To be quite honest, a lot. The business of flooring is quite complicated and entails more than just choosing a pretty design. Other things that come into play include durability, moisture levels, product costs vis-à-vis quantity, and more. These things also need to be taken into consideration when making a final decision. Fortunately, there are five steps that you can take to arrive at the best option for your home.
Are you going to install the flooring in a high-moisture area?
The usual high-moisture areas in typical homes include full bathrooms and basements, among others. For areas like these, the flooring that you should choose ought to be right for environments that have medium to high moisture levels. Some examples include ceramic, porcelain, vinyl, or concrete tiles. However, keep in mind that other flooring types may also be used – it’s just that these four are the most recommended for high-moisture areas.
Is durability a key factor in choosing the right flooring for you?
Homes with children, pets, and high traffic will usually require flooring that has the best wear resistance. Be aware that some types of flooring will appear to be on the durable side when they actually are not. One good example is solid hardwood – looks tough but can be prone to a lot of scratching. You’re much better off with porcelain or ceramic tiles. Other great options that rank high on the durability scale include plank vinyl flooring, laminate, or carpeting.
How much are you willing to spend per square foot?
If budget is on the low side, you might want to look at laminate flooring since it’s very economical. It has a wood-like appearance at the very least, but not exactly breath-taking. Other good options on the lower price range include flooring that is sheet and tile resilient, with lots of fun and attractive designs to choose from albeit labor-intensive when it comes to installation. When budget is pretty much in the middle, good options include domestic solid hardwood or even engineered wood flooring for something that looks great. If you are eyeing material like Brazilian cherry or mahogany, you’ll definitely need to have your budget go up a lot higher.
Are you going to install the flooring on your own?
Going DIY with flooring installation can make drastic cuts to your costs. If you are looking to do it yourself, the easiest material to work with include plank vinyl flooring or laminate flooring. These two types are considered floating floors in that the boards connect to another board instead of the subfloor. For other areas like bathrooms, which require ceramic or porcelain tiles, you’ll definitely have to do a lot of studying and practice to get it done just right.
Another challenging task for those who want to install flooring themselves is getting wall to wall carpeting to lay down flat. Both engineered wood floors and solid hardwood require nail down treatment and are best installed by professionals.
Are you looking for ease in maintaining your floors?
If you want less effort in taking care of your flooring, you might want to consider going with vinyl plank flooring. Laminate flooring may also be considered, though it will require particular cleaning methods. Laminate flooring can be worn down when cleaned with a wet mop, so you’re better off using a damp mop to clean it. And as for solid hardwood, you’d really have to love it a lot to put up with the maintenance. Keeping high traffic areas protected can be done by covering those particular areas with rugs.
Other Commonly Asked Questions on Hardwood & Laminate Flooring
We’ve recently purchased a new home. Is it possible to have the floors refinished prior to our move-in date?
Yes. In fact, this is a very common request for many first-time homeowners. This is usually a concern when there are water stains or pet stains that have to be removed or when a homeowner would like to restore the beauty of hardwood floors. Another plus is that getting it done prior to moving in saves a lot of trouble later on, when you will have to deal with furniture and decors that need to be moved out of the way.
Is the process going to be a dusty one?
Clients will be happy to know that we have an advanced system that contains dust and captures up to 98% of airborne particles.
Do you have insurance?
Yes, we are backed up with a solid insurance policy from one of the best companies in Ontario.
How often should my floors be refinished?
The average lifespan of floor finish is between 10 and 15 years. The better you take care of your floors the longer they will serve you.
How many coats of urethane do you apply?
We have a three-coat minimum policy for all jobs, but we are also open to discussing special options with you to determine what will be best for your floors.
How long does it take to get the job done?
The length of time will vary, depending on the job. We can see a job through to completion in as little as 2 days or in as long as 5 days, This depends on a number of factors: whether the floors will stay natural, be stained, what type of urethane will be used, etc. Your job timeline will be discussed during the on-site consultation after a thorough evaluation and assessment of your flooring project.
How long do I have to wait until I am allowed to walk on my newly refinished floors?
If a water-based finish is applied, you are okay to walk on it after 2-4 hours, in socked feet only and with much care. We would like to stress that shoes and pets may damage your flooring, so the best time to wait until you walk on your floors is after 24 hours.
Will the application process be messy?
Thanks to our dust containment system, there will be a minimum amount of dust accumulation. The most that you can expect is the amount of dust that would accumulate if you wouldn’t dust your place for 1 or 2 weeks.
Is there anything we need to prepare prior to the installation?
Please remove all rugs, fixtures, and furniture from your floors that will be refinished. Any wall hangings or items of value should also be removed just to be safe.
Can my pets roam free or do I have to keep them away?
Ideally, pets should be kept in another room or outside. Our finishes are certified for indoor air quality so you need not to worry about fumes. However, it is best for pets to stay away to avoid hairs, nails and footprints.
Will the stains from my old floor come out?
It is only during the sanding process that we can say if a stain is going to completely come out. Many times they do, and if not there are a few options for you to consider, such as using dark stains to color the affected area, or to replace the boards.
When can I move back my furniture and rugs?
Furniture may be moved back after 48 hours with no damage to your floors, while rugs can be returned after two weeks.
Am I required to move out during the process?
It is not usually needed for you to move out, as long as there is a careful coordination of activities during the time the refinishing process is taking place. We have made it a practice to time the activity so you can get back to your home in the least amount of time.
Is it possible to match the color of my existing floor?
Yes, but it will depend on a number of factors, such as what type of wood floors you have and type of finishing that will be used. These will also be discussed during the consultation.
If I had a leak and my floors are affected. What do I need to do?
First, make sure that your floors are dried off as much and as fast as possible. Place a fan pointed in the direction of the affected area to help with this. If your floors begin to show signs of distress, get in touch with us for further action.
How should my floors be cleaned?
A high-quality hardwood floor cleaner is the best item for the job. We can give you some recommendations when you call us. We recommend our clients to use Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner that you can find at most of hardware stores.
How much is the cost per square foot?
Because each job is unique, rates will also vary as no two projects are alike.
How long will the on-site evaluation take?
The usual time spent evaluating a home is about half an hour, but it also depends on the job as well as any questions or concerns that our clients may have. An estimate is usually prepared in 1-2 days.
Can the job be done while I am away, or in stages?
A lot of our clients have requested for floor refinishing jobs while they are on vacation, which can be easily arranged. The only requirement on your end is to choose the color of the stain prior to your departure. When it comes to finishing a job in stages, this can only be determined during the consultation (the best practice is to do it all at once).