Flooring/Decorating/design help

mommyto4boysDecember 3, 2012

I might try to post this on the decorating side too, but I know many of you are so good at this with your new builds looking so great! We are finished with dry-wall and doing the rest of the house ourselves. I absolutely love the land and the floor plan.

It has come time for us to order our hardwood floors and we have finally decided to go with unfinished heartwood pine and I'm thrilled. I would put it everywhere except mud,laundry & bathrooms. DH loves carpet for the bedrooms and family room. As we all know, we must have compromises. So, the bedrooms will be carpet. I have been working on the family room too, but it is really important for him to have carpet.

Our family room is around 18' X 21' with a centered fire place on the one 18' wall, adjacent to that is a wall shared by the kitchen. This wall has a 5' arched opening, leading into the kitchen. The longer walls then...one is a wall of windows and the other, has a 10' arched opening that leads into a large open stairs and foyer. The foyer and kitchen will have the wood floors.

I'm wondering if the entire family room, 18 X 21 should be wall to wall carpet OR would it be better to have wood go around about 3' and have a carpet in-lay? So, this would be more the look of an area rug...measuring about 15 X 19. I know it generally makes a room feel more spacious to not interup the floor. I'm actually fine with having the carpet wall to wall if that looks better. I'm concerned more with having it look pleasing, especially with the 10 foot open area leading into the foyer. Also, if we do the inlay, we would pretty much be stuck with that size for quite some time. Not like an area rug size that we could try before we buy. I was thinking perhaps the inlay would help "save" the carpet in the traffic areas too.

Thanks, I appreciate your thoughts!

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Honestly, with all those openings (and all those boys, lol!) I would do the whole thing wood and get an area rug. IME, it is very difficult to keep wall to wall looking nice in a heavily trafficked room, which the family room is in most homes! :)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 6:47PM
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Well...we discussed it again and this is one of the few "wants" that DH is making. Since the vast majority are my wants and this is SO important to him, we will have carpet. I even said, what about having carpet, the edge bound and put a carpet/thick pad under. No deal! So, now have to figure if the whole room gets it or an an inlay (he will go for that). Thanks:)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:01PM
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Let's say one of your kids vomits all over your carpet or one of your pets has diarrhea all over the carpet. Ask DH to guarantee to you that he could get everything out of a wall-to wall. Yuck! Has he ever seen what it looks under a wall-to-wall when it is pulled up from an area that sees lots of living taking place?

Area rugs can be cleaned on both sides to completely remove a runny spill or you can send them out for cleaning too.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:25PM
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After talking more about this...it seems his concerns are 1) comfort to feel lush, thick & cushioned 2) the NEED for him and our now 6 boys to be able to roll around & wrestle on the floor 3) that the "carpet/rug" be a LARGE enough area 4) That the carpet/rug won't move or slide. So, I'm kind of thinking...put hardwood down, put down a nice carpet padding, put a lush, pile-loop rug or carpet W/ edges bound, and add a few nails (that will be hidden in the loop/piled floor and prevent slipping. I mentioned this quickly and he said what's the difference in just doing the carpet and replacing it when needed? Anyone, any thoughts on my idea or just replace, etc. I have experienced what it is like to keep having a stain reappear after carpet cleaning because it is underneath in the pad. I felt like our carpet looked so bad in our last home. I also can't imagine spending much on an area rug with all the wear it wil get, but a less expensive option could work.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:48PM
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There is much value to Dad wrestling with 6 boys! And, that area needs to be large, or you will be losing furniture. Any chance you will have a padded gym in the garage? (kidding...)

I think I might try something like an inlay--wood everywhere and a nice edge with carpet in the FR. Then, when the boys are bigger and wrestling is done/mostly always outside on the trampoline, etc, or when they've moved out; go in and fill in where the carpet was. By then, your floors will probably need a refinishing anyway so it wouldn't be hard to match...

Give him what he wants, just make it look planned.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 11:15PM
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I would do hardwoods with a large rug- 12x15. A rug that big is heavy and is not going to slide around, especially if it's anchored by furniture.

I just think this will work better since the room has 2 large openings. It will make the transitions more aesthetically appealing.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:16AM
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I would do the inlay with the carpet and wood around the edges. It doesn't sound like your husband is asking for much here, and it sounds like he is a great dad. Things like that are far more important than things like hardwood versus carpet or how a house looks.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Just give him the wall to wall...in the future once the boys and he are past the wrestling stage, you can always revisit it, have the wall to wall removed and get the whole thing done in hardwood.

Just get the rug in a polyproylene or an olefin which are extremely cleanable.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:45AM
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Hardwood then large area rug over top gets my vote.

