Hardwood Flooring vs Wall To Wall Carpet?

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    Dec 17, 2014 6:25 AM GMT
    Ok, men. Which is it? And why? trendy or functional? cost and upkeep? vacuum or dusting?







    When growing up, a lot of my neighborhood homes had hardwood floors when they were first built in the 50's, but our parents always covered it with carpet, especially shag. I wonder if technology and the knowledge for wood floor care was lacking back then thus carpet was the easiest to maintain. Maybe wood floor was considered dangerous to humans. I have never had a wood floor where I have lived, but my family has in their current homes. I would like to move and get a place with a wood floor, finally. I have literally seen people get a older home or condo, with existing carpet, rip it up and underneath they refinish the existing hardwood floor. Sounds like a lot of work and upkeep.


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    Dec 17, 2014 6:30 AM GMT
    Carpet can never truly be cleaned. It just collects more and more allergens, dirt and germs each year. You can vacuum and steam clean it all you want but gravity and those millions of microscopic pockets will win in the end. If you've ever had to rip out old carpet you'll understand what I'm talking about. The minute you turn it upside down, disgusting debris will rain down from it.
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    Dec 17, 2014 6:36 AM GMT
    Radd saidCarpet can never truly be cleaned. It just collects more and more allergens, dirt and germs each year. You can vacuum and steam clean it all you want but gravity and those millions of microscopic pockets will win in the end. If you've ever had to rip out old carpet you'll understand what I'm talking about. The minute you turn it upside down, disgusting debris will rain down from it.



    Yeah, I have helped pull carpet up before but the person had new pad and carpet installed, professionally. Many in the cleaning business say not to use those powered carpet deodorizers as they create a mess between the pad and carpet and if it ever gets wet. You get a musty smell.

    So is this why hardwood flooring is more popular now? It appears to be much more expensive now than carpet, when years ago, new carpet was very expensive. I would think hardwood would create even more of a dust problem, especially in desert environments such as SoCal
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    Dec 17, 2014 7:31 AM GMT
    I tore up carpets in my last place and put down hardwood. Best move ever! I was able to get up without a plugged nose again.
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    Dec 17, 2014 8:51 AM GMT
    Wood flooring is lower maintenance. Easier to clean. More durable. Just looks better. Yes, you'll dust bunnies. But it's the same amount of dust that would be sitting in the carpet fibers anyways.

    I still like carpet. But only in the bedroom. During the cooler seasons, it's nice to get out of bed and walk on carpet instead of icy cold floors. icon_lol.gif
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    Dec 17, 2014 9:46 AM GMT
    Hardwood flooring has always been more desirable - everywhere except kitchens and baths (wood and water don't go well together).

    Cost is the main reason it isn't found in all houses.

    Good carpets (not wall-to-wall) can be placed on top where carpets are desired.

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    Dec 17, 2014 10:27 AM GMT
    Here in Florida ceramic floor tiles are popular. Better for a hot, humid climate than wall-to-wall carpet, or wood. If you want some cushioning to walk on, or sound deadening, an area rug works fine. Which you can easily replace as needed. Wall-to-wall is incredibly unsanitary.
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    Dec 17, 2014 1:10 PM GMT
    Formalydehyde.... Solid hardwood floors do not have formaldehyde. Engineered veneer hardwood floors and carpeting does have it. Cheaper offshore flooring can have illegal amounts. Expensive wool woven wool rugs don't have the stuff. If you have allergies, lung conditions, a lowered immune system or you just want a healthy home environment you better check this out.

    Another side note to this... chip board, particle board can take 20 years to fully out gas. Carpet can take a few years..... cardboard boxes a few weeks.

    Also oil based urethanes can make your immune system go for a crap. Some take 6 months to outgas.

