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Blounts Creek, NC Discover the Optimal Flooring Options for Your Home

Blounts Creek, NC Home Improvement Guide

Floor Laying, Refinishing & Resurfacing Residential; Flooring & Floor Covering Contractors; Floor Waxing, Polishing & Cleaning; Carpet, Rug & Upholstery Cleaners; New Carpet & Rug Dealers; Hardwoods; Natural Stone; Ceramic Tile Contractors

Over the past twenty-five years, the number of choices in flooring material has grown significantly. With all of the options available, it may make it difficult to choose the material that is right for you. Regardless of whether budget, environmental concerns, or personal preference influences your selection, a quality flooring material is available to meet anyone’s needs. Before making a final decision, take the time to research each material and determine which one best meets your needs. After careful consideration, you may discover other practical, aesthetic, or maintenance aspects outweigh your initial personal preference.

Any flooring decision needs to start with the room itself. Consider what function the floor needs to serve and what kind of traffic and wear it needs to withstand. As each room offers a unique set of challenges, finding a balance between form and function is crucial. To maintain a uniform look, consider using the same flooring throughout multiple rooms. This not only provides balance to a home, it also reduces the cost. Purchasing additional square footage increases discount percentages and negotiation power. Take the time to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each option and discover the flooring option that works best for your needs.

Advantage: The look of wood provides an unmatched warmth and beauty to any room. As one of the higher quality choices, hardwood floors appeal to potential home buyers and provide a classic and elegant look that will last for decades. Finishes and sealants make it a solid selection for areas regularly exposed to water such as the kitchen or entry halls. Hardwood flooring is offered in a variety of woods, stains, and sizes to fit any décor. Available in varying sizes, the wood itself is installed using either strips or planks. Strips are narrow, generally 1½” to 3¼”, and planks are wider at 3” to 8” in width. Hardwood floors are very durable and last a lifetime. As they begin to wear, or if you want a change in the look, hardwood floors can be refinished multiple times. This makes them very versatile, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly. They also provide a strong resale value as many potential buyers see hardwood as a valuable upgrade and will pay a premium to have them.

Disadvantage: The biggest disadvantage of hardwood is the cost. While low cost hardwood alternatives are available, it is one of the more expensive materials to install. Water can seriously damage hardwood flooring. Therefore, all spills or standing water need to be cleaned up immediately. Finishes and sealants protect it from water damage but great care and maintenance should be taken to maximize protection. Hardwood floors are also susceptible to denting and scratching. Once deeper gouges, or over time, many scratches, are visible, the floor will need to be sanded and refinished to remove the damage. It is not friendly to pets as claws scrape the flooring and unnoticed accidents damage the finish and the wood if it penetrates past the finish. The flooring loses its shine over time and will start to look dull. The harder surface is tough on the feet when standing for long periods and can be slippery when wearing only socks.

Cost: One of the more expensive materials, especially for higher quality wood. The average cost is $5-$15 per square foot.

Durability: With care and maintenance, a hardwood floor can last many decades. Certain woods provide more durability than others so consider the traffic and wear the floor needs to be able to take before selecting a choice of wood. Providing the option of multiple refinishes, hardwood is one of the most economical and long-lasting choices in flooring.

Maintenance: Daily cleaning is done by a quick vacuum, sweeping, or dry mop. Place pads underneath couches, dressers, tables, chairs, stools and other furniture legs to protect the floor from gouges and scratches. Check with the manufacturer for preferred products to clean up heavier dirt. Placing rugs and floor mats in heavier traffic areas keeps floors cleaner.

Installation: Depending on the type of wood, many hardwood floors can be installed by an experienced do-it-yourselfer. This cuts down on some costs. If the area is extensive or requires intricate installation consider using a professional. Discuss the options with your contractor or find a professional in your area by visiting the Hardwoods or Floor, Laying, Refinishing & Resurfacing Residential heading at

Natural Stone
Advantage: Nothing compares to the beauty of natural stone. It is available in a wide variety of colors, textures, sizes, and finishes that create an elegant and luxurious look to any home. Granite, marble, limestone, slate, and travertine each provide a distinct look and texture. Stone is very durable, heat resistant and if properly cared for will look great for decades.

