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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 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.

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 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.

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 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 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. 

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.

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