Carpets, rugs, hardwood floors, linoleum and ceramic tile can add color, beauty and value to your home. As you consider a new type of flooring, you will find a wide selection of construction texture and material composition to choose from. For that reason, it is a good idea to do a little preparation work before you start shopping.
Begin by answering the following questions:
- Where is the new floor covering going to be installed? For high traffic areas, durability will be important. Keep in mind that ease of cleaning will be a factor if the floor will be exposed to spills and stains.
- What is the composition of your family - young children, active teenagers or adults? If you have small children or pets, flooring that is stain resistant and sturdy will be a must.
- What size of area needs to be covered and how much can you afford to spend? Measure the floors you are going to cover to get a rough estimate of how much flooring you will need. Floor covering vary widely in price, depending on the quality and composition. Always take into consideration the cost of professional installation and underlay if they are required. If you are planning to buy on credit, remember to add the cost of interest charges to price you will pay.
- Select your retailer with care. You should feel free to depend on their counsel and advice when making your selection. Beware of high pressure sales and "fantastic bargains" and do not purchase a floor covering that isn't labelled as the the material composition or content.
- If possible, take a sample home and evaluate it in room where it is to be installed. Once you have found the color and texture you like, consider performance in relation to your own needs.
- Obtain an installation plan and a written estimate. The estimate should include the total cost of the job, the manufacturer's name, the color and style of the floor covering, the amount required for the room, the cost per meter, sheet or tile, the type and cost of underlay (if required) and the cost of delivery, installation and removal of your existing flooring.
- Read your contract or sales agreement carefully, checking for all essential information before signing.
- Remember that once the contract is signed, it is legally binding. When a warranty is offered, determine the length of the warranty, exactly what is covered and who is the warrantor.
For more information on floor coverings or installation of floor coverings you may wish to contact the Alberta Floor Covering Association in Calgary at 403-280-6006 or toll-free at 1-800-292-9712. In the event of a dispute between a consumer and a floor covering retailer or manufacturer, the Alberta Floor Covering Association can provide qualified professionals to inspect the problem and issue a report. Third party inspections reports can be a useful tool in resolving disagreements. The cost for AFCA inspections varies depending on the membership of the company involved, so contact the AFCA for more details about this service.