We know there’s a lot to consider when renovating and revamping your home. We’ve broken down common questions by material,
so you can get a sense of what may work best for your project.

Backsplash and Mosaic Tile

What is a mosaic?

Mosaics are small pieces (usually 2” x 2” or smaller) of tile that are held together in a mesh-sheet backing. They can come in many different shapes, colors and be made out of glass, metal, stone, real pebbles, porcelain and more.

Why would you consider a mosaic over a lesser than big tile?

A good place to start is considering the overall feel / look one is striving for in a space. Remember, mosaics can have lots of personality with texture, colors and shapes making them a fun personalized choice. But this can also mean mosaics may end up being the “star” of the space. If this is the intent, then one should consider mosaics as a viable option for adding visual interest. However, a less than big sized tile, becomes more relaxed in that sense and tends to have a calmer effect on the space.

In a kitchen project, which product selection should be considered first?

In short, the project’s vision and design usually commands direction. Since the cabinets take up much of the real estate and budget, it is the starting point for selection. Next, in deciding between a backsplash and countertop, ask yourself, which of the two do you want more visual interest from? If it is the countertop, often the backsplash will not compete and tend to be more simple - easy on the eyes. Otherwise, it would be the opposite with those two materials. And of course, there are exceptions, like when using a detailed cabinet style with a bold color or a beautiful natural wood grain as the cabinet’s look. In these cases, the other finishes sometimes get less visual attention by design.

What is the best material to consider?

Essentially there are three criteria in the consideration of a material: 
Style, budget and its practicality. And part of the answer will fall heavily on what is most important to your situation. But not to complicate matters, we can help with defining your best material option(s) in our one-on-one design showroom consultation.

Which new small tile trend should I be aware of?

The look that stands out is the artisanal charm of a handmade-look tile. These are characterized by rough and uneven, wavy, rippled surfaces, slight chiseled edges, smokey and weathered edges. The color glazes are often high in color variations to give the look of an artisan look with an array of sizes inspired by Moroccan traditional design. This is a perfect selection for those wanting to be pure and natural, in the spirit of Wabi Sabi - nothing perfect.

Can I use a mosaic or tile in a wet area, like a pool or shower?

Because not all materials are recommended for wet areas or pools, we always want to verify the material being considered is rated accordingly and it can handle a freeze or harsh chemicals when needed.

What insight can I look forward to when considering the world of mosaics?

When considering the newest selections of mosaics, our vendors are mindful to use raw materials in the mosaic that will coordinate with larger tiles in the field of a room. This allows a client to tell the full story if they should choose to combine a coordinating mosaic with a larger format tile made from the same material.

Porcelain and Ceramic

Can ceramic tile be used for shower walls and floors?

In most cases, both types of tiles can be used on floors and walls in a home. The tile manufacturer does give each tile a specific use designation. However, porcelain is also rated for pool and outdoor use in addition to home applications.

How do I choose the right tile for my home?

As one can imagine, there are many choices and things to consider with tile selection and the project. Our decades of experience will help guide you with design, and selection; and if you are not a DIY, we can help with installation too.

What are some tile trends to consider?

The tiles are increasingly popular in large-format tiles, such as 24”x 48” and 36” x 36” to name a few. Overall, the trend in porcelain tile design is towards creating a natural, organic look with textures and patterns that mimic natural materials such as marble, wood, or stone. When it comes to finishes, matte or honed are increasingly in demand.

Is there a significant difference in maintenance between porcelain and ceramic tile?

No difference. To maintain these tiles, it is recommended to sweep and vacuum them regularly to remove dirt and debris. They can be cleaned with a pH-neutral cleaner and a damp mop. It is important to avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools that may scratch the surface of the tile. And to add value, our installation provides the latest grout options that do not have to be sealed.

Do I need to seal either tile type?

Depending on the texture or finish of the tile, it may be recommended to seal the tile surface with a premium penetrating sealer. In the process of grouting (adding the colored lines), sealing the tile first will help reduce the possibility of fine grout smudging a light-colored tile.


What other carpet choices do you offer?

Natural fibers like Woven Wools, Sisals, Dragon grass and Seagrass. Also, synthetic carpets that are made with the latest generation of Nylon 6,6 (Stainmaster).

Can you cut a carpet to a custom size and surge or bind the edges?

Yes, we do custom area rugs out of carpet purchased from Castle Flooring and we deliver it to your home in the Austin and surrounding area too. Also, we can do custom step runners.

How long should I expect the installation to take?

