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Old 03-07-2008, 07:10 AM
 
347 posts, read 1,495,297 times
Reputation: 118

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I had hardwood in our last house throughout the entire first floor. It sure took a beating and looked awful after just a couple of years. A few years ago we had a daughter leave on a faucet and flood part of the wood floor. Since you can't just refinish part of the wood (there will be difference in the finish and wood colors) we had to refinish the entire floor. We had to live in a hotel for five days and the refinishing was super expensive (fortunately insurance paid most of it.) Two years later the floor looked awful and worn again (we had a dog and four little children at the time.)

Consumer Reports raves about laminate flooring. According to them, it's much more durable and impervious to scratches and stains than wood. There are some really rinky-dink laminates out there, but there are also some that look very realistic.
In our house that we moved into in November (Cedar Park), there is carpet in the family room. It gets dirty if anyone so much as looks at it. I'm planning on ripping it out and putting down laminate. Now we have another dog and six kids, so durability and low maintenance are my main concerns. Tile is certainly durable, but the grout is a huge pain to sweep and keep clean. Plus it's very hard to get rid of. Tile can look dated much quicker than wood, and you can be pretty much stuck with someone else's bad taste.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Leander
72 posts, read 201,042 times
Reputation: 33
I put laminate in every area that we had carpet on the 1st floor of our house (+/- 1500 sq ft). We've had it in for a year now with a dog and 2 kids under 6. No complaints at all. There is definitely a difference in the price points of laminate floors. The higher the price, the more durable (and the more it looks like wood).

We installed a DuPont laminate floor (i think it was called hickory). It was around 3.50/sq ft. I did it myself over a couple of weekends. You can find it at Home Depot. All comments from neighbors and guests is that they can't believe it's a laminate floor.

One more good idea for the OP. If your house is new...a neighbor of mine posted his "builder" carpet for sale on craigslist before he replaced it with the flooring he wanted. He was inundated by people that wanted to buy it off of him (he made them remove it as part of the deal). Might help to offset the cost of the flooring.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:05 AM
 
Location: NW Austin
99 posts, read 399,938 times
Reputation: 30
I was watching hgtv the other day, forget what show, and they installed bamboo wood floors for a family with kids and a dog. They said it would hold up even under those conditions. Not sure how true that is though. Anyone have bamboo floors and can comment?

We have prefinished oak floors and they scratch easily, I wouldn't recommend them. I like the look of stained concrete, I just think on slab it would get cold in the winter if you don't have radiant heat.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:23 PM
 
135 posts, read 709,142 times
Reputation: 44
Wow, thanks for all the input! Ok, to answer a few questions, I do have a boxer (I try my best to keep her nails trimmed but seem to fall behind a lot) and we plan to be in this house for 20 years +.

Thanks again!
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