Wall to Wall Carpet!

happylady1957September 16, 2011

So we are redoing the livingroom, and I have this desire for wall to wall carpeting. We currently have very ordinary looking oak floors, and the area rug in there needs to go because it is worn, and the wrong colors.

When the thought first occurred to me, I thought, well, no one does carpeting anymore. Actually, my first thought was Woody Allen's line about his parent's values being God and carpeting...) Then, I remembered that wallpaper was dead as a doornail for several years, and now I'm starting to hear rumblings that its coming back.

Not sure I care if anyone else like it, anyway.

Anyone want to talk me out of it?


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I wouldn't do it...but we have terrible allergies. I like bare hardwoods because they are easier to clean. If you like the feel of wall-to-wall carpeting--go for it! It's YOUR HOUSE.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 7:17PM
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I do:-)

I have wall to wall carpeting and I hate it. I would love hardwood floors.

What about refinishing the floors and staining a new color? Could make them a lot less ordinary looking, I would think.

But, if carpet makes you happy, then put down carpet. Carpet is not a forever choice. It can always be changed/removed later.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 7:17PM
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They regularly show rooms with wall to wall carpet and wallpaper in Architectural Digest and other design magazines and never really stopped. If the floor is mostly covered by an area rug anyway, there is not much difference, imo.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 7:22PM
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We have carpet in much of our main living areas, with hardwood in our kitchen and foyer, tile in the bathrooms, laundry, and mudroom.

I love hardwood floors. They are amazingly beautiful. However, in our case, we wanted carpet in some areas of our home because we have kids and like to play on the floor. We play cards, board games, and they have friends over to watch TV. Carpeting is much more comfortable in that way. Also, in the cold winter months, it is warmer underfoot than any other flooring, unless you have in-floor heating installed. Many of the homes in our area, even showcase homes, are carpeted partially. So it may be a geographical thing.

When carpet is used, I think it's important to keep it clean. Dirty carpeting is a big turn-off to me. Everyone in my family removes their shoes at the door. No one smokes in the house, and I vacuum with a high-quality machine regularly.

Make your decision based on what you want versus what you think others would prefer.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 7:35PM
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What do you mean nobody does carpeting anymore!? Yes, people do do carpeting. If you want to go with hardwood floors, do it for your own reasons. If you have allergies, make sure it's in your carpeting before spending the money for hardwood floors only to find out it's in your trees or food.
Yes, we do have carpeting these days, even us old duffers! I have hardwood floors and carpeting and we're ready to replace our carpeting and will do so, even though extending our hardwood flooring is an option.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 7:54PM
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Thumbs up to what jan said...

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 7:57PM
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I wouldn't do it either. However, it is NOT 'out of style', and I plan to put it upstairs in MBR due to noise factor. If I were you, I'd re-finish, as someone suggested, and get a gorgeous new area rug. 'Course, that opinion's not worth much since I've not seen your home and I'm not YOU! Several very sensible reasons for preferring carpeting,
Would the carpeting then lead into D.R or entry...yikes! not in the entry!!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 9:01PM
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Thanks to all for the input. I did consider having the floors refinished, for about 5 minutes. The whole downstairs, except the kitchen, would have to be done and truth be told, I don't have the strength to deal with it.

I think carpeting sounds simpler to me, but my DH reminded me that carpeting would not really reflect the more primitive country look I'm going for, and of course, he's right. Isn't he?...

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 11:12PM
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Wall to wall carpeting was very popular in the Federal period (1790s-1820s) for people who could afford it, so it is appropriate even for very old houses. Of course it was not affordable to most people, so its not exactly "primitive"

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 11:19PM
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w2w carpeting never feels clean to me. we took all of ours out and never going back.

For the look of luxury we use oriental rugs. You can change them out, store them for the summer, move them around and they look really elegant.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 2:18AM
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I prefer wood floors in the living area just because I have pets but I prefer carpet in bedrooms. I think it comes down to how you live and what you like. I know what you mean about floor refinishing though vs getting carpet installed.

