The Worst Advice We've Ever Heard About Flooring

By Sam Ferris

We?ve heard some terrible advice about flooring. The worst part about bad advice in the flooring industry is that it could cost you thousands of dollars more than you?re already spending.

No more of that, though. We?re equipping you with the ?definitely don?ts? of flooring so you?re not left with headaches and a dwindling bank account. Here?s some of the worst advice we?ve ever heard about flooring, along with good advice of our own thrown in for a healthy yin and yang balance:

?Solid hardwood floors are better suited for the South Texas climate.?

They?re not. There?s a reason why about 90 percent of hardwood sold in the Southwest U.S. is engineered hardwood: humidity. Because they?re constructed from several layers of plies and manufactured under extreme heat and pressure, engineered hardwood floors are better equipped to handle moisture than solid hardwood.

Plus, you can?t install solid hardwood directly on a concrete slab. To do so would require a plywood subfloor ? and extra costs. Engineered hardwood floors are easier and more practical.
?It?s better to use cheap installers.?

We get it. A friend of a friend (of a friend) will do the job for less. We also can admit that this may be what?s best for your budget. But remember this old adage: you get what you pay for. And you could be paying for uneven grout lines, uneven tile placement, missing mosaic pieces and more.

You can?t sweep your floor?s flaws under the rug when you?re entertaining guests. True, your guests might not notice it. But you will. Everyday. It?s better to hire professional installers with a reputation for quality if you can afford it ? and most of the time, you can.

?It?s better to buy cheap tile.?

The thing about cheap tile is that you?ll hate it in five years, and probably sooner than that. Why? The quality is lacking: the designs are unexceptional at best and it?s not as durable as regularly priced tile.

You?re making an investment for the future when you buy tile. While it?s certainly not permanent, you should act as if it is because swapping tile isn?t cheap. Spend less on easy-to-change items like lighting and fixtures instead. It won?t cost you any less to install cheap tile instead of regularly priced or expensive tile, either.

?Level your floors with thin set mortar.?

A not-so-wise tile layer once told our store manager that she could level her cracked and broken tile floors with thinset mortar, the glue that binds tile to the home?s concrete slab.

Wrong. Trying to level a floor with thin set is like placing a giant bandage over a sinkhole. The problem runs much deeper than that, and it?s typically an issue with the home?s concrete slab. Good advice would have been to resurface the concrete slab to avoid future cracking and breaking.

Need some good advice about flooring? We?re always here to help. Click here to ask us a question or set up a free consultation with one of our designers.