Buying Tips for Carpet
Carpet remains the popular choice for comfort, warmth and ease of decorating. Your choice will depend on the style and performance you are looking for.
Formal settings often call for single tone, softer, cut pile carpeting or pattern carpets designed specifically for formal settings. For all around performance nylon is generally the best choice. However, polypropylene offers good stain, fade and abrasion resistance at very reasonable prices. Wool tends to be the more prestigious choice at higher price points.
Informal settings call for more casual styles, often in multi-color. Popular product selections are Berbers, Shags, Friezes and certain pattern carpets. Multi-color products help hide soil in active areas and as before mentioned, nylon provides the best all round performance.
For commercial carpet installations, loop construction tends to be the popular choice. In recent years carpet tiles have become popular.
Many carpets now come in both 12’ and 15’ widths eliminating the need for seams in most rooms. If seams are required, generally cut pile products hide seams better than loop or cut & loop styles.
Buying Tips for Hardwood Flooring
Factory Finish vs. Custom Sand & Finish on Site
You should feel comfortable with either choice. However, factory finishing offers many nice advantages. Factory finished flooring is inspected for defects at the mill so you receive first choice every time. On-site finishing depends on the quality of the workmanship that day.
Factory finished flooring usually installs more quickly and without the dust and odors that are involved with on-site finishing. However, even though factory finished flooring comes in a variety of colors, on-site finishing allows for closer color match with existing woodwork or cabinets.
Both factory finishes and on-site finishes are available in either high gloss
or matte. Both types have exciting new finishes developed with space age
technology. These finishes are not like grandma’s old wood floors because
they require no waxing.
Buying Tips for Ceramic Tile
The correct subfloor structure is critical to performance
Ceramic tile, more than any other form of flooring, requires the proper subfloor system and setting materials. A double subfloor system with the total thickness of 1-1/4″, over floor joists 16″ on center is required. The top subfloor layer should be exterior grade plywood or an underlayment specifically designed for ceramic tile installation like cementous backerboard.
Special setting materials are available which will allow ceramic tile installations
over existing floors that are solid and already meet the above requirements.
Failure to provide a sturdy base can cause grout to crack and release or
tile to crack.
Although many ceramic tiles look the same, there are quality differences
The quality of raw materials, the firing process, and the sophistication
of glazing applications that create realism will determine the quality
of the finished product. These quality differences are often reflected
in the price.
Buying Tips for Laminate Flooring
Why has this new product category been such a hit?
Laminate products feature a newer type of wear surface that resists scratching, denting, and burns better than many existing products. They also offer extended product warranties to back up these claims for superior performance.
Much of the styling is done in wood grain patterns taking advantage of
popularity of hardwood. Still other styling resembles natural stone like
you would find in ceramic tile. Laminates offer a popular trade-off for
people wanting wood or ceramic. Laminate floors are more scratch resistant
than most regular hardwood finishes and easier to clean than the grout
lines associated with ceramic tile installations. Laminates also require
less demanding preparation of the subfloor because they are not glued directly
to the subfloor. Most of these products are glued or snapped together over
foam padding. This feature has made laminate flooring popular in areas
where vinyl flooring traditionally was installed.
Buying Tips for Vinyl Flooring
The new generation of vinyl floors have new finishes, different construction and new types of backing. They are designed for better wear, clearer pattern definition, and easier to maintain and install. Manufacturers have gone primarily to cushioned products with wider widths to reduce the number of seams. New innovations in backing have made the today’s cushion vinyl floors more resistant to rips, tears and back staining. Most residential sheet flooring offer no-wax performance and a wide variety of colors and patterns–more than any other flooring product and generally speaking, cushion vinyl flooring is the most economical of all flooring choices.
Some products are designed to help you reduce subfloor preparation costs
Next to ceramic tile, vinyl flooring installation demands properly prepared subflooring. Most cushion vinyl products are thin and when they are installed with a full spread of adhesive over a poorly prepared subfloor, irregularities can telegraph through. New products designed for perimeter or loose lay installation will greatly reduce the effects of subfloor irregularities while lowering subfloor preparation costs. In fact, many of these products can be installed over you existing flooring