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Flooring — carpet or other?


B&B membership has its percs
Gal down the street was into rehab/flipping houses - she's said previously Phil's #1 choice is the best, but of course most expensive.
We have a bit of carpet, went with the top of the line Home Depot stuff. 10 years with dogs and it’s trashed. Weird the 30 year old carpet in the in-laws house still looks new.
I also installed vinyl planking in the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry. Easy install, not expensive and the flat surfaced planks (smooth bamboo) still look great….after 10 years with 5 pets. The ridged (looks like slate and not smooth) planking shows wear marks something awful. The next house will hopefully be one story with heated and stamped concrete everywhere.


B&B membership has its percs
Maybe I'm showing my myopia, but I associate concrete floors with the desert southwest - like Phoenix. Why would you need to heat those?


Head Cheese Head Chef
I installed LVP in my basement 2 years ago and have no regrets whatsoever. Eventually I will take out the carpet on the top floor and replace it with something similar. Main level is hardwood, so no improvements needed there. While carpet hides many sins, who wants those sins fermenting in their home? I've pulled up some carpet in my day... Gross at best.

If you do go with vinyl planking don't go cheap. I don't think top dollar is necessary, but don't skimp. Level flooring is a MUST. If my wife and I can install it, most anyone can.

Best of luck with the project whatever you decide.


"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
The problem with waxing them is it makes it difficult to scuff and coat later.

As far as wax goes, sadly Johnson paste wax was discontinued a couple of years ago. I have part of a can that I sparing use on guns stocks.
I have a can here somewhere. I think. I used that on EVERYTHING. I hate that they stopped making it. I used it on boots, belts, guns, beater leather shoes. It had a "richness" about it that was hard to beat. My wife kept bees for a bit while homeskooling, wonder what damage I could do with some beeswax?
We've gone off the rails from floors to wax, but when my Johnsons wax runs out and is now off the market, I'd go to my vast array of auto polishes and waxes and get a bottle of Collinite 845 insulator wax for my small wood/leather waxing jobs. It's fantastic stuff on auto paint doesn't need correction and just needs to be sealed. It leaves a finish you can part your hair in.
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This is my 2 cents from my own house over the years, working in home improvement stores for ever and being a flooring department manage for a bit.
1 carpet gets some of its bad rap because no one ever vacuums it as much as recommended. Which is almost daily.
2 I had a house with 90 year old hardwood that was not cared for a lot and it did not take much to bring it back. A solid wood floor can be refinished several times. In my last house which was in Kentucky we took out some carpet on the main floor and added hardwood. Here is how the dining room turned out, the darker inlay was a photo sensitive wood which darkened overtime:

3 Not sure what your sub floor is but in our current house in Louisiana we have a concrete slab. After the great flood of 2016 all the flooring on the main floor was covered with 5' of water and when the water receded a layer of god knows what. About 1/3 of the floor was Clay Terra Cotta tile which just needed to be cleaned and sealed and then looked like new. the other 2/3 was carpet and engineered laminated hardwood glued to concrete. In the bed room and office we put carpet and in the great room, hall and dining room we went with polished concrete.

4 I had a workmate that also flooded and they went with the water proof vinyl planking, because if they ever flooded again they would be able to reuse it. Unfortunately the contractor after the flood ran a water line incorrectly and it broke a year later. This flooded 2 rooms. Yes the the vinyl plank can be unassembled, put in a place to dry and reinstalled but it was a lot of labor.
Final conclusion is what do you like?
From what I understand, off gassing with carpet is a non issue, especially in CA where there are laws around that. In fact I have heard it to be more of a concern with LVP and laminate.

Regarding leaking between the strips for engineered wood, why is that not an issue with LVP.

(I assume LVT refers to tile instead of plank but is otherwise similar?)

Also what is the concern with wood glued on concrete?

LVT will not warp if exposed to water from what I have been told. The underside is cork. Engineered wood will warp when the underside is exposed to moisture.

Hardwood shouldn't be installed directly on concrete. Concrete will wick moisture and the temperature will fluctuate. Result is curling, warping, etc. over time. There may be a sealer/leveler product available these days but I'm not sure.
Speaking of wax, most hardwood floors installed since the late 70's are no wax floors. The hardwood is sealed with poly after staining.

