Avoid these 10 mistakes when shopping for your new floors
Shopping for new floors can be filled with worries that you will make an expensive mistake. Don’t feel alone- this is common! We understand that this is something you have probably never done before, that there are so many choices, and there is so much information to absorb. Here’s a list of our top 10 flooring mistakes to avoid:
1. Choosing floors that don’t fit your lifestyle
There is no universal best type of flooring for everybody, so try not to choose a floor simply because it looks good. Your flooring should fit your lifestyle. Think about whether the room has high amount of traffic, if there are or will be kids or pets in the home, or if you like to host parties frequently. How often you plan to replace your floors or redecorate should also be considered. Be open to products you have not thought of or did not know existed!
2. Hiring a general contractor or handyman rather than a flooring specialist
The argument for the handyman or general contractor is that he can be cheaper. That should be red flag right there! Generally, someone who is cheaper is cheaper because his or her skill level is lower. Flooring is a very specialized trade and it is very easy for a non-specialist to make a mistake. These mistakes are often costly, like the flooring needs to be completely ripped up and replaced.
Some customers are completely remodeling their kitchen, and they are already working with a general contractor, so hiring more people may seem like more work. These non-specialists can make amateur mistakes, such as gluing when they are supposed to nail, not allowing enough time for wood to acclimate, and taking short cuts.
So, yes, it may be simpler to use a general contractor, but often the results are inferior. You may not even realize it until six months to a year later.
3. Going too trendy
Being current and up to date is good thing, but some trends change- quickly. Make sure you plan for the future. How long will you be in the house? When do you plan to sell, if at all? Make sure you don’t lock yourself into dating your floor (or the entire space). This happens most often with tile. Tile trends and materials come and go and ripping up tile can be very costly.
4. Falling for advertising gimmicks
There are lots of claims that big box stores will make to get customers in the door, like “buy one room, get two free” or “free installation” as examples. These places are set up to attract the price shoppers. Companies that advertise these things are not giving you anything for free. The cost to cover the “two free rooms” is hidden somewhere else in the price of the one room you are paying for, or in the labor charges. This is why it’s important to look at the total cost of the project and not just the cost of a particular line item. It is also good to get more than one estimate and make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
5. Not understanding what you are buying
There are hundreds of different products to choose from which can make picking a new floor a daunting task. You want to make sure you are getting the best quality product for your budget. Learn all you can about different types of flooring- what is the difference between 30 ounce polyester carpet and a 50 ounce nylon carpet? Ask questions! The more you know, the easier it will be to make the choice that’s best for your home.
6. Using the wrong cleaning products
Back in the day, floors used to be waxed. That was before polyurethane was invented and used to protect the floors. There is no need to wax floor anymore, as waxing actually degrades the poly and causes you to refinish the floors sooner. Using a steam mop on your hardwood is also never a good idea, as the moisture and heat can cause the planks to buckle. Use the cleaner that the manufacturer recommends.
7.Choosing based off a small sample
Deciding on the right color and shade of your new floor is very important. You want it to complement your home and create a visually pleasing setting. It is very difficult to get an accurate idea of what a color will look like based on a two-inch sample. Whenever possible, you want to see a larger piece of your carpet, wood, tile, etc. to really see how the color will work with the house.
8. Not accounting for carpet seams
A seam in a carpet is needed when two pieces of carpet have to be laid together. The type of carpet plays a large role in how difficult it is to hide the seams. For example, a berber style is the hardest to hide and a shag is the easiest. Patterned carpets should be given a little more thought in regards to seams, because you want the patterns to match up with each other. Some types of carpet (and vinyl) will require more carpet to be purchased in order to provide the most aesthetically pleasing results, which will add to the cost of the project.
9. Not planning ahead/not allowing enough time for hardwood refinishing
Most homeowners do not realize the amount of time that is involved in installing and refinishing hardwood floors. It may take 3-5 days, sometimes longer, to get the work done. It can then take as long as four days before furniture can be moved in or drop cloths used. Some people also don’t realize that you need to be off the floors the entire time, which often means they need to be away and out of the house, especially if the area to be done includes steps or the pathway to get to the bedrooms.
10. Not checking moisture content
The moisture content needs to be checked before installing hardwoods because moisture can cause wood to swell or warp. If moisture is too high and is caught before installation begins, steps can be taken to correct the issue before the wood is put down.
New flooring is a big investment in your home. Be sure to do your research on the right type of flooring and best contractors to use. Ask questions, check references, and choose who you think will do the best job for you.
For more information on Dalton Carpet One, stop by the showroom at 3690 Atlanta Highway, Suite 108 in Athens, Ga., call 706.353.0547 or visit www.daltoncarpetone.com.