Carpet or Hardwood flooring?

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It's time to replace our carpeting again and I was thinking about the possibility of installing hardwood flooring instead for all or part of it. This would be the living room, dining room, hallway and bedrooms only. The kitchen, bathrooms and entrance are tiled.
My wife said something about hardwood may be harder on older people than carpeting, we're in our mid 60's, but I don't know about that.
Does anyone have any experience or preferences that may help me decide which way to go?
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Before you "replace, again" have you tried the cleaners that advertise here and there? Have you rented a machine at the store? Last week, I did shampooing for a couple friends, and they were thrilled at how clean the carpet looked. I use powdered ultra Tide as detergent. About a tbsp per 5 gal bucket of super hot water.
That said, my feet prefer carpet. I've heard the requirement is good quality padding, under the carpet.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
It's time to replace our carpeting again and I was thinking about the possibility of installing hardwood flooring instead for all or part of it. This would be the living room, dining room, hallway and bedrooms only. The kitchen, bathrooms and entrance are tiled.
My wife said something about hardwood may be harder on older people than carpeting, we're in our mid 60's, but I don't know about that.
Does anyone have any experience or preferences that may help me decide which way to go?
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On 11/21/2012 6:36 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

We just bought a home that has white carpet....previous owner had three kids and a big dog, but must have been a fantastic housekeeper. I was inclined to not shampoo carpet, as it didn't look bad. Decided to go ahead, as it was much easier with no furniture and I'm getting old enough I might not do it again myself. Whew! There was plenty of grime in the recovered water, so glad I did it. Used a rented Bissell machine and their detergent. Great job, although the machine is a tad heavy. I've never used a hired carpet cleaning service, so don't know how they compare.
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On Wed, 21 Nov 2012 18:36:58 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

These carpets are long passed their prime. They needed replacing several years ago. Cleaning them wouldn't help.
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On Wed, 21 Nov 2012 17:23:09 -0600, Gordon Shumway

I don't notice any difference walking on hardwood versus carpets, and I'm 65. Hardwood is better for taking a running slide. I much prefer hardwood for these 2 main reasons: No stinking, dust-laden carpets, which are a major job to maintain and replace. More decor options with area rugs, although I guess you can put rugs on carpet too.
As always, it gets to personal preference. We use area rugs and runners for high traffic areas, so there's little walking on bare floor anyway.
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area rugs and runners are a major cause of falls for the elderly.....
hardwood if wet can be very slippery
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wrote:

Never knew that. My dogs sometimes flip up the hallway runner. But I'm more likely to trip over a dog in the dark than a rug.

Haven't noticed that. Always wipe up spills quickly. No rain to speak of gets on the floors.
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Vic Smith wrote:

I've noticed hardwood is a *lot* better than laminate; the latter really is a death trap with wet bare feet.
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do note dogs can bring in water easily.......
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wrote:

Depends a lot on the "texture" of both the hardwood and the laminate. - and how much of what wax is on the hardwood - - - - .
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Mine are oiled - which probably helps.
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wrote:

Hardwood floors and crepe soled slippers - solves the "cold floor" and the"slippery" problem at the same time.
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On Wed, 21 Nov 2012 17:23:09 -0600, Gordon Shumway

It's a personal thing. However, I much prefer solid floors, meaning tile, linoleum, or wood. Carpeting is too much trouble to clean and maintain, and it builds up dirt that can cause problems for people with respiratory problems, no matter how much you clean it. A throw rug can be out over hardwood, yet it can be taken outdoors in warm weather and be hosed down, and can be replaced without an installer. The only bad thing about throw rugs is that they like to get bunched up and slide around, which can trip people. I have heard they sell some sort of velcro fastners to help with that problem, but I'm not sure where to buy them.
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Check with a couple of Realtors if you think you might be selling the house within a dozen years or so.
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On Wed, 21 Nov 2012 19:17:08 -0800 (PST), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

Up here in Ontario Canada hardwood brings a premium over carpet unless the hardwood is trashed.
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On Wed, 21 Nov 2012 17:23:09 -0600, Gordon Shumway

Our choice is hardwood flooring. Consider an engineered wood also, that is made like plywood and has a veneer top with a very durable finish.
New carpet looks nice, but goes down hill soon after. It is very easy for it to collects dirt, crumbs, bugs, insect feces, and anything else that can get in between the fibers. If you have allergies, get rid of the carpet.
Wood is smooth and can be wet or dry mopped as needed. Yes, I said wet. You don't slosh a bucket of water, but damp mop.
Our downstairs is engineered wood, but we do have a carpet runner at the entry door and a throw rug in front of my chair. The entry runner does get the incoming dirt but is low cost and can be easily tossed and replaced.
I guess we are getting to be considered "old people" at 66 & 67, but I don't find it any harder on us physically.
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Gordon Shumway wrote:

I'm renovating a bungalow in England and went for floating engineered hardwood over the concrete subfloors in the bedrooms. Slate tiles in the hall and kitchen and regular tiles in the bathroom.
I'm very pleased - it's a million times easier to keep clean with the kids - a quick hoover takes off any fluff.
If you do go for hardwood, go for solid or engineered[1] with a thick hardwood layer (at least 1/8") - this way any minor damage is not really a problem and the floor can cope with about 2 full sandings in its life, which should be many many decades.
What you are laying onto makes a difference as to the best choice.
Soem other things to consider:
What subfloors do you have - concrete, suspended timber?
If concrete, are the slabs insulated (or your area so hot it is not relevant).
Is the damp proof layer in the floor OK?
--
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Tim Watts wrote:

On the other hand, you could simply replace the worn-out laminate with another application. The stuff goes down - and comes up - quite easily. I'll wager that replacing a laminate floor is cheaper and easier than sanding and refinishing a hardwood floor surface.

