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View Full Version : POLL: What Kind of Floors Should We Get?



jodiodi
04-26-2009, 11:06 AM
We have 3 dogs, 3 stepkids, my husband and me. This house was last owned by people who had no kids or pets. Hence, they put WHITE carpet in the living room and dining room. The dining room is also the egress point between the kitchen and basement through to the bedrooms and both bathrooms. I want Hardwood or Laminate; my husband likes carpet. Help me convince him or tell me why I'm wrong.

fringle
04-26-2009, 11:07 AM
Hardwood, no doubt

CACTUSWENDY
04-26-2009, 11:14 AM
Hardwood. That is where your value is.

Sophia
04-26-2009, 02:03 PM
I'd perhaps go with carpet in the living room and very nice tiles in the dining room, which can be cleaned easily. I associate hardwood floors with sliding and falling, and with three children and three dogs running around, I would think the chances of people slipping are increased. Tiles let you be practical in the dining room, and the carpet makes things comfortable and cozy in the living room.

Adam
04-26-2009, 02:18 PM
I'd say carpets, what with the pooches. Much more claw friendly. :)

jodiodi
04-26-2009, 02:18 PM
My husband also likes carpet. The kids are old enough not to slip and slide and I have a lovely big rug that I can put in the center of the living room. The dining room is a disaster though 'cause part of it is the throughway to the rest of the house and the carpet doesn't look too good with all that traffic.

Thanks for the advice folks.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
04-26-2009, 02:26 PM
With three cats and a dog, I gotta go with the tile idea. We've had room-to-room carpet for years covering old oak hardwood floors... tore out all but two bedrooms worth of carpet three years ago. If you live in a cold climate, and you like to go barefooted like I do, your feet will freeze from Autumn through Spring. They'll probably freeze with tile, too, but hardwood is harder to care for than tile, IMO, with animals about.

brainstorm77
04-26-2009, 02:30 PM
I like carpet in the bedrooms and hardwood everywhere else. The house I bought last summer has cheap laminate down and I hate it.. Hopefully within a year I can replace it with hardwood.

Wayne K
04-26-2009, 03:24 PM
I "would" (Ha, get it "would" "wood" heh, huh?) do hardwood floors with area rugs and runners. Is that "other"?

Spring
04-26-2009, 03:56 PM
I agree with Wayne K. A durable hardwood floor can take the pets and kids so just don't purchase a soft wood. You can always refinish a hardwood floor too, which is a boon. And then buy area rugs (with generous padding underneath) to both help protect the floors and give the kids and pets soft places to play/sit/hang out.

Ambrosia
04-26-2009, 04:31 PM
The dirt that will be collected under that carpet your husband so loves will astound you. Be sure he is the one to clean it up.

Go with hardwood. Dense hardwood given your kids and dogs. It will increase your property value. Also, keep your dog's nails trimmed so they do not scratch it as easily. A runner or rug with a non-skid pad underneath it solves the issue of soft and warm vs hard and cold and allows for thorough cleaning.

I don't know your budget or heating system, but putting in a radiant heating system under the floor takes care of the cold issue as well. I won't be able to do that at this time do to finances, but I would love to in the future. From the research I have done it appears to be the best possible way to heat evenly.

My husband will be putting down the bamboo flooring I bought this past winter once time and weather allow. I went with bamboo because it is hard and it is a renewable resource, which makes a lot of sense in my mind.

Good luck.

Gary
04-26-2009, 05:12 PM
Unless your dogs are small...tile. We built a new house with solid oak floors throughout and our three dogs had the wood ruined in a few years. The price to refinish was astronomical. Laminate is horrible. We had it in one house and hated it from the day they installed it. Carpet is fine if you're willing to vacuum every day and shampoo every month.

We built another new house two years ago and installed tile everywhere except the living room and bed rooms. Since I do all the cleaning, I love it.

