Flooring Contractor Somerville MA

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Flooring Contractor Somerville, MA


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Flooring Contractor Somerville MA

Somerville MA is a vibrant city with many homes. It has a population that showcases diversity according to the information available here.

Just like any city, there are thousands of homes and these homes need flooring work at one point or the other. It is either a homeowner is installing new flooring or replacing old flooring. Flooring choices depend on the home’s style and value. The flooring of a home should be able to withstand significant wear and tear. A homeowner should choose the price, quality and style of flooring that is appropriate for the interior decor of the house. A flooring contractor Somerville MA can help the homeowner make this decision.


Common Flooring Types

The next paragraphs of this article will discuss various flooring options available to house owners taking into consideration the pros and cons of each.

1. Porcelain Or Ceramic Tile

Tile has been a popular choice for bathrooms and other areas of the home such as kitchens, dining areas and laundry rooms. Tiles are the most versatile flooring materials on the market in terms of color and style. There are large format floor tiles and well as tiny mosaic tiles. There are also tiles that look like hardwood. So the homeowner gets both the look of hardwood and the durability of ceramic in one material.

Glazed and porcelain tiles require little maintenance making them the most durable flooring options. Maintenance involves periodical sealing of the grout to prevent standing. Tiles are not expensive but installation can be labor-intensive. A suitable subfloor or tile backer base is required for installation. A homeowner wishing to undertake a large tile installation project should engage the services of a flooring contractor Somerville MA to help with the process. The contractor has the experience to do the job.

Tiles are not suitable for living areas such as living rooms and bedrooms because they can be cold underfoot. However, some homeowners still use tiles in these areas. Read more about porcelain tiles here.

Tiles for wet areas like bathroom and entryways should be chosen carefully and must be non-slip tiles. This is to ensure safety. Click here to watch a video explaining how to clean porcelain tiles.


2. Hardwood

This is one of the best looking flooring types on the market. Homeowners have been using hardwood for flooring for decades. It is suitable for almost all living areas including kitchens and dining areas. It is however not suitable for any room that sees a lot of traffic or gets wet frequently like bathrooms and laundry rooms. Bamboo is another flooring option that is similar to hardwood in cost, installation, performance and maintenance.

Hardwood flooring comes in solid and engineered forms as well as unfinished and pre-finished forms. Solid hardwood has a thickness of 3/4 inches and is usually nailed to a wood subfloor or glued to concrete. Unfinished solid hardwood requires sanding and finishing on site after installation. Engineered hardworking is a type of plywood with a solid hardwood top layer. Conventional wood can be glued down or nailed. Click-together engineers wood are also available for floating floor installation.

Hardwood can be easily installed by most flooring contractors Somerville MA although it is trickier to use glue than nails. The easiest is engineered floating floor installation and it is also the fastest option.

Due to moisture concerns, solid hardwood should not be used in sub-grade basements although some engineered wood can be used for basements. The main disadvantages of hardwood are cost and maintenance. All hardwood requires finishing with a clear coat like polyurethane. This offers moisture resistance. The floor needs to be kept clean to prevent scratching and excessive wear. This is why owners of rental properties do not use hardwood for their floors.

Follow this link to learn more about solid and engineered hardwood.


3. Laminate

This type of flooring is an alternative for homeowners who cannot afford hardwood. It is basically made of resin and wood pulp and looks very much like real wood. It can also mimic any hardwood style such as wide-plank pine, maple and cherry. The flooring is made with a medium density fiberboard core with a photo layer top and thick polymer finish that gives it the fine look. Major types of flooring option can be used for quick and easy floor installation. It can be glued down but it’s often not necessary. The downside of laminate is that it cannot be refinished and it’s impossible to repair if the finish is damaged.

Although the finish is tough and highly resistant to moisture and stain, moisture can easily penetrate the joint causing the floor to swell and chip. A homeowner who wants to give his living areas a hardwood look can use laminate. A good flooring contractor Somerville MA should be able to install it with ease. Here is a video explaining how laminate flooring is installed.


4. Carpet

Carpet is a common flooring option. Every homeowner has used carpet at one point in time. Homeowners find it attractive because it comes in various colors and designs and is easy to install. Carpet looks great when it’s new and is preferred for bedrooms and living rooms because it is warm, soft and quiet.

Carpet is ideal for upper-level rooms in multistory homes. It is not ideal for use in areas susceptible to moisture and spills such as kitchens and bathrooms. It will be quickly ruined in such areas. A homeowner who intends to use carpets should carefully consider the color and style. The color of the carpet should be neutral and appropriate for the house. Owners of rental properties can use carpet flooring as it can be professionally cleaned. The major disadvantage of carpet is that it can be permanently damaged by stains.

This article here explains tips for carpet installation.


5. Linoleum And Vinyl

These materials are different but the posses that same level of resilience. They both come in tiles and sheet forms that are easy to install. They are resistant to moisture and highly durable. Homeowners can choose from a variety of colors and styles. This flooring option is ideal for high-traffic areas such as kitchens, dining areas, laundry rooms and bathroom.

