Questions to Ask Before Hiring Princeton Flooring Installation Service
Are you ready to hire flooring installation services? Maybe you've done your research and are completely confident about what type, style and material is ideal for your Princeton home. Or, maybe you're just starting to plan out your flooring project and need a little help to choose what you want in your home.
Updating your home can be exciting, and it's easy for homeowners to jump the gun and rush into a decision they regret down the line—especially when it comes to something as important as installing new floors.
Renovating your floors is a big investment—so it's best to carefully think about your needs and wants before moving forward with the project. That's why it's so important to consider a few different factors before calling your local Princeton handyman service providers to get the job done right.
A few key considerations to keep in mind include your family's needs and personal taste, structural considerations and the Princeton climate.
To help you make the right choice for your home, the pros at Mr. Handyman of Princeton and Robbinsville have put together the following resource. In it, we'll do a deep-dive into the above categories, so you can be sure you pick a material that's right for your home.
Family Considerations for Flooring Installation
The best part of being a homeowner is that you can do whatever you like with your house. You should feel like it's designed exactly how you want it to be. Every family is different, so every family has different needs. From empty nesters giving their home a new lease on life, to young families with small children, there is a different material and style that works best for all families.
To find that perfect material, use the following questions to narrow down your options.
Where Will My Floors Be Installed?
Different areas of your home have different flooring installation considerations. For instance, a key consideration is that some materials, like hardwood, are prone to fading in the sunshine. So if you're considering installing floors in an area of your home that gets a lot of sun, perhaps choose a UV and heat-resistant material. Most synthetic options, like laminate, are made to be fade resistant.
Likewise, certain parts of your home will be exposed to more moisture than others. Living in Princeton, you're accustomed to a degree of humidity, plus extra moisture in the air when the weather gets cold. So it's important you choose a material that won't damage easily when exposed to moisture. A great option would be tile or luxury vinyl plank tile.
Lastly, consider how much foot traffic different areas receive. Your front entrance or kitchen will have more foot traffic than bedrooms. For high-traffic areas, you should install more durable materials.
Do I Need Pet-Friendly Floors?
If you have pets, you're likely familiar with the pitfalls of certain materials. Cats and carpets are a disaster waiting to happen—especially if your cat likes to scratch. Hardwood gets scratched very easily. While it's still possible to have pets and hardwood floors, they will need to be refinished frequently.
If you're a pet owner, you should opt for lower-maintenance options like laminate, luxury vinyl plank/tile or ceramic tiles. These materials tend to be more scratch resistant and easy to clean—which helps limit the amount of hair and dander present in many pet owners' homes.
Does My Family Have Allergies?
Speaking of pet hair and dander, if your family has allergies or asthma then you need to think carefully about what flooring installation material you choose. It's best to opt for smooth surfaces that are easy to clean—which essentially rules out carpet. Dust, dander, and all sorts of allergens are attracted to carpet fibers.
Do I Need Low Maintenance Materials?
If you don't want to worry about refinishing or resealing your floors, then there are certain materials you should avoid. For instance, slate tile is one such material. While it's considered a luxury tile because it's a natural stone, usually sourced from quarries, slate needs to be sealed annually to prevent wear. If you want tile but don't want that kind of hassle, ceramic or porcelain tile are both great options for Princeton homeowners.
Hardwood also needs a certain degree of maintenance to keep it looking its best. Hardwood scratches over time, so it needs to be refinished occasionally. The good news is, pure hardwood floors (as opposed to engineered hardwood) can be refinished multiple times over the course of its lifetime—which can be as much as 100 years, given the right level of care. (As anyone living in one of Princeton's many historic homes will know).
What's My Personal Style?
Your unique sense of style will impact what kind of flooring you choose. In fact, feeling the need to update your home to match your current tastes may have inspired your flooring installation project to begin with. When shopping around for different materials, styles and colors, collect samples and take photos before making a purchase. That way you can test out what colors and materials match what you presently have in your home, so you make the right choice.
Design Tip: Traditional VS. Contemporary
Most homeowners tend to lean towards either a more contemporary or traditional look. While there are many different interior design categories, most tend to fall under the umbrellas of contemporary or traditional styles. Thus, if contemporary style is more appealing to you, wide planks and larger tiles evoke a more modern feel—particularly in light colors. This creates a bright and clean aesthetic. Whereas you prefer a more traditional look, then opt for smaller tiles and more narrow planks in darker tones. ,
Flooring Installation: Structural Integrity
Aside from what materials work best for your home based on your style and your family's needs, there are also many logistical factors to consider when planning a flooring installation project.
What Shape Are My Subfloors In?