Disa
04-26-2009, 06:34 PM
Dogs and foot traffic have scratched off the stain of our gorgeous dark hardwood floors- the rooms that had a natural color look better-you can't see the nail marks, but they are there. I'm not getting them redone until the dog is gone. With dogs, carpet absolutely sucks! Their hair sticks in it, the dirt is unbelievable. In one room(my cave in the basement) I have slate floors-nothing messes up my slate floor.

nevada
04-26-2009, 08:19 PM
THe dogs will destroy your hardwood in about a week, no matter how durable, as will your cats. Hardwood manufacturers talk about gazillion coatings blah blah but the fact is the dogs and cats will scratch it all to shit in a week. If you drop something on hardwood, it will dent. I used to work in construction and hardwood floors were always getting wrecked before the home owner even moved in. I laid a top of the line hardwood floor in my sister's house. Two dogs and five cats later, it was completely scratched up in a week. That's called patina but in reality it's damage.

Tile floors are very bad for your back if you stand in one place for a while, ie cooking. If you drop something it breaks. unless you get infloor heating it's very cold. And you better get an incredibly good installer because I've seen some horribly-laid tile floors. You really need an expert not some guy who wants to make some extra money. Your floors may need to be levelled as well.

Laminate will not scratch, or dent, and has the same feel as hardwood. The trick is to get a laminate that costs roughly the same as hardwood. Yes you can get laminate really cheap but you really get what you pay for with laminate. A friend of mine has a gorgeous laminate Walnut floor and it's beautiful. Get the textured kind so it looks like real wood when the light shines on it. Don't cheap out.

Here's an option you might not have thought of. Armstrong and other companies have linoleum that looks like hardwood floors. It is expensive but it is incredible. My brother has it, because he has three dogs, and the home inspector that came to inspect his house thought it was real wood. It looks better in rich, dark colours; he has a walnut finish. If you do go with linoleum, again get an experienced installer and he make sure he lays a special underlay down first. it's a composite material like chipboard. It will smooth out your floors and give you a smooth, fine finish in the linoleum.

All these options will cost about the same. top of hte line linoleum, laminate, and hardwood will run you about the same amount per square foot. Tile is priced a little different depending on the material you choose, size, etc.

Good luck. Oh and remember, if you get hardwood or laminate, the dogs' nails will click on the floor constantly and the dogs will slide. If you can't handle the sound of dognails clicking, you either have to cut them every week, or get a soft flooring. and the sliding can be hilarious. My dog once took out a kitchen table and chairs. She quickly learned not to run on laminate.

ETA if you get a prefinished hardwood, you will not be able to refinish it. And make sure, if you get a laminate floor, that the installers are experts at laminate. it's a completely different process than hardwood. Usually, flooring is ruined in teh installation phase, so don't cheap out on labour.

Unique
04-26-2009, 09:14 PM
Tile.

I have laminate. One of the biggest mistakes I ever made. If they tell you it won't chip or dent - they lie.

KTC
04-26-2009, 09:17 PM
We have 3 dogs, 3 stepkids, my husband and me. This house was last owned by people who had no kids or pets. Hence, they put WHITE carpet in the living room and dining room. The dining room is also the egress point between the kitchen and basement through to the bedrooms and both bathrooms. I want Hardwood or Laminate; my husband likes carpet. Help me convince him or tell me why I'm wrong.

Carpet is the worst thing you could have in your house. Do NOT get carpet. I would not get hardwood...dogs don't always scratch the shit out of it, but it is possible. We have a high end laminate. You really can't tell it's not hardwood, but it's really hard to scratch and it looks fantastic. Carpet is poison for the entire family. STAY AWAY FROM IT.

KTC
04-26-2009, 09:18 PM
With three cats and a dog, I gotta go with the tile idea. We've had room-to-room carpet for years covering old oak hardwood floors... tore out all but two bedrooms worth of carpet three years ago. If you live in a cold climate, and you like to go barefooted like I do, your feet will freeze from Autumn through Spring. They'll probably freeze with tile, too, but hardwood is harder to care for than tile, IMO, with animals about.


We have tile in our kitchen, but it's heated...no cold toes.

