Torn between hardwood or carpet? Help

Chriss123February 28, 2013

We want to possibly replace our current carpet in the living room and dining room with hardwood or laminate. We have a 3yr old and a awesome hyper dog. I was raised on carpet my whole life and enjoy the comfort and warmth it brings. I can see the advantages of the hardwood with regards to easy clean up when my lil guys has his spills and if the dog or new possible pup has an accident. I'm use to running the vacuum and rug cleaner so thatâÂÂs not a problem. I could live without the stains in the carpet, but I'm just not sure which direction to go? I worry about my son who is very active and likes to run around the table a lot falling and getting hurt. I also worry about my dog taking a spill and getting hurt. Am I over reacting here? Should I just let everyone adjust to the hardwood? I think I want to be a hardwood guy, but in my heart its carpet? I think there would be a lot of advantages to the hardwood though? Suggestions?

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Do you have a partner? What is their preference? That could be an easy way to decide.

I like carpet in the bedroom. Kids and dogs are tough- hardwood floors won't hurt them. Dog nails can hurt hardwood floors, though.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 11:51PM
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I would go with a composite. Easier with dog and kids. Make sure it is high quality and not just laminated particle board. Had engineered hardwood like this before and it crumbles under moisture (dog, kid spills). Real hardwoods will scratch so you may want to entertain a lighter color if this is the direction you want to go.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:08PM
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if you want to go with real hardwood - I totally agree with cbernot - We have pine floors (medium color) and lots of dogs that do major stuff on on floors - It's there (dents etc), but we don't see it.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 3:54PM
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Wood floor pluses and minuses:

Easy to clean and to wipe spills.
Some types can be heated.
Looks more natural.
Much better for houses with allergies.
Much more design possibilities
Installation can be more DIY friendly
Finish applied after install can be redone.
Less maintenance than carpet.
Area rugs are easily used.

Takes longer to install.
Cold in winter--expensive to heat.
Scratch possibilities even with ceramic finishes.
Laminates can become a problem.
Click together can allow liquid seepage between boards if liquid is left too long.
More expensive that carpet as a rule.
Unfinished install takes up to a week.
AQfter install finishes can fade/darken.

Carpet pluses and minuses:

Quick install.
Warm and more cushion to floor.
newer varities are more stain resistant.

Retains dirt--requires more cleaning and maintenance.
Spills can stain, some stains do not come out.
Wear patterns show as pile mats and crushes.
Fabric can stretch and form humps
Fabric can fade.
Not good for allergic homes.
Difficult to repair if damaged.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Hardwood. After years and years of carpet, I finally bought a house with hardwood and will never go back to carpet. All the nightmares of spill stains and wear patterns are over. Both the kids and the cats got used to it quickly. I don't find it cold.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:29PM
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Another hardwood minus - acoustics. I dislike the "echo chamber" effect of hard surface floors.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 5:32PM
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You can just use area rugs where you want some cushioning.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 7:31PM
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We replaced berber carpet, an upgraded vinyl, and Bruce Hardwood, on our first floor (which has an open floor plan) about a year ago with a wide plank, hand scraped, dark in color (Old World Oak from Lumber Liquidators) and love it!

We have children and dog (beagle, so he has longer nails than some breeds). If you choose a good quality hardwood, it's less likely to be scratched. Our heating bills haven't changed at all (and this winter was far colder than last winter), it doesn't feel cold, nor do we hear any echoes. It's super easy to clean and we couldn't be happier. We chose a handscraped wood, in part b/c we loved the look, but also b/c we didn't want to spend our lives worrying whether there was a scratch or dent here or there. So far, with kids in and out, dropping things, and a young dog fetching balls and running with the kids, the floor is still perfect. Our previous Bruce hardwood was light in color and you could see indentations and scratches all over the place. Just my two cents. :)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 12:21PM
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We replaced carpet in our living and dining rooms about 10 years ago with 3/4" hardwood. I would never go back to carpet. We have area rugs under the dining table and in the living room.

It's cold here too, but I don't find the hardwood to feel cold. And while we did notice an "echo chamber" effect at first, once we put the furniture back in it wasn't apparent.

Another plus - hardwood is the only flooring that adds value to your home.

Edited to add - we have dogs, and we just keep their nails trimmed. Even our 100-lb lab didn't scratch up the floor. Not to say we haven't gotten scratches in 10 years, but we can't blame the dogs for them.

This post was edited by annkh on Sun, Mar 17, 13 at 18:00

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 5:43PM
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Love wood floors. we have large rugs in the living areas. best of both worlds. And easier to change the design of the room. Plus I've got a 50/50 chance cat barf will hit an easy to clean surface.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 11:52AM
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