January 4, 2010 at 3:43 PM EST - Updated June 16 at 10:35 PM
Like many other home décor purchases, you may have a particular floor in mind but find yourself trading off one feature to get another that better suits your needs. It could be a matter of budget or functionality. We are offering the following points to consider before you begin the shopping process:
Analyze the conditions around your home. Do you live in an area where there is a lot of sand? Sand can exaggerate wear on your floor and certain types of flooring perform better where sand is present. Do you have an asphalt driveway? Asphalt can be tracked off on certain floor coverings. Do you live in a very high humidity area? Humidity can effect certain floor coverings. Analyze the conditions in your home Do you have pets? Certain types of flooring will resist scratching from pet's claws or resist staining from those little pet accidents better than others. For example, laminate flooring may be a better option than real hardwood. Do you have a large family with young children and lots of traffic on your flooring?
Consider your performance priorities Do you want ease of maintenance above all else? Maybe you want a longer lasting floor or greater resistance to scratching. Sometimes it's easier to evaluate the flooring that you are replacing and decide how the new flooring should be different.
Match your styling preferences with your performance needs. We think you will find your options exciting. Today's flooring choices often offer a variety of performance characteristics for any look you might want. For example, you may want a rustic stone look. You can get that look in ceramic tile, vinyl, or laminate flooring. Hardwood visuals are available in real hardwood, laminate, or vinyl flooring.
Checklist: Recommended Questions to Ask a Contractor A service professional's answers to some basic questions will give you a sense of whether or not you could comfortably work with that individual. Some important questions are:
How long have you been in business? Have you completed projects like mine recently? Can you provide a list of references? To which professional associations do you belong? Will you be using subcontractors on this project? If so, are your subcontractors licensed to work in these areas (such as plumbing, roofing)? Are you licensed and registered with the state? Are you insured and covered by worker's compensation? Do you give written warranties? Will my project require a permit?