2old2pb
04-26-2009, 09:19 PM
Egg salad.

brokenfingers
04-26-2009, 09:24 PM
Personally, I would recommend a tile or parquet floor where certain tiles, when stepped upon in the proper order, transport you to a new dimension. Or a faraway, fantastical land.

If you can afford it, of course. They're not cheap.

dolores haze
04-26-2009, 09:33 PM
From a purely aesthetic standpoint I prefer hardwood floors with well-placed heavy-weight rugs. Take up the rugs in summer and put them back in winter.

Wayne K
04-26-2009, 09:35 PM
I say sell the house and go to Ireland to write a book.

KTC
04-26-2009, 09:42 PM
I say sell the house and go to Ireland to write a book.

Writing a book in Ireland is all well and good, but wherever you go...YOU NEED FLOORS! GAWD!

Medievalist
04-26-2009, 09:45 PM
We have tile in our kitchen, but it's heated...no cold toes.

I've wanted that ever since I first saw a villa with a Roman hypocaust.

How are the tiles heated?

Medievalist
04-26-2009, 09:46 PM
What about a compromise?

Hardwood floors in some rooms, berber in others? Or hardwood with rugs?

Here, in Washington, hardwood flors are fairly common, easy to care for and lovely. Oh, and bamboo floors, too!

Wayne K
04-26-2009, 09:52 PM
Writing a book in Ireland is all well and good, but wherever you go...YOU NEED FLOORS! GAWD!

Do we really?

KTC
04-26-2009, 11:40 PM
I've wanted that ever since I first saw a villa with a Roman hypocaust.

How are the tiles heated?

I think there is a hose of some sort that was weaved underneath them in the cement that holds them...and the water is heated. I think. I'm not quite sure as I have no idea how things work. (-; We had them put in when they were building the house and I think that's how they explained it to us. We just turn on the switch and they heat up. Makes them nice for walking on in the winter when they would otherwise be cold.

Williebee
04-26-2009, 11:47 PM
OK, Two adults with full time jobs, 4 cats, 1 thirteen year old, thirty pound dog that thinks she's a cat,and the kid is now out of the house.

Carpet was a disaster. Stains were a constant (and usually failed) battle. btw, what kind of person puts wall to wall carpet in a bathroom? Just the humidity from three people showering daily (and the daughter who at one point was in the shower for freakin' ever.) is enough to create all kinds of mold problems under the carpet.

Re did most of the floors almost three years ago now. The carpet is still in the bedrooms, otherwise, natural wood in all but the kitchen. A really good, heavy tile in the kitchen.

The wood looks great, even with the cats that are old and get sick now and then, and the dog that will wait until your back is turned and pee in the corner. (Just when it rains. Wonder Mutt doesn't like to get her butt wet, apparently.)

The downside, as OFG mentioned, is that the floors get cold in the wintertime. Runners help.

jodiodi
04-27-2009, 12:49 AM
Our kitchen has some kind of laminate that looks OK. Then we proceed into the Dining room with it's kinda white carpet (which extends into the Living room, but the LR isn't a walk through area). Then we enter the hall with 3 bedrooms, all hardwood. The main Bath is tile and the half bath in the MBR is the same laminate as in the kitchen.

I have a carpeted runner in the hall and throw rugs in 2 of the bedrooms. I had a huge area rug in the living room that covered most of the floor, but it looks dumb on top of that nasty white carpet.

We live in Tennessee and the floors don't get that cold (I'm always barefooted). I like area rugs though, since they can be taken out and cleaned.

I appreciate everyone's input. I always need guidance on housing matters. My daddy was a builder and since he passed away, I don't have his expertise to fall back on.

Thanks.

robeiae
04-27-2009, 02:00 AM
PergoTM. Berber carpet in the bedrooms. Tile in the kitchen. A couple of sisal area rugs over the floor in the family room.

All problems solved. Maintenance is easy.

I see some folks that don't like the laminate flooring, but it's been great for me. Put most of it down, myself. And I have three kids and two big dogs. No scratches, no chips, no problems.