The difference between these two flooring options is their materials. While linoleum is made with natural materials, vinyl is made of plastic. A homeowner looking for many style options and wider price and quality range should go for vinyl. The price range of vinyl is from low-end to premium. Though linoleum also comes in various colors, the price range is medium to high end. A homeowner who needs budget versions of linoleum won’t find it. Linoleum is a great alternative to vinyl because it is made with natural materials and it’s environmentally friendly. Click here to read about other flooring types.


Tips For Hardwood Flooring

Even with many flooring options like tiles, vinyl and laminate, hardwood flooring still remains a great flooring material and a preferred option for many homeowners. In fact, many of the new flooring materials are manufactured to look like wood.


Types Of Hardwood

There are basically two types of hardwood – solid and engineered hardwood. A floor can be solid planks of real hardwood such as maple, oak or mahogany. It could also be made with a form of engineered wood. These planks are made by bonding thin layers of real hardwood over thin layers of plywood.

Solid hardwood flooring has its advantages and they include:

• Possibility of repeated sanding and refinishing.

• Solid underfoot feel due to thick flooring layers.

• Better sound transmission unlike engineered hardwood.

• Can be stained in any desired color because it is usually sold unfinished.

Engineered wood also has its advantages and they include

• Extreme stability when in contact with the concrete subfloor.

• Cheaper compared to solid hardwood.

• Easy to install, unlike solid hardwood.

• The work required for installation is reduced because it is usually sold pre-finished.


Environmental Concerns With Hardwood

Solid hardwood is made of natural materials and old flooring can be disposed of without any problem when the floor needs to be replaced. The old solid hardwood can be recycled for other purposes. Though engineered hardwood consists mainly of wood products, a variety of glues are used in the plywood layers. These adhesives may release toxins like formaldehyde in small amounts and cause health issues for people who are sensitive to these substances.


Subfloor Requirements

Solid and sturdy subfloors are required for both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring. They may also require installation of secondary underlayment over the subfloor. In most cases, if an existing old floor is solidly attached and in good condition, it can be used as a base for new hardwood flooring planks. The standard underlayment for hardwood flooring is OSB or wood subfloors of plywood. The subfloor must be well built structurally and free from movement.

Concrete: Concrete must be at least one month old and must be free of moisture before had wood flooring is installed on it. It is considered best to use engineered wood for direct installation on concrete because moisture can migrate through the concrete into solid hardwood flooring. It has to be installed on a layer of plywood laid on the concrete to prevent it from getting in contact with moisture.

Vinyl or Tile: If the flooring contractor Somerville MA determines that existing vinyl or tile flooring is in good condition, it can be used as a base for laying new hardwood flooring although it might affect the thickness of multiple flooring levels.

Laminate: Unlike tiles or vinyl flooring, it is not ideal to use existing laminate flooring as an underlayment for new wood flooring. Laminates are usually not secure enough to save as base for new floors because they are floating floors. The flooring contractor Somerville MA needs to remove them before the hardwood flooring is installed over the subfloor.


Tools And Installation Methods

The tools needed to install hardwood floors are not as sophisticated as some many people think. Ordinary carpentry tools are enough although it might be helpful to use specialty nailers to shorten installation time.

In the case of most solid hardwood flooring, the flooring contractor Somerville MA needs to make layers of felt builder’s paper over the subfloor before laying the flooring. Though more common with softwood flooring, solid hardwood flooring can be nailed down through the face of the planks into the subfloor. They are usually nailed down in a diagonal form through the side through side tongue as the contractor installs each plank. This way, the nails are completely hidden because the groove on the next plank conceals the previous tongue.

A professional flooring contractor Somerville MA uses specialty nailers that drive the nails and at the same time snug up the planks. Apart from this specula tool, ordinary carpentry tools like jigsaws, table saws and power miters saw are used to cut the planks. Many options abound with engineered hardwood flooring and they can be laid with glue, nail or staples. They can also be floating floors in which the planks are held together with a click and lock joinery. Notched trowels and other specialty tools are needed for glue-down types of flooring and interim layer of thin foam underlayment may be needed for floating floors.


Costs Of Hardwood Floor

The average cost of hardwood flooring is $5 to $10 per square foot for materials and an additional $6-$10 per square foot for installation. The costs depend on the type of hardwood used. Some woods can cost higher than the quotes prices. The cost of engineered hardwood ranges from $4 to $10 per square foot and installation costs about $4 to $10 per square foot. The cost is determined by the type of surface hardwood veneer and its thickness.


Surface Preparation Tips

Good preparation of the subfloor is important for the success of hardwood flooring installation. It is best to completely remove down to the subfloor. The old floor should be removed unless the existing floor bonded very well. Uneven spots on the floor surface should be filled with floor leveling compounds to make them flat and smooth. A plywood underlayment can be installed if the floor is not smooth and secure. Necessary repair to the subfloor can be performed before installing flooring. There should be no moisture issues, especially for concrete. A moisture meter can be used by the flooring contractor Somerville MA to verify the moisture levels to ensure they do not exceed 4% between hardwood and subfloor. It may be necessary to use a moisture barrier on concrete.

