Flooring Contractor Northern Virginia

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The floor is the largest surface in the home, and picking the best type of flooring for your space depends on your budget, lifestyle and personal tastes. Each type has its unique benefits, and determining which flooring is best depends on each room’s needs and location.

Flooring Choices for Your Home

Popular flooring options include wood, engineered flooring materials, vinyl, tile and carpet. Learn more about the most common flooring types, the materials’ best attributes and the best usage of each one, as well as overall cost.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors come from a solid piece of milled wood and contains solid wood all throughout. Popular hardwood varieties include maple, oak, walnut or cherry. Its versatility and quality make it a desirable flooring option for many home buyers.

However, it’s one of the more expensive flooring materials on the market and does take regular maintenance, such as using a specialty hardwood floor cleaner once a month and applying a fresh coat of finish every three to five years, to keep them looking great.

Pros

  • Increases home value
  • Can be refinished multiple times
  • Many options available
  • Strong and durable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can incur scrapes, scratches and dents in high-traffic areas
  • Susceptible to moisture damage
  • Not suitable for bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered products offer the look of real wood at a more affordable price than solid wood. The floor features a thin layer of hardwood bonded over a high-quality plywood substrate. It’s as durable as solid hardwood flooring and can last as long with proper care.

Engineered wood flooring is a good choice for DIYers to install, which will save you money on installation costs.

Pros

  • DIY-friendly
  • Has real hardwood top layer
  • Greater resistance to moisture and water than real wood
  • Less likely to warp
  • Multiple installation methods

Cons

  • Can’t be refinished more than once
  • Not fade-resistant
  • Wide variation in quality
  • Can sound hollow underfoot
  • Emits VOCs

Laminate Flooring

Laminate is an affordable flooring option for homeowners who prefer an alternative to carpet but want to avoid the cost of hardwood or tiles.

The floors consist of a particleboard wood base topped by wood or tile photo beneath a clear plastic protective layer. This flooring is very DIY-friendly, and laminate offers a multitude of texture and color options.

Pros

  • Inexpensive compared to wood
  • Easy to clean
  • Scratch-resistant
  • DIY-friendly
  • Many styles and colors available

Cons

  • Susceptible to moisture damage
  • Chips easily
  • Does not look and feel like wood
  • Has a hollow sound underfoot

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl is extremely water-resistant and won’t sustain damage even if water sits on the surface for an extended amount of time. Composed of plastic, it’s available in plank, tile and sheet form.

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) are two forms that have gained popularity recently because of their durability and variety of styles available.

Pros

  • Good for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements
  • Durable
  • Water- and fade-resistant
  • DIY-friendly
  • Many design choices available
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • LVP and LVT is more expensive than laminate
  • Lower ROI than wood

Tile Flooring

Tile flooring is a popular choice for moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and kitchens. The most common tile materials are ceramic or porcelain. Tile is water-resistant, durable and comes in a variety of styles and colors.

The installation cost varies depending on the material; for instance, glazed ceramic is less expensive than porcelain tile.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Hard to install
  • Lot of prep work is needed before installation
  • Cold and slippery

Stone Flooring

Natural stone, such as granite, marble, travertine and sandstone, are popular flooring choices for both indoor and outdoor spaces. Like ceramic and porcelain, stone is extremely durable and waterproof.

The stone’s finish determines the amount of care needed to maintain the floor. However, stone offers natural beauty and quality that is unparalleled by most types of flooring.

Pros

  • Bold and elegant
  • Long-lasting
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Hard to install
  • Lot of prep work is needed before installation
  • Cold and slippery

Stone Flooring

Natural stone, such as granite, marble, travertine and sandstone, are popular flooring choices for both indoor and outdoor spaces. Like ceramic and porcelain, stone is extremely durable and waterproof.

The stone’s finish determines the amount of care needed to maintain the floor. However, stone offers natural beauty and quality that is unparalleled by most types of flooring.

Pros

  • Bold and elegant
  • Long-lasting
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Hard to install
  • Lot of prep work is needed before installation
  • Cold and slippery

Carpeting

Carpet is a favorite flooring option for homeowners, especially in bedrooms. It comes in a variety of colors, materials and textures. Carpet technology has improved over the years, and modern carpets have stain-resistant qualities. It’s also the most cost-effective flooring option on the market.

Pros

  • Soft and warm on feet
  • Visually warms up the space
  • Multiple colors, materials and designs available
  • Great for soundproofing
  • Stain-resistant varieties exist

Cons

  • Hard to clean
  • Can stain
  • Shows wear pattern
  • Not suitable for allergy sufferers

Alternative Materials

Flooring isn’t limited to the materials mentioned above. There are plenty of non-traditional materials used for flooring. Here are some alternative materials to consider:

Cork: A natural material made from a cork oak tree’s bark that features excellent fire resistance and sound-blocking ability
Rubber: A natural material with good resilience and a non-slip surface
Bamboo: An environmentally friendly choice that is a real wood alternative to hardwood floors
Terrazzo: A durable composite made of natural stone chips and resin

 

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Bottom Line

Choosing the best flooring for your home isn’t as simple as selecting the best-looking or the one that’s on sale. Several factors such as moisture, durability, ease of maintenance and budget greatly influence the decision. A new floor can be an investment, so your floor choice should balance your needs with your style.