hardwood vs. carpet? Mistake or not?

n2bach1April 30, 2008

We are still trying to decide about carpet/hardwoods in our upstairs bedrooms. Would I make a mistake if I put hardwoods on the stairs going up and the landing, but carpeted the bedrooms? And if I did carpet, would it be a huge mistake to put different colors in each room, rather than the same?

I like hardwoods, but I am stressing over the installation of them, sanding, staining, sealing, etc. We are having new windows installed in a few weeks, (major headache!) and a new roof, probably at the same time. If we add hardwoods to the entire upstairs, oh, I just don't know if I'll be sane! I could handle the stairs and landing, but moving all of the furniture out for a couple of weeks, I don't know! Carpeting would be so much easier!

Thanks for reading, we've got to make a decision really soon!-

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We did exactly what you are thinking about; hardwood on stairs (with a runner) and the hallway area upstairs. We did carpet in the bedrooms and we are so happy. It's soft and quiet and looks great.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 10:49PM
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Did you put the same color of carpet in all the bedrooms or did you do different colors?
Can you post a picture of your stairs and landing area with the runner?

Thanks for helping me out!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 10:55PM
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I think hardwood on the stairs and landing and carpet in the bedrooms is great. The carpet will be warm and soft in the mornings. If you don't do the carpet, you'll probably need/want to get rugs for the bedrooms and those add up in terms of $$!

Personally, I would do all the same carpet in the bedrooms as I don't care for the look of different carpet being seen at one time. I would think that would be better for resale too, but if you aren't planning on selling, do what you like.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 10:57PM
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I think your plan is fine, but I would choose just one color and style of carpeting for all the bedrooms.

Prefinished hardwoods eliminate the need for sanding, sealing and staining.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 4:15AM
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When we built our house 5 years ago I did hardwood on the stairs and landing but carpeted the bedrooms. But now I am sorry 5 years later that I didn't hardwood through out.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 7:27AM
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One issue to consider is if any of you have allergy problems. We're tearing the carpeting out of our bedroom and putting in hardwood because it really bothers my allergies (I get all stuffed up every night!).

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 8:17AM
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hardwood everywhere and all the same. the look is rich, classy and sophisticated. invest in great rugs, Persian and the like.
just my two cents.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 8:27AM
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I'd also go with all hardwood. We built our home 10 years ago and have hardwood in all the main rooms and master bedroom. Tile in kitchen and baths, sunroom. I made the mistake of putting carpet in the two guest bedrooms, we are replacing that carpet this year with hardwood. I absolutely love hardwood. I hope to never use carpet again.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 9:26AM
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I am in a similar situation. I changed all my flooring on my first floor except I left carpet in the living room. Its a fairly small room and I wish I had just continued with the hardwood.

Currently, my the carpet on my stairs and 2nd floor hallway are being ripped out and being replaced with hardwood. I am leaving the carpet (currently the same in all areas)in the bedrooms. I think I want to just change the carpets as I redo the bedrooms. I've always done the same color throughout but now that none of the carpeted areas will touch I am thinking I might use different colors but that's a way down the road.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 9:42AM
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Put put hardwood everywhere as well, and love it! You can always put down and rug and you can change those to the style and decor of the room. After seeing what was under the carpet when we pulled it up, I'll never do carpet again!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 9:52AM
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Here is a photo of what we did. At some point I'd like to change out the rug on our landing to coordinate better with the runner, but that's not a priority right now. We are empty nesters and just didn't see the point in putting hardwood in the bedrooms that are hardly ever used. I love my hardwood flooring downstairs but really prefer carpet in the bedroom. It's quiet, and ours is neutral so it also has a serene, relaxed look. It also feels great on bare feet, and in the bedroom we like that. I did similar colors but upgraded the carpet in our BR and did a lower grade in the other rooms, as they are rarely used. It would depend on how your upstairs is laid out, but if the rooms can be seen together, I'd keep the colors the same or very close. Sounds like you are doing a lot to your beautiful home. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:20AM
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We pulled out carpet in the bedrooms and went for hardwood, partially for aesthetic reasons and partially for the allergy reasons karenforroses mentioned.

Previously, there was one color of carpet in the hall/stairs and each bedroom was a different color (four colors total), which I found choppy. But our second floor has a center hall, from which you can look into all three bedrooms nearly simultaneously; your floorplan may be different. I really like the continuity of one flooring running throughout the entire second floor (well, except the bathroom).

If you can, ignore the short-term inconvenience of the hardwood installation (and/or consider a prefinished option - we went with engineered), and decide based on what you WANT to have in there in the end. If it's carpet, go for carpet! If it's hardwood, grit your teeth, stock up on your mood elevator of choice, and go for it. :D

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:44AM
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I vote for hardware everywhere. And then put rugs down for the kids. Carpet seems to age the second you put it down. The idea of replacing it all eventually (with new carpet or wood) is just "ugh". So much easier to put wood everywhere now and replace a few area rugs as needed down the road.

