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An Overview of Your Choices for Home Flooring: An Interview with Michael McGill of Distinguished Floors

By Michael McGill

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

My company is Distinguished Floors from Wrentham, Mass. We are a full-service hardwood flooring company. We do simple to complex installations, conventional and dustless sanding, laminate flooring and any preparation work necessary whether it be carpet and/or tile removal, etc. We do not do any tile or carpet. We believe to do one thing and to do it very well: hardwood flooring.

What is one of the biggest regrets you've seen people make when it comes to home flooring and how can others avoid making the same mistake?

There are a lot of types of floors and/or flooring colors that customers will choose that are trendy. You have to be careful when you jump on the bandwagon with these floors. They could be prefinished "handscraped" floors or any other type of non-traditional floors. When the trend is over you are stuck with an undesirable floor and when you go to sell your home it may not have been much of an upgrade and/or poor investment. It is very important to install a floor that fits your house and budget and will give you long-term enjoyment and value. Hardwood flooring is expensive so you want to make the right decision. Ask a professional and his advice on what he thinks of some of the flooring ideas you have.

What are a few of the most popular flooring options that homeowners in Rhode Island are choosing right now?

Oak flooring has been the most popular flooring for almost a century. It continues to be the most popular and affordable. There have been great strides and improvements on laminates and engineered flooring. These can make your basement look very beautiful and are unlike the very cheap, ugly looking laminates of a decade ago. Homeowners are making their basements a beautiful space to entertain or have a place for the kids to play, etc.

Can you briefly describe some of the advantages and disadvantages of each of those?

Oak flooring is very popular and you may desire a floor that is different than everyone else. We always suggest installing a wider board to give a more high-end look. The increased cost is very insignificant and then you have a floor that is not like everyone elses. We believe laminate flooring only belongs in a basement. There are a lot of choices, but we believe they do not look appropriate in the main living space. We have installed a new product to the market that is a click together product, but is real wood. This gives you the ability to install the floor in your basement, but it looks like a real floor. Laminate does not feel solid because it is not nailed down and has a pad under it, this is why we do not recommend in it in the main area of your home. It will have a cushiony feel and not feel like a solid floor.

If a home has wood floors that aren't in great shape, what can the homeowner do?

Sometimes a floor may look in bad shape to an inexperienced eye, but actually be a beautiful floor once sanded and finished. Consult a professional and they can give you advice on how to address the floor and the expectations of the floor. Sometimes you have to sand the floor first and see how it comes out and then show the client how it is going to look and proceed from there. If the floor is not up to the client's expectations then replacement is necessary.

What is your advice on getting new hardwood flooring versus refinishing your current floors?

If your current floors are in great shape then you would want to re-sand them. New flooring would be three times the cost or more. If you are unhappy with the original color you can stain them. However, if the flooring is damaged, stained or not up to your expectations, then replacing them would be your best option. Sky's the limit on what we can do and the look you want. Like anything else, the more you spend, the more beautiful and better performing your floor will be.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

We can be reached 508-384-3297.

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