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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do you clean epoxy floors?

Cleaning an epoxy floor is an extensive job in any warehouse or larger space, making it a job best left to a professional who can get it done quickly and effectively. However, there are several bits of maintenance you should perform by yourself in between professional cleanings. For example, you can remove grit from the floor with a broom, dust mop and/or shop vacuum.  Make sure you wipe away chemical spills like automotive fluids before they become permanent spots on the floor. 

What is the best epoxy garage floor coating?

The best epoxy garage floor coating is a premium multi-layer epoxy system. When you hire a professional, you can choose more durable options like 100% solids epoxy floor coating, which is great for repelling stains and abrasion. Choose a clear epoxy or polyurethane top coat to protect this layer.

What are the different types of epoxy floor coatings?

There are many different options for epoxy floor coatings, including:

  • Water-based epoxy coating
  • 100% solids epoxy 
  • Polyurethane topcoat
  • Metallic epoxy
  • Mortar epoxy coatings
  • Self-leveling epoxy coating
  • Self-dispersing epoxy coating
  • Flake epoxy flooring
  • Mortar epoxy coating
  • Graveled epoxy coating
  • Terrazzo epoxy coating
  • And more

Talk to an epoxy flooring specialist in your area to see what your options are, and get advice on the best type to use on your floors.

What are the advantages of epoxy flooring?

Epoxy flooring has several advantages. The biggest benefit is its durability. Epoxy floors are highly durable and tend to outlast standard flooring systems. A few other pros include: 

  • It’s also easy to maintain due to its glossy finish and seamless nature.
  • It can be highly customized. You can choose different colors, designs, effects and even inserts like coins, flakes and other details.
  • It's  affordable — far more so than hardwood and other types of flooring. This value continues to pay off over time.
  • It can be slip-resistant with additional additives.

How do I choose which type of flooring to install in my home?

If you’re ready to install new floors in your home -- or replace old flooring -- you’re probably wondering where to start. After all, there are many options to choose from: hardwood, vinyl, tile, laminate, linoleum and the list goes on. If you’re stuck on which type of flooring you should choose, start with learning the pros and cons of several popular options.

Engineered vs. Solid Wood Flooring:

Typically, engineered wood flooring is better than hardwood when it comes to humidity -- it’s less likely to expand. It’s also easier to install engineered wood, and it can be more moisture-resistant when compared to solid wood. Solid wood, on the other hand, can be more durable. Plus, you can refinish and sand it multiple times. If you have engineered wood, you’ll only be able to sand it maybe once or twice.

Hardwood vs. Laminate Wood Flooring:

Solid hardwood flooring is an authentic product — full-thickness, high-grade wood with all of its textures and imperfections. Wood floors add considerably more value to your home, with a 70% to 80% return on investment, according to Realtor.com. Unlike laminate floors, they can be repaired by sanding and refinishing. 

Laminate wood flooring is much more affordable than hardwood, as it is made from composite wood, an image of hardwood’s texture and a clear protective layer. It's resistant to both sunlight and moisture. While it’s harder to repair, hardwood laminate better resists scratches. 

Laminate vs. Vinyl Plank Flooring:

Laminate and vinyl floors are both synthetic products that imitate high-quality flooring materials like wood, stone and tile. Vinyl floors are made entirely from PVC plastic and may come as planks, tiles or sheets. They are inexpensive and waterproof. Vinyl plank flooring is a great choice for moist areas like bathrooms, kitchens and entryways, while laminate flooring is a good choice for living rooms, bedrooms and other non-wet areas. Vinyl flooring is also a bit easier to clean and maintain.

Laminate consists of a fiberboard core, a printed image layer and a clear protective film on top. Laminate floors are susceptible to damage if there is excess moisture. However, laminate flooring is superior to vinyl flooring in terms of its aesthetic quality, so you’ll have an easier time making your floor look like real stone, wood or ceramic. Laminate flooring is also more environmentally friendly than vinyl. 

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

What's the best flooring for basements, kitchens and bathrooms?

When installing flooring in your home, keep in mind that some materials are better suited for certain rooms while others are not. Use this guide to help you make the best decision for your home.

Best Flooring for Basements

Basement flooring should be highly resistant to moisture, as many basements are below grade. Choosing the best flooring for basement spaces depends on what they’ll be used for. For example: 

  • An epoxy basement floor is a durable finish for concrete.
  • Vinyl basement flooring is generally waterproof or water-resistant. 
  • Laminate floors can be an affordable option, but they’re often not 100% waterproof.
  • Ceramic tile floors are also water-resistant. 

If your basement isn’t moist, carpet tiles are also an option — just make sure to use a moisture barrier.

Best Flooring for Kitchens

Kitchen flooring does more work than almost any floor in the house, so you’ll want to choose a durable floor. The following are among the best flooring types for kitchens:

  • Porcelain tiles can be fashionable, moisture-resistant, and cost less than stone or wood to install.
  • Vinyl flooring can withstand dents, is generally inexpensive and it’s easy to install.
  • Linoleum flooring can be durable, easy to maintain and affordable. 
  • Wood flooring could be damaged by dropped pots and pans, furniture and pets. However, hardwood and engineered wood floors in kitchen spaces are still popular among homeowners.

Best Flooring for Bathrooms

Bathroom flooring must withstand high moisture levels while also being comfortable on bare feet. Here are some of the best flooring options for bathrooms: 

  • Porcelain tiles are generally comfortable, waterproof, stylish and less costly than stone or wood. 
  • Vinyl flooring is waterproof, cost-effective and can imitate wood convincingly.
  • Natural stone can be expensive, but it’s typically hard and durable.

Reach out to a flooring installation and repair professional near you to see which type you should install in your home.

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 are epoxy floors?

Epoxy itself is made of polymer resins and hardening agents like glues, which (when mixed) cure to form a strong and durable chemical bond. Epoxy floors are excellent choices for warehouses, workshops, garages and other high-traffic, high-use areas where spill resistance is important. Epoxy floors are famously resilient, shiny and easy to keep clean.

How long do epoxy floors last?

The lifespan of epoxy flooring depends heavily on where it’s located, how much traffic it sees, the company or contractor you hire and how well you stay on top of maintenance. Some experts say epoxy floors can last for seven, 10, 20 or even 30 years. Still, you will likely need to re-coat your concrete floors every couple of years. This is the case even in areas like commercial workspaces, professional garages, restaurants, factories, and other areas with plenty of foot traffic. For homes and other residential applications with lighter traffic, epoxy flooring is capable of lasting far longer. 

Who does epoxy floor coating and installation?

Epoxy floor coating and installation is a highly specialized job that is best left to professionals and specialists. Plenty of companies and contractors offer epoxy floor cleaning, repair, coating and installation services for garages, warehouses, commercial workshops and even residential spaces. Find an epoxy flooring specialist near you who can assess the state of the subsurface to identify problems before they arise.

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