Cleaning And Maintaining Hardwood Flooring

Questions To Ask About Hardwood Flooring

Being an informed consumer can be one of the most beneficial things for you, especially when it comes to making large purchases. Researching and asking questions will provide you with the knowledge you need to make the right flooring choice for you and your lifestyle. When it comes to floors there are so many options out there: colours, finishes, materials, width, source, stains, etc. It can be overwhelming with the amount of choice out there and you may not even know where to start if you have not been able to ask the right questions to help narrow down your options.

With that in mind, here are 10 questions you need to be asking about flooring before you make a major purchase.

#1 Which Type Of Flooring Is Right For Me?

Why you should ask this question: the kind of environment you plan to install these floors in will dictate the kind of flooring you purchase. Rooms prone to dampness or humidity should not have solid hardwood floors installed, and should have engineered or another wood alternative purchased.

#2 Which Wood Species Should I Choose?

Why you should ask this question: the species you select will determine how your floor, and home, looks when all is said and done. Do you want the space to feel open and fresh, or cozy and traditional? Determining the end look and feel you want and then working backwards will help you to select the right species of flooring.

#3 Should I Get Factory Finished, Or Site Finished?

Why you should ask this question: it is pretty easy to measure and then calculate square footage of your room but when it comes to installing flooring you will need to account for waste. The floors are not cut to your custom corners or fireplace jut outs and so on. As a general rule you will need to order about 10% more than your square footage so that it can be cut and sized properly when it is being installed. This will also account for any boards that may be not exactly perfect, so you will still have enough even if one board is not quite straight.

#4 My Room Is 10’ X 10’, How Much Material Do I Really Need?

Why you should ask this question: it is pretty easy to measure and then calculate square footage of your room but when it comes to installing flooring you will need to account for waste. The floors are not cut to your custom corners or fireplace jut outs and so on. As a general rule you will need to order about 10% more than your square footage so that it can be cut and sized properly when it is being installed. This will also account for any boards that may be not exactly perfect, so you will still have enough even if one board is not quite straight.

#5 What Kind Of Finish Is Right For Me?

Why you should ask this question: this question is purely based on preference and lifestyle. If you decide to go with site finished floors, you can actually have any finish that you want, but if you go with factory finished you are limited to what is already made. As a general rule, the more matte you finish is the less it will show scratches, nicks and dirt.

Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before a Hardwood Flooring Installation

Whether this is your first time working with a contractor or you’ve already completed several home improvement projects with professional assistance, knowing what to ask is critical. Before hiring an experienced professional to install new hardwood floors, ask your contractor the following eight questions.

What Type of Hardwood Flooring Is Best for My Home?

If you’ve already decided to install hardwood flooring in your home, you might have a good idea about the type of hardwood flooring you want. An experienced contractor can offer expert advice about the type of flooring that will work best with your home’s style. For instance, you might not have considered one of the hardest options, like hickory, or one of the more sustainable options, like bamboo. A contractor can also recommend the right kind of hardwood for your home’s natural environment. If you live in an area with high humidity levels, for instance, your contractor can help you decide on a type of hardwood that won’t warp due to moisture.

What Is Your Anticipated Installation Timeline?

Whether you need new hardwood flooring installed quickly or your timing is relatively flexible, a professional contractor is able to explain the installation process, the timeline, and related expectations. For instance, be sure you understand who’s responsible for moving furniture and other belongings out of the installation area. Also ask whether the contractor will remove the old flooring and other construction materials, as well as if there’s any additional costs involved for this work.

How Will You Handle Unexpected Issues or Installation Problems?

Your contractor might have a relatively straightforward plan for your hardwood flooring installation, but it’s important to remember that issues can arise at any time during the process. If your subfloor has some damage, for instance, it might need significant repairs or even replacement before installing the hardwood flooring. Ask whether your contractor can handle these issues and how they might affect the total cost and timeline.

How Long Does It Take to Install Hardwood Floors?

On average, 1000 sq ft will take around 2-3 days assuming there is no demolition job to undertake and the subfloor is in good condition. If we believe it will take longer for any reason, of there is extra preparation to be done beforehand, we can discuss this with you and give you a better estimate as to how long it will take.

Does Hardwood Flooring Increase a Home’s Value?

Yes, it does, all the data collected on this topic indicates that hardwood floors can increase the value of your home by up to 2.5%. Not only this, but many realtors report that houses with hardwood floors also sell faster.

Are Hardwood Floors Worth It?

Quite simply, yes! It is understandable if you feel cautious about installing hardwood floors, after all, they can end up more expensive than other flooring materials, but hardwood floors have a whole host of benefits that we have detailed below for you to consider.