Most carpet home installations are completed within 1 - 3 days. The scope of the project will impact the work. For instance, if the client is living in the home, we may advise that we break up the installation in two phases. In some cases, a set of steps can push the work into the second day. As always, it is subject to carpet availability.

Do you recommend we paint the interior of the home before the carpet installation?

Yes, it is recommended to paint first then install the floorcovering last. However, there are always exceptions, like the availability of the painter or the need to move-in by a certain day. Obviously, if the carpet gets installed first, then the painter will need to protect the new carpet with a drop cloth or whatever means they see fit. Also, even with the proper care during a carpet installation, baseboards may need to be touched up afterward.

Is there a special vacuum that I need to use to vacuum my carpet?

When selecting the right vacuum, adjustable height is the most important feature to consider. This enables the machine to be used on a wide variety of carpet constructions. If your vacuum is set too high above the carpet surface, the vacuum can’t attract the gritty soil below. If the setting is too low, the vacuum’s beater bar or brushes can “fuzz” the carpet’s surface, causing it to look worn or frayed. VACUUM BUYER’S GUIDE

Do you offer furniture moving services?

While it is a perfectly good question, most of our clients feel it is best to handle this task because of the personal nature some items may have, including antiques or electronics. Of course, upon request, we will help connect you to a professional moving service but often, are glad to help move an empty piece or a mattress for our clients.

How do I clean my carpet?

All manufacturers will have cleaning guidelines but Carpet-Rug.org is a respected authority in all things carpet. We recommend visiting their website.

Do you ship free sample carpet swatches to my home?

Absolutely. At the comfort of your home, please visit this site to view carpet options.

Send an email to info@castlefloors.com with your favorite styles and colors, allow 3 - 7 business days for the samples to arrive at your preferred mailing address.

What are some key points about Loop and Pattern carpet styles?


  • A wool-like looped surface - rich and distinctive adding dimension
  • Casual appearance and extremely durable
  • Low profile for a clean and maintenance-look
  • Great for family activity rooms or high traffic with minimal visible footprints


  • Comprised of levels of loops and cut heights of yarn
  • Looks that range from bold and dramatic to simple and understated
  • Low profile is durable and handles and hides traffic well

What are some key points about Texture and Frieze carpet styles?


  • Long, crimped yarns for a casual look that works for any room
  • Higher pile for a super-soft feel
  • Extremely popular style
  • Textured surface helps hide scuff marks


  • High, twisted yarns for a longer crimped look (shag like carpet)
  • Very durable and long wearing
  • High visual interest as well as a bouncy, springy feel underfoot


Can you install my tile backsplash while we wait for the countertop?

It is our “best practice” to wait for the countertops to be installed satisfactorily first.

Is quartz less expensive than natural stone?

In general, no, not necessarily. There are many factors that may affect the price of quartz like thickness, jumbo sizes, a specific collection, preferred edge treatment, demand, preparation, and the level of the latest cutting technology used by the fabricator for measuring and cutting purposes. Of course, the complexity of the project - like a waterfall installation will skew the overall price. And all these factors can apply to a natural stone material as well. On a positive note, there are entry level pricing options for both materials.

Will there be seams in my countertops?

A seamless installation will completely depend on the size of your kitchen’s lower cabinet’s layout. Like natural stone, quartz is sold in slabs and has physical size limitations. The two common quartz slab sizes: Regular: 55” x 120” and the Jumbo size: 63” x 128”, but not all colors are available in a Jumbo size and / or in the thicker 3 cm (1 - 3/16”). When doing a countertop template (measurement), if applicable, we disclose where the recommended seam placement will be. 

How long do I need to plan for my countertop installation?

A few things to keep in mind, the availability of the material, demand for installation at the time, and new cabinets. Typically, materials are located within our Texas distribution center(s) and can take 6 - 12 days if not available in our Austin warehouse. At a minimum, the lower cabinets must be installed before we can measure and provide a formal proposal. When measurements, kitchen cabinet plans are available or if only changing the countertops, we can check material availability of the preferred material and provide an initial soft quote. For general planning purposes, it is not uncommon to allow 2 - 3 weeks lead time before the countertops can be installed after new cabinets. And in most cases, the countertop installation can be completed within 1 or 2 days.

Are quartz or natural stone countertops able to handle a hot pot?

Quartz and natural stone countertop materials are heat resistant. However, extreme heat may damage the countertop, especially at seam locations. As always, when placing a hot object on the countertop proceed with caution and use a hot pad or trivets.

Is a Quartz countertop stain resistant?