Disadvantage: This higher end material is too luxurious for certain areas of the home. Natural stone laid in entry halls and living rooms creates a classic and timeless look, but carried into kitchens and bedrooms it becomes excessive. It requires sealing in order to become water resistant and an annual re-sealing to maintain protection, particularly granite, marble, and limestone. Natural stone becomes slippery when it is wet, making it dangerous for kitchens and bathrooms. Using floor rugs helps to eliminate this potential danger. Most stone, with the exception of slate, is not resistant to staining and requires a costly professional to clean it. It can often look and feel cold and hard under foot when standing for a long period of time. Rugs and radiant heating can solve some of these issues.

Cost: One of the most expensive options, the average price of natural stone is $7-$20 per square foot. Installation is also expensive as professionals charge an additional $6-8 per square foot due to the heavy weight of stone.

Durability: Natural stone is extremely durable and will last for several decades. It is more susceptible to staining and requires sealants to protect it from water damage. Chipping and cracking occurs over time or if heavy objects are dropped on the surface.

Maintenance: General cleaning is easy using a damp mop, mild soap, and water. Avoid using products that contain lemon juice, vinegar, or other acids on marble, limestone, or travertine. Also avoid harsh abrasives or ammonia based cleaners as they dull the sealant. Quickly clean any spills in order to avoid staining.

Installation: Natural stone is extremely heavy and more labor intensive to install. It is much more intensive and difficult than ceramic or other tile installation. Therefore, this job is best left to the professionals. Talk to your current contractor about the right professional or find one yourself by visiting the Marble-Natural or Floor, Laying, Refinishing & Resurfacing Residential heading at

Ceramic Tile
Advantage: Ceramic tile is offered in a wide variety of colors, sizes, styles, and textures creating an elegant and beautiful look to any home. A variety of designs and decorative combinations can create a one-of-a-kind look. Slight variations in color, size, or texture can be used in different rooms to add a fresh, unique look while establishing a uniform flow. It is easy to maintain and impervious to water and staining as long as it is sealed correctly. This makes it ideal for heavy traffic areas such as entry ways, kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms. Radiant heating added to the sub-floor makes tile inviting and less cold in the winter.

Disadvantage: Tile is hard and will break most anything that is dropped on it. The rigid surface makes it difficult to stand on for long periods of time. Using helps to solve this issue. When tiles get wet, they become slippery and without radiant heating tile is very cold in the wintertime.

Cost: Whatever the budget, a tile option can be found to meet it. Ceramic tile start as low as $5 per square foot and increases up to $15 per square foot.

Durability: Ceramic tile ranks its own durability. For higher traffic areas, a minimum of grade III strength is ideal. Even with a stronger tile, heavy objects break or damage tile if dropped on it. It is possible to repair it but a section of tile will need to be removed, which could weaken the surrounding area. Ceramic tile is fire and water resistant but could be damaged if standing water sits on the surface for an extended period of time.

Maintenance: A damp mop easily does the job of keeping tile looking clean and new. Resealing of grout needs to be done annually or more often in high traffic kitchens. Porous tiles need to be sealed more often to make them water resistant and avoid stains.

Installation: An energized do-it-yourselfer can install a tile floor. For a significant amount of flooring, consider a professional installer. This limits the number of headaches and time needed to install the floor. Discuss potential options with your contractor or find a local tile professional by visiting the Tile-Ceramic, Contractors or Floor, Laying, Refinishing & Resurfacing Residential heading at

Advantage: Offered in a wide variety of colors, textures, and styles carpeting is a popular, low cost flooring option. Valued for its warmth, comfort, and soft feel on feet, carpet is often used in bedrooms, family rooms, living rooms, basements and hallways. While softer to walk on, it is also more supportive to the back and joints and protects objects or children that fall on it. Carpet is a natural insulator providing both climate control and noise reduction. Improvements in fibers and materials make carpet a durable selection that lasts for decades. Stronger carpet options are those made with wool or nylon.

Disadvantage: Carpet and water do not mix. When carpet becomes wet, moisture gets trapped in the fibers or padding underneath developing mold and mildew if not properly dried. This makes it inconvenient for kitchen and bathroom areas. Some manufacturers now offer padding specifically designed to handle the possibility of moisture, which is ideal for high traffic areas or basements. Some spills and stains are difficult to remove from carpet. Stain-resistant carpet aids in keeping some material from seeping into the fibers but once carpet is stained it could be permanent. Over time, fibers become matted in high traffic areas and fading can occur if exposed to excessive direct sunlight. Wall-to-wall carpeting holds onto dust which causes allergies to flare-up or irritates those with asthma.

