Hardwood floor backlash


Was it in the 70s that people began to be crazy for hardwood floors?
Lately it seems like everyone I know is laying thick carpet over perfectly good hardwood floors. One woman told me she was doing it because she has chronic heel pain. Another said she just can't stand chasing the dust bunnies around the floor anymore. Is sweeping really that much of a burden? Are we finally experiencing a hardwood floor backlash?
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I'd think it's just the opposite. It seemed like everyone was covering up their wood floors in the 70's with carpeting and now it's being pulled up. I experienced this with a house I purchased a few years ago which someone had layed carpet over a perfectly good wood floor. Thankfully I was able to refinish/repair the floor to its natural state.
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My experience matches Cato's. Perhaps it's regional? I'm in Charleston SC where there are some fine old wood floors that seem to have set the standard. TB
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| I'd think it's just the opposite. It seemed like everyone was covering | up their wood floors in the 70's with carpeting and now it's being | pulled up. I experienced this with a house I purchased a few years ago | which someone had layed carpet over a perfectly good wood floor. | Thankfully I was able to refinish/repair the floor to its natural state.
Yup. It's the opposite. Homes with hardwood are a hot commodity.
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"Gina Viernes"

I prefer hardwood floors over wall-to-wall carpeting which I vehemently despise.

Compared with vacuuming?
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Hardwood floors are considered an upgrade. When we were househunting in Massachusetts about 2 yrs back, and now, househunting in Houston, hardwood floors are always given a lot of billing.
For one thing, it's easier to clean them because dirt doesn't sink down into them the way it can sink into carpet. Then too, hardwood is fairly "neutral" overall, as opposed to some of the truely *awful* colors of carpet that people put down. If you move into an older home, hardwood (and tile and other smooth surfaces) can be sanitized; carpet takes a lot more work and expense, assuming it's worth keeping at all. If you ahve allergies, hardwood or tile is tha way to go. You don't sweep it, since that just moves dust around - you use a Swiffer thingie, or you damp-mop, or you vacuum - all of which are much easier than is vacuuming a carpet and getting the dirt out of all the silly little nooks'n'crannies.
Also, when looking at houses to buy, hard-surface floors tend ot look cleaner, because from what I've seen, a heck of a lot fo people don't bother vacuuming those carpeted nooks'n'crannies, so you see tend to see crud built up along the baseboards and so on. It's disgusting.
Carpet collects dust mites and dander and foot sweat and all sorts of nasty stuff that, if you're an allergy sufferer, is really bothersome. Especially considering that a lot of people don't remove their shoes and track in all sorts of dirt and poop and so on. Then there are the harmful chemical fumes that so much carpet gives off. On top of that, it always shows wear in high traffic areas, and you can't simply replace one section of the stuff - you either have tp put down throw rugs to hide it, or replace the whole damn carpet. Or put ion hardwood flooring... IMO, wall- to-wall carpet is nothing but a big high-maintenance, dirt-collecting annoyance.
It also collects smells. And if the climate is humid, it can get moldy.
The thing with hardwood is that it's always a simple matter to just go buy an area rug and pad if one wants an area that feels warmer/softer under the feet. Area rugs are also so much more versatile in terms of doing the place up, too, than is wall-to-wall. Re: heel pain, having torn both achilles' tendons, I know about sore feet - I wear a pair of house-only slippers/shoes with a double layer of supportive insoles in them for cushioning. Unless you have very high-quality, thick carpeting AND great padding, the fact is that you just don't get all that much in added comfort - the typical quality of stuff that people put down does very little. Of course, the thicker the carpet, the harder (physically) and more time- consuming it is to clean.
I can't believe anyone would think carpet is easier than hardwood - unless of course the intent is to simply not clean the carpet at all since the dust bunnies get ground into it and so are less *visible*. From what I've seen in house-hunting, a lot of people do that =:-p
Last but not least, hardwood adds at least a *little* bit of additional strength to the floor. Carpeting is typically put right over chip board, which tends, from what I've seen, to sag and/or distort pretty quickly, esp. when they just use nails AND miss half of the supports they're supposed to nail the flooring into. Meaning, hardwood is less likely to get squeaky and uneven within a year or two.
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- Kris M. Krieger

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