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Flooring
Old 04-13-2014, 04:11 PM   #1
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Flooring

In our Florida retirement community, few subjects stir more controversy that what kind of floor or floor covering is best. The development was built between 1987 and 1996, at which time, almost all of the homes were carpeted, (except for the kitchens and baths.

The younger people (meaning 55 to 65 years of age) are the most vocal... "Hardwood floors are the only way to go". "Easy to clean"... "I have a Roomba" and "Adds to the resale value"... "Carpeting is so passe' " etc.

And so we smile, and say how beautiful the floors are... and go back to our own cushiony, warm, good feeling, quiet and safe low pile, off white, attractive wall to wall carpeting that goes without doorsills, through all the rooms of the house, except the kitchen and bathroom, which are tiled.

That tells you where our passion lies. So now, what do you have, what do you want in your house? Then... later on, when you are a little older and more stay-at-home... and maybe with some "fear of falling"... what kind of flooring would you like to have when you're older?

We turned down a house in Florida that was absolutely beautiful, exquisitely designed and appointed... and at 40% of the 2008 price of $400K... because of the all Italian Ceramic Tiled floors.

Your choice, and why?
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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[...]The younger people (meaning 55 to 65 years of age) [...]
(Thank you, from a 65-year-old!!! BTW, I like carpet.)
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:50 PM   #3
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We like carpet. Tile is too cold (or more accurately absorbs heat faster, lest an engineer jump in) but I'd suppose that's not much of an issue in FL.
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
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Kids and step kids are "upgrading" to fake hardwood. One house sounds like a gymnasium when we are there and grandkids are running around. Plus, the dog can't stop on that flooring. When on the phone with the party at that house, the call quality is sharp and has an echo.

We like carpet and have for many years. We have tile in the kitchen, laundry room and baths, but it was there when we moved in. Our house was built in 1999.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:01 PM   #5
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We are in the process of converting to hardwood. Me and the dogs would like certain areas to remain carpeted. DW disagrees. What we have converted was good and necessary. However, we need some carpeted areas.

Ceramic tile in the kitchen is the dumbest thing I ever heard of. DW was not on board but after having lived in a "ceramic kitchen" for a few years, she converted.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:29 PM   #6
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We've got the original hardwood floors on the main level of our ranch-style home (bedrooms and halls), and like it a lot. The bathroom and kitchen are sheet vinyl, which we put in and like a lot more than ceramic tile (more comfortable, easier on the dishes). We chose vinyl that doesn't try to look look like anything else--it's just beige with very small dots/flecks. The basement was asbestos tile, I'm putting in flat porcelain tile. It's very smooth with enough texture to avoid slipping hazards. It's a basement, and I just know it will eventually have water in it (from a broken pipe, flooding, etc). For comfort in the heavily used areas we'll go with thin non-skid rugs that can be easily cleaned.

Right now I'm looking for a way to DIY clean thick area rugs/runners. I'd like to find a roll of the very "stout" Astroturf used for cheap doormats, then I could roll it out on our driveway, put our rugs on it and vacuum/wash/rinse/drip-dry (with fan) them right there on that surface with water dripping through and air pn both sides. The rugs aren't handmade Persian antiques, it seems excessive to pay $150+ each to have them professionally cleaned.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:43 PM   #7
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Our house had white/beige carpet throughout and vinyl floors in bathrooms and laundry room when we bought it. It was pretty cheap materials, low quality carpets and vinyl flooring. It hadn't worn well and so we opted to rip it out before we moved in. Best decision we made on this house.

Put solid oak flooring on the main floor throughout (basically living/kitchen/dining, etc.). Slate stone at the entry points and laundry room and the fireplace. Upstairs we carpeted the bedrooms and put heating flooring porcelain tiles in the bathrooms.

Love each of the choices for their specific location--for us I like the warmth of the carpet when I wake up but not day to day living. LOVE the heated floor in the bathrooms. Slate at entry points is good as it collects dirt and stuff off our shoes and looks great. Love the look of a wood floor (not a big fan of carpet on a main living room floor). For me a wood floor is much more forgiving and warms the 'look' of the house up. Plus it is solid so I can sand it down and re-stain when it is needed, a much cheaper option than putting new carpets in.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:45 PM   #8
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Our house from 1955 has the original hardwood floors. We had the bedrooms refinished and had carpeting in the dining room and living room, up the steps and in the upstairs hallway. Later we took the carpeting out of the dining room and refinished that, too. We still have carpet on the steps and the upstairs hallway.

When the kids were little the carpeting was nice for sound deadening and foot traffic noise. Lately, I like the wood floors much better than carpet and we should get rid of the rest of it, refinish those areas and maybe get a large rug for the living room.

The disadvantages of wood floors are -
- Scratches, dings and dents. You must put pads on all the chair feet and anything else that moves. Don't drop a serving platter or a tool. Don't trip over a Lego spaceship. Ask me how I know this.
- If you have any windows open the dust bunnies (especially if you have a pet) become very apparent.

Carpet disadvantages -
- Is it ever really clean?
- Any spills are a much bigger project (cat vomit, dog puddles, etc)
- Traffic paths become apparent.

