Popular Types of Flooring
Whether you're looking for something bold and lively or elegant and subtle, there's a floor for you. Discover the most essential details about each type to guide your decision making.
The appeal of hardwood floors stands the test of time. With options including walnut, cherry, maple, oak, and more, it can fit any design without sacrificing durability. Despite its charm, 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 aesthetic of hardwood without the demand for regular maintenance. They use a plywood base with a layer of real hardwood on top – ultimately cutting your costs. Despite the lower retail cost, it might feel more hollow to walk on, and the slender hardwood layer can only be refinished one time. That said, its lower propensity to warp could still make it an intelligent investment.
Laminate is another more affordable flooring option, consisting of a particleboard base, wood or tile finish, and protective plastic coating. It's scratch-resistant, easy to clean, and available in a variety of different styles and colors. However, it's more susceptible to water damage and chipping.
Maintenance with vinyl floors is uncomplicated. You can purchase them in luxury vinyl tile (LVT) or luxury vinyl plank (LVP) styles, with each option equally resilient. They also come at a reasonable 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 ideal choice for areas prone to moisture like kitchens and bathrooms. However, it might not work well for bedrooms and living rooms since it's colder and less grippy to walk on. Pricing varies between styles, with porcelain carrying a higher price tag than ceramic.
Stone floors are among the most waterproof available. You can choose from a variety of bold design options, including granite, travertine, marble, and sandstone. 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 endure for many years if maintained properly. It’s an economical 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 absorbing sound. You don’t have to fret about scratches or dents, and the cushioning makes it a safer choice for kids. However, the fibrous material easily holds onto odors, moisture, and stains, which isn't ideal for pet owners or those with allergies.
How to Choose a Columbia 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), Trustpilot, Yelp, and Google. Even the most reliable flooring installers will have both positive and negative reviews. Look for how a company handles complaints and interacts with others. If it strives for 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 best to avoid working with it.
Portfolio and References
Most flooring contractors keep portfolios of their proudest projects. We recommend requesting a copy so you can study the crew's craftsmanship. 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. 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, providers can also offer refinishing services or design advisory.
Cost is key to consider, but it should be less important than quality in your selection process. We recommend getting at least three different quotes for your flooring job to compare pricing and workmanship. Many companies offer on-site and online estimates to streamline 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. 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 critical for 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 commits to finishing the job by a certain deadline, get that guarantee in writing and state your expectations clearly as the work progresses.
Ready to Get a Quote on Your Flooring Project?
Frequently Asked Questions About Flooring in Columbia
How much will it cost to install a new floor in Columbia?
See our guides to how much each flooring type typically costs:
What's the most popular flooring material in Columbia?
Do Columbia flooring companies need to be licensed?
What flooring manufacturer is the largest?
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 go best with the furniture, walls, and trim?
A Columbia flooring installer can discuss all these considerations and more to help you make an informed decision.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.