How long will the job take to finish?
The standard rate of installation of 5" wide wood planks is 300 sq. ft. per day. There are also the tasks surrounding the installation as well, which include: Demolition, of tile and or carpet, padding and tack strip removal. Carpet, per 1,000 sq. ft. and concrete preparation is one day. Substrate correction up to 2,000 sq. ft., which is grinding the high spots and filling lows, it is one day. Epoxy moisture application is one day, including the dry-time. If the flooring material is unfinished and in need of sanding, per 1,000 sq. ft., it is 2 days. The other variable is the application of stain, and finish which, depending on the chosen method per 1, 000 sq. ft. is anywhere from 1 to 5 days. There are many variables, but once all these are known an accurate timeline can be given for the project at hand. Strip flooring less than 5'' in width will take longer, patterns and inlays will take longer and sometimes wider boards will go in faster. Depending on the project, the tasks at hand can be quite arduous, thus taking time to complete the required steps properly, so be leary of any claim of a floor being completed in two days or surprisingly fast for the project at hand, because they are probably skipping important steps. The true value of a floor is not just the bottom line cost, but what you're getting.
Will there be a big mess to clean up? Will there be a lot of dust?
This is a surprisingly clean process considering what the job entails. I spent a lot of money to eliminate dust with dust collection systems that eliminates 98% of the dust. Plastic is put over doorways and windows and other precautions are to taken to contain any uncollected dust.
Sub-flooring sounds somewhat mysterious and complicated – what do I really need to know about it?
Sub-floor prep is one of the most important aspects of installation. Except nothing less than having your concrete ground, taking of at a minimum, 1/64 of the concretes surface prior to installation. Depending on the type of installation, flooring can fail if the sub-floor isn't prepped properly. This includes catastrophic glue failure and moisture problems that can swell the wood.
It's also important that an experienced installer assess the levelness of the sub-floor particularly with floating installations. Planks or boards can come apart due to unevenness in a sub-floor. In a resilient floor installation such as glue down cork or sheet goods, unevenness will telegraph through to the surface.
And lastly, moisture content of the sub-floor should be assessed. Should moisture be present, the cause should be addressed and the floor treated prior to wood installation.
How do I find the right contractor?
Find an experienced contractor because price isn't everything. Flooring done right takes time and skill. Low price often means a job done in haste so that the contractor can move onto the next one quickly. Like anything you buy, you get what you pay for, so price should reflect the time spent, the level of skill as well as experience. Hiring a contractor isn't like buying a car; you don't get the same thing for a cheaper price out of desperation, if a contractor is desperate, it's for a reason and you don't want it. It takes years to accumulate the knowledge of what works and what doesn't. It's an art learned through training, researching and independent testing, then applying newer technologies with knowledge and skill. Don't let your floor be the test subject for a contractor's inexperience.
Why does hiring a licensed contractor matter?
Flooring materials are expensive. And since a bad installation may not show signs of failure for several months, it's important to have a licensed contractor because, by law, they are obligated to warrant their work and address problems concerning installation. Installation errors will also void manufacturer warranties. Liability for expenses related to fixing those issues falls on a licensed contractor. An unlicensed contractor is not bound to care or repair.
What color will work with my space?
Darker colors make your spaces seem smaller and show wear quicker, while lighter or natural colors give an open feeling to the room. I will guide you through the process, asking you various questions pertaining to furniture color, wall color, desired look and feel, acceptable maintenance, architectural relevance etc. and then provide you with samples with varying shades of each color, which I can put together in my box truck in front of you. This is my preference, as I like people to see what it takes to achieve depth of color and most find it to be really interesting.