Overall, I like wood floors better than carpet, although carpet in a living room would be ok.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:21 PM   #9
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Kids and step kids are "upgrading" to fake hardwood. One house sounds like a gymnasium when we are there and grandkids are running around. Plus, the dog can't stop on that flooring. When on the phone with the party at that house, the call quality is sharp and has an echo.

We like carpet and have for many years. We have tile in the kitchen, laundry room and baths, but it was there when we moved in. Our house was built in 1999.
I would recommend they buy real hardwood floors. The laminated wood floors are no where near as good. They will scratch and ding much easier than the solid wood floors. And years down the road you can sand and refinish the real hardwood to look good as new. You can't do that with laminated floors.

I've been in the wood business all my life and this is definitely one of those cases of getting what you pay for.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:44 PM   #10
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We have plans to replace the tile in our bathroom with limestone, and to replace the tile and carpet on the main level (except bedrooms) with hardwood. I'm doing the bath this fall. Don't know when I'll get around to the hardwood.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:19 PM   #11
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We converted from carpet to laminate. Wife made the call......2 dogs, 1 cat.....and me. I'm not too sure who brings in more dirt.....probably a tie, but I am the only one she can actually make feel guilty. The dogs HATE laminate....probably get better traction on ice. One throw rug in the living room and one down the hallway. The one in the hallway towards the bedroom is so we don't have to listen to them clacking around during the night.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:23 PM   #12
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In the north house we will have hardwood throughout, concrete with radiant heat in the basement.

In the Florida house, just south of you, it will be tile throughout. Not the shiny kind.......

With dogs, both are easy to clean and can accent with rugs as needed.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:32 PM   #13
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All houses I owned had hardwood floors. Our current one also has hardwood, except the kitchen which has cork flooring. DW loves it all.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:47 PM   #14
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I would recommend they buy real hardwood floors. The laminated wood floors are no where near as good. They will scratch and ding much easier than the solid wood floors. And years down the road you can sand and refinish the real hardwood to look good as new. You can't do that with laminated floors.

I've been in the wood business all my life and this is definitely one of those cases of getting what you pay for.
Are you referring to laminated wood, like what is often referred to as engineered wood, or to laminate, which has no wood, just a surface appearance of wood. I am considering doing this carpet to wood conversion, but I have those crappy gypcrete subfloors
and it doesn't appear to be easy to lay sleepers and a floor of 3/4"solid hardwood. It would make my place look much better.

Ha
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:00 PM   #15
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Hardwood flooring throughout with room size rugs in most rooms. Bath and kitchen are tiled.
I would assume that as you age you would want a level surface whether hardwood or carpeting. No throw rugs due to being a tripping hazard.
I would think that location would dictate different floorings. In the colder parts of the US any carpeting would be a plus. Tiles or vinyl flooring for warmer or sandy locations. Plus allergies play in the decision where carpets can be a problem.
Now don't get me started on those Roomba and Scooba things. A friend has both and runs them all the time. She's single and has no pets and her floors just don't look clean.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:11 PM   #16
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Are you referring to laminated wood, like what is often referred to as engineered wood, or to laminate, which has no wood, just a surface appearance of wood. I am considering doing this carpet to wood conversion, but I have those crappy gypcrete subfloors
and it doesn't appear to be easy to lay sleepers and a floor of 3/4"solid hardwood. It would make my place look much better.

Ha
When I had hardwood flooring installed I was told that there were 3 types of "wood" flooring: laminate (HDF core and photo of wood laminated top layer), engineered (thin veneer of real wood on top and core of HDF or plywood) and hardwood. Was told if I had any moisture problems I should consider engineered.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:16 PM   #17
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I think it has to do with the style of the house, which often reflects the area where it is built. Our old Midwestern house was built in the 1880s with all wood floors. By the time we bought it, it had been most recently renovated with orange shag carpeting over the battered floors throughout all but the kitchen (inexpensive stick on vinyl flooring that were supposed to resemble bricks), and the bathrooms (cheap little curvy ceramic tiles with lots of grout). We replaced the carpet a couple of times with less jarring colors and styles. Last year we had hardwood installed throughout the first floor, including the kitchen and powder room, but kept wall to wall in the small living room in the front of the house where we read. Area rugs in the dining room and family room, throw rugs in the kitchen. It is so obviously right now.

We will tackle the upstairs soon. I am sure we will put hardwood up there too.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:37 PM   #18
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We changed from carpet to hardwood floors a few years ago. The dog wasn't thrilled, so there are a few throw rugs for him. My allergies are acting up much less now with most of the carpet gone.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:57 PM   #19
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I had hardwood floors installed in a few rooms about 10 years ago, and my only regret is not doing the entire first floor. Ultimately I would like to replace all the flooring with hardwood, but I would put down some kind of area rugs in a few of the rooms. Just recently I learned about Flor carpet squares, which I think would be a nice solution to adding some carpet over hardwood.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:28 PM   #20
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About three years ago I replaced the wall-to-wall Berber with laminate strips. The bathrooms and entryway are some kind of composite tile, made of vinyl and something else (I'm too lazy to look just now).

In general I find carpeting feels better, but hardwood/laminate looks better.
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