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 maple, cherry, walnut, 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 charm of hardwood without the strict maintenance. They use a plywood substrate 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 thin 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 easy to clean, scratch-resistant, and available in countless different colors and styles. However, it's more susceptible to water damage and chipping.
Vinyl flooring has excellent water and fading resistance and is easy to maintain. Popular options include luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and luxury vinyl plank (LVP), with both having equal strength and longevity depending on the model you buy. Their price point sits comfortably between wood and laminate.
Tile flooring is another timeless-looking, robust option. 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 requires intensive prep work before installation and can be cool and slippery to walk on. Pricing depends on the material you choose, 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 sandstone, marble, travertine, and granite. However, like hardwood, it can be expensive and difficult to clean.
Linoleum is made from linseed oil and cork and can endure for decades if cared for properly. It’s an economical option with many design possibilities. However, the softer material is easier to damage, and it's known to fade with sun exposure. It’s also not suitable for areas with excess moisture like kitchens and bathrooms.
Of all flooring options, carpet is one of the most affordable. It lends a homey feel to a room and reduces noise effectively. Unlike hard floors, carpet removes concerns about scratches or dents, and the extra padding is much safer for young children. However, carpet requires time and effort to keep clean, especially if you have pets. The fibrous material holds onto stains, dampness, smells, and allergens.
How to Choose a Brookline Flooring Company
Choosing a floor covering provider 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 most crucial thing to research about any flooring company is its reputation. Check review sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Google, Trustpilot, and Yelp to see what previous clients have to say. Every flooring provider will have a mix of praise and criticism online. If a company handles negative feedback 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 avoid working with it.
Portfolio and References
A reputable flooring company will be excited to show you portfolios of its previous work. Closely inspect each listed project and ask questions as you have them. It's also customary to ask for references from previous customers. Once you have their contact information, reach out to ask about their experiences.
Specialization and Services
Look for a company that specializes in the type of flooring you're interested in. For example, a crew might be experienced with carpet but not tile. A contractor's service offerings can also make a difference. At the very least, you should choose a provider that will haul away your old flooring materials. However, providers can also offer hardwood refinishing or design consultations.
While price shouldn't be the most important factor when choosing a flooring installer, it's still important to find one that respects your budget. We recommend getting quotes from multiple companies to compare prices. 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 some 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.
You don't want your flooring work to last longer than expected. Request an estimated timeline up-front and ask about potential delays. Express your expectations clearly and get any guarantees in writing.
Ready to Get a Quote on Your Flooring Project?
Frequently Asked Questions About Flooring in Brookline
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 Brookline?
What are the licensing laws for Brookline flooring companies?
How long does it usually take to install a floor in Brookline?
What are the telltale signs I need to replace my floor?
- Widening gaps between planks/tiles
- Severe mold or mildew growth
- Deep dents, scratches, or holes
- Patches that feel unstable
- Excessive squeakiness
- Water damage
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