Popular Types of Flooring
Flooring varies greatly in price and design. Here's what to know about each type.
The appeal of hardwood floors stands the test of time. With options 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 follow 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 provides you the look and durability 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 can sound hollow to walk on and can't be refinished more than once.
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 styles and colors. However, it chips easily and is susceptible to moisture damage.
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 long-lasting. They also come at a cost-effective price point, somewhere between laminate and engineered wood.
Tile flooring is excellent for bathrooms, kitchens, and other moisture-prone areas. It offers years of life with little need for maintenance, and is available in many colors, patterns, and materials. However, it might not work well for bedrooms and living rooms since it's colder and more slippery to walk on. The cost differs between styles, with ceramic less expensive than porcelain.
Stone floors are among the most waterproof available. You can choose from a variety of bold design options, including marble, sandstone, granite, and travertine. However, like hardwood, it can be expensive and difficult to clean.
Linoleum is made from cork and linseed oil 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 dent or scratch, and it's known to discolor with sunlight 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 homey 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 babies and toddlers. However, the fibrous material easily retains stains, odors, and moisture, which isn't ideal for allergy sufferers in Alexandria's perennially-high pollen levels.
How to Choose a Alexandria Flooring Company
Choosing the right installer significantly affects your new floor's quality. 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. You can learn more about previous clients' experiences from review sites like Google, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Trustpilot. Even the best flooring installers will have both positive and negative reviews. Look for how a provider handles complaints and interacts with others. If it strives for 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 best 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 workmanship. Portfolios might also include references from past customers. Don't hesitate to request 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 hardwood. 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 refinishing services 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 at least three companies to compare labor costs. You can do this fully online or by requesting complimentary on-site 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 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 agree to work with a company, request an estimated timeline and inquire about what issues could impact the project. If a company promises to 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 Alexandria
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 Alexandria?
What are the licensing laws for Alexandria flooring companies?
What is the best type of flooring for a kitchen?
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 match the walls, furniture, and trim?
A Alexandria flooring installer can discuss all these considerations and more to help you make an informed decision.
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