Butchers bowling ally wax is an alternative now that Johnson's discontinued production. Used the stuff on gun stocks, bows, etc. Wears well.


ATF. I use all three.
Staff member
My 2cents.

I prefer carpet in the bedrooms. If you go with carpet get a thick low pile. Something that won’t hide dirt so easily.

If you go with LVP make sure you’re looking at what’s available at actual flooring stores. The products there will have some crossover to the big box stores, but the higher end products they carry look more like wood than what the box stores carry. Disclaimer: the house we live in now has LVP in it and I hate it. It’s a cheap product and it shows dirt like no other floor I’ve ever had. It is, however, virtually indestructible. We have a large dog and 3 kids under 5, so far they haven’t been able to break the floor. Once the kids are older we’ll be replacing it.

If you go with wood and glue it down to a slab make sure you have the slab tested for moisture level first.

I find that flooring is one area that the price really reflects the quality of the product. The more expensive the product the longer it’s will maybe, hopefully, probably last.
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We upgraded the flooring in several of our rooms in the past couple of years. In the bedrooms, we installed bamboo interlocking planks. The bamboo we used comes with a ceramic coating so it is highly resistant to damage. It is a LOT harder than oak and requires less maintenance and is easier to install. We used a good cushion underlayment which makes the floors warm to the feet. It was fairly easy to install. The biggest problem is that the bamboo is so hard that it wore out a couple of carbide tooth saw blades. There were issues with bamboo flooring emitting formaldehyde gases in years past, but that seems to have been corrected.

In our bathrooms and laundry room, we installed waterproof luxury vinyl tile. It came with a pre-attached backing. We previously had ceramic tile in one bath. I hated that because the floor was cold and super hard. The other bathrooms initially came with sheet vinyl which I had upgraded with adhesive vinyl tiles. The interlocking luxury vinyl is a lot better. If you drop a razor or brush on ceramic tile, it might not survive. There is a good chance it will survive a drop on luxury vinyl. The floor is warm to the feet, non-slip, waterproof, and very comfortable to walk on.

Thus, I am highly satisfied with both choices. I would like to do my livingroom and dining room in bamboo as well, but the kitchen and family room nd foyer are in natural oak hardwood narrow planks, so doing two adjoining rooms in bamboo would not look good. Thus, they are the only two rooms that still have carpet. We seldom use those rooms, so the carpet is decent. Unfortunately, the steps between floors are also carpeted. Because that is a high-traffic path, that carpet is worn and needs to be replaced. We will probably do that when we sell the house.
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There is no such thing as the "best" flooring choice. It depends on the room, your preference, cleaning needs, etc. I can share my own experience, although I suggest that you take any recommendations w/a salt lick.

Wall-to-wall carpet: great for bedrooms & other relatively low-traffic places. For lack of a better term, it "feels softer" than other flooring types, in my experience. It's also good for rooms where you suspect that noise could be an issue, as carpet has a sound-damping effect. Finally, if you have little ones, carpet is free softest on their crawling knees! Note, though, that cleaning spills from wall-to-wall carpet is more difficult than from any other surface. Regular care requires a vacuum, & deep cleaning requires a special carpet cleaning tool or a professional.

Hardwood: great for high-traffic rooms like the living room. You can combine this w/area rugs, so that you get some of the soft feel that you get from wall-to-wall carpeting, but w/the benefit of being more able to change the look more easily. Hardwood has teriffic acoustics, & will make your stereo or an instrument like an acoustic guitar sound their best. Unfortunately, it's also much noisier then wall-to-wall carpet, although this can be mitigated with area rugs. Finally, hardwood is fairly easy to clean w/a quick mopping, or even a robo vacuum working on a schedule.

Tile: simply put, this is the easiest surface to keep clean, bar none. It makes the best surface for a kitchen or even a finished basement (if occasional floods are a concern). It also hurts to fall on tile- a lot.

I always preferred wall to wall carpeting, the thicker the carpet and padding the better. Now in my mid 70s, we downsized 2 years ago from our comfy house with wall to wall carpet throughout, even in the furnished basement, to an apartment with wall to wall only in the bedrooms. Bathrooms and kitchen are cold tiles, with hallways and living room some cheap planking. I'm old, retired, with poor circulation in my feet. At my house, socks were enough. I now need to wear thick socks and slippers all day, and my feet are still cold. I didn't want to sell, but I'd knew we'd never see those offers again.

