Overwhelmed with the flooring choices

danirobinson78October 26, 2011

I have been reading the forum for a few days, and I am overwhelmed at the flooring choices.

We have two kids, two dogs and two cats. Our carpet is destructed.

We are looking for new flooring for our downstairs. It is an open floor plan. Great room and dining are carpeted. The kitchen, entry-way, half-bath and laundry are linoleum. We are on a concrete slab. In an ideal situation we would continue the flooring up the actual stairs and into the loft, which are also carpeted.

We looked at engineered hardwood and it seems great, but so expensive. Basically we would only be able to put the engineered in the currently carpeted area. The rest would have to stay as is.

With laminate or vinyl we could afford to do much more of the house. The entire downstairs and possibly the loft as well.

We have looked at Mohawk laminate, Luxe Plank vinyl (Armstrong), Mohawk engineered hardwood, other vinyl products as well.

Any advice on how to come to a decision on this? Pros and cons? Is engineered hardwood truly the best choice with pets?

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Some of the new vinyl flooring choices are quite realistic in appearance and can hold up well to use and some abuse. Lots of pros and cons with any flooring choice. I hope that someone with more time will come in and advise you further.

The best choice with pets and wood flooring has to be solid hardwood.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 7:25PM
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With pets, commercial rated laminate is a great choice. Really stands up to abuse, easy to clean, good warranty on the better products, and for slab foundations not the potential problems and additional installation requirements of hardwood, but the same look and feel. Mannnington makes a fantastic product with the added benefit of being made entirely in the US, but it's cost is at or above the installed cost of an average hardwood floor. Mine goes in next week, replacing carpet that didn't survive pets and a 10 year old installatiion of laminate that did and still looks new but is no longer matchable (Wilsonart stopped making laminate flooring last year.)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 1:31AM
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Yup. We're installing Mannington laminate right now and love it so far. It's a medium/dark handscraped look; due to the variation in tones throughout the plank, I think it will hide any dirt quite easily...although I expect I'll be careful to sweep often. Our cat slides on it - isn't able to dig her claws in when she jumps! We're a little disgusted by the carpet that we're removing - it *looks* clean, and we were very careful with it, taking off shoes in that room, etc. But we still had to use spot remover occasionally (cat stains?) and can now see stains on the bottom of the carpet.

Our laminate is rated 25 year residential/5 year commercial; we got it through an online source at 3.09 sq/foot, which is less than we would've paid through a "real" store.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 7:02AM
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"Our laminate is rated 25 year residential/5 year commercial; we got it through an online source at 3.09 sq/foot, which is less than we would've paid through a "real" store."

Good luck with that.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 10:22AM
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Why "good luck with that"? It's the exact same stuff that we would've gotten at a "real" store - shipped directly from the Mannington factory. We are installing it ourselves, but we're carefully following the instructions that came with the flooring - it's marketed as a DIY product.

Maybe I'm a little naive, but I'm not seeing a problem here.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 2:56PM
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Thank you. We are looking at Mohawk products from a local flooring store. We are torn about laminate v. vinyl (duraplank congoleum). I believe they had Mannington products as well. Hardwood is not an option, as it is out of our price range and we are on a concrete slab.

My concern with vinyl is it will feel very cold in the winter (we are in Indiana)? My concern with the laminate is water. Spills, pet messes, snow, etc.

I would do vinyl in the entryway and kitchen and do laminate in the living/dining but with the open floor plan that may look odd.

Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 8:20PM
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If you edge glue the planks, no worries about water. I've had it in my kitchen, entry and a half bath for 10 years with no issues at all, because each plank was edge glued to the next, making the whole thing really waterproof. Leaking appliances, leaking toilet, pets with drool and soggy feet - no issues at all with the floor. I made my flooring contractor add to the contract that all planks will be edge glued on this new install, too, to insure the same 'wears like iron' performance.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 8:30PM
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Gladys 1924...

You got the flooring 'directly from the Mannington factory'? Is Mannington now selling direct to the end user? I think not, but anything is possible these days. Perhaps this is a new marketing to the DIYer strategy I know nothing about.

If you purchased through an online retailer, I would ask Mannington if you have any warranty at all.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 8:44PM
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Ugh. What I mean is that it was shipped directly from Mannington. They sell it to our online retailer, who then sells it to us. But according to the shipping papers, it came directly from Mannington (their Northern CA plant for us since we are West Coast).

The warranty info is on our retailer's web site. I guess I still don't see a problem. The discounted rate (about 25% over "real" store) seems possible because this is a virtual store front. No cost for retail space, etc. From what I can tell, this gal has to pay for her ebay store, phone costs (toll free number), etc. But not the "big" expenses associated with a store, so she is able to pass the savings onto the customer.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 9:20PM
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You should be OK.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mannington's Internet Purchasing Policy

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 12:40AM
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Yeah. We are okay. I checked with our retailer - we're fine. Also, there is a label on each box of flooring that says it's first quality, phase 11 compliant, industry certified, etc.

I know that the buyer should beware, but I'd say that about *any* retailer or any installer, whether found online or in person. You have to do your research. There are online scams, but there are also "real" store scams, also.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 2:35PM
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