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Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Posted by colorblind1961 (My Page) on
Sun, May 27, 12 at 20:37

OK, seriously need input on our newly inherited beach house. Early 1900 Victorian, 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in Cape May, NJ. House was built by DH's grandfather as a "Summer Home." House has all wood flooring, BUT...there is no subfloor, they are just nailed down on top of the joists. Over the years carpeting was put down. We just pulled most of the carpet and found that the wood floors are in good shape, but are all painted. I'm thinking, a little putty and re-paint them all...Done...cleaner, less musty and mildewy than carpet and cheaper. DH would like to re-carpet, thinking it would be better since there is no insulation. Quotes to carpet the whole house would be around $5K. We are planning to rent it out partially, but also use it for our enjoyment. I never thought of carpet for a beach house. What do you think???


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

I would keep the wood. I currently live in a 1930 farm house that we are eventually taking down. The part that makes me sad is to see the beautiful original hardwood floors go. When my husband bought this house 18 years ago carpet glued on top of the orginal wood and some of the doors were painted over. I would use a wood stripper to take the stain off, sand them and restain them. It is a lot of work that you can do yourself and will pay off. My old floors have been subjected to a lot of abuse with kids, animals and farm lifestyle. They have held up great. They are light stained, half oak and half maple and have a lot patina but still look nice. With carpet and renters I just think of dirt,spills and the overall appeal of the place. I vote wood.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Beach house? Does that mean sand will be tracked in? I think wood floors would be easier to clean.

As for the insulation aspect--will you be using this house in cold weather much? If not, do you need insulation? If there is a cellar or crawl space, could you not install insulation under the floor, which would probably work better than carpet anyway?

I'd go with repainting the floors, because I think painted floors would be nice in a beach house. Then, if you need something on the floors to warm the space up or for noise control, get something easy to take care of, like a rag rug.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

I vote for wood, painted or stained. Add area carpets in the winter for warmth.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

I love the appearance of wood floors but am one of those people that love the feel of carpet and will probably always have some in my house. However...since this is a beach house and the fact that it will be rented, I'd keep the wood for sure and add area rugs.

I agree about insulting the ceiling of a basement if you have one.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

I would also keep the wood. Love the Victorian homes in Cape May!


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

I would also go with wood at the shore. Enjoy the house!

Sunny Alberta, you can always pull up the old wood floors and reuse the wood. What a shame it would be to just trash them! If you don't want them, there are lots of people who would pay good money to salvage them!


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

I would also go with wood at the shore. Enjoy the house!

Sunny Alberta, you can always pull up the old wood floors and reuse the wood. What a shame it would be to just trash them! If you don't want them, there are lots of people who would pay good money to salvage them!


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Another vote for wood floors. I can't stand that musty beach house smell, and carpets hold the damp.Every time I have taken up carpets I am appalled by what is in / under them, not to mention the disintegrating carpet pad. No matter how often you vacuum or have them cleaned, they get dirty. Renters don't care about your carpets and they will get dirty all the faster.

Inherited a Victorian in Cape May? Aren't you the lucky one!


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Your house sounds wonderful! I too vote to keep the wood. I would also want to do any other updates in a way that stays true to the style and era of the home.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Another BIG vote for wood!! :)


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Keep the wood and DIY the painting. For the $$ saved, put that into actually insulating it. It will be more comfortable in summer as well as winter.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Actually, I would agree except for the aspect that you are going to be renting it.

I would probably split the difference and carpet the bedrooms. Most properties seem to have hard surfaces in the living areas (Tile in newer beach houses).

It is going to be a much easier maintenance issue for a cleaning service to come in and vacuum thoroughly than it would be for one to maintain a wood floor, particularly if you are turning over in one day from one rental to another.
(This is one of the reasons why hotel rooms are carpeted).
I think there could also be liability issues with area rugs on painted floors.

As one of my acquaintances who used to rent out their shore house told me (and hers is Stone Harbor or Avalon, no less):
"People come in expecting the Ritz-Carlton and leave it looking like the Motel-6". I would preserve the floors for when you no longer have to rent it out or have an established return rental population you trust.


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Re Stone Harbor etc.

What I meant regarding Stone Harbor /Avalon are that those are areas tend to have a demographic that one would think would not trash a house (based upon property values, and in turn rental prices) Cape May is one of the more serene old-time shore towns, not a 20 kids to a house type rental spot, but you can't tell about how people care for things that aren't theirs just by what their socioeconomic level is.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Absolutely wood....in the process of ripping up all my carpet....I know there are many people who just don't want their feet on the cold floor, I say get an area rug you can easily clean, IMHO carpet is nasty and a germ catcher.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Seems like keeping the wood is the most sensible, cost efficient way to go. We probably will only rent it out three or four weeks a season, but I still think wood floors are more practical, even for our family. Money is also a big factor...we could tackle one of many other projects with the money saved if we don't carpet. The jury is still out though with respect to my DH...he's still not sure. I'll keep you posted. Thanks Everyone!!


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

House has all wood flooring, BUT...there is no subfloor, they are just nailed down on top of the joists.

