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 options including oak, walnut, cherry, maple, and more, it can fit any design without sacrificing durability. However, it's among the priciest of flooring materials and requires significant upkeep. At a minimum, you'll need to use specialty cleaning products regularly and restore its finish every few years. Since it's susceptible to water damage, it's also not suitable for basements, laundry rooms, or bathrooms.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood gives you the beauty of hardwood without the strict maintenance. They use a plywood foundation with a layer of real hardwood on top – ultimately cutting your costs. Despite the lower retail cost, it might sound more hollow to walk on, and the thin hardwood layer can only be refinished once. That said, its lower propensity to warp could still make it a good investment.
Laminate floors come in wood and tile finishes, but they all have a particle board base. A strong plastic coating gives them resilience against scratches and simplifies cleaning. However, it chips easily and is susceptible to moisture damage.
Maintenance with vinyl floors is as simple as it gets. 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 an affordable price point, somewhere between laminate and engineered wood.
Tile flooring is another classy design that can last for years. Like vinyl, it requires minimal maintenance and is easy to clean. As such, it's an excellent choice for moisture-prone spaces like bathrooms and kitchens. However, it might not work well for bedrooms and living rooms since it's colder and more slippery to walk on. Pricing varies between styles, with ceramic less expensive than porcelain.
Stone floors are among the most waterproof available. You can choose from a variety of bold design options, including travertine, granite, sandstone, and marble. However, like hardwood, it can be expensive and difficult to clean.
With proper maintenance, linoleum floors can persist for decades. It is an affordable choice with many possibilities for adaptation. However, it can readily get dented or scratched and has been known to fade when exposed to direct sunlight. Direct sunlight also leads linoleum to fade over time, and it may not be suitable for areas with excess moisture.
Carpet is the most affordable flooring option. It can make a space feel more comfortable and is great for absorbing sound. You don’t have to worry about scratches or dents, and the cushioning makes it a safer choice for babies and toddlers. However, the fibrous material easily retains odors, moisture, and stains, which isn't ideal for allergy sufferers in Tampa's perennially-high pollen levels.
How to Choose a Tampa Flooring Company
Choosing a floor installer is just as significant as choosing a design. To ensure you get the most value, consider each of the following criteria.
Reputation and Reviews
The most crucial thing to research about any flooring company is its reputation. You can learn more about previous clients' experiences from review sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Yelp, Google, and Trustpilot. Every flooring provider will have a mix of praise and criticism online. If a company addresses issues in an amicable and satisfactory way, it's generally a good sign. However, if you find more outright complaints than compliments, it's better to steer clear.
Portfolio and References
Most flooring companies keep portfolios of their previous work. We recommend requesting a copy so you can look over the crew's handiwork. Portfolios might also include references from past customers. Request their contact information so you can discuss their experiences and thoughts about the company.
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 an installer'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 style, color, and material choices, you can also look for contractors with design teams.
While price shouldn't be the most important factor when choosing a flooring company, it's still important to find one that respects your budget. We recommend getting quotes from three to five companies to compare rates. You can do this fully online or by requesting free in-home estimates.
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. While a few manufacturers and contractors have lifetime warranties, most are still tied 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 sign a contract, ask for an estimated timeline and inquire about what hurdles 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 Tampa
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 Tampa?
Do Tampa flooring companies need to be licensed?
How do I choose the right flooring material for my space?
Just as well, consider the nature of the space itself. Is it exposed to high foot traffic or moisture? What look would match the furniture, trim, and walls?
A Tampa flooring installer can discuss all these considerations and more to help you make an informed decision.
Are there environmentally friendly flooring options in Tampa?
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