Assessing Flooring Style and Quality
Determining whether an existing carpet is good quality is not an easy job. The quality really comes down to the fiber type, twist, density and style. The density of the underpad is very important too. When it comes to style - berbers are on their way out for the most part. Especially the random multi-coloured berbers. The carpet styles that will be popular for hte near to medium term are patterns, subtle flecks and cut and loops.
Currently tile floors are very popular. Basically the bigger the tile the more fashionable it is. 12 and 13" tiles are not desirable to most homeowners as they give the floor a dated feel. 12x24 or 18x18 and larger are what people want in their homes. Certainly if tiles are cracked, there is a big problem. Also, if grout is cracked or missing this is a sign that tiles are likely to crack soon.
The trend right now and for at least the next ten years is wider boards. 2" wide boards date a house back to the nineties and are not desirable. 3" boards are still in popular use but are common and not desirable by more sophisticated consumers. Hand scraped and textured finishes will continue to be over 50% of demand for the coming years due to their low maintenance needs. When assessing a floor's current condition, you want to look for cracks in boards, finish wear and squeaking.
There are two types of laminate flooring installed in homes today. Flat panel laminate consists of boards which fit together flat without any bevel. These boards are usually wider and in most cases indicate a very cheap floor that was put in to sell a home. Depending on the price point of a home they can be a good serviceable flooring solution. However, once a home tops $200K, the flat panel laminate is out of place and not desired by the homeowner.
Bevelled laminate is the other type. It looks much better and will maintain its looks over time. Typically these floors cost more but will be much more desired.
It is very hard to visually determine the quality of a laminate floor. Thickness means nothing and a lot of its performance will be dictated by the quality of the installation.