When we sold the house in 2020, many people asked what was under the carpet. We told them it was flooring or sub flooring from back when the house was built in the 1960s. I gather many were hoping for wood flooring. I don't understand the allure. It may look purdy in pics, but it ain't comfy.
It is my understanding that a good quality LVP has the lowest maintenance from the weekly cleaning effort to not needing refinishing some years later.

Hardwood might come in second regarding maintenance if your household humidity (especially underneath) does not change too much between seasons. The 30 year old hardwoods in my home are a bit scratched up in some places but I still like how they look. If you or your family doesn't like to see a scratch after a piece of furniture was dragged or someone dropped a heavy item then this may not be a good choice.

IMO engineered wood products are the worse option, in that they are most susceptible to water damage and are not as scratch resistant as LVP.

All the bedrooms in my home are carpeted and will likely get replaced with either hardwoods that match the main living area or the LVP. But the time for tackling that project has not arrived, so I have not been forced to make a decision yet. I lean towards getting hardwoods but the logistics of clearing out all the rooms at once, trying to refinish all the floors to match throughout the house, etc. is daunting. And begs the question of what to do about the bathrooms which are tiled. Logistically I can understand why LVP is becoming more popular as a homeowner/DIY person can more easily go room by room until they get done. Sometimes I think replacing our old carpet with new carpet may be the best choice.
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We’ve been living in our home since 2006 and finally redid all the carpeting this year with some better quality nylon carpet from Shaw (with some quality 8lbs pound pad) and some Marrazzi Archeology tile on the kitchen floor. Both look amazing but the carpet feels so amazing to walk!
I have been away from the forum for quite some time due to work and a major home renovation. So, I was surprised when I got on and saw this thread. With that said, we decided to replace almost all the carpet and ceramic in our home.

Since this is a thread about flooring choices, I will leave the details of the removal, prep and what it took to install the floors in another thread.

We had carpet in the 4 upstairs bedrooms, carpet in the family room and ceramic in the kitchen, entry way and half bath. The ceramic was cracked and we decided that we didn't want to go down that road again. The carpet in the family room needed replaced, but we had a hard time deciding on what to replace it with. The upstairs was a definite carpet choice.The formal living room/ dining room has hardwood, so that was a no brainer, it stayed. The problem became how to tie everything together in the lower level and make it look somewhat cohesive.

After a lot of looking and samples we decided on the following:

Carpet in the upstairs hall, steps and bedrooms.
Hardwood in the family room.
LVT- A light gray 6x12 interlocking, almost sheet vinyl looking product in the kitchen, entry and hall.

The hardwood is 3/4 inch hickory and it looks great, but and the one big but is the bevel. We didn't consider that when we bought it and once installed we noticed that while not uncomfortable to walk on it isn't the same as the other hardwood floor. You feel every bevel and it does trap dirt. That dirt problem is a non issue as our son and daughter in law bought a Eufy floor vac for us. If someone does decide to purchase hardwood in the future, I would strongly suggest getting as many samples of what you are considering and walk on it for several days.

The LVT looks great, cleans easily. but was not exactly the easiest to install. It required the use of a wedge system for installation and it doesn't score and break, we had to use a compound mitre saw. It's also not a tap, tap installation. You have to really have to use force to get it locked.

The carpet was as expected. We had never replaced the carpet in the upstairs and once we removed the old carpet, the clear choice due to the unlevel subfloors was to replace it with carpet. The installers were exceptional and you can't see one seam.

My opinion and experience is this, unless you are certain of what is underneath of the existing floor, it's difficult to determine the cost and time necessary to remove and replace the existing floors. The choice you want for a certain type of flooring may be much more expensive and time consuming. If you have the time take it and be sure of what you want.
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C.C. & D.U.
Staff member
Is a level floor a problem even for new/newish houses? Mine is 7 years old.
Flat is more important than level. If there's an overall slope to the entire floor, it's not that big a deal. Some patterns may make it more noticeable.
If there are gaps, bumps or dips, then that can be a serious problem. Depending on severity, a leveling compound may be necessary.
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