Tips on how to choose the best flooring
So, it is finally time to get a new floor and you have waited for years and years. You want to move forward with your project with the final goal of being very happy and satisfied with your selection. Here are the five golden rules of flooring from Shirley Pai Hilton of Kahala Floors, a recognized industry leader in the Hawaii market.
1. Go with quality. Most of us must live within our means and you probably have a budget for your new flooring. Hilton’s advice is to stretch that budget only so far. “Do not go and get flooring materials, which are $1-$2 per square foot, as they are not going to last and you will probably derive very limited pleasure from them,” says Hilton. If that is the only thing you can afford, see if you can phase your project and only do part of it with a better material. You will be happier in the long run and will result in an investment versus throwing money away.
2. If you decide to install it yourself, be sure you have the skill set and the time to do it. Many homeowners wait so long that their floor covering is out of fashion or it has literally rotted in their garage due to procrastination. It is very much worth paying a professional to get it done right in a short period of time.
3. Use a licensed, qualified professional who has good references to share with you. “Skilled labor isn’t cheap and cheap labor isn’t skilled,” laughs Hilton. A lot of guys out there think that after putting in a floor once or twice, they are experts. This is so far from the truth, and if you are quoted a price that is much lower than the average, it is too good to be true. People with good skills know their worth and charge for it, hopefully, fairly.
4. Moisture is the number one enemy of many a floor, especially wood and laminate and even tile. Make sure that you have properly tested your subfloor, if that is called for, and then take the appropriate steps to protect your new floor from the threat of moisture.
5. Lastly, floor prep is one of the biggest missed steps when putting in a floor. Movement, creaking and other problems are often the result of not having enough flat-to-flat contact between subfloor and the flooring material. High spots need to be ground down and low spots need to be raised with a cementitious leveler.
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