Quartz is non-porous and very resistant to staining. It does a better job than natural stones by being resistant to oil, coffee, wine, juice and most other common kitchen spills. However, it should not be considered as 100 percent stain resistant and is susceptible to stains from solvents, sodium hydroxide and permanent markers.

How much of a mess should I expect with my countertop installation?

The area is considered a construction zone and it is normal to have light construction dust, but we do a basic cleaning after every job. When old countertops and backsplashes are being removed, expect slightly more dust and possible sheetrock and paint repairs that will need to be addressed by the client after the countertop installation. 

Does the glue used to secure the countertops and seams have a chemical odor?

In general, we should expect the mild glue odor to dissipate after several hours. However, take any necessary precautions that you feel are necessary for your family, including pets.

Do I have to hire a licensed plumber and / or electrician? 

Yes, new fixtures, appliances, under cabinet lighting, or other related misc items are best left to licensed professionals. If it is a kitchen remodel, chances are demolition and related items have been taken care of prior to the countertop install. If not, we do not disconnect plumbing, electrical or move appliances from the work zone. These tasks will need to be coordinated by the homeowner before and after the countertop install.

We do expect the sink and faucet be present during the installation. Often, we will do the sink cutout and faucet hole(s) onsite. And we will install the sink only.

Vinyl Plank

What is WPC vinyl flooring?

WPC stands for wood-plastic composite vinyl flooring. WPC vinyl flooring is 100% waterproof, and its core is made from a composite of plastic and wood. WPC is recommended for residential use since it is slightly softer underfoot.

What is SPC vinyl flooring?

SPC stands for stone-polymer composite, and is sometimes referred to as rigid core luxury vinyl flooring. That’s because the stone-polymer composite core is ultra-dense and rigid. Plus, SPC is 100% waterproof and it is great for commercial use as well as residentially.

What is the difference between WPC and SPC flooring?

These vinyl flooring have 100% waterproof cores. In WPC vinyl, the core is made from wood plastic composite, while SPC vinyl floors are made with a stone polymer composite core. The stone polymer core is stiffer, durable, and less resilient. SPC vinyl is also less expensive and can be used in a commercial space too.

What is the best waterproof vinyl flooring?

SPC rigid core vinyl is considered the best waterproof vinyl flooring option. While 100% waterproof, SPC vinyl is also resilient and made to last. It is rated for heavy commercial traffic, and the dense, rigid core (under normal wear and tear) won’t dent or bend. Usually a more affordable waterproof vinyl compared to WPC vinyl. 

Is WPC or SPC vinyl flooring toxic?

There are many high-quality WPC and SPC flooring options FloorScore or GreenGuard Gold certified. This certification means that these floors have been tested and certified to declare that they are free from harmful chemicals that contribute to poor indoor air quality and safety issues. To include, the certified waterproof vinyl won’t off-gas VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and are phthalate-free.


Does the thickness of the floor matter?

Engineered floors are usually between ⅜” - ⅝” overall thick. The floor’s performance or appearance will not have any effect with a thicker profile. However, a thicker profile will add some weight and stability to the flooring assembly. 

Can engineered hardwood floors be refinished?

It depends on the thickness of the veneer. Because we can have a custom Engineered hardwood made with the equal thickness of a solid hardwood's wear-layer, in this case, it can be sanded 2 - 3 times. In our experience, because the finishes are better than ever, a prefinished engineered floor is, most likely, to get a damaged board(s) replaced before it is refinished. But we are here to discuss the specifics on this topic.

How important is the finish?

Most floors have to endure a lot of foot traffic, and the finish takes all that wear and protects the hardwood below. We have relationships with several vendors that finish their floors with polyurethane and ingredients like aluminum oxide added to improve durability for upto 35 years. When it comes to finishes and the latest technology, the number of coats of finish is not a reliable indicator of the quality or durability of the finish. Rather, factory - finishing methods, including an ultraviolet drying stage, represent proven techniques that result in remarkable resistant products. Guess what, we just described one type of finish but it is the proven go-to finish that is easy to maintain. However, we can explain the benefits of other methods too.

Is engineered hardwood waterproof?

No engineered wood and water have ever gotten along but in a very minor way are water-resistant (top surface). However, the hybrid thin engineered hardwood planks with the stone-plastic composite (SPC) core are waterproof. Regardless, one must absolutely avoid washing the hardwood with excessively wet mops, and commercial soaps. But not to worry, we educate you on the proper way to maintain your investment.

Will engineered hardwood scratch?

Depending on the type of wear layer, engineered hardwood can be scratch-resistant but there are many things to consider. Like, the use of a thinner wear layer and an active household, it’s more vulnerable to scratches. The short answer, even the very best hardwood, will scratch at some point. In any case, even with a great warranty, it does not cover normal wear and tear of the surface, including gauges.

