Best flooring for multiple areas?

Weedpuller1954April 6, 2013

We will begin demolition for our kitchen renovation in a few weeks and need to make a decision soon on the type of flooring we will install. We have decided to replace flooring in our entry, hallway, dining room and laundry/mud/powder room at the same time, as these areas are all connected to one another. Entry/hallway is currently wood. Dining room is carpet. Kitchen, breakfast, laundry/mud/powder is sheet vinyl. We live in a semi-rural area near St. Louis, have dogs, a pool in the back yard that is accessed through the mudroom, and a new grandbaby that we love having to visit. We would like to replace all the flooring with the same material if possible. We would welcome ideas and pictures of your flooring solutions. Also, we are open to creative options that are not the standard hardwood or ceramic tile.

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Three years ago we replaced all our flooring through a whole house reno. We put hardwood in all of our living spaces (kitchen, eating area, dining room, living room, family room, hallway, bedrooms) but we put slate in our front entrance. Through our front entrance goes skiis, ski boots, mountain bikes, soccer cleats, trail running shoes (very muddy), road bikes, etc and it is holding up really really well.

We put hardwood everywhere with just a small area rug in the living room because we like the warmth of it and yes the cats mark it up a bit but I have gotten over that. I don't have grand kids but I do have young grand-nephews and both mothers are elderly and the hardwood is good for crawlers and with walkers and canes.

Just my experience.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 2:59PM
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Holly- Kay

We are doing hardwood in living room, dining room, and the new kitchen that is going in. It is a fairly open area and I didn't want a lot of cut up flooring. I am a bit worried about the upkeep on the hardwood though.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 4:06PM
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I decided on cork. It comes in a ton of colors and patterns. I can't speak from experience until the middle of May when it's installed, but if it's even half as nice as I've read I'll be happy!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:22PM
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I'm in So. Florida where wood is not a great option between the humidity, pool, dogs, and sandy yard that holds water. We did porcelain throughout our entire living area and bedrooms. The house is only about 1400 sq. ft. It's durable, cleans up great, and works for our lifestyle. I love wood... but in the 2 years since the reno... it would have already been destroyed.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:32PM
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We're most likely following Williamsem down the cork path. Seems to be durable and it certainly beautiful.

Very excited to see your cork floors, Williamsem so be sure to post a blow by blow when that happens!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:35PM
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Holly- Kay

When I looked at flooring options my flooring guy said he loves cork and has it in his family room. It is very comfortable to the feet and it is not cold like ceramic would be. I would have loved the cork option but he said that it isn't impervious to water and didn't think it would be a good choice for me. Our pupster marks everything. I wear a belly band on him when he is inside and I can't watch him but there are a few times when he sneaks one in on me. Good luck with getting beautiful cork floors deedles and williamsen!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Grew up in a house ('50s-'60s) that had cork on the whole first floor. I will say, it was the most fantastic floor that I can imagine. Although, I have no idea if the cork of today is the same as it was 50 years ago...

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:20PM
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We went with bamboo in the kitchen, DR, LR, hall, and MBR. Love it. It's hard, so resists scratches, and is easy to keep up. The usual amount of splash in the kitchen isn't a problem, and the dog's claws haven't left marks in over a year.

We don't have anything resembling a mud room, so we use mats in front of all the doors. I think if I had a mudroom-type entry, I'd might put a different floor there like blfenton's slate. On dogs: our Golden Retriever is pretty staid in her old age, so we don't have so much bouncing around as when she was younger. If your dogs are particularly bouncy, lack of traction on a hard floor might be an issue.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:20AM
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Thanks for all of your input. I think I'm leaning toward the glue down cork after reading your tips and experiences. I still have a few concerns about water damage. Have any of you used cork in entry ways or laundry rooms?

Suzannesl, your bamboo is beautiful!! I am going to have to take a closer look at bamboo!

My husband thought he might like the wood-look porcelain planks, but I really want something a little easier on the feet, legs and back.

I thought the flooring decision would be easy but the more I look at all the options, the more confused I am. Sooooo.....I'm still open to ideas and suggestions!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:57PM
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I'm too lazy for grout in a high use area. I knew it in my heart, and seeing the responses in the "truth about grout" thread solidified my decision not to tile.

I'm using the glue down cork tiles. If you have a potentially wet area, any floating floor (cork, wood, etc) might swell due to the particle boad layer. The glue down cork should be fine. Most lines recommend a finish coat once installed to seal the seams so water doesn't make it to the subfloor.

The only drawback to cork so far has been the lack of experience with it most places have. I have read so many company sites, articles, blogs, forum threads, etc researching. I have read detailed install and maintenace instructions for several lines. So far I have had to correct most of the salespeople as they tried to convince me I wanted floating boards (they did confirm what I knew once they consulted their info). Make sure you know what you want before you go looking in person.

I have to order this week. My install is the first full week in May if you have time to wait for a report. I'm so excited to get the cork! Ok, I'm excited about everything. But especially the cork and getting a real vent hood.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:46AM
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I am in the same situation as you are and have also been agonizing over the floors. I believe I will be using the LVT (luxury vinyl tile) wood-look planks. I LOVE the look of wood and all my inspiration pictures have wood floors, BUT, I have had them twice, and just don't want the care/worry. I have 9 grandchildren, a dog, and live in a beach area (sand is not a friend of wood) and we are not the neatest people! My current porcelain is just too hard. Although I considered cork, I also read about maintenance/upkeep issues with it. I don't like the "shiny" LVT, but have seen some planks that look extremely real. One floor was in a commercial bar, which took a lot of abuse and looked wonderful. Would love to hear the experience of other GWers with LVT.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 5:52AM
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The LVT wood-look planks are also near the top of our list. The contractors we are dealing with can not say enough good things about them and some of the options are amazingly realistic. In fact, everywhere we go this is the #1 recommendation for us.

We just got 14" inches of snow again over the past 3 days and it is really wet here so much of the time. I don't just worry about water in the kitchen, frankly. I worry about it everywhere. We'd also like to get another dog, and they are just adament that it will last 30 years and wear great and isn't prone to the scratching you see with wood. I think we'll go glue down. Apparently, it is easier to replace/repair that way.

We were all but decided on that, though, when we realized that we are going to need a subfloor if we go that route due to holes in the cement. So, turns out, engineered hardwood will cost about as much. That is causing me to second-guess it. I swear, every single decision in this process leaves me spinning...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:20PM
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I appreciate all of your input. I think we have narrowed our choices to 3: bamboo, cork, or LVT wood-look planks. I think we will go with slate or stone in the entry, even though I hate grout. But the other areas will all be whichever of those 3 we can decide on. OOOOHHHHH.......My head is spinning....still so many things to consider. I have collected some samples and still doing research on-line.

Anyone have any pros/cons to consider when comparing cork, bamboo, or LVT wood-look planks??

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:01AM
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We are doing hardwood in living room, dining room, and the new kitchen that is going in. It is a fairly open locality and I didn't desire a lot of cut up flooring. I am a bit concerned about the upkeep on the hardwood though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Remodeling in Northern VA : Home Improvements & Kitchens Remodeling : Enhancedrr

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:53AM
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