That was a common construction method at the time. I've seen and lived in houses like this.

You can (if there is enough room in the crawlspace) insulate between the joists under the floor. Or, if there is no need to insulate, just leave it.

Look into "screening", which is a very light sanding (not a drum sander) and re-staining and a sealant. Much less work, less expe3nsive, and less damaging to the floor.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

I would definitely keep the wood. Carpets are hard to maintain, especially with renters. One glass of spilled red wine can do alot of damage.

Old wood floors look great, old carpet looks gross.

If it were mine, I would refinish the floors and use a low sheen finish. This would be better for resale as well IMO.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

"You can (if there is enough room in the crawlspace) insulate between the joists under the floor. Or, if there is no need to insulate, just leave it. "

I agree with lazygardens, I think this is the much better option if you feel down the road you do need some insulation, and often houses built like this did have a decent crawl space underneath to allow for airflow under the house. I'd keep the wood floor and insulate under the floor later if it's needed because carpet is only going to give you minimal insulation anyway if it gets really cold there.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

We have a lake house in Maine and had the same dilemma when we purchased it fifteen years ago. We pulled up all the carpeting and the original douglas fir was there directly over the crawl space. Before we did anything else we had the floors refinished and I had them topped off with Spar varnish that they use on boats. They became waterproof and show no scratches from the sand that people bring in. I put down area rugs in the winter and take them up in the summer. It's so easy to maintain the wood floor, just dry mop it every couple of days and wipe it down once a week. So my vote would be wood. Vacuuming is just too much work.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

when I lived in my last house we hadcarpet everywhere.I took good care of floors or so I thought,You ever pull up look at dirt that builds up in carpet I bet thats the reson for all alot of allergies,who ever thought of puttin material on floors to walk on??I now have hardwood love them,so easy to clean,take care of,also my son moved in a house his children got allergies really bad they were getting sick,he removed all carpet went to hardwood theyre doing much ,much better now.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

I'm so agreeing with all of you to keep the wood floors. We were told by the "carpet installer" that sanding and staining the wood floors will cost us much more than 5K. About how much could I expect to pay for sanding and staining the wood floors for five 12 x 12 rooms? Money is very tight, which is why I thought of just re-painting them ourselves. Thanks so much again!!!


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Get a quote from a person whose specialty is refinishing wood floors, not a "carpet installer". Then you will know if you can afford to refinish or go with paint or carpet. My first choice would be refinish, but I would repaint before I considered carpet.

Yayagal's Spar varnish sounds like the way to go if you can refinish.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

If you have ever pulled up carpet and seen the yuk hiding underneath it in a non-beach home, then consider the sand that would be added on top of that -- no question that I would keep the wood. Sounds like painting might be the way to go now -- nice coastal feel, and save the refinishing for when you have more money and know what the wear and tear factor with rentals might be. If you don't do carpet in the bedrooms, I would have a rug in each. Look at polypropylene rugs for easy care and cleaning, softer than sisal, cost effective.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

I vote for painting too -such a perfect solution for the beach, and would be the cheapest way to go. AND for a rental, it'll be the most easy-care solution. Just be sure to use a floor paint so it will hold up.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

For all you people who think the stuff under wall to wall is what caused the bubonic plague, I hope you never have to look in your HVAC ducts.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

I will always choose wood floors over carpet. We rent at the beach quite often (condo or cottage/small house) and I will absolutely not rent a place that has carpet. Renters are not going to keep things up the way you would. As mentioned, one spill will do it. Not to mention if someone brings in a pet that either has an accident or fleas, etc. Wood is so much easier to care for. I would either strip the paint and refinish along with a good protective coating, or repaint. I've also noticed laminate in some beach rentals.

tina


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

For now I'd just repaint myself, it will go well with the quaint historic beach house feel, I think refinishing is around $2-3 a foot around here, and will last longer than carpet. If you carpet the bedrooms you could go with remnants to make each room unique and it will be cheaper, and in keeping with an older home.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Are you DIY'ers and do you have the time to work on the floors. If they need a total refinish, i.e. sanded to bare wood, you might look at hiring a pro to do the sanding only. It is not that difficult to stain and finish with poly. What type of wood do you have? Mine are oak with no stain, just several coats of poly. THe last floor we done, I hired the sanding and applied the finish myself - three coats of clear satin poly. It just takes time and patience. I will be happy to share the details with you if you go that route.

You can do it much less than $5,000 this way.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

I have looked in my AC ducts, and even before I had them cleaned, they weren't as bad as what was under the carpet and the ducts can be cleaned. It just isn't practical to roll up carpet, take up the pad, scrape the glue, vacuum and then put down new pad and restretch the carpet. You just have to live with whatever the vacuum can't suck up until you replace the carpet.

It's not that I am against carpet -- I have it in my house and have always lived with it, but between beach, sand and renters, I'd go for something else.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Definitely wood. Especially if you are renting it out. I do not rent houses that are carpeted. The ick factor is just too much for me.


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RE: Keep the Wood Floors or Carpet the Whole House????

Seriously? Doesn't anybody stay in hotels either? I don't get it. Do you wear giant body condoms when you go outside?


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