Carpet is in and the rooms are useable again so quickly vs the inconvenience of refinishing wood floors so I get the temptation but I think it's worth the trouble if it suits your needs better. I would make the decision on really what I wanted to live with not what will be easier because once it's over with all of that inconvenience will be forgotten pretty quick.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 2:54AM
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I grew up with wall-to-wall and always found it very comfortable to walk around on. Nice and soft underfoot. So when I redecorated, instead of redoing my wood floors (which were in *very* bad condition), I got wall-to-wall again. It is thick and luxurious feeling, and it goes well with the style of my room (*I* think). I got a "stainmaster" type, and when my cat got sick and started throwing up a lot, it cleaned up like a champ.

Sometimes I wonder if maybe I should have redone my floors and gotten rugs instead since that is more in style nowadays... but overall I'm pretty happy with it.

I think you should get what *you* like. :-)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 8:31AM
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I think it's interesting that the anti wall-to-wall contingent tries to make it sound like people who have w2w are content to live in dirtier houses. I have never heard this argument anywhere but GW.

It's like some of the arguments in kitchens: "Its your house, you can put the range there...if you are an idiot who wants to endanger your children, go ahead"

Hmph :)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 8:59AM
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I'm probably going to be the only one that's not against w2w.

I grew up with it. It was always cleaning on a regular basis. The last time they changed the carpet in their LR was years ago and I kid you not, it still looks brand new.

I currently have w2w and keep saying someday we're going to install hardwood because I love how it looks. However, I very much enjoy running the sweaper and do it A LOT. We also have cats and I like that the carpet traps the hair better than how it "floats" on tile. It's also soft under the feet.

I think it's interesting how many people invest in area rugs over their hardwood. I know it's not wall to wall and it anchors a room but it's still carpet.

If you have allergies I'd consider not doing it.

Carpet may not be popular but it is common where I live and I only find it "gross" at someones house if the rest of the overall appearance is unclean. I should also mention in general, I'm not a germaphobe.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 10:20AM
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Pal, I was waiting for this thread to denigrate to the "dirty" argument; it's usually accompanied with a corresponding "yuck". GW sometimes skews RL norm.

Happylady, I, too, have seen many, many, high-end lovely rooms on Houzz which use wall-to-wall carpet. I don't care for patterned carpets, but I still prefer carpet in bedrooms.

Years ago, my DF built our home (when it was still required to install hardwood floors in new construction) and when we put it on the market (this was around 1967), he refinished the floors so they gleamed. The new owners promptly covered them all with wall-to-wall; they considered it higher end.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 10:33AM
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Please, do what you want in your own home! I think hardwoods are beautiful but I also like the warmth and comfort of carpet.

You do want to be careful not to damage the floor, though. I suggest you have a room size rug made. You can have it go to the walls or leave a small border. A rug store can size it and finish the edges.

Or you could do what my mom did. The house she bought had tile in the living areas. She had wall to wall put in but it was glued down and not nailed/tacked down so the tile wasn't damaged. The owners after her removed it with no problems. Talk to the people at the carpet store to find the best way to put it down with no damage.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 3:54PM
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I would do a large area rug instead of wall to wall but that's just me. It's your house so you should do whatever you want! You could even get a broadloom rug bound so that most of the floor is covered and leave 18" at the periphery.

As for as the dirty factor- w2w is not dirtier, but it does collect dust. When we pulled the carpet up in my parents house, there was a thick later of dust under there.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 4:04PM
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IMO, carpet is no dirtier than other floors. It's easy to see dirt on certain floors- light tile, light carpet. I'll bet a lot of wood floors are very dirty- (not talking about stuff laying on top) you just can't see the dirt ground into it. And rugs laying on top of wood are no cleaner than carpet.

happylady, I think you should get carpet. It can be beautiful and is the most comfortable.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 4:28PM
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About area rugs and dirt--it's possible to take them outside and beat dirt out of them, or take them to a cleaner's and get them really clean. For oriental rugs, there's a method of cleaning them with snow. With w2w, just about all you can do is vacuum.

What I like about area rugs is that you can turn them every few monthss, so that no one area gets all the traffic, all the time. My brother's living room has an oriental rug that was in my great-grandparents' and grandparents' dining rooms. It was turned every few months to equalize wear. Then it was my parents' living room rug--the worn areas were on the edges at that point, and the center section just had the dining table on it, so it was in great condition. And the living room furniture was mostly on the edges, so it covered up the worn areas. It's 90 years old and still going strong in my brother's living room.

