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Flooring Contractors

Sara Faith Alterman | Improvement Center Columnist | December 13, 2011

Improving your floors could send your home's aesthetic and financial value through the roof. Whether you prefer rustic hardwood, thick and cozy carpeting, or sleek marble tiles underneath your feet, you'll want to hire a professional flooring contractor who will get the job done--without walking all over you.

Locating a contractor

Finding the right contractor can take some leg work, but making the extra effort can frequently save you money. Ask friends and family for recommendations, and get in touch with a local contractor by completing the form on this website. Once you've found a few, contact your state's Department of Consumer Affairs to see if that contractor meets state licensing requirements.

Contact several contractors to get cost and labor estimates beginning your project, and choose the person who suits your style and budget.

What should I expect from my contractor?

Typically, you can expect a contractor to perform the following duties:

  • Provide an estimate for the total cost of the project
  • Help you select/procure materials
  • Prep the area for installation
  • Install materials

Depending on where you live, you may need a building permit. Usually, this project will be considered "remodeling," and so it won't require a permit. If it does, your contractor should be able to direct you to the correct municipal resource for this permit, and may even do the paperwork for you.

Choosing materials

The materials options are as diverse as the homeowners who choose them - it's easy to get overwhelmed by all of your choices! When deciding on floors, think about who will be walking on them.

Do you have kids? Pets? Is yours a "Shoes off!" kind of family? How much foot traffic will these new floors get? Once you've started answering these questions, you can begin thinking about whether wood, vinyl or tile floors are right for you.

Each material has its own unique advantages and qualities.

VINYL:

  • Great for high-energy families
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Available in "peel and stick" do-it-yourself tiles
  • Average material costs: $.50 to $5.00 per square foot
  • Average installation cost: $0.52 to $0.68 per square foot

HARDWOOD:

  • Offers classic beauty
  • Common wood choices include red oak, white oak, birch, pine and cherry
  • Available pre-finished, which can minimize cost and installation mess
  • Should be installed by a professional
  • Average material cost: $4 to $13 per square foot
  • Average installation cost: $2.01 to $2.68 per square foot

TILE:

  • Sleek and sophisticated
  • Easy to clean, durable and long-lasting
  • Common tile choices include porcelain, ceramic, terra cotta, marble and slate
  • Should be installed by a professional
  • Average materials costs vary greatly, anywhere from $1 to $25 per square foot
  • Average installation cost: $4.04 to $5.39 per square foot

You'll want to work with your contractor to determine a budget for materials and labor. Consider the total square footage of the room or home; the size of any ceramic or vinyl tiles you may want to use; the hourly or per square foot cost of labor, which includes removing the old floor; and the cost of any additional materials.

Looking for a contractor for your home flooring project? Fill out the form on this page to search for contractors in your area.