesting a copy so you can inspect the crew's handiwork. It's also good practice to ask for references from past customers. Once you have their contact information, contact them to ask about their experiences.
Specialization and Services
No two companies have the same experience or product offerings. You should find one that specializes in the material or type of floor you're interested in. Equally important is a provider's service offerings. At the very least, it should offer cleanup and haul-away for your old flooring materials. However, if you're feeling lost in all the material, color, and style choices, you can also look for contractors with design teams.
Cost is important to consider, but it should be less important than quality in your decision-making 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
Flooring services typically come with a pair of warranties. The first one, issued by the manufacturer, covers the product itself. The other covers the installation crew's workmanship. While a few manufacturers and contractors have lifetime warranties, most are still restricted to a specific time period (often ten years.) If you'd like additional coverage, you might be able to pay extra for an extended warranty.
Time management is key to a successful flooring job. Before you agree to work with a company, request an estimated timeline and inquire about what issues could impact the project. If a company guarantees it'll finish the job by a certain deadline, get that guarantee in writing and state your expectations clearly as the work progresses.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Flooring in Washington
How much will it cost to install a new floor in Washington?
See our guides to how much each flooring type typically costs:
What are some of the most popular types of flooring in Washington?
Do Washington flooring companies need to be licensed?
Is it cheaper to buy flooring online?
Are there environmentally friendly flooring options in Washington?
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