Wayne K
04-27-2009, 02:04 AM
Good laminate is good.

Wayne K
04-27-2009, 02:05 AM
Bad laminate is....no so good.

Siddow
04-27-2009, 02:19 AM
I would really like to have concrete floors, those really pretty shiny colorful ones, with drains. No more vacuuming or mopping; I'd just clean them with a hose and squeegee.

One day...

Wayne K
04-27-2009, 02:28 AM
I want to live in an ice cave.

KTC
04-27-2009, 03:38 AM
Here's an explanation of the heated floor for under tiles. There is actually a video too...

INSTALLING RADIANT FLOOR HEAT (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,192138-3,00.html)

JLCwrites
04-27-2009, 05:31 AM
PergoTM.

I see some folks that don't like the laminate flooring, but it's been great for me. Put most of it down, myself. And I have three kids and two big dogs. No scratches, no chips, no problems.

I agree. According to my contractor, Wilsonart is good. I haven't had any problems with other brands either.

semilargeintestine
04-27-2009, 05:45 AM
For f-ck's sake, do NOT get hardwood floors. They are horrible. We have them, and you can hear the dog walking and running around ALL NIGHT. They are hard (duh), so walking around barefoot is not as nice as with carpet. They are also a pain in the arse cleaning-wise, as most need special cleaning stuff. They look nice, but they are a bitch to live with. IMHO, not worth it at all.

MelodyO
04-27-2009, 05:55 AM
As someone who has a hardwood main floor, I must agree - don't get them! They're always beautiful in theory, but ours were completely scratched up by the previous owner and his dog (he hid the worst of it with area rugs, and caused the rest between sale and posession). Good quality laminate is attractive, durable, and easy to clean - and you can even get laminate that looks like ceramic tile. They really do have something for everyone these days.

Carpet is also quiet and attractive, as long as it's not pink. ::shudders::

KTC
04-27-2009, 06:09 AM
For f-ck's sake, do NOT get hardwood floors. They are horrible. We have them, and you can hear the dog walking and running around ALL NIGHT. They are hard (duh), so walking around barefoot is not as nice as with carpet. They are also a pain in the arse cleaning-wise, as most need special cleaning stuff. They look nice, but they are a bitch to live with. IMHO, not worth it at all.

My dog sleeps beside my bed all night long. Carpet is a next of poison. No house should have carpet.

Greenify13
04-27-2009, 06:15 AM
I would suggest either really good laminate of choice and area rugs (comfort people, comfort is needed too...:D ) or...carpet tiles (http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100663349&N=10000003+90401)....obviously that is just an example...but carpet tiles!!!

In a living room or some great area for it...like the office ;) I want: Puzzle Floor (http://www.puzzlefloor.com/)...but that may just be me...:D

tjwriter
04-27-2009, 06:15 AM
Here's an option you might not have thought of. Armstrong and other companies have linoleum that looks like hardwood floors. It is expensive but it is incredible. My brother has it, because he has three dogs, and the home inspector that came to inspect his house thought it was real wood. It looks better in rich, dark colours; he has a walnut finish. If you do go with linoleum, again get an experienced installer and he make sure he lays a special underlay down first. it's a composite material like chipboard. It will smooth out your floors and give you a smooth, fine finish in the linoleum.

We have some of the Armstrong vinyl (linoleum, whatever) in the living room and dining area that is the ToughGuard stuff. 15 years no scratch, no tear, no rip, with their CleanSweep technology. It looks like wood. We really enjoy it. We have three dogs, all 35 lbs and up, and two kids. It handles it all really well. I've found one tiny knick in it, that I think I actually caused. It's sturdy and well worth, I believe. They make other pretty, tile looking patterns that I want to do in kitchen and the computer room (which was really supposed to be the dining room) with the same sturdiness.

In the master bathroom, we have some of the no glue vinyl. It actually has a decent layer of padding on it, so your floor doesn't have to be perfectly smooth on installation. It always keeps the floor from being so cold. That room doesn't get near the traffic, so it holds up nicely.