    I prefer solid hardwood, ceramic tile and persian carpets. Tried and true.
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    Dec 17, 2014 1:17 PM GMT
    scruffLA said
    Radd saidCarpet can never truly be cleaned. It just collects more and more allergens, dirt and germs each year. You can vacuum and steam clean it all you want but gravity and those millions of microscopic pockets will win in the end. If you've ever had to rip out old carpet you'll understand what I'm talking about. The minute you turn it upside down, disgusting debris will rain down from it.



    I would think hardwood would create even more of a dust problem, especially in desert environments such as SoCal



    Well, yes and no. Hardwood floors allow the dust to stay on the surface where it can be removed, but carpet is a dirt sponge, so the dust stays in the carpet and you never get a chance to remove it. I personally think it's gross. I don't want dirt to be hidden from me. And if you have pets or allergies like I do, it's an even bigger issue.
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Dec 17, 2014 1:53 PM GMT
    Stripped and polished floor boards or a hard wood floor.

    I'm Asthmatic. Carpets, especially deep shagpile, are a no no.

    My family home (built 1826) has parquet floors downstairs and a red and white tiled floor in the dining room.Gorgeous!Love real wood.
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    Dec 17, 2014 2:03 PM GMT
    As soon as I had the keys to my house, I was in there ripping out all of the carpet. I was amazed by the amount of dirt and debris that was trapped falling out of there. It was absolutely filthy. In many rooms, the hardwood floors underneath were in perfect condition. The few rooms that required a refinishing were worth the effort. I fee like the floor is much cleaner. I don't worry about spills (or cat-related incidents) because it wipes up easily. I just think it looks much cleaner and dust is easy to chase down with a hand-held vacuum.
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    Dec 17, 2014 2:06 PM GMT
    Skip to 2:18 to see why carpet is a bad idea. Anything you spill on carpet stays in carpet. You can only remove it from the surface. The rest stays inside and decomposes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEPStGEPFCY
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    Dec 17, 2014 2:20 PM GMT
    PatrickRyan saidAs soon as I had the keys to my house, I was in there ripping out all of the carpet. I was amazed by the amount of dirt and debris that was trapped falling out of there. It was absolutely filthy. In many rooms, the hardwood floors underneath were in perfect condition. The few rooms that required a refinishing were worth the effort. I fee like the floor is much cleaner. I don't worry about spills (or cat-related incidents) because it wipes up easily. I just think it looks much cleaner and dust is easy to chase down with a hand-held vacuum.

    Ceramic tile and wood floors are clearly easier to clean. And those robotic vacuums like a Roomba (the ones you see cats riding around on YouTube clips) work fairly well with them.

    As well as lots of other cleaning solutions, like wet or dry Swifters, and wet vacuums for a thorough cleaning. Whereas carpet is nearly impossible to get completely clean, as guys here, including myself, have seen when the wall-to-wall is removed.

    We have ceramic tile in every room of our condo. But also area rugs, that are easy to lift and clean more thoroughly. And to change to suit redecorating. Wall-to-wall was a weird 1950s innovation, that today is mostly used in apartments and inexpensive homes to hide cheap particle board floors. Why anyone would willingly select wall-to-wall over better options mystifies me.
  • MarvelBoy23

    Posts: 279

    Dec 17, 2014 3:04 PM GMT
    Hardwood ALL THE WAY and it is functional, upkeep is super easy and it looks far better than carpet!

    When I bought and reno'd my house a few years ago, I learned a little something about Hardwood Flooring. My house was built in the 50's, and while doing research on my neighborhood I was able to talk to some people who were around when my subdivision was being built (my mom was one of those people) Apparently It was entirely common back then to put in Hardwood flooring, it was the less expensive option, it lasted the longest, but many people tiled or carpeted over it. This was a status symbol. It was luxurious to have a rich luscious carpet installed in your home, it was essentially a way to "up" your class. It's weird to me that people would feel this way. I can't stand carpeting, especially because I have 2 very furry, shedding dogs! But it's just gross and dirty! I only have 2 areas in my house that even have throw rugs, back door (where I have tiled so the dogs don't ruin the hardwood when they come in wet and front door, which walks into a Great Room I created with all hardwood, even put hardwood in my kitchen! I had a professional sand and finish the floors (I didn't feel comfortable) I was also very lucky to not have to deal with carpet removal, there was enough drywall removal to make my head explode, very glad there was no carpet! Here are a few shots!

