Popular Types of Flooring
Flooring varies greatly in price and design. Here's what to know about each type.
Homebuyers across Boston seek out hardwood flooring for its beauty and durability. It's available in several varieties to accommodate different designs, from cherry and walnut to maple and oak. However, it's one of the most expensive flooring materials and requires significant upkeep. At a minimum, you'll need to use specialty cleaning products regularly and refinish the floor every few years. Since it's susceptible to water damage, it's also not suitable for bathrooms, laundry rooms, or basements.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood gives you the charm of hardwood without the demand for regular maintenance. They use a plywood substrate with a layer of real hardwood on top – ultimately saving you money. While it's more resistant to warping versus true hardwood, it sounds more hollow to walk on and can't be refinished more than once.
Laminate floors come in wood and tile finishes, but they all have a particle board base. A strong plastic coating gives them defense against scratches and simplifies cleaning. However, it's more susceptible to water damage and chipping.
Maintenance with vinyl floors is a breeze. 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 reasonable price point, somewhere between laminate and engineered wood.
Tile flooring is another timeless-looking, robust option. Like vinyl, it requires minimal maintenance and is easy to clean. As such, it's perfect for moisture-prone spaces like bathrooms and kitchens. However, it requires intensive prep work before installation and can be cool and slippery to walk on. Pricing depends on the material you select, with porcelain being more expensive than ceramic.
Stone floors are among the most waterproof available. You can choose from a variety of bold design options, including travertine, marble, sandstone, and granite. Despite its unique flair, it's not easy to clean, and long-term maintenance could be a bit more expensive.
With attentive maintenance, linoleum floors can endure for decades. It is a cost-effective choice with numerous alternatives for adaptation. However, it can readily get dented or scratched and has been known to fade when exposed to sunlight. Direct sunlight also leads linoleum to fade over time, and it may not be suitable for damp locations.
Carpet is the most affordable flooring option. It can make a space feel more homey and is great for reducing sound. You don’t have to worry about scratches or dents, and the cushioning makes it a safer choice for young children. However, the fibrous material easily retains moisture, odors, and stains, which isn't ideal for pet owners or allergy sufferers.
How to Choose a Boston Flooring Company
Choosing a floor installer is just as critical as choosing a design. To ensure you get the most value, consider each of 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 Yelp, Trustpilot, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). 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 a good sign. However, if it's combative or has a high negative-to-positive review ratio, it's wise 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 examine the crew's craftsmanship. It's also good practice to ask for references from past customers. Once you have their contact information, get in touch and 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 contractor'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, companies can also offer refinishing services or design assistance.
Cost is vital 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 simplify 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. In other instances, it continues for the life of the floor. Ask an installer about its warranty terms, including extensions that could give you a few more years of coverage.
Time management is critical for a successful flooring job. Before you agree to work with a company, request an estimated timeline and inquire about what hurdles 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 Boston
How much will it cost to install a new floor in Boston?
See our guides to how much each flooring type typically costs:
What's the most popular flooring material in Boston?
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What flooring manufacturer is the largest?
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