But that doesn't solve the OP's dilemma. She doesn't like her current area rug, she is so/so on the hardwood flooring that's there, and she wants w2w. The one sticking point I see is that she's decorating in a primitive country style, and w2w doesn't particularly say "country" to me.

But I'd bet that a visit to a couple of good carpet stores would yield some carpeting that would, if not enhance a country style, wouldn't detract from it. It's worth checking a few stores out, so that you know what your options are.

It's hard to choose between a vague idea of "carpeting" and hardwood floors. It's easier to choose between 3 or 4 samples of carpet, in your living room, contrasted by the existing flooring.

My vote is to get samples of carpeting, and some pictures of area rugs that you might like and think about it for a while.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:31AM
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"About area rugs and dirt--it's possible to take them outside and beat dirt out of them, or take them to a cleaner's and get them really clean. For oriental rugs, there's a method of cleaning them with snow. With w2w, just about all you can do is vacuum."

You can have w2w cleaned.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:43AM
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i love carpet in the family room--anywhere where i'm sometimes on the floor, i prefer it-much more comfortable!!

what i like about rugs is the selection of patterns and colors...but you can also get really nice patterns with beautiful colors in carpet too---so, that's what we put in our family room...i love it and it's not one large expanse of flat color.
we have neutral carpeting upstairs which i also love-really do like carpet underfoot in the bedrooms.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:48AM
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Thanks to all for weighing in on this one. You all have wonderful points!

My current thinking is that perhaps I will have a broadloom piece bound, leaving an 18" border, as someone kindly suggested. Even though the room will be done over in a somewhat "country primitive" feeling, it is still with a wink of the eye, as they say. The kitchen is definitely done in a primitive manner, yet I certainly still have all the appliances and countertop, etc.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 7:34PM
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If you wanted to do a country look in wall to wall (or bound broadloom) Karastan and others make broadloom carpet in stripes, checks and tweeds:

Here is a link that might be useful: Karastan

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 7:55PM
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Thank you so much for that link! I never even knew bound broadloom was available in such patterns. Oooh, tweed!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:49AM
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I grew up similar to Shee. My mom had gorgeous hardwood floors and later covered them up with w2w!! She did a beautiful pale blue in the dining room. She always had the carpeting cleaned regularly and it held up well.

For myself, however, I will never again have carpet. We put it down when we built the house and it was up within 6 or 7 years - now have hardwood in the main rooms (tile, etc. in kitchen,bathrooms, sunroom). I absolutely love it. I always kept the carpet vacuumed often, etc. but no matter how well you clean, there is an amount that will sink it's way down into the backing. When you pull the carpet up, you will find that. And yes, it is not got for people with allergies. It's just a bit of an ick factor for me.

Now I'm one who DOES NOT cover up my wood floors with rugs, because I have much the same feelings as Pal. Why would I want beautiful wood floors only to cover them up? Note though that we do have a heated basement, so cold floors are not an issue for us. I have used smaller rugs here and there, but for the most part, my floors are uncovered. I am thinking to put one (and only one!!) larger rug under the dining room table at some point. Possibly. LOL

Anyway, I'm just giving you my opinion, not trying to talk you out of carpet - that has to be YOUR choice.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:59AM
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I am not into primitive decorating, but I do love it in other folk's homes when done well. My favorite look in primitive decorating is wood floors with braided rugs.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 12:33PM
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I don't see the ick factor in carpet. What about upholstered furniture? There must be some dirt down in there that we can't get to, but we don't for that reason get vinyl furniture or only sit on wooden benches.

I confess that my own carpet is ick, because of puppy problems, and I am going to replace it with tile. But if I didn't have a dog, I would get carpet. It's so comfortable and perfectly clean, imo.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 1:00PM
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I have found I like it because I sit on the floor a lot. We don't wear shoes upstairs at all which is where we have the carpet. We vacuum a lot too. I agree, it can't be much worse than upholstery. There are probably more dust mites in upholstery because of more skin to fabric contact with upholstery.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 4:00PM
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Nancy - the ick factor is a personal thing. If I had not pulled up carpeting and seen the residue myself, I wouldn't have that image in my head. No, we don't have vinyl furniture, but furniture can also be vacuumed and cleaned. A hand-help steamer is a wonder!!