We have wood going up the stairs and carpet (all the same carpet)in the upstairs bedrooms, hall and game room. I don't honestly know whether the $$$ or the work required to empty all the rooms is more of an obstacle right now, but we really need to replace that carpet.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 11:30AM
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We are removing all the carpet in this house and slowly putting down solid wood floors (DIY) for allergy reasons also. I love the look and find it much easier to keep clean. You can vacuum carpets till you are blue in the face but they never are really "clean".

You could replace the carpet in stages like we did. Do the stairs now and the bedrooms next year since it seems you are doing so much now.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 12:02PM
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My personal preference is all hardwood everywhere, mainly because I can't seem to keep carpet clean. But according to my realtor friend, most people prefer hardwood in living areas and carpet in bedrooms.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 12:47PM
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We just built. Did hardwood throughout the house other than bathrooms/mud/laundry room (tile) and the bedrooms- carpet. We thought of doing hardwood throughout but we live in a cold climate and really like a little carpet. We have high ceilings throughout - the carpet does give a little cozy factor in the bedrooms. We did different carpet in each bedroom. You would do a different rug in each bedroom right? Totally different decorating in each room also.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 8:09PM
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We removed the carpeting from all of our bedrooms and installed hardwood flooring. (The rest of our home is tiled.) I absolutely love it!!! How can it be a mistake? No soil, no dust, no fear of creepy crawlies lurking beneath the surface, and no difficult or impossible to remove pet or human mistakes to deal with. If you are concerned about warmth, you can add area rugs, which will also add character to the room. However, if you do decide on carpet, I have always been advised by designers to keep it the same in all of the rooms.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Its a personal preference. I love hardwood floors but we live in the NE so having carpet in the bedrooms makes them feel warmer. We put HW floors in the first floor. Berber carpet on the stairs and hallway and different colors in each room to match the paint.

While carpet may no be everyone's 1st choice, we decorated with what we liked and felt comfortable with as we hope to be in this home for a long time.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 9:19PM
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I only have wood in one room, and I only have one cat. Am I the only one who has a constant battle with dust bunnies? They love to commune in the corners, and party under the sofa. They get particular joy out of playing hide and seek under the ottoman. And I have to dust to floors under the entertainment cabinet and desk. After using the vacuum attachment to suck out the anthropophobic dust bunnies.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Maybe there isn't a "right" or "wrong" answer here.

We struggled with the same decisions when we built our home last summer. I absolutely love the look of hardwood any day over carpeting, BUT there is certainly more to consider than appearance. We live in our home and must consider other practicalities and functionalities as well. In the end, we only put hardwood in our kitchen and foyer areas. Living in Wisconsin, the weather just gets way too cold for us to go without the warmth of carpet, at least in the bedrooms. We have carpet in our great room too. The carpet is the same throughout the entire living area, except for the bedrooms. Our master bedroom is one shade darker and our kids' bedrooms are one shade lighter of the same type of carpeting. This was a decision based on the paint color selections for those rooms.

Someday, I would really like hardwood throughout, but I worry that I would miss the warm softness of carpeting, especially over our 9-month (lol) winter (okay, maybe I'm just bitter because it's still SO cold here).

I think that whatever you choose will turn out fine. Good luck with your projects.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 11:38PM
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We are in California, so the 'warmth' issue is really not an issue. Except for our tiled areas, kitchen, shower areas of both baths, and the entryway, we did hardwood. But the two kid's bedrooms just didn't need to be redone, so we left the carpet in there. Now, I wish we had let the wood go into both those bedrooms too. I use area rugs in all rooms, so there is still softness and warmth.

If you decide to do carpet in bedrooms, please do one nice neutral, maybe in a darker tone like a mushroom or a caramel shade in all. Carpet starts to show dirt so quickly that it just makes sense to buy it in a color that will disguise that fact. And it always looks more cohesive to use the same flooring in all areas you can see at a glance.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:18AM
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We're ripping out our carpets and putting hardwoods throughout. To me the wood feels warm and wonderful. Looks fabulous, too.

As far as the dust bunny issue is concerned, that same dirt is in your carpets, it's just trapped / stuck so you don't notice it. Hardwood floors don't create dirt, they just make it easier to clean up.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:22AM
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We have hardwood on the first level, and I would *love* to run it up the stairs and through the landing. The carpet on stairs really takes a beating!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 12:38AM
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We are getting ready to build and it's all hardwood with just a touch of tile. Our last house took such a beating with teenagers that we are forever off of carpet. Also, I think it's so much easier to keep the hardwood floors clean. The hardwood floors in the old house looked untouched compared to the carpet.