It's absolutely essential that your subfloor is in good condition before the top layer is laid. If damaged or uneven subfloors are not repaired before your flooring installation project begins, you could wind up making an existing problem worse.>
Subfloors are the layer that goes below the top floor (the area you walk on) and that sits above the joists. If there is a problem, say it's sagging in some areas because the joists were laid too far apart, anything you put on top of it will also sag. Also, if you lay tile on top of a wood subfloor it may cause cracking and bending, as tile needs a cement fiber board as an underlayment.
Since there are so many considerations, and it's essential that anything supporting your new floor needs to be in tip-top condition or you'll face a serious headache, it's always best to hire a qualified handyman service to handle flooring installation on your behalf.
Is My Home's Foundation Stable?
The strength of your home's base impacts the structural integrity of the top. While subfloors are a part of that, they're not the only structural consideration. Your home's foundation needs to be strong as well. It's natural for foundations to shift over time, and some will shift more than others. If your home is prone to settling, it's best to invest in more flexible materials, like laminate or luxury vinyl tile, to avoid cracking.
Will My Floors Expand?
Yes, most materials expand as temperatures fluctuate. Thus, an expansion gap is important for preventing damage in certain materials. Roughly 1/4-inch of space should be left for tile, which may crack if it doesn't have enough space. This is the same for both laminate and vinyl, which also need roughly 1/4-inch of expansion space.
Best Options for Princeton Flooring Installation
There are so many choices for your Princeton flooring installation project. Each has its own merits and drawbacks, and are available in a wide range of styles and colors.
Tile (Porcelain or Ceramic)
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are a very popular flooring installation choice. Tiles great options for high-traffic areas like the kitchen, front entrance or bathroom. Both ceramic and porcelain tile are man-made and are made of clay. However, porcelain tiles are made with a denser variety of clay, which makes it slightly stronger. Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are very durable, water resistant, available in a range of colors and fairly easy to repair.
Tile (Natural Stone)
In addition to man-made tiles like ceramic and porcelain, there are many types of natural stone tile that can be used on floors, backsplashes and countertops. Unlike clay-fired tiles, natural stone tiles are sourced from a quarry. For this reason, natural stone tiling tends to have a higher price point than ceramic or porcelain. The main benefit of natural stone is that it’s very elegant and stylish. Some varieties are very durable, like slate, whereas others are soft, like marble.
A few commonly used types of natural stone tiling includes:
Hardwood floors are one of the most sought-after flooring installation options because they’re aesthetically appealing to many Princeton homeowners and last a very long time. In fact, many of Princeton's historic homes have hardwood floors that have lasted through the centuries! While hardwood floors are durable and easy to clean, they scratch easily and can warp when they get very wet (so it's important to clean-up spills right away). That said, scratched hardwood can regain its former glory by being refinished from time to time.
If you are considering installing hardwood flooring, you have many different options:
Finished: Finished hardwood comes from the factory, sanded and sealed. It can be installed right away and is ready to walk on.
Unfinished: Unfinished hardwood is a great option if you want a custom stain applied, or if you are looking to match an existing floor color in your home—say if you're updating a historic Princeton property.
Solid: Solid hardwood is wood all the way through. It comes in slats that are 5/8” to 3/4” thick. It is very durable and can be sanded and refinished multiple times over its lifetime, which can last 100 years or more.
Engineered: Not technically hardwood, engineered hardwood is a veneer of real wood glued to several layers of plywood. This makes it very durable and stable. However, engineered flooring can only be sanded and refinished once or twice, since it only has a thin layer of hardwood on the top.
Laminate has come a long way over the years. It is made out of four synthetic layers that are fused together in a lamination process and covered in a photo applique to create the look of wood or tile. In fact, new technologies have enabled laminate to look just as good as real wood or tile. It is also very durable and available in a wide range of colors and styles. However, this material does warp when wet.
Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank
Vinyl is completely made out of plastic, unlike laminate which includes wood content. This makes it an inexpensive, low-maintenance, and durable flooring installation option. Newer materials like luxury vinyl tile/plank look absolutely stunning and wear well over the years. Luxury vinyl tile is highly durable, flexible, and even water resistant and emulates ceramic tile. Luxury vinyl planks are designed to look like wood. Both varieties have come a long way since the 1970s vinyl you may have seen in your grandparents homes!
Choose the Pros at Mr. Handyman of Princeton and Robbinsville for Your Flooring Installation Needs!
After reading this guide, you should be fully equipped with the information you need to get started on your flooring installation project. If so, reach out to Mr. Handyman of Princeton and Robbinsville today. We've helped countless homeowners throughout New Jersey with their flooring installation needs, including in Montgomery and West Windsor.
You can reach our friendly customer service representatives at 609-372-5867. We look forward to assisting with your next home improvement project!