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Find an acid stain concrete contractor near you

6 near you

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is the best sealer to use on concrete?

Because unsealed concrete is porous, it readily absorbs liquids, leading to unsightly stains and freeze-and-thaw cycle damage. For this reason, it’s important to seal concrete that will see spills or outdoor weather.

The best option for garage floors and other high-traffic areas is epoxy, which forms a hard and extremely durable surface on top of concrete. Epoxy, acrylic, and polishes are often used on indoor floors, while acrylic-resin sealers and reactive penetrating sealers are used on outdoor surfaces to repel water and salt. Locate a concrete contractor in your area to help find the best solution.

What are the different types of flooring I can install in my home?

Here are four popular types of flooring you can install in your home. 

Solid wood flooring:

Solid wood flooring is made up of 100% wood, and has a very natural look and feel. It can add value to your home and. It can resist wear and tear, and be sanded and refinished multiple times. However, solid wood is susceptible to humidity and water damage. When it’s humid, solid wood could expand and if there’s a flood, it will be hard for the wood to return to its natural shape.

Laminate flooring:

Laminate wood flooring is an artificial product that mimics real wood flooring. Its core consists of fiberboard material, topped by an image print layer and sealed with a clear protective film. Laminate flooring is UV-resistant and less expensive than solid hardwood (approximately $3 to $7 per square foot to install). However, it also has a lower-quality feel, is unable to be sanded and refinished, has a lifespan of around 25 years and will invariably have a repeated print, according to Consumer Reports

A laminate hardwood floor is popular in living areas like dining rooms and kitchens. Their quality has improved dramatically in recent years, making them an attractive alternative to more expensive flooring types. Laminate flooring can also be scratch-prone, easy to clean and maintain, and resistant to moisture. 

Vinyl flooring:

Vinyl flooring is made completely out of PVC plastic and is an excellent option for moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and kitchens. It is durable, comfortable and inexpensive. Vinyl plank flooring and vinyl floor tiles can also imitate stone, tile and wood. However, it is fairly easy to spot vinyl flooring as synthetic. Install luxury vinyl plank and sheet vinyl flooring in areas where moisture is a concern.

Engineered wood flooring:

Engineered wood flooring often has a plywood-core substrate and a genuine hardwood veneer as its uppermost layer. Engineered wood floors are more impervious to humidity than regular hardwood, meaning that it’s less likely to expand, warp and buckle, according to Consumer Reports. However, it can dent easily. The best engineered hardwood has a thicker veneer, as well as a quality that allows it to be sanded down and refinished to increase its lifespan. It can be as durable as solid hardwood, and it’s often an affordable choice for many homeowners.

If you need help choosing the best flooring for your home, reach out to the top flooring companies near you.

How much does it cost to redo a concrete driveway?

 Here are some examples of average costs:

  • The national average cost to hire a concrete specialist is $2,750, but that price can vary greatly depending on the work needed to repair and resurface your concrete driveway, the square footage of the project, current costs of concrete, and regional labor rates.
  • Driveway contractors average $2-$3 per square foot to smooth and resurface your asphalt driveway.
  • Resurfacing concrete driveways averages $3-$10 per square foot. Pricing can depend on repairs needed, project size and geographic location.
  • Nationally, the average cost for resurfacing a 500-square-foot driveway ranges from $2,000 to $5,000.
  • Sealant for a concrete drive can cost $20-$80 per gallon.
  • Sealant for an asphalt drive averages 25 cents per square foot.

What is the best finish for concrete floors?

The best finish for concrete floors depends on your personal taste. An acid stain is a bold, varied look with lots of texture and the potential for earthy tones and a natural stone appearance. A water-based stain might not last as long as an acid stain, but it gives you the choice of many different colors. Epoxy is great for high-traffic areas, kitchens, bathrooms, basements and garages. It provides a glossy, damage-resistant, non-slip coating on your concrete floors. To find out which finish is the best for your concrete floors, contact a concrete contractor near you.

What is the best flooring for dogs?

Waterproof or scratch-resistant flooring is typically the best flooring for dogs. This includes: 

  • Vinyl: Vinyl may not add much to the value of your home, but it is resistant to scratching, stains, dents and accidents. Plus, it’s an affordable option.
  • Tile: Tile is generally water-resistant and scratch-proof, and more affordable than hardwood or stone.
  • Laminate: Laminate is not truly waterproof, but it is tough and often more scratch-resistant than other wood floorings. 

Remember that solid hardwood is susceptible to damage, including dents, scratching, licking and accidents. But if you want to install wood floors, the best hardwood floors for dogs are typically made out of maple, Brazilian walnut or bamboo.