I was planning on doing a "stair runner" but have been talked out of it by the flooring guy. He said that he always ends up replacing them and having to redo the stairs to hardwood which is much more costly.

If I did do a runner on the stairs it would have to be excellent quality and 100% wool. I have found that my Karastan rugs clean up so easy and the kids and dogs haven't fazzed them.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 10:53AM
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I find my hardwoods SO much easier to keep clean. I have pets, so I really need to keep the floors very clean. I can't really afford carpet because the last estimate I got just for cleaning my staircase (21 stairs and landing) was well over $100 - ouch. I got rid of the carpet, and now I just wipe the stairs off with a damp cloth once a week. Takes just a few minutes. I have just two rooms upstairs to replace with hardwoods, and then I'm done for the duration of living here.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 11:06AM
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Kelliq81, I'm not sure what you meant by what the floor guy told you. Did you mean that he ends up redoing stairs that were already hardwood but have a runner over them (like in jjam's picture above?) If so, why would they need redoing? Does the runner damage them somehow?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 11:23AM
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I, too, love hardwood, but is it safe to put hardwood on stairs? As I get older and anticipate grandchildren, I wonder if carpet would be safer. Opinions?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 4:20PM
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I would put hardwood through out the house. You can always put carpet if you change your mind as you get older. I bet you don't though.

And I don't know if this was mentioned before, but, you can see all the dust and dirt you pick up daily from hardwoods. Just think of the dust and dirt carpet can harbor. eck!

Mary 2400 I would certainly go with hardwoods. Just put a runner going up the stairs. It is safe and is a good look. I think one is posted above.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 6:22PM
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Oh, one more thing I wanted to add. If money is no object, of course it is for me. lol I have seen hardwood flooring taken out of building's (such as cotton warehouse's and the like) and put into homes. Talk about stunning and good looking. Oh my...

Please forget about the comment I made about dirt in carpet, we all vacumm for goodness sakes.

But as my mommy always says, "It's only Stuff".

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 6:52PM
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But as my mommy always says, "It's only Stuff".

My mother calls possession's "Stuff". She wasn't talking about dirty carpet's. Oh gosh, enough already Jane, geez. lol

Ya'll have a good weekend!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 7:00PM
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Over the years we have removed every last bit of W2W carpet in our home. It never feels clean to me!

We have hardwood on the steps and all the upstairs bedrooms. Use prefinished. I think we were able to do an entire room in just one day.

Then we put oriental rugs, flokatis, dhurries on the hardwood depending on the season.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 7:55PM
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Do you already have site stained/poly'd hardwood? If you do, I know it's hard to find prefinished that has the same sheen. I ended up doing the site finished in our entry ways , kitchen and foyer and we had to go stay in a hotel for 5 days! yikes. Every entrance to our house was the new hardwood, so we couldn't walk in or out of the house, but we had an entry/hall that was already site finished oak, and I didn't want to rip that all up to match to prefinished.

I really wanted to do the prefinished, but the sheens were so shiney, I couldn't match them up and didn't want them to look odd together.

I do agree with the other poster about carpet having as much dust as hardwood - you just can't see it. So you do tend to sweep more often! :-) But, in some rooms, I wouldn't want to have to sweep that often to keep the house looking "neat". I'd love to have hardwood stairs/hallway with a runner. I just love that look and think it would be pretty in your house with your tile foyer. I'd do carpet in the bedrooms just for upkeep sake if not anything else!

I would love to take up my dining room and living room carpet and do hardwood...I just can't bring myself to go to the expense when I know I'd want to cover up 2/3 of it with a beautiful Karastan area rug at $$$ for the hardwood/area rugs. But, I just love the way hardwood looks with a beautiful area rug over top!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 9:38PM
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When we moved into our house we refinished our foors upstaris and placed area rugs down. I regret this because our floors were cold and it was noisy. We are doing an addition and I am going to recarpet all the bedrooms in the same color (I am still searcing for a good neutral color). Good luck

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 9:55PM
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Thanks domesticah for sharing your experience with wanting carpet again.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 2:56PM
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If your true preference is for hardwood, go for hardwood. I know it's inconvenient to remove everything from the rooms, but it's short term.

Remember, moving everything to clean carpets is a pain too, and you have to do it a lot more often.

There are also new sanding machines now that do not make nearly amount of dust.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 4:04PM
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After having laminate downstairs in the new basement, I would never, ever put carpet anywhere again. I see how nasty dirty the laminate gets with little traffic and it freaks me out how dirty the carpet upstairs gets. I went out and bought a carpet cleaning machine. I still find it disgusting.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 6:22AM
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