Cost: A variety of cost options are available with carpet. Lower priced carpet starts at $8-25 per square foot. Higher quality fiber choices range from $25-60+ per square foot.

Durability: A good fiber lasts for decades. Higher quality fibers make carpet more resistant to stains, matting and fading. Purchasing high quality padding also aids in the longevity of the carpet as well as provides increased comfort. The number of times the fiber is twisted together, per inch, is a good indicator of a carpet’s durability. Opt for fibers that have been twisted five or more times. Choosing a carpet with a higher density, meaning more yarn tufts per square inch, also increases a carpet’s durability. Because there are many options in , the lifespan varies depending on selection and overall wear. Some carpets last years in one home and only hold up for 4 years in another.

Maintenance: Dirt, dust and germs are removed from carpeting with a daily or weekly vacuuming. This keeps allergies from flaring up and makes it easier for anyone with asthma. Deeper cleaning done annually keeps carpets looking clean and new. A professional carpet cleaner can clean all of the carpets in your home or you can do it yourself with a home carpet cleaning system or by renting one. If handling the job yourself, make sure an annual deep clean includes steam cleaning using hot-water extraction. There are a number of commercial products available to remove occasional stains as well as many homemade remedies such as club soda or water and vinegar. Find the method that works best for you or call the carpet manufacturer directly as they often have tips for removing stains from their particular carpet brands.

Installation: For a knowledgeable do-it-yourselfer, installing your own carpet can be done. Depending on the size and number of rooms you want to carpet, this may be a job that is best left to professionals. Carpet needs to be stretched and tacked down specifically to avoid potential problems. For most people the skill set and tools are not something they currently own. Therefore, discuss installation options with your contractor or find a professional yourself by visiting the Carpets & Rugs, Dealers-New or Floor, Laying, Refinishing & Resurfacing Residential heading at

Advantage: Concrete is offering a new look for homes. Known more as an exterior surface, concrete with a variety of color options is making its way inside as well. Concrete can mold to any shaped floor and creates continuity between the outside and inside of the home. Textures and aggregates are added to provide a unique look and concrete is installed easily depending on the existing subfloor. Radiant heat can also be installed to provide warmth to the surface during the winter months.

Disadvantage: Concrete creates a cold, hard surface that is difficult to stand on for long periods of time. Like tile, if something is dropped, it will most likely shatter. The right conditions need to exist in order to install concrete. If the proper subfloor does not exist, it can be expensive to prepare the floor. Confirm with a contractor to verify if a concrete floor is an option.

Cost: A more expensive option at $5-15 per square foot.

Durability: A concrete floor, if properly maintained lasts for decades. It is an extremely durable, strong surface that can handle a lot of wear and tear.

Maintenance: Very easy to clean, concrete floors need only a daily dusting with a sweeper or dry mop. A weekly mopping keeps it looking clean and pristine. For heavier cleaning, standard ammonia based cleaner is ideal. To ensure resistance to water, the concrete needs to be sealed. This sealing also prevents cracking and staining over time.

Installation: Concrete requires an expertise beyond the knowledge of a typical do-it-yourselfer. Because of the skill set required, this should be left to the professionals. Discuss potential options with your contractor or find a local expert by visiting the Concrete Contractors or the Floor, Laying, Refinishing & Resurfacing Residential heading at

Engineered Hardwood
Advantage: Offering the same look of hardwood, engineered hardwood is created by gluing and laminating multiple thin ply layers together with a thicker hardwood veneer layer glued over the top. This process makes engineered hardwood more resistant to moisture and humidity than solid hardwood. It also provides structural integrity making engineered hardwood stronger and less susceptible to seasonal expansion and contraction. Available in a variety of colors, engineered hardwood provides the same style and design options as solid hardwood. Based on these advantages, engineered hardwood can be used in almost every room, including kitchens and basements. Engineered hardwood can be glued directly to the sub-floor making installation easier.

Disadvantage: As only the top surface layer of this flooring is made of hardwood veneer, engineered hardwood can only be sanded and resurfaced one or two times. Solid hardwood can be sanded and resurfaced multiple times. Because of the more extensive processing method, engineered hardwood is less friendly to the environment.

Cost: Priced about the same as solid hardwood, engineered hardwood costs $4-30 per square foot.

Durability: Engineered hardwood comes pre-finished with a polyurethane and aluminum oxide finish making it extremely durable. The finish allows the surface to withstand a strong amount of traffic and everyday wear and tear. Engineered hardwood can last up to 25 years or more depending on the thickness of the top veneer. Thicker veneers can be resurfaced two or more times which further extends the lifespan.