The flooring contractor Somerville MA should refer to the manufacturer’s specifications and ensure that wood flooring that is not designed for the moisture condition of the room is not installed. A test for pH should be conducted before any wood flooring is installed over a concrete subfloor.

Underlayment should be thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed before the installation of flooring planks begins. Baseboard foot moldings and door moldings should be removed before the flooring is installed where possible. The subfloor should be completely covered with felt builder’s paper and edges should be trimmed. Manufacturers may specify thin layers of foam on engineered flooring. The hardwood planks should be stored in the area for several days before installation by the flooring contractor Somerville MA to allow them to adjust to humidity conditions and prevent warping from occurring later.

A description of how to prepare tiles for flooring can be found here.


Tips For Installation

A professional flooring contractor Somerville MA follows certain practices when installing hardwood. The following tips apply to solid hardwood and engineered hardwood.

• Carbide-tipped blade with fine tooth should be used to cut hardwood to minimize chipping.

• The finished side of pre-finished engineered flooring planks should be sawed facing down to minimize chipping. The flooring contractor Somerville MA can also apply a strip of blue painter’s tape over the cutting line to prevent chipping.

• Narrow expansion gaps should be left at the walls to give room for season expansion of the wood. These gaps will not be visible when base moldings are installed.

• Flooring planks should be nudged into position using a tapping block and the flooring planks should never be strike directly with a hammer.

• As the planks are being installed, the professional pattern of movement is left to right.

• The flooring contractor Somerville MA should follow the recommendations of the manufacturer when removing any marks left on the planks during installation.


Installing Porcelain Tile Over Different Floor Surfaces

There are specific recommendations and steps that should be followed when a flooring contractor wants or install ceramic tile over another surface. These steps ensure that proper bonding is achieved. Appropriate products should be used to install tile over wood, concrete or tile so as to achieve the right adhesion between surfaces. The existing surface should be cleaned and leveled.


Installing Tile Over Concrete

Before the flooring contractor Somerville MA does this installation, all cracks and voids in the concrete floor should be repaired. When there are cracks in the concrete, the tiles will eventually crack because the concrete at the point of the crack will be unable to support the tile. If the crack is less than 1/8 inches, it is best to use suppression products. If the flooring contractor Somerville MA is installing over larger cracks, he should consider removing the concrete section and pouring a new slab of concrete.

The contractor should install an isolation system into the slab if he is concerned about cracks. This will help to separate the tile from the slab. It prevents the tile from having direct contact with the concrete thus providing support for possible weaknesses in the concrete due to shrinkage or expansion.

The flooring contractor should make sure that no chemical products are acting over the concrete surface. These chemicals can reduce the bonding capacity of the tiles. This coating can be detected by dripping a few drops of water on the concrete surface. If the water beads, it means a coating was applied to the surface.

For more tips on installing tile on concrete floor visit here.


Installing Tiles Over Wood

Before the flooring contractor Somerville MA installs tiles over wood, he must make sure that the wood surface is structurally sound enough to hold the weight of the tile. Materials such as chipboard, interior-grade plywood and particles boards are not suitable for direct installation of tiles. Tile tends to dislodge or break under load due to its hard nature and many wood surfaces expand and contract thus making it difficult for it to stay level and support the weight. If tiles must be installed over such surfaces, a backer board should be installed over the old surface and the tiles installed on the backer board. The wood surface should be sanded to make it smoother and the subfloor should be 1-1/8 inches thick.

The flooring contractor Somerville MA should apply an isolation membrane over the wood subfloor if the tile is being installed in a bathroom. This will provide protection against contraction and expansion.


Installing Tiles Over Existing Tile

The existing tile surface needs to be roughened to ensure a better grip when the new tile is installed over it. The floor should be sanded with 80-grit sandpaper. After sanding, the tile should be cleaned and particles removed before a floor leveler product is applied to fill in grout lines and create a level surface for the new installation.

A thin-set product should be used by the flooring contractor Somerville MA to install tiles over existing tiles. The thin-set product is a mixture of fine grain sand, cement and water that will join the new tile to the old. As for mortar, it is best to use latex or epoxy to install tile over tile.


Installing Tiles Over Existing Vinyl

This can be complicated and should be avoided if possible. However, if the contractor decides to install over the old surface, a backer board with thin-set should be laid over the old surface to serve as the new subfloor material. The best thin-set to use is the one recommended by the backer board manufacturer. All loose adhesive must be removed from the surface so that a good bond can be achieved.


How To Level A Subfloor

Subfloors can develop low spots over time. Before a new floor is installed, this issue must be addressed and the subfloor leveled. A floor-patching mixture can be used to fill the low spots. The mixture should be sanded once it has hardened. Follow this link to learn the secrets of leveling subfloors.