It's not a bad value for the money, at all.

alleycat
04-27-2009, 06:35 AM
Hardwood with a nice big rug that you wouldn't might changing every few years (that is, not an expensive Persian rug).

MaryMumsy
04-27-2009, 06:36 AM
I have oak plank floors in my kitchen, living room, dining room, and part of the bathroom. I love them. BUT I would never have them with dogs or children. And if we have a party and any women are wearing spikes, I make them take them off. My friend had oak in her kitchen and 3 labradors. Within months it looked like crap.

MM

Silver King
04-27-2009, 06:53 AM
...We built another new house two years ago and installed tile everywhere except the living room and bed rooms. Since I do all the cleaning, I love it.
I even tiled the living room. Nice big tiles, eighteen inches each, placed point to point instead of squared, which gives a nice effect and makes the rooms appear wider.

And you can't beat the ease of care. Just broom or vacuum once in a while and run a damp mop over the tiles to get them looking like new every time.

rhymegirl
04-27-2009, 06:58 AM
I voted hardwood floors. Why? We have a whole bunch of carpets and they are horrible if you have allergies. Plus all that vacuuming.

semilargeintestine
04-27-2009, 07:04 AM
My dog sleeps beside my bed all night long. Carpet is a next of poison. No house should have carpet.

Not all dogs sleep in beds, and not all people want their dogs in the bed with them (I would like mine in bed with me, but she likes to move around). Hardwood floors do nothing but look pretty. Otherwise they suck.

Medievalist
04-27-2009, 07:41 AM
I even tiled the living room. Nice big tiles, eighteen inches each, placed point to point instead of squared, which gives a nice effect and makes the rooms appear wider.

And you can't beat the ease of care. Just broom or vacuum once in a while and run a damp mop over the tiles to get them looking like new every time.

I have to admit I love tile, but in a climate with winter, unless like KTC they're heated . . . . brrrr

Medievalist
04-27-2009, 07:44 AM
My husband will be putting down the bamboo flooring I bought this past winter once time and weather allow. I went with bamboo because it is hard and it is a renewable resource, which makes a lot of sense in my mind.

Good luck.

I have to say, the bamboo floors I've seen have been absolutely stunning. I had no idea it was even an option, until a friend mentioned that their new apartment had bamboo flooring.

And yes, I like, very much, that it's a renewable resource.

NeuroFizz
04-27-2009, 10:10 AM
I agree with Ambrosia and Lisa. Check out the bamboo flooring. I hear it's really durable.

NightOwl
04-27-2009, 10:41 AM
I can't believe no one has suggested astroturf yet. Its win win!

I originally voted carpet. I love being barefoot at home and prefer the feel of carpet but after reading everyone's reasoning I've been converted to tiles. It might be colder but it'll be way more durable.

Hardwood scratches way too easily. We have 2 dogs and a cat here and the finish is always being scratched and ripped/flaked off. We find large flakes and pieces of varnish everywhere.... Though that could just been a very poor finishing job when it was installed.

Robin
04-27-2009, 04:49 PM
Stained concrete. Easy to clean up after dogs and kids. Area rugs and dog beds give the older dogs something warm and soft to sleep on.

lakotagirl
04-29-2009, 07:44 PM
We had two black labs when we built this house. We also have a creek and a pond.

Carpet isn't the answer. Wet dogs stink. Carpets then stink. (Shampooing on a daily basis is out of the question. Shampooing on a weekly basis wears it out fast).

Dogs rough-housing wears it out too.

Linoleum scratches. Even the very expensive stuff will scratch under rowdy dogs.

My son put laminate in HIS house. His Mastif has left marks on it.

The only thing that I know works great is ceramic. With two black labs AND the mastif, after eleven years, it still looks brand new and shiny. Rugs can be picked up and washed as needed. When they wear out, replace them.

Everyone says the floor will be cold, but ours aren't - and we live in the upper midwest. Our basement IS heated. The floors are cool in the winter, but not cold. Rugs are good.

Enjoy your dogs!