Where can engineered hardwood be used?

Thanks to its durability and moisture-resistance (top surface), engineered hardwood can be used in almost every room and grade level in the house. Living spaces, kitchens, powder rooms, basements, mudrooms, and of course bedrooms, are ideal areas for engineered wood. However, because wood does react to its environment, especially humidity. It is recommended one keeps the home’s relative humidity level between 45% - 50% to prevent unfavorable conditions for the floor. Typically, climate control settings between 70 - 78 degrees will maintain a favorable humidity level in the home. In some cases, during the winter - dry weather, it may mean a humidifier needs to be introduced.

Which species makes the best flooring?

All hardwood species offered by Castle Flooring are suitable for the purpose, so it’s better to choose a species and color that suits your individual lifestyle and tastes. The good news, we are here to help with selection and design. But for example, generally speaking lighter colored floors and heavier grained woods like oak will be more forgiving of daily wear (dust, footprints, etc) and will require less maintenance than darker floors and clear grained woods like the maple species. Exotic woods tend to be less tolerant of changes in climate than domestic woods. Also, they are very photosensitive (change color after they are installed).

Other FAQs

What is your COVID-19 in-store policy?

For the safety of our clients and team, we currently require a showroom appointment, typically one hour in length, and the use of a face covering is encouraged but optional. Appointments are limited to four people at a time, and face coverings are provided upon request. We also ask that all attending parties do their best to maintain six feet of distance.

We have complimentary hand sanitizer throughout the showroom, and we disinfect common areas and product samples between each meeting. As a courtesy, we have a designated outside area for picking up and dropping off product samples.


While we have health and safety measures in place, all visits are made with the understanding that all parties acknowledge the risks involved with COVID-19 or other related virus. Any and all related liabilities are solely the responsibility of each individual, and all parties agree that Castle Flooring & Design, its agents, employees and subcontractors will not be held liable for any related damages.

What can I expect during my first complimentary design showroom appointment?

In the comfort of our private showroom, you’ll receive a high-level, 30-minute complimentary design consultation with Stephanie. As co-founder of Castle Flooring & Design, Stephanie has more than 24 years of experience helping clients select the perfect materials for projects both large and small. While the process may seem overwhelming at first, Stephanie is here to help guide you! To better understand what’s important to you, she’ll ask several questions about your project and plans for your space before exploring materials.

While the first showroom appointment is complimentary, large or multi-faceted projects requiring in-depth consultation or more than one 30-minute appointment can be scheduled for a consultation fee.

Is it possible to take materials samples home?

We encourage you to check out samples from our store to take home! If we have the requested samples in our showroom, we loan them out for a period of 72 hours. We offer a simple check-out procedure and work on the honor system. If you have a special sample request or you prefer to keep a sample, we will order one for you, when possible. Depending on the vendor and requested material, there may be a nominal charge for a sample, which will be credited back to you if you place your project materials order with us.


Is it possible to only buy materials from you?

Yes! Clients come to us for design consultation, materials and installation – or all of the above! We understand some clients may only want assistance with materials selection, because they already have a favorite installer or they’re planning a DIY project. Whether you come to us for materials only or for a full-service project, we’re excited to share our extensive knowledge and expertise with you.


How and when can I get an estimate for installation work with Castle Flooring & Design?

Over the years, our clients have found it most helpful to begin with an initial showroom appointment, which offers the following benefits:

  • A face-to-face consultation allows us to put a face to a name – and you get to meet the experts! 
  • We’re able to narrow down your materials selection, which may influence the installation process and your overall investment.
  • Meeting in person provides you the opportunity to view and check out current samples to take home.
  • If we’re a good fit, a subsequent in-home site evaluation can be requested following the sample check-out period.
  • Depending on the complexity of your project, a detailed estimate is usually provided within 72 hours after a site visit.

How soon can you start my installation, and how long will it take?

Your itemized estimate will disclose anticipated material availability as of the date of the estimate, the duration of your project, special notes and client responsibilities. Installation scheduling is dependent upon receipt of materials and your approval of the estimate. Please note that your estimate is good for 30 days.


How do you structure payment for materials and installation?

Materials-only (special orders) must be prepaid in full.

In order to secure materials and schedule installation, a 50% prepayment of the invoice total is required for projects involving both materials and installation.


How do I prepare for the installation?

Because we offer a broad range of installation services, we provide you with specific “what to expect” instructions and tips for before, during and after installation. These will be emailed to you two weeks prior to your scheduled installation day.