Easy to Maintain

Unlike carpets that need to be cleaned often and accumulate a lot of dirt, dust, and other debris, hardwood floors can be well maintained just from a sweep, a mop, and a dry once a week. The kind of stain that needs to be professionally cleaned out of a carpet just needs a quick wipe on the hardwood to leave it looking as good as new again.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a New Floor

1. Where is the room located, and how will it be used?

Two girls having a pillow fight on a carpet.

Ground-level and basement spaces are more susceptible to moisture than those upstairs, so consider the impact on your flooring choice. Also, if the room will serve as an entry area for your home or a play area for pets and kids, look for flooring that can handle wear. If the floor needs to support a wheelchair, walker or cane, make sure the flooring material will allow easy, unobstructed movement.

2. What is your climate?

A girl reading on a tile floor in a kitchen.

Wood can warp and buckle, and carpet can mold in humid environments. Tile makes a great alternative, is easy to clean and maintain, and comes in a variety of textures, colors and sizes to suit your personal style.

3. Will you have to redecorate?

Color is a major consideration when buying a new floor because it impacts the entire room. Lighter flooring can make rooms feel larger but show stains and reveal wear. Darker flooring can make rooms feel cozy but show dust and pet hair. Neutral tones accommodate colorful décor, making it easy to change down the road.

4. Will your new and existing flooring coordinate?

Consider how the new flooring will complement your overall interior style and decorating scheme. Blending materials and creating interesting transition spaces with patterns or materials may solve your design dilemmas.

5. What level of floor care is required?

Are you willing to make the new flooring’s maintenance schedule a part of your life? Ask what is involved in cleaning and upkeep, and factor things, like refinishing and steaming into your decision.

Are Wood floors good for homes with pets?

Wood floors are relatively easy to clean and maintain and can live in harmony with pets. However, they are vulnerable to scratches — hence choosing a harder species of wood makes it possible to enjoy your gorgeous floor without stressing about your pets.

A rustic or distressed finish is particularly a good option since it easily hides signs of everyday wear and tear. Alternatively, you may want to select wood flooring with a lighter colour and lower gloss level to help hide additional marks that may occur.

Tile Flooring Installation Isn’t For Everyone

How to choose floor tiles

Choosing floor tiles? A great flooring choice for hallways, kitchen diners, bathrooms, contemporary living spaces and even outdoors, floor tiles come in ever more varied design choices. Pick from natural stone, such as terracotta, limestone or marble, or from manmade materials, such as porcelain, ceramic or concrete. Find out everything you need to know about floor tile materials, installing floor tiles, and tips for floor tile maintenance.

NATURAL OR MANMADE FLOOR TILE MATERIALS?

Natural stone tiles have unique textures and tones, but are more likely to crack or scratch than a manmade materials, and may need sealing once laid – and resealing in future. Manmade materials are usually more affordable and come in a wide range of designs, but tend not to have natural stone’s character.

NATURAL STONE TILES

Natural stone tiles typically come in natural, honed or polished finishes. Natural surfaces tend to be matt with texture and pitting; honed tiles are smooth but matt; polished tiles have a smooth sheen. The higher the polish, the more water-resistant, but also the more slippery the tile will be

Marble is porous so choose honed or polished finishes, particularly in a kitchen. Available in a range of colours, it’s a good choice for bathrooms.

Limestone comes in earthy shades and both textured and polished finishes. It can stain and scratch, so avoid putting it in high traffic areas, such as kitchens.

How to Choose Floor Tiles

Tiles are a great flooring option that can work for any room. They’re easy to clean, long-lasting, and stylish, but choosing the right floor tiles for your home can feel challenging. Luckily, it’s easy to choose floor tiles if you consider your needs and personal style. You can then select a material, incorporate your own style, and shop for the tiles you want.

Choose ceramic tiles for an inexpensive, classic option. Ceramic tiles are popular options because they are inexpensive and fit with any decor. You can choose large tiles or small tiles, depending on your preference. They are easy to install on your own, but you’ll need to work harder at keeping them clean, as they are porous and absorb liquids

Select porcelain tiles for a durable option that’s still budget friendly. Porcelain tiles are one of the most durable on the market, and they’re also water resistant. Another perk is that they’re easy to clean. Porcelain tiles have a classic look that is easy to fit into any style.