For more tips on choosing the best flooring for dogs, talk to one of the best flooring installation professionals near you.

How much does it cost to install flooring?

The national average cost to install flooring is $5,500, with prices ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 . Your cost can be much lower or higher depending on the type of flooring you select, the square footage of the project, and other important variables like demolition and repair work needed.

Here are some examples of floor installation costs, depending on the material:

Reach out to the top flooring installation specialists near you to get an accurate, free estimate of how much it will cost to install flooring in your home.

How do you clean hardwood, concrete, vinyl and laminate floors?

After you get new floors installed in your home, make sure you maintain them. Use these tips to keep your floors clean, shiny and polished. 

How to Clean Concrete Floors

Start by sweeping or vacuuming the entire surface to remove loose debris. Mopping will require different substances based on the type of concrete floor. For a polished concrete floor, use a specialized polished concrete cleaner. For a painted concrete floor, use a mild all-purpose cleaner. A sealed concrete floor can be cleaned with dishwashing liquid, while an unsealed floor is best cleaned with trisodium phosphate and stain removers. Use kitty litter or cornstarch for grease stains, and distilled white vinegar for rust stains. 

For more tips on how to clean and maintain your concrete floors, consult with your professional concrete flooring contractor.

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Cleaning hardwood floors typically requires a mop, bucket and some type of hardwood floor cleaner. Start by removing furniture and objects. Vacuum up all debris (or use a dust mop), moving with the grain. Spray your cleaner on a small section of the floor, and mop in a figure-eight motion, working backward. Make sure there are no puddles. 

In high-traffic areas, you should mop one or two times per week. Low-traffic areas should be mopped at least once per month. 

To ensure you're cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floors properly, speak with your hardwood flooring installation specialist.

How to Clean Laminate Floors:

Start by vacuuming to remove dust, dirt and other debris. The best mop for laminate floors is a microfiber mop with a sprayer feature. Spray and mop one small area at a time to avoid standing liquid on the floor. Go over the floor with a dry microfiber cloth after mopping to make sure all liquid is gone. 

Although you can use a damp mop, never use a wet mop on laminate floors. Moisture can cause the flooring to bubble, swell and buckle. Instead, use a dedicated laminate floor mop with a laminate floor cleaner spray. The best mop for laminate floors is typically made with microfiber, which picks up dirt and absorbs moisture well.

Consulting with your laminate flooring installer is a good idea if you've never had laminate floors and need more tips on how to clean them properly.

How to Clean Vinyl Floors

Cleaning vinyl plank flooring is easy. Start by sweeping and vacuuming up dirt, dust and debris. Then use a damp — not wet — mop or rag with warm water. While vinyl is waterproof, an excessive amount of water can leak between the seams and affect the glue bond with the floor. When you feel a chemical is needed, make sure to choose cleaning products safe for vinyl planks.

Reach out to your vinyl flooring installer for tips on how to further maintain and care for your vinyl floors.

For more tips, read our guide on how to clean and maintain all types of flooring.

How do I choose the best flooring company or contractor?

Start by reading reviews of flooring companies and contractors in your area. Customer reviews tend to offer useful feedback. But, be wary of reviews that lack details or specific feedback. Next, look at photos of past projects and observe the quality of craftsmanship, including the quality of wood, consistency of the finish, and gaps or cracks. Compare prices and get multiple quotes for the same job if possible. Finally, ask your contractor or the company if they have the proper licenses and certifications.

For more tips on how to choose the best flooring installation service, visit Thumbtack’s Smart Hiring Guide.

What can concrete contractors do?

Concrete contractors can build foundations, structures, driveways, concrete storm drains, raise or level concrete patios and much more. They can handle every step of the process, starting with framing the mold that the concrete is poured into. They then cut, assemble and tie together the rebar, giving the concrete its tensile strength. Finally, they pour the concrete in, mixing and conditioning it to ensure it cures properly. They will also take steps to ensure that no air pockets are trapped within it. 

If you have a project that requires the help of a concrete contractor, reach out to one today to get a price estimate.

Is it worth it to hire a professional flooring specialist?

Unless you have plenty of experience installing the type of floor you want, it is worth it to hire a professional flooring specialist. 

The first reason is tools — pros have them, and they know how to use them. Without the proper experience, there is a high risk of injury with nail guns and power saws. A good pro also works quickly, saving you time that you could spend doing other things. 

Finally, a pro gets you past options paralysis by helping you decide the best flooring for different rooms and areas of the home.

To get started on your flooring project, contact the best flooring contractors near you today.

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