K.A. asks from San Jose, CA on March 26, 2009
What Kind of Flooring Do You Like?
We are getting ready to replace our ugly old floors in the kitchen and family room, and I am overwhelmed by all the possibilities: hardwood, tile, laminate, bamboo, wall to wall berber, linoleum. What I really want is something easy to clean that won't hold stains, still looks okay even if you don't clean it frequently, and will hold up well for a long time in a family household. I've already ruled out cork flooring as not cat and kid friendly. I like the sustainability of bamboo but I've heard both good and bad things about it. (Bad: it fades easily, shows scratches and is hard to clean. Good: It's low maintenance and harder than oak.) Anyone out there have a floor covering that you love? Please share!
3 moms found this helpful
S.S. answers from San Francisco on March 27, 2009
hey K. -
we moved into the house we're in now specifically because it has hardwood floors: LOVE them!!! we have pergo (laminate) in the kitchen and it's already got a few spots where chips have come off, so i wouldn't really reccommned it...i'd say put tile in the kitchen, hardwood in the family room.
i say nix the wall-to-wall carpet idea and get gorgeous area rugs that are easier to spot clean or can also be rolled up and taken to rug cleaners.
just my opinion! have fun! lucky mama, gets to have new floors!
A.B. answers from Redding on March 27, 2009
Hi, out of the options you mentioned, tile would be the easiest upkeep and most durable. Wood would be okay but not in the kitchen if you are a low maintenance person who does not necessarily want to clean up spills when they happen. Definitely do not get laminate. It is not as low maintenance as wood and you cannot have it refinished.
You can pick a nice tile that does not show dirt all that well and it will last forever.
K.D. answers from Stockton on March 27, 2009
I love my Pergo floors. They are so easy to maintain with kids.
A.M. answers from Sacramento on March 27, 2009
We replaced our downstairs flooring with travertine tile. I LOVE IT!! We have 5 pets, 3 dogs and 2 cats, all with different color hair... and you don't see it! The color is gorgeous, and it's super easy to clean. I vacuum and use a steam mop. The key to any kind of natural stone is sealing it well. Do not, do not, do not scrimp on the sealer. Buy the best you can afford. You will be happy you did. You will need to reseal about every 2-3 years. I'm sooooo happy with it!
A.C. answers from San Francisco on March 27, 2009
We love our wood laminate. We have it in kitchen living room and bedrooms. IN fact everyone that comes over compliments it and some think it's real hardwood. It's a warm wood color with alot of grain and some texture. It gets well used because we have 4 kids and a dog in a small house and it has held up beautifully. I just mop it with Vinegar water. It is a dream. If you go this route, get some with variance of colour and texture. It's much more giving.Also, get one with a lifetime warranty on it.
G.R. answers from Sacramento on March 27, 2009
We have berber on our stairs, bamboo in most rooms, ceramic tile in an entry way, hickory in the kitchen/dining room. We live in Tahoe so dirt and water are always getting tracked in. Our family is 2 adults, a 2 yr old boy, and a 13 yr old dog.
The berber is lovely to step on, very soft. It would be impossible to get stains out of, but it was cheaper than hardwood on stairs and much less slippery.
Bamboo looks great and was the cheapest option for hardwood, but it gets scratched very easily--rolling across it in a desk chair left marks. But it is very easy to clean which is good because it shows every speck, crumb, or hair and has to be cleaned often. But it reflects light nicely, brightens the rooms. I like the bamboo even with it getting marked up (decided that it was like linen, you've got to go with the wrinkles).
The hickory is real hardwood (not engineered) and was quite expensive. It looks marvelous. If we could have afforded it, we might have put it in the whole house. The installation is tricky and if not done right it gaps and moves. Also we had some "water" damage from the old dog and that area doesn't look great. If we didn't have an old dog and had an unlimited budget, we would have put the hickory in every room except bathrooms and entryways.
Tile is the most durable and probably would be a good choice in any room with the possibility of water, food, or whatever spilling on it.
C.C. answers from Fresno on March 26, 2009
We have wood laminate floors (and have in our last 3 houses) and it's great! Holds up to kids and pets and is super easy to clean. You can mop it the old-fashioned way, Swiffer, sweep, dust mop - pretty much whatever you need to do, and it doesn't require any fancy or exotic cleaners.
In one of our previous houses, we "upgraded" to Brazilian Rosewood pre-finished hardwood floors, and it was a nightmare to deal with after having had laminate. For starters, it was impossible to keep it streak-free, and it scratched under the constant wear of our kids and dogs. The house after that, we went with laminate.
One concern that I had was any kind of wood flooring in the kitchen (laminate or hardwood) - however in our last house we had laminate in the kitchen and it held up great.
I currently also have tile flooring in my kitchen and bathrooms and the only problem I have with it is cleaning the grout. If my kids spill Kool-Aid on it, it is hard to get the grout clean. The grout is sealed, but even so - not as easy as the laminate, where I just wipe it right up. Also it seems like it's harder to keep the floor "grit" free. The dirt seems to gravitate toward the grout lines and then I have to sweep and then mop to get it clean. It's more work than the laminate floors, where I give my 3 year old a Swiffer and SHE cleans the floors! =)
M.K. answers from Chico on March 26, 2009
We got laminate and really like it, but we did not go with the high quality; i wish we had. This flooring has held up pretty well, but there are some dings and scratches that I don't think would've happened with the higher end (like Pergo) stuff. We have it in our kitchen, dining, living room, and hallway. It's nice to sweep it or vaccuum, and we swiffer it for touch up. I only mop every other week, unless there is a drastic spill!
M.E. answers from San Francisco on March 27, 2009
We replaced vinyl flooring in our kitchen with laminate and it has been nice. However, I have dropped knives and there are several divots that we can't repair. But I'm sure no ones notices them except me. We have ceramic tile in our bathroom and that looks great. We have wall-to-wall carpet in our children's bedrooms and manufactured hardwood in our bedroom. We have a slab foundation so we could not have solid hardwood - manufactured hardwood is a thin slice of hardwood attached to another wood that includes a moisture barrier. The hardwood seems less durable than the laminate but technically we could refinished the manufactured hardwood a couple of times. The most significant feature I've noticed with laminate/wood/smooth floors is that dust bunnies appear along the baseboards within a couple days of cleaning. We have a cat now so it is worse than without a pet. The carpet is easier to keep clean - I'm sure that dust is still there you just don't see it. Good-luck!