Carpet or Hardwood in the Family Room

sandz22August 29, 2012

We are about to redo the flooring in our family room and are back and forth on what to do. Right now we have carpet from 1983 and tile at the entryways and the base of the fireplace (there is an entrance to the garage with 8 tiles and an entrance to the deck with 8 tiles). I don't like the look of the random tiles because it breaks up the flow of the room. We are considering hardwood to match the floors in the rest of the house, or all carpet (no tile). Hardwood is nice and would be practical for the entrances but I just LOVE the cozy feeling of plush carpeting in a family room. We could maybe put those plastic covers like you see under office chairs over the floor in high traffic areas (near garage). We have 3 small kids who play on the floors. I know we could do hardwood with an area rug, but then you pay for a nice hardwood floor only to pay for something else to cover it up. Thoughts?

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50% of the time most people opt for some area rugs primarily as they like the look and coziness as you state not to save the hardwood. Today with aluminum oxide in most finishes 25 to 50 years are the norm for finishes. Grit is what you most want to keep off so that you won't over a long period of time have those areas show dullness, even though the finish is not yet through to the wood itself. Walk off mats at outside doors trap most of it. Go to my website there is a 2 page insert from the NWFA regarding what to expect from your floor and how to maintain them. Do not buy a product without reading this Mop and Glo Orange is not recommended to name one type of cleaner.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 12:57PM
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We are in the same boat! We're remodeling our fireplace which has now cascaded into redecorating the whole family room. Yesterday we decided our 12 y/o berber carpet (a basement carpet) just won't work with the new fireplace surround.

I would love bamboo, hardwood, cork or even a nice laminate (we have laminate in the kitchen & it...discontinued otherwise we would put it in the family room). Then I'd add a nice area rug.

My DH wants carpeting, as he thinks it would be cozier for our family. Plus, he made the same point about paying for hardwoods then paying for an area rug!

So, not sure. I picked up some hardwood samples and will hunt for carpeting. If I find carpeting I love (I like "green" so wool or something else natural would be nice), I'll consider it. At this point, though, we're still on the fence like you. Decisions, decisions!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:13PM
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The latest trend is all wood flooring, but I (and LOTS of people like me) like the look and feel and "coziness" of carpet in the "living" areas and bedrooms. Just feels so nice to walk barefoot on and lay down on. (I clean my carpets just as much as I clean the hard flooring & it's worth it!) I do have hard floors in our open concept kitchen, dining, foyer, hallway, laundry and bathrooms, but carpet all the way in rest of house. We're buying Smartstrand (corn!) 1,500 square feet, and not thinking twice about it! Carpet will never be extinct in my estimation (& I just toured our local Parade of Homes~all had carpet in same areas I'm doing) so I'd buy what you really like and what your heart is telling you! : ) Good luck & enjoy whatever you choose.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:56PM
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tyjy - It's been a long time since I've researched carpeting. You're the second person to mention "Smartstrand" in the past few days. I will look into it. Is it a lot more expensive than regular carpet?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:09PM
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wags: Same boat as you & had to do my research too! But you've come to the right place!

What I did was have a criteria for (1) wanting the longest lasting carpet that (2) would show the least amount of wear (traffic pattern) and (3)be easy to clean...I then went on these forums and many people before me raved about SmartStrand (people in the business as well as homeowners)! EsPECially how SUPER SOFT it is (and it IS!) I also read good things about Anso Nylon. So I limited myself right away to those two brands. Then I simply looked for the style (textured/frieze style) & color for us, and I chose SmartStrand. (I am replacing 25 year old wool berber, which lasted really well, but was/is quite expensive I think).

I am buying 1,500 square feet and got my best price from Lowes (as you'll read on the forums) but wanted a local brick & mortar store to have a chance (& I trust their installation crew better), so gave them a chance to come close to the Lowes price, and they DID! I feel really confident I'm doing the right thing (& THAT'S a FEAT for me cuz it takes me years (not exaggerating) to make a decorating decision usually!)

So what I'd recommend is to do a search for SmartStrand on various forums here. That'll arm you with first hand information and get you versed again on the subject.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 7:29PM
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tyjy - Thank you for your input! I am researching today; off to look at carpeting (and other options) tomorrow. I'm going to a local place first but will also check the big box stores; great thinking re the price match.

I had to chuckle when I read that you take years to make a decorating decision! That's me, too. I've been countertop shopping for years, constantly falling in & out of love with various materials. I'm out of my comfort zone with this flooring decision, but I have no choice. We have a hole in our wall & the new fireplace & hearth is coming the deadline will force me to choose quickly. I won't have time for my regular "analysis paralysis." :)

Thx again for your comments!


    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:34PM
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