Popular Types of Flooring
Flooring varies greatly in price and design. Here's what to know about each type.
Homebuyers across Salem seek out hardwood flooring for its beauty and durability. It's available in several varieties to accommodate different designs, from oak and maple to walnut and cherry. 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 restore its finish 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 timeless look and resilience of hardwood without the extra maintenance. Typically, it uses a layer of real hardwood attached to a plywood substrate. While it's less likely to warp than true hardwood, it sounds more hollow to walk on and can't be refinished more than once.
Laminate floors come in tile and wood finishes, but they all have a particle board base. A strong plastic coating gives them defense against scratches and simplifies cleaning. However, it chips easily and is susceptible to moisture damage.
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 a great choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and other moisture-prone areas. It provides years of life with low upkeep requirements, and is available in many colors, materials, and patterns. 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.
Granite, travertine, sandstone, and marble 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.
Linoleum is made from linseed oil and cork and can last for many years if cared for 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 discolor 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 homey 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 babies and toddlers. However, the fibrous material easily holds onto moisture, stains, and odors, which isn't ideal for pet owners or people with allergies.
How to Choose a Salem Flooring Company
Choosing the appropriate installer will impact your new floor's longevity. We recommend screening different companies using the following criteria.
Reputation and Reviews
The first thing to note is whether a company is known for good service and high-quality work. Check review sites like Trustpilot, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Google to see what previous clients have to say. Even the best 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 past projects. We recommend requesting a copy so you can inspect 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
Look for a business 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 color, material, and style choices, you can also look for contractors with design teams.
Cost is vital 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
Flooring services typically come with a pair of warranties. The first one, issued by the manufacturer, covers the materials. The other backs the installers' workmanship. Depending on the installer and flooring brand you choose, warranty coverage could be limited to a fixed term. Other times, it continues for the life of the floor. Ask a company about its warranty terms, including extensions that could give you longer coverage.
Time management is key to 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 guarantees it'll 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 Salem
How much will it cost to install a new floor in Salem?
See our guides to how much each flooring type typically costs:
What's the most popular flooring material in Salem?
Do Salem flooring companies need to be licensed?
What are the telltale signs I need to replace my floor?
- Uncontrollable mildew or mold growth
- Holes, scratches, or dents
- Increasing space between tiles or planks
- Spots that feel loose or unstable
- Water damage
- Heightened squeakiness
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 pair well with the trim, walls, and furniture?
A Salem flooring installer can discuss all these considerations and more to help you make an informed decision.
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