We're getting new flooring! Advice?

After saving up all school year with this very plan in mind, we are just about ready to buy new flooring for the whole house! :smiley:

Our main concern is, well, what flooring? We like the look of Pergo, but it is double the cost of carpet. We’ll have tile in the kitchen and utility room (although, I dunno, I kinda like the idea of Pergo in there, too).

We’ve done a lot of research at Consumer Reports, and these are the conclusions we’ve made from it:

[ul][li]Wood laminates actually hold up better to wear and tear–dents, scratches, etc–than their real wood counterparts. They are also excellent in resisting staining.[/li]
[li]Level loop carpeting is best for durability and cleaning. Multi-loop (most Berber styles) is the worst for vacuuming, although deep, plush cut-pile is as well.[/li]
[li]Cut pile carpeting shows wear on high-traffic areas (like our stairs) most quickly.[/li]
[li]Olefin is the fiber most resistant to staining and has the highest durability, whereas nylon is less resistant. Branded nylon is excellent. But–many berber-style carpets are a blend of both, which can lead to striped stains as the stain comes off the olefin, but not the nylon.[/li]
[li]Invest in a higher quality pad to go under the carpet.[/li]
[li]Carpet salesmen are practically cartoon characters. I swear we were working with “Gil” from The Simpsons today. [/li]
[li]Laminate floors (wood) are noisy, much noisier than their real-wood counterparts.[/ul][/li]
Based on this info, we’re looking at beige level-loop carpet upstairs, and possibly Pergo in the living & dining rooms. What’s astounding is if we did carpet throughout (save for the kitchen, utility room, & bathrooms), it will be less than half the cost of doing carpet upstairs and Pergo in just about 600 square feet downstairs. Yikes!

I started a thread about this on the “other” SDMB during the shutdown months. I’ve re-read it and am back here looking for more advice. :slight_smile:

Oooh…other important information:
We have 2 black cats. They have never showed interest in sharpening claws on carpet–they’re more vertical scratchers. Their scratching post (and my sofas, grr!) are the objects of their affection.

So–what wisdom can you impart?


how long do you plan on living in this place?

lifetime flooring in a place you’ll leave in 5 years makes little sense (and the next buyers will have their own ideas as to what they want, so you get no $ on resale)

Have you considered bamboo flooring? I don’t know what its cost comparison is, but it’s cool looking and it’s environmentally friendly because bamboo grows back so fast. They make a bamboo product that is a lot like the hardwood flooring products that have the finish sort of baked into it. Which is different from Pergo, by the way. I know people who love their Pergo, and I know people who really don’t like the way it looks (its sameness if you don’t lay it out carefully).

Hardwood is an expensive investment, but people seem to go wild for it in the real estate market.

Whatever you get stay away from white anything. It shows every speck of dirt and get look downright embarrassing during/after a party.

We have ceramic tile. It’s great to clean but is a little cold.

Whatever you get stay away from white anything. It shows every speck of dirt and can look downright embarrassing during/after a party.

We have ceramic tile. It’s great to clean but is a little cold.

I’d just like to say that after doing more research on the web, my head is going to explode. So back away from your monitors, folks. :frowning:

Latest reading, succinctly summarized:

[ul][li]Berber sucks[/li]
[li]Olefin fiber sucks, has a low flashpoint, and melts easily.[/li]
[li]Berber adds air to the loops to make them fluffier. Air does not have much resistence to crushing.[/li]
[li]Home Depot/Big Wherehouse Store = Bad. Big Carpet Store = Bad. Guy selling carpet from his van = bad. But local dealer = good. (Totally contrary to my beliefs. Little local dealer still pulls all those lame-ass tricks…like today: “Gosh, I like your shirt,” “I’ll throw in the padding for free,” “I’ll throw in a USA area rug free,” “Well, just because you’re teachers…” (Just before we were leaving:) “I should let you know they are raising the prices in 2 weeks,” etc. etc.)[/ul][/li]
So, here’s my new request:

Someone out there find us nice carpet that doesn’t stain too easily, won’t show off black cat hairs, feels nice and cushy under our feet, won’t go flat on the stairs too quickly, and won’t set fire to the house. Then install it.


The rule is:

you buy carpeting 3 times before you know what you’re doing.

I’ve only done it twice.



Hey, that was a liberty rug. And it had an eagle on it! and I like eagles…'cause they’re cool…and, and American…and stuff

Well, i ain’t about to turn you on to no carpet! In my book, that’s just one step above linoleum! What i would do (actually, what i did) is to put ceramic tile in all the ‘wet’ rooms as well as the entryway, where you have a lot of foot traffic. Everything else got wood.

Now, being a righteous son of the prairie, i craved the 3/4" oak, but as my home is sitting on a concrete slab, it wasn’t practical as i would have had to put in a 3/4" plywood sub-floor before hammering down the hardwood. So, i looked at Pergo©. They say it’s easy, they say it’s durable, they say it’s beautiful… i say, “Gadzooks and Yucky” (my apologies to Jeff McNelly)! No way is that (to paraphrase Ralph Spoilsport) ‘handy, dandy, laminated, imitation, masonite wild-west flooring (with the look of real wood)’ going to adorn my floors. So i hied down to the local Lowe’s and picked up on some Bruce Engineered Hardwood Flooring. It comes in 3" and 5" widths (i went with the 5") in random lengths @ 1/4" or 3/8" thickness. This product is actually 3-layer tongue & groove plywood with a finished hardwood top layer, a center ‘cross’ layer and an unfinished hardwood bottom layer (in my case oak, but they have others).

This flooring can not be ‘floated’ like Pergo© and has to be either glued down or stapled. As mentioned above, my concrete slab put paid to the idea of stapling so i glued it down. One nice thing about this method is that you don’t need an underlyment. The bite is that the glue is damn tenacious so plan on ruining a pair of pants and a couple pair of gloves. Clean up excess glue with a rag dipped in mineral spirits as you go and you’ll be fine. It’s also not a bad idea to run some woodworkers glue in the grooves as you go as there is a tendancy to creep and gaps will open up.

I installed roughly 300ft

Damn, hit the ‘submit’ key before i finished…

To get back to it:

I installed 300 sq. ft. in 1 8-hour day. It actually gets much easier once you get the hang of it and i could probably do 500 sq. ft. a day now.

The flooring cost about $4 sq. ft. in 3/8" and maybe $3.50 in 1/4".

Good luck,

Just one other option - check out linoleum products such as Nafco. They are glued down in strips - far more realistic than Pergo. I have had Pergo. Tore it out. I personally dislike Pergo - mainly due to the seams. Also, Pergo is thick. It can make for some awkward changes in floor level depending on the condition of your floors.

I have bought several kinds of flooring and carpeting, and would now probably stick with hardwood when possible. Ceramic tile in bathrooms. A good quality sheet linoleum can serve well in kitchens.

Re carpeting, make sure you don’t try to cheap out. Few things suck more than paying big $ for carpet, and having it stretch and fade unevenly in a short while. Also, think neutral colors. As much as you like that blue, green, or wine, your tastes and styles might change rather quickly. Might be easier to accent with furniture and paint.

Good luck!

Out of curiousity, can I ask how much one should expect to pay to re-floor a house? I’ve got about 1200 square feet I’d like to refloor sometday, but every time I calculate the price, I end up with an astronomically high figure. Am I doing something wrong?