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 maple, walnut, oak, cherry, 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 refinish the floor every few years. Since it's susceptible to water damage, it's also not suitable for laundry rooms, bathrooms, or basements.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood offers you the timeless look and resilience of hardwood without the extra maintenance. Typically, it uses a layer of real hardwood attached to a plywood substrate. Despite the lower retail cost, it might sound more hollow to walk on, and the slender hardwood layer can only be refinished once. That said, its lower propensity to warp could still make it a worthy 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 many different styles and colors. However, it's more susceptible to water damage and chipping.
Maintenance with vinyl floors is as simple as it gets. You can purchase them in luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or luxury vinyl tile (LVT) styles, with each option equally long-lasting. They also come at a cost-effective price point, somewhere between laminate and engineered wood.
Tile flooring is suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, and other moisture-prone areas. It offers years of life with low upkeep requirements, and is available in many colors, patterns, and materials. However, it requires intensive prep work before installation and can be cold and smooth to walk on. Pricing relies on the material you select, with porcelain being more expensive than ceramic.
Granite, marble, travertine, and sandstone aren't just for the outdoors. Inside, they can give you a bold look and unparalleled water resistance. However, like hardwood, it can be expensive and difficult to clean.
Linoleum is made from cork and linseed oil and can last for decades if maintained properly. It’s a cost-effective 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 moisture-prone spaces like kitchens and bathrooms.
Carpet is the most affordable flooring option. It can make a space feel more comfortable and is great for muffling sound. You don’t have to be concerned with scratches or dents, and the cushioning makes it a safer choice for kids. However, the fibrous material easily retains stains, moisture, and odors, which isn't ideal for pet owners or allergy sufferers.
How to Choose a St. Louis Flooring Company
Choosing a floor installer is just as influential 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, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Yelp, and Google. Even the most reliable flooring installers will have both positive and negative reviews. Look for how a provider handles 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 argumentative or has a high negative-to-positive review ratio, it's wise to avoid working with it.
Portfolio and References
Most flooring contractors keep portfolios of their past projects. We recommend requesting a copy so you can look over the crew's workmanship. It's also customary to ask for references from former customers. Once you have their contact information, reach out to ask about their experiences.
Specialization and Services
Look for a provider that specializes in the type of flooring you're interested in. For example, a crew might be experienced with carpet but not tile. An installer'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.
Cost is important 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 ease 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.
You don't want your flooring project 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.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Flooring in St. Louis
What are the best flooring installation prices?
See our guides to how much each flooring type typically costs:
What are some of the most popular types of flooring in St. Louis?
What are the licensing laws for St. Louis flooring companies?
How do I choose the right flooring material for my space?
Other questions to consider include:
- 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?
What is the average timeline for flooring installation in St. Louis?
- The model and material of floor
- The size of your space
- Your installer's experience
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