Popular Types of Flooring
There's a flooring material for every design preference and price point. In this section, we'll break down the most common types.
The appeal of hardwood floors stands the test of time. With shades 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 cleaners. The more time you invest in maintenance, the longer your floors will last.
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 feel more hollow to walk on, and the slender hardwood layer can only be refinished a single time. That said, its lower propensity to warp could still make it a sound 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 plank (LVP) and luxury vinyl tile (LVT), with both having equal strength and long-lasting nature 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 simple to clean. As such, it's perfect for moisture-prone spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. However, it requires intensive prep work before installation and can be cool and sleek to walk on. Pricing depends on the material you choose, with porcelain being more expensive than ceramic.
Granite, sandstone, marble, and travertine 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.
With attentive maintenance, linoleum floors can endure for decades. It is a cost-effective choice with numerous methods for personalization. However, it can easily get dented or scratched and has been known to lose its original coloring when exposed to sunlight. The sun's rays also lead 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 comfortable 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 retains odors, stains, and moisture, which isn't ideal for pet owners or allergy sufferers.
How to Choose a Lowell 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 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 Trustpilot, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Google. Every flooring provider will have a mix of praise and criticism online. If a company resolves complaints in a constructive and satisfactory way, it's generally a good sign. However, if you find more negative reviews than positive ones, it's better to steer clear.
Portfolio and References
A reputable flooring company will be eager to show you portfolios of its previous work. Examine each listed project and ask questions as you have them. Portfolios might also include references from past customers. Ask for their contact information so you can discuss their interactions and thoughts about the company.
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 stone. 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 style, color, and material choices, you can also look for installers with design teams.
Cost is important 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 ease the process.
Warranties and Guarantees
Flooring services typically come with two warranties. The first one, issued by the manufacturer, covers the product itself. The other backs the installation company'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 critical for a successful flooring job. Before you sign a contract, ask for an estimated timeline and inquire about what delays could impact the project. If a company promises to 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 Lowell
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 Lowell?
What are the licensing laws for Lowell flooring companies?
If I'm replacing a kitchen floor, what material should I buy?
How do I decide which flooring material is right?
Other questions to consider are:
- Does the room see a lot of moisture or foot traffic?
- What style best compliments my walls, furniture, and millwork?
- What are the long-term benefits of choosing one material over another?