    Before:
    photo Picture137_zps95678f53.jpg

    photo Picture190_zps841ca76f.jpg

    photo Picture187_zpse421d2b9.jpg

    After:

    photo Beamfinishedfloors1_zps2fd193c3.jpg

    photo Beamfinishedfloors2_zps5f319b62.jpg

    photo Kitchen1_zps950f3607.jpg

    photo Island_zpsa6520c02.jpg
  • rnch

    Posts: 11525

    Dec 17, 2014 3:21 PM GMT
    My circa 1882 home had been the victim of several "modernizations" over the years before I purchased it.

    Dropped ceilings, hideous, short pile, mouse brown fur carpeting, false walls hiding the fireplace mantles, several layers of tacky wall paneling...UGH! I spent the first week waking thru the house, muttering to myself, wondering what da hale I had gotten myself into THIS time.

    Beneath several layers of press and stick "conglowleum" 1970's vinyl floor tile, beneath sheet linoleum was the original heart of pine floors, slumbering and waiting for me.

    A slight sanding job, 3 coats of glossy polyurethane varnish, and a final coat of satin varnish (to "Dull Down" the shine)gave the approximation of what the freshly waxed floor must have looked like around the turn of the century.

    I vacuum 'em once a week and mop 'em whenever I get around to it.

    My contractor said this was the first time these floors had been sanded since being installed.

    I was sick of apartments and homes with "wall to wall" carpeting! NEVER AGAIN!!
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    Dec 17, 2014 3:47 PM GMT
    MarvelBoy23 said
    After:

    photo Kitchen1_zps950f3607.jpg


    Curious: why is the dishwasher not fully installed? The rest of the kitchen looks complete and in use. But the wood floor is indeed lovely. And is that a gas stove? I envy you.
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    Dec 17, 2014 3:48 PM GMT
    5d29d5975f7492925ec88f1dcbfebc79.jpg
    If you're lucky enough to have parquet floors from 1929, you'd never cover them with carpeting. Some good Oriental rugs in the center of the room or on the staircase, but never wall to wall carpeting over great pre-war floors.
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    Dec 17, 2014 3:50 PM GMT
    I installed engineered wood - the formaldehyde-free kind which IS available if you look for it - throughout my first floor in a recent remodel and liked it so much I took it upstairs to the master BR as well. I've got Roomba and Neato robo-vacs and they do a great job of keeping it clean.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Dec 17, 2014 4:02 PM GMT
    My house has all the original hardwood floors and milling and I love it. I use area rugs, and I clean with a feather duster and vacuum.

    There is one room, which is a family room addition, that has wall to wall carpeting. It's not in great shape, but my dog really doesn't like hardwood so we keep the one room carpeted for her to play in.
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    Dec 17, 2014 4:09 PM GMT
    The original oak floors you see refinished today in many postwar homes from the '50s and '60s were considered subfloors for the new, trendy wall-to-wall carpets of the day. (Later incarnations included cheap thin parquet floors, a pale imitation of the genuine parquet wood subfloors in earlier postwar construction.) PREWAR floors were meant to be seen, which is why you often find them in beautiful species (tiger oak, mahogany) and designs (herringbone, Greek Key). Whether pre- or postwar, real hardwood floors are today easily maintained (vacuum, sweep, swiffer, dust OR lightly mop!) because they're sealed with matte, semi or gloss polyurethane. Which is why you see wood floors in kitchens today - not just because they tend to be open, flowing into dens, now. Before those durable seals, there was linoleum or vinyl over slab or hardwood kitchen floors, and after that, ceramic tile.