Opt for cork tiles if you want soft, quiet floors. Cork is a recent trend that can be a nice addition to any room, if you like the look. It’s great for people who want a floor that absorbs impact, and it’s also resistant to water and germs, making it a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms

Select bamboo floor tiles for a durable, sustainable option. Bamboo is becoming a popular choice for people who want to use environmentally-friendly materials in their homes. Bamboo tiles look similar to wood flooring, but they’re made of the fast-growing grass. You can find bamboo tiles in strips or planks

How to Choose the Right Floor Tile

There’s more to selecting a floor tile than meets the eye. Beyond choosing the color and style that you want, you should consider how much foot traffic the tile will get and if it fits in with current trends. Both of these factors will affect how long the tile will last before needing to be replaced because of wear or changing trends.

To kick off your selection process, you should first know the trends. Currently, large-format tile is leading the pack. This 12- by 24-inch tile is a stylish option for entryways, kitchens or bathrooms. On the other hand, small hex tile is a popular option for bathroom floors. This vintage option brings a classic look to any bathroom, but is too small for larger areas like a kitchen or entryway. Instead, another popular option for kitchens and entryways is plank tile that looks like wood. This option has been gaining steam for the last few years and remains a great way to get the look of hardwood with the durability of tile.

Tile Durability

Speaking of durability, this is the next thing you’ll want to address to help narrow down your choices. You should ask yourself, how much foot traffic will this tile get? After installing a brand-new tile floor, the last thing you want to find is a crack or chip. That’s why you want to make sure that if you’re putting tile in a high-traffic area like an entryway or kitchen that it’s durable enough to stand up to the challenge. To find out how durable the tile you’re looking at is, check out its PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating. If the tile has a PEI Class 1 rating, you should not consider it for the floor. A PEI Class 1 rating means the tile is not meant for any foot traffic. It should only be used for wall tile. Ratings of PEI Class 2-5 are acceptable for floor use. Class 2 is meant for light traffic, while Class 5 rated tile is the most durable, meant for heavy to extra-heavy traffic.

Ceramic tiles generally have a PEI rating of Class 1-3, meaning they do not handle heavy foot traffic as well. The trade off is that they are generally less expensive than porcelain tiles. So, if you’re on a budget and working on a room with light to moderate foot traffic, ceramic tile may be the way to go.

Finally, you can consider natural stone tiles, such as travertine, marble, slate and limestone. These stone tiles are more fragile to work with because they are more porous and sensitive to acidity from fruit juices and alcohols. Therefore, they are not recommended for use in the kitchen. However, they are a beautiful option for entryways or bathroom floors and walls. If you’re looking for a unique, high-end look, natural stone tile may be just what you need.

How to Choose Tile Flooring

There’s a reason why so many homeowners love tile floors, as it is one of the most versatile floor coverings on today’s market. The best part is, it’s as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing. Not sure how or where to begin your journey to a home lined with multidimensional tiles? Flooring America associates are highly trained and enjoy helping you find flooring tiles that complement your décor.

Finding the Ideal Tiles for Your Home

Our reputable flooring store offers an array of tiles to upgrade the elegance of your residential interiors. Product lines are available in an array of colors, patterns, and styles so you can customize the look of any room in your room. Floor tiles are a conversation piece on their own! Let us help you find tiling that makes your visions come true or checkout our latest brand Floorcraft® Catlin tile flooring selections for ideas

Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile

We offer two types of tiles at Flooring America: ceramic and porcelain. Our associates are knowledgeable about every type we sell, ensuring that you know all your options. We carry the best name brands in the industry at prices that won’t break your budget

Tile: Strong as it Is Beautiful

The great thing about either types of tile flooring is that they offer a number of benefits for appealing long-term use. You don’t have to stress about a spill if you have little.

important things you should consider when you’re choosing tiles

Before you start

Think about the style of your home. Have a look through magazines and online for images of tiles you like. Try and not go against the style of your home – instead, work with it

Tile size

Small-sized tiles are usually suited to small residential areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and toilets

Room size

Large tiles make a room feel larger and airier. Using floor tiles on the walls will make the space seem more cohesive, but you can’t use wall tiles on the floor. A floor tile will have a harder glaze and will be made of harder materials to withstand traffic. In a small room, light-coloured tiles will make the space feel bigger. If you have a large room you have more options; you can chose from light to dark tiles.

Colour

Consider the general feel you want to achieve in the room you are tiling – serene and relaxing or moody and atmospheric? Unless you have a feature area such as a splashback, tiles aren’t normally the focus of a room, but they can complement other design features of a room. In a bathroom you might want a restful relaxing setting, so go for colours that blend well together. In a kitchen you might want a more vibrant option, so choose colours that contrast.

Grout

Don’t forget the importance of choosing the right grout colour. A contrasting grout will emphasise lines and the design, while a grout in a complementary colour as the tile will give a subtle effect. Ensure your grouted areas are sealed to prevent staining.