Maintenance: Daily vacuuming or sweeping takes care of dust and crumbs. For deeper cleaning, use a damp mop, avoiding any heavy or standing water from remaining on the floor. Quickly clean up any spills that could stain or damage the flooring. Make sure that the surface is completely dry after cleaning. Ensure the surface of the veneer is protected and recoat when necessary. This further extends the life of the flooring and lessens the need for refinishing.

Installation: Engineered hardwood can be installed by a knowledgeable do-it-yourselfer. If you are unsure about the surface it will be installed on or you do not feel comfortable handling the job, talk to your contractor about using a quality professional. Find local experts by visiting the Flooring & Floor Covering Contractors or the Floor, Laying, Refinishing & Resurfacing Residential heading at

Green Flooring
Floor Laying, Refinishing & Resurfacing Residential; Flooring & Floor Covering Contractors

A couple of strong environmentally-friendly flooring options are making their way into today’s homes. These products provide a solid, renewable resource for homeowners who desire a greener floor.

Advantage: A bamboo floor is the green alternative to hardwood floors. Requiring only 3-4 years to grow, bamboo is harvested and manufactured into planks and engineered laminated strips. During manufacturing, it is treated to protect it against ants and termites. It provides the look, warmth, and durability of hardwood floors in a more renewable resource. Available in a variety of shades, it can match and beautify any décor. Bamboo is strong, water resistant, and easy to clean. If well maintained, a bamboo floor lasts a lifetime.

Disadvantage: Bamboo is susceptible to scratching and is more brittle than hardwood, if something heavy is dropped on it. Cover couch, dresser, chair, table, stool, and furniture legs with protective pads to further protect the surface. Avoid dragging anything across the floor. The strength and durability of the bamboo differs depending on the grade and quality. Lower grades cause the flooring to wear unevenly over time.

Cost: Less expensive than hardwood, bamboo flooring ranges from $3-9 per square foot.

Durability: Stronger than hardwood, bamboo is a very durable material that can withstand plenty of wear and tear. It is naturally moisture resistant but not immune to water. Make sure any spills do not sit for long periods and are cleaned up quickly to avoid damage and staining. It is also fire and warp resistant.

Maintenance: Easy to clean, a light dusting, sweeper or dry mop takes care of daily cleaning. A weekly mop also keeps them looking clean and dirt free.

Installation: For a do-it-yourselfer that is confident installing hardwood flooring, bamboo is a breeze. If time is limited or you'll feel more confident leaving it to professionals, work with your contractor to find a professional in your area or find one yourself by visiting the Flooring & Floor Covering Contractors heading at

Advantage: Harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree, cork flooring is almost 50 percent air, making it a natural sound absorber and comfortable to stand on for long periods of time. Made from only the bark, the tree itself remains planted to rejuvenate new bark for future use. It is available in both tiles and planks that are baked to provide varying color options. The longer the material is baked, the darker the cork. Cork is also dyed to further extend the number of color options. Its warmth and texture provides a beautiful look to any home.

Disadvantage: The color of the cork fades over time as it is exposed to long term sunlight. It is extremely resistant and absorbs excessive weights over time. The weight of couches, tables and appliances can wear into the cork permanently. Place additional padding under these heavier objects to minimize the impact. Heavy items dropped on the surface can also gouge.

Cost: Similar to bamboo, the cost of cork is $4-9 per square foot.

Durability: Cork is very durable and absorbs some initial impact and scratches more easily than other materials. Dents and scratches return to their original state after a short time. The softer surface is great for standing long periods of time and ideal for children and pets. It is naturally fire and water resistant but will suffer damage from water if exposed for long periods of time.

Maintenance: Once the floor is sealed, general cleaning with a sweeper or damp mop is sufficient. In order to keep it optimally protected, the sealant should be reapplied once a year. For heavier cleaning, a wet mop suffices but make sure water does not stand on the surface for a long period. Avoid using harsh cleansers or solvents as they discolor and damage the cork.

Installation: This is a product that a knowledgeable do-it-yourselfer can install. If you feel up to it, follow the manufacturers recommended instructions or have it installed if you lack the time or feel more comfortable leaving it to the pros. Talk to your contractor about a professional in your area or find one yourself by visiting the Flooring & Floor Covering Contractors heading at

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