    But today I'm amazed that anyone would seriously ask whether carpet or hardwood is a better choice for floors. What's the first two things a new buyer or seller does when they renovate? Replace formica countertops with stone and carpet with hardwood. Carpets and formica are more functional and easier to maintain (carpets don't scratch and formica doesn't need resealing and is easier to clean with almost any cleaner). But aesthetics rule. Form over function.

    Just as there are different grades and durabilities of stone countertops (marble and granite which need resealing versus newer quartz composites that don't) there are different types of wood floors.

    GENUINE hardwood is the best - solid wood throughout, and if it gets scratched it can be re-sanded many times over.

    ENGINEERED "prefinished" hardwood is trendy and beautiful but I avoid it at all costs because once you scratch it, it's all over. That pretty finish on top is like a veneer; beneath it, it's essentially murphy- or particle-board strips laminated atop each other. Once on a construction site I saw an uninstalled strip in a bucket that had been filled with rainwater the night before - the cherry veneer soaked clean off and was floating at the top. If you try sanding it you'd be down to what looks like essentially cardboard in milliseconds. Also to me, engineered hardwood always looks like engineered hardwood; a bit too pretty/exotic and when textured, with too-uniform ripples. When I last season episodes of "Glee" shot at the fake Manhattan arts school the fake engineered rippled wood dance floor always distracted me because it was incongruous to the otherwise more realistic-looking prewar set. I predict that in 15 years people will be ripping out even still-pristine engineered hardwood floors wondering "What were my parents THINKING?" Just as they're ripping out perfectly good Corian today.

    VINYL that looks like hardwood - some truly do, fooling even me. But it scuffs. That's why I never had it installed.

    LAMINATE floors are more durable than vinyl ones. I never thought I'd get them because I worried about them scratching like formica kitchen countertops (which is what they feel like walking on them - hollow and plastic), but I'm told they're more durable than formica countertops. But they have their uses - like vinyl and linoleum, on slabs. That's why you find laminate and vinyl wood-look floors in places where the floor's a concrete slab, like basements and most houses in Florida. If you tried to lay a real wood floor on slab, even a "cured" one, the humidity would make it buckle. The only way to do it would be to underlay a wood frame/scaffold as a subfloor, which is cost-prohibitive for most. I went the laminate route for a rustic den in my house because of that room's slab floor (only that room's built into a hill), and because I found one that truly looked like wide plank pine, which was both unusually wide AND long for laminate flooring (fewer seams), and might actually ADD value (though not as much as hardwood or even engineered hardwood). I have to say it feels warm and cushy underfoot (unlike vinyl and linoleum it's installed with a thin cushioning underpaid) and has held up to traffic so far:

    2mcc0w5.jpg
    (the mission-style recliner's still in the basement so the dog bed's taking up residence)

    243np21.jpg
    (Note those are REAL distressed, original pine stair treads which had been carpeted; the contractor tried to upsell me to new oak treads and I said NO WAY, I'll strip the paint off the edges and you'll lightly sand)

    14imkc6.jpg
    (closeup of my new laminate den floor)

    Personally I prefer hardwood floors throughout except perhaps for a master bedroom so you (or a prospective buyer can see that) there's only one room of carpet to take out. Today's hardwood floors are sealed with polyurethane so they're easy to sweep and mop - waxing and oiling is a thing of the past. As for ceramic floors, my parents in Florida have them and while they're durable, easy to clean and maintain and stay cool underfoot they're hard on the joints. Know how your feet and knees hurt after walking a mall? That's why hospitals have linoleum floors.

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    Dec 17, 2014 4:12 PM GMT
    My favourite combo : carpet in the bedroom / laminate everywhere else ..
    I am one of those weird bloke that fancy more laminate flooring than hardwood flooring .icon_smile.gif
  • MarvelBoy23

    Posts: 279

    Dec 17, 2014 4:34 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    MarvelBoy23 said
    After:

    photo Kitchen1_zps950f3607.jpg


    Curious: why is the dishwasher not fully installed? The rest of the kitchen looks complete and in use. But the wood floor is indeed lovely. And is that a gas stove? I envy you.