The inlay route would save a few dollars today, but you are stuck with that from now on. Matching the edges at a later time if you decide to go all hardwood will not be easy. At least with the separate super large area rug, you can change it out quickly and easily. You can even cart if off to a pro rug cleaner if necessary. With wall to wall, you have to rip it out and pay for a new install. No reason you can't use regular super thick carpet padding under an area rug & no reason why the area rug can't be super large, super soft, super plush and easy to clean stains/spills w/ just plain old tap water.

My vision in our FR was similar to yours. My plan was to go with the same carpeting we used in the bedrooms (Sorona Smartstrand by Mohawk) and have it bound on the edges to make a 12x15 area rug. You have never felt carpet so soft and plush. Its a joy just to take off your shoes when you come home and walk back and forth across it (not kidding). The Smartstrand doesn't crush, gives a cross between traditional & casual look in the plush pile and a casual look in the various friezes, resists matting, stain protection built right into the fiber vs. being a stain treatment that's applied, cleans up with tap water (even when DS2 cut his foot and tracked quarter sized blood smears across his bedroom and back), comes in every color under the sun practically. With 4 boys + Dad rough housing on that carpet, it is definitely one to look at.

While pre-made super large area rugs (12x15 or larger) are not the normal sizes that you see in the store, they do exist. You just have to know where to look--a store that specializes in area rugs like Rug & Home is a good place to start. Or you can have your wall to wall carpet supplier create one for you. Many options. It may be a good idea to bring a few different sizes home, lay them out in the space and see what size works best for the look and feel you're going for. I was set on a 12x15 until we put down the 10x13 and found that it gave plenty of carpeted space for the rough housing and left a nice border around the perimeter in front of the fireplace. Sometimes you just have to see it in person.

Good luck! Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:38AM
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I say let him have his carpet! It sounds like his reasons are good ones - plus, in a few years when he acknowledges the carpet needs to be replaced (for the reasons mentioned above) then you can do hardwood or new carpet then. So I think you will eventually get your hardwood.

I would not do the inlay. I have seen them and while they are nice, you know you will have to replace the carpet in the future and that will be a pain.

For the record, my husband sounds like yours - he is letting me make most of the choices and get what I want. So the few things that are important to him are important to me. And a Dad that WANTS to wrestle and play on the floor with his kids is one that deserves a soft floor!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:47AM
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Thanks for the feedback and thoughts. At the end of the day it really isn't a huge deal. DH is a wonderful husband and a superb father. The boys are learning so much by helping him build our future home. They slow him down (I'm sure) but, the memories and pictures are priceless. Not to mention all that they have learned...the older two are talking circles around me about the electrical, etc. A man that good to his family and one that works a day job M-F and builds his family a home every weeknight and all weekend....deserves carpet in his family room:) So, carpet it will be and they will put it to good use!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:54PM
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My thoughts were similar to chispa's, because these things do happen.

I have a large family too, and a great husband/fun dad who loves to get down on the floor with the kids.
In our former house, my husband wanted carpet.

Within the first month, one of the kids spilled something, leaving a large noticeable stain that neither we nor professionals could remove. The inevitable mishaps continued from there.
Wanting to replace the carpet may come sooner than you think!

If I just had to use carpet in a new house again, I'd immediately cover it with a huge inexpensive area rug that I could easily take out and clean. That's what I did after the fact anyway to cover the stains on relatively new carpet.

Later one of the kids was diagnosed with allergies and asthma, so we replaced the carpet with hardwood at our doctor's advice.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 6:45PM
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I recommend smartstrand carpet though. You can read all about it on the flooring forum. It seems by far and away THE choice for a busy household and for stain prevention...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Ditto on the smart strand! You have to feel it next to the other options. I am very excited about my hardwoods, but now that I have picked smartstrand, it is almost a tie. :)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 7:52PM
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I will probably be this only vote, but I am going with the wood around the carpet..I agree with your DH about the feeling of carpet. I do not see the reason of putting down expensive hardwood and then pay for a large area rug...one way of cutting expenses. We did this in our last home after seeing it done in a model home and we got many favorable comments on doing this.....and will do it again in my new build.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:10PM
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Let me share my experience with DH as he wanted carpet, but at the time I got my way with the help of my MIL. We have a large wool area rug. Actually on number two now (the other had too many accidents such as potty training and stomach virus) and we use a rug pad for rugs. The first one was a 12x something and it never moved and DH soon after said he was glad we went that way instead. Feels thicker than carpet and much more comfortable on bare knees. No carpet burns. Actually the Rug is thicker than carpet. Our second one we still need to get a rug pad, but it hasn't moved around at all and still feels plusher than carpet.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 7:36AM
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If I were choosing, I'd go for the hardwoods and an area rug. Replacing carpet requires having someone bring it in, install it, and it's expensive. In contrast, an area rug can be tossed to the curb on trash day and replaced for a couple hundred dollars.

HOWEVER, as practical as that sounds, if carpet is one of his sticking points, just give it to him. If he wanted dozens of things, I'd say negotiate, but this doesn't sound like one of those situations.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 9:46AM
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