By "damp proof" I suspect you mean prevention of moisture rising from below the concrete slab. There's an easy test for that involving taping down a 2 ft' square of plastic film on the slab for a few days then looking to see whether there's any water visible between the slab and the plastic.
If moisture IS present, you install a "vapor barrier' - essentially plastic film - before installing the laminate underlayment then the actual flooring.
If there is NO moisture found after the test, you can dispense with the vapor barrier, although it certainly won't hurt to have one anyway.
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HeyBub wrote:

I'm not so sure - but it's close. Depends partly what you are comparing - good laminates are not that cheap (eg Pergo, which I have used in the past)

Yes.
Indeed - I did that. In one case, I didn't even have to bother, the previously laid lino did it for me as evidenced by the musty black patch.

Agree - the cost of a sheet of plastic is peanuts in the grand scheme.
--
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For anyone that's interested, here is some information on cleaning carpets you probably won't find anywhere else:
1. Solid dirts like skin cells, road grit, pollen, etc. will gradually accumulate in a carpet over it';s lifetime. No matter what anyone tells you, once that dirt works it's way deep into the carpet pile, no vaccuum cleaner or carpet shampoo'er is going to get it out.
2. The way to tell when your carpet is ready for the dumpster is if you shampoo the carpet and it smells like a wet dog for a week or two afterward until it dries out. What's happening is exactly the same thing that happens when you give a dog a bath. All of the bacteria deep in the carpet pile suddenly find themselves in bacteria heaven because the moisture that's been added to the carpet gives them mobility to move around, and there's plenty of food for them to feed on in the form of dead skin cells, pollen, etc. So, you get a bacterial population explosion inside your carpet, and that's what makes it smell just like a wet dog until it dries out and the bacteria go dormant.
3. Professional carpet cleaners are well aware of this and when they get called to shampoo an old carpet, they add a bacteriacide to their solution water so that the bacteriacide kills all the bacteria that gets wet, thereby avoiding the smell which would otherwise occur afterwards. They do that simply to avoid customer complaints about them "causing the carpet to smell up the house", but that don't mean the carpet doesn't need to be replaced.
4. If you rent a carpet shampoo'er, and you feel compelled to follow Rug Doctor's or Easy Off's instructions to add 5 ounces of carpet soap for each gallon of solution tank water, then go over the carpet afterwards with just clean water to remove the excess soap from the carpet.
Most professional carpet cleaning soaps will tell you to use 1 to 2 fluid ounces of soap per 5 gallons of solution tank water. By following Rug Doctor's or Easy Off's instructions, and using 5 ounces of soap per gallon, you're using much more soap than you really need. And then, when you consider that most rental carpet shampoo'ers don't have all that much suction (see PS below), you end up leaving too much residual soap in the carpet after shampoo'ing it. That soap leaves a sticky soap film over the surface of all the carpet fibers as the water evaporates and the carpet dries out, making the carpet "sticky" so that it gets dirty faster and making normal vaccuuming ineffective at removing that dirt. In fact, the only effective way to remove that dirt is to shampoo the carpet again to dissolve the sticky dirty soap film. But, when people do shampoo the carpet again, they'll think to themselves: "Wow, look at how dirty the recovery tank water is. This carpet shampoo'er is really geting this carpet clean!", and that's bogus. All that's happening is that your're dissolving the dirty soap film on all the carpet fibers, and if you followed Rug Doctor's or Easy Off's instructions, all you did was replace that sticky soap film so your carpet will be just as dirty in another year or two.
You can avoid this problem by either using less soap in the shampooer to begin with, or doing a second pass over the cleaned carpet with just clean water in the solution tank to recover the residual soap.
PS: Just in the same way that gasoline engines are rated according to their number of cylinders and the horsepower they produce, vaccuum motors are rated according to number of stages they have and the "inches of water lift" (which is a measure of vaccuum strength) they produce. A normal single stage vaccuum motor like you find in a Hoover upright vaccuum cleaner will typically have only a single stage vaccuum motor and provide 30 inches of water lift. A good quality wet/dry Shop-Vac style vaccuum cleaner will typically have a two stage vaccuum motor and provide about 60 inches of water lift. An entry level professional carpet cleaner will typically have either a single three stage vaccuum motor or two two stage vaccum motors piped in parallel and provide from 80 to 100 inches of water lift. My carpet shampooer has two three stage vaccuum motors in parallel and provides 183 inches of water lift according to it's specifications. And, you can get gasoline powered truck mounted units that use a gasoline engine to run 6 to 8 three stage vaccuum motors simultaneously that will suck a golf ball through a garden hose.
The more suction your shampoo'er has, the more dirty soapy water you will get out of the carpet with it, and the less soap and dirt will be left behind in the carpet once it's dry. It's the fact that rental carpet shampooers typically only have a single two stage vaccuum motor, and the fact that Rug Doctor and Easy Off tell you to use too much soap, that results in them leaving too much soapy soiled water behind in the carpet, and that sticky soap film remaining in the carpet when it's dry. It's that residual soap that makes the carpet get dirty faster, and if I was a suspicious person, I'd say that both Rug Doctor and Easy Off are intentionally misleading people to use too much soap when cleaning their carpet SO THAT their carpets get dirty faster and the only effective way of getting that dirt out is to rent a carpet shampoo'er again. And, that's not even accounting for people's tendency to use twice as much soap as recommended to ge the carpet "twice as clean".
People can decide for themselves if they agree with me or not, but I believe there's a scam going on here.
--
nestork


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