    This picture was taken as we were putting the finishing touches on the kitchen! It was installed not too long after, as you can see, there is no faucet yet either, our (Incredibly hot) plumber was doing his finishing touches as well!

    That is indeed a gas stove, it was an incredible gift to me, that's my baby, with a 5th burner and a double oven, it's where I make my magic happen!! lol =) And we have since replaced the fridge with a nice new black one.
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    Dec 17, 2014 4:42 PM GMT
    eagermuscle said
    As for ceramic floors, my parents in Florida have them and while they're durable, easy to clean and maintain and stay cool underfoot they're hard on the joints. Know how your feet and knees hurt after walking a mall?

    I know the mall effect. For that reason if I expect to do any extended shopping I'll wear my heavily cushioned walking shoes.

    At home I immediately take off my shoes upon entering, and put on thick-cushioned flip-flops. They also give me better traction, in case of spills on the tile floor.
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    Dec 17, 2014 4:44 PM GMT
    homeDepot has low cost carpeting and it will be just fine for a couple of years use or getting the place ready for re sale. The old under padding traps odor, consider replacing it at the same time if you want.

    we tiled the current Grey Gardens completely, all the same color; up and down stairs and its held up totally perfect. Best thing i did for the house.


    wood flooring:
    look for quality re cycled wood flooring, anything from 1950's 3/4" oak or manufactured laminate wood. Likely the original glue and out gas has been oxidized long ago. The sanding process is toxic; all it takes is inhale a small particle lodged in the right spot. Water based urethane finish is stronger faster. It goes on initially cloudy white, no confusion where you just applied the product. For the entry, kitchen bath(s) there is nice ceramic tile with a wood finish, more durable for wet areas. Match the tile to the wood finish.

    cement die
    acid based cement die, high gloss epoxy top coat is a nice low cost finish for a mid rise condo. Actually really modern industrial look the gay peeps like.

    Tile
    get a lite color tile with a dark grey brown grout unless you know what you really want. An irregular 12x12" glazed tile is easy to lay compared to a sharp defined tile like slate or granite. Marble, sand stone, slate will require a top coat which is expensive. Water cooled tile saws are un necessary today; buy a small grinder and a 4" diamond tile wheel. Lots of dust so do the cuts outside. Dangerous so wear a respirator and lite medium gloves, eye protection, heavy clothing.

    cut brick pavers
    work with the local building code but can put inside directly to the earth. Buy new so the edges are sharp and get the thinnest you can 3/4" as they get heavy after a while. Brick is very durable. Maybe a few inches of sand, sheets of 1" closed foam, in floor heating than more sand. Lay the brick very tight against each other, get a brick saw for end cuts. Seal the brick in the kitchen and bath with a high gloss epoxy top coat.
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    Dec 17, 2014 4:52 PM GMT
    MarvelBoy23 said
    This picture was taken as we were putting the finishing touches on the kitchen! It was installed not too long after, as you can see, there is no faucet yet either, our (Incredibly hot) plumber was doing his finishing touches as well!

    That is indeed a gas stove, it was an incredible gift to me, that's my baby, with a 5th burner and a double oven, it's where I make my magic happen!! lol =) And we have since replaced the fridge with a nice new black one.

    OIC. We have a black side-by-side fridge, too, and stove. My husband prefers black appliances, so I also bought a black dishwasher when I moved in with him, a black KitchenAid stand mixer, and a black KitchenAid toaster he just got. The blender and countertop oven are also black.

    What he doesn't know is that under the Christmas tree right now is a wrapped set of W├╝sthof kitchen knives for him, in a solid black butcher's block. I know natural wood finish is more common, but I decided to try something unconventional, to maintain the all-black theme on his countertops. So I special ordered it, and I hope he likes it.