Individual instruction topics include design consulting, countertops, carpet binding, staircase runners, custom hardwood stair nose trim, hardwood, carpet, luxury vinyl, stone and tile, custom showers, backsplash and repair services.


What is your warranty?

There are two types of warranties: manufacturer and labor. All Castle Flooring & Design materials are “first quality” goods, meaning they are not used or discounted materials. They have been manufactured with the highest standards and are safe for the home environment. Manufacturers will warranty the quality of their products accordingly, and usually for a period of 25 years under normal wear activity. Because of our manufacturer relationships, any claims are initiated by Castle Flooring & Design. In a claim situation, the manufacturer will hire an independent inspector to evaluate and file a report. And it is subject to the availability of the inspector. We will do everything possible to speed up the process but because of the process, it is expected there will be a delay and an inconvenience in the household. We cannot order replacement material(s) until the manufacturer gives us the official word to do so. While we can not make any guarantees regarding the timing, typically, we need to allow 7 - 21 business days (holidays will affect the timeline). The claim may be for replacement material and basic labor only; NO other expenses will be paid. In full disclosure, while a claim is possible, we have only had to file a handful of claims in the past 25 years.

Our professional installation services come with a one-year labor warranty. If a labor-related claim arises during that period, at Castle Flooring & Design’s discretion, we will repair and / or replace the area in question. 


Regarding water damage claims, do you work with my insurance company? 

Yes, over the years, we have learned the insurance company's perspective on water damage claims. Often, when the client shares the adjuster’s proposed payout on the loss, we can point out relevant items that may have been overlooked in the initial settlement. As a result, the client can investigate it further and see if their policy covers those suggested additional items. And as a professional flooring company, if needed, we will communicate to the adjuster the flooring portion and misc details on your behalf. 

Do you offer any financing options for flooring purchases? 

Our preferred finance partner is Synchrony and Mohawk Flooring. Because of their combined 225 years in business they can offer various financing promotions throughout the year to qualified applicants. One popular promotion is no interest with small monthly payments for one year (ask about the details). 

Do you offer interior design services outside of the showroom? 

Home remodeling, at any scale, is always an investment in resources and you want to get it right. That is why Castle Flooring offers private showroom and in-house design consulting services for our customers. Whether it is making selections for flooring and wall materials, countertops, or making recommendations on paint colors and space use, Stephanie’s decades of experience and keen sense of design is invaluable. And depending on your need, give us a call to discuss the best consultation option for your project. 

Are your flooring products eco-friendly or sustainable? 

Because our products are curated, we are mindful of the potential impact on the environment, including a home. To name a few, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC): They certify wood products, including flooring, that come from sustainably managed forests. FSC certification ensures that the wood is sourced legally and does not contribute to deforestation or habitat destruction. Another is the California Air Resources Board (CARB):Their airborne toxic control measure (ATCM) restricts formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products, including flooring. Compliance with CARB’s standards is often the benchmark for eco-friendly flooring materials. Because most flooring materials pass through the CA ports, they must meet CARB standards. The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) promotes carpet and rug manufacturing standards, including sustainability. Their Green Label and Green Label Plus certifications ensure that carpets and rugs meet specific criteria for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), contributing to better indoor air quality. 

Do you provide references? 

Absolutely. Upon request, with our client’s consent, we provide recent references. 

How do you charge for your flooring services? 

Because our estimates are custom tailored for each project, we put much thought into providing a detailed estimate for our clients. The materials are separate from the labor section but each will have a subtotal. And each category will have various line items with descriptions. Ultimately, we want to be as transparent as possible and hopefully, it allows our clients to ask more questions after they have had a chance to review the estimate. But to answer the question another way, most labor is charged by the square foot. And misc labor tasks are priced according to the difficulty and projected time it will take to complete the task. As always, we invite you to make an appointment or set-up an initial call to discuss your specific project a bit more.

I am initiating my own remodeling, is there a preferred order for other trades? 

As with many things, planning is a very important component. And, once the scope of the project has been expressed to us, we can certainly be very specific about “ best practices” approach to project management. In general, flooring is one of the last items to get installed. The demolition, framing, electrical, plumbing, windows, sheetrock, cabinets, and countertop then backsplash usually follow this order. And when it comes to flooring, it is best the interior of the home has been painted and the A/C has been operating for at least 7 days before the flooring but depending the extent of the project(s), it may need 14 - 21 days to acclimate the home to the required relative humidity. And, in most cases, the flooring contractor will need to be the only crew on site during their phase.

Are you ready to get started on a project?

Work With Us