Again, it's a personal choice. :)


    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 4:07PM
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We replaced 12 year old carpet and I don't remember a lot of dirt under it. But even if there is some, so what? I have dirt under my house, too. If there is dirt under the carpet it isn't going anywhere!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 4:09PM
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Okay guys - not going to explain myself any further than this - as I said, it is a personal thing! If it doesn't bother you then fine! Happyladi - the dirt was not under the carpet (well probably there was some), but trapped IN the carpet (mainly the backing). It made me feel like all that vacuuming, etc. wasn't really doing anything. Not sure what the big deal is - I simply stated my opinion, or my ick factor. End of story.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 4:26PM
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If I were in a cold climate I'd have wall-to-wall in a minute...it's so cozy and comforting. Unfortunately down South, it's hot and an allergy/asthma nightmare. We had it in our bedroom, but pulled it up and did wood floor instead because of asthma/allergies. But I miss the cozy feel.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 7:34PM
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happy ... my sister (who is a decorator) found me some commercial carpet that had the colors I wanted (blues, greens, purples) and had pieces cut and bound that fit my bedroom and hall.

Commercial carpets have some really great colors and designs.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 1:57PM
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Have mostly carpet, dislike it because I can't seem to keep it clean with kids and pets. Would love to have it in the bedrooms only. When I have the money, I will pull up the carpet in my living room and extend hardwood from my entry, into my living room. However, I will keep carpet in family/tv room.
Just so you all know, when you pull up carpet it is not all sunk down dirt. Often times, depending on how old the carpet is, it is disintegrated carpet padding. Hopefully that lestens the ick factor. Never the less, puppy accidents and spills go waaayyy down to the padding. I can't imagine ever really getting all of it back up with cleaning.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 3:32PM
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we have hardwood floors in kitchen, foyer, hallways. we replace the carpet with hardwood in dining room and living room. Only room left was family room, adjacent and open to the kitchen. The rest of house is all hardwood. DH wanted carpet, as he lays on the floor to watch TV. We were also concerned of all hardwood being a bit "cold". So we did the carpet (less $$ also). We absolutely love it!! Here's some pics which dont do it justice.. Its by Fabrica, i think the name is Le Jardin.. It is warm, inviting and elegant. Good luck with your decision.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 4:07PM
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We have carpet in all the rooms except the kitchen, entryway, and bathrooms, which have tile. The area I live in in SoCal has been built up pretty much in the last 30 years. There are very few older homes that would have had lovely hardwood floors. Almost all the houses are on concrete slab. I like the look of wood floors, but I have several large dogs. The safety factor for them running around the house and slipping is a concern with hard surface flooring. We briefly rented a house for a couple of months that had laminate flooring. The dogs hated it, and I thought the clacking of their toenails on it would drive me crazy. I'm sure that wouldn't be quite as bad with real hardwood (vs cheap laminate), but you might want to think about it if you ever went from carpet to hard surface.

We bought good stainmaster carpeting and vacuum it well regularly. It still looks great.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 5:49PM
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Our last house had tile everywhere. I hated it. And I had little babies who would be learning to crawl and walk and hated the thought of them falling or kneeing on tile. What I did was get some regular carpet...the kind intended for wall to wall carpeting and had it bound for the living room and for runners down the hallway. I knew wall to wall carpet would be killer for resale. It worked out great! I personally dislike wall to wall carpet.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:09AM
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Massagerocks, that is very pretty carpet!

I am working on getting prices on some of the Karastan ideas Palimpsest was so kind to link to.

When speaking to one of the local carpet dealers, I was told that sometimes they have remnants from Ralph Lauren, etc. that could be bound up for a far lower price, which is a definite consideration for me. I never would have thought of that!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:13AM
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I love the Jensen stripe rug from Karastan. I could defiantely see it with a country/primitive room. Looks like Dash and Albert but wool will wear much better than cotton and it will be thicker/pluisher as well.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:31AM
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