Florida Flooring... wood, carpet or tile?

We're looking at re-doing the entire house flooring. We're in west central Florida so just about every house is a concrete slab and then it's either carpet, wood or tile laid on top. Right now the house has the original carpeting (+25 years, yuck-O) and some vinyl tile (also yuck-O). Personally carpeting is always problems. Holds dirt, harbors mold and pests like fleas and ant and food scraps, and if it ever gets wet (i.e. tropical storms, hurricanes, etc) it's never right again. I like the sound dampening qualities of carpet, but that's about where it ends.
Right now we're looking at ceramic tile inside the front door, the entrance way and down the main hallway. Tile also in the kitchen and both bathrooms. Then wood flooring in all three bedrooms, the living room, and the dining room. We are concerned about sound especially in the living room and wondered if any certain types of flooring are better for sound then others. Or throw carpets do it or what?
The concrete floor in the porch we were going to tile but I kind of like the smooth texture to roll the grill around on, move outdoor furniture and all. Tile gets to be a pain catching chair legs and not staying clean with our hoizontal rains and pollen issues we have. We were thinking of just a good concrete stain/paint out there.
Any suggestions, hints or secrets would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
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Quote: infiniteMPG wrote on Wed, 09 July 2008 11:30 ----------------------------------------------------

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We just recently ripped the carpet out of the living room and put in engineered hardwood (laminated plank). This is on top of concrete slab like your situation. It is noticeably louder but not a big problem (except the past two weekends when each of our tween girls had their sleepover birthday parties!)
For sure I prefer the hardwood over the carpet and would recommend the switch.
The wife says it's more upkeep with need for multiple sweepings each day (just shows how much junk is landing on your carpet that you don't notice). But might be a chance to justify a new gadget (roomba robot!). I like gadgets!
-- Richard Thoms Founder - Top Service Pros, Inc. Connecting Homeowners and Local Service Professionals http://www.TopServicePros.com
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I am going to make a suggestion that is likely to be new to most people. If fact it is new to me, it just went in last week.
We just finished a re-model of our master bath (not on a slab and not in Florida) and we chose a rubber sheet floor. So far I am very happy with it.
It is softer than vinyl and warmer under foot. It is also quieter, like carpet. I expect it will have a long life. There are several makes now marketing this stuff, but few contractors have ever seen it. We chose a Johnsonite ComforTech. There are other brands. My contractor is planning to use it in his basement.
I can't say much about life or care issues, but I have seen the commercial version of the produce many times and it holds up extremely well, even in industrial settings.
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infiniteMPG wrote:

Both tile and wood are "hard" surfaces and will bounce sound around. That can be mitigated with area rugs.
Wood swells when wet. If you think wall to wall carpet is a mess post hurricane, you'll wish you had it if wood gets hurricane wet. Nevertheless, I like wood. I like tile better as long as a non-dirt showing grout is used.
--

dadiOH
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Is a cushioned back wood flooring going to help with the sound or only with the softness under foot?

I guess I need to put more detail into the original comment. I wasn't referring to flooding in the house as much as I was about tracking thru the house with wet feet, umbrellas sitting on it in the hallway, overall dampness. Maybe a fake wood flooring rather then real wood????

Hate white grout, tile or flooring of any kind. And as far as the cleaning issue stated before with the hardwood, the same stuff is going down on the carpet, it's just it takes longer to notice it and it's much harder to clean the crud out :O/
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infiniteMPG wrote:

No, the cushioning just adds a bit of resilience to the floor as a whole, top is still hard, top still bounces sound waves.
--

dadiOH
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infiniteMPG wrote:

I put down some laminate. As an experiment, I put a six-inch strip in a glass of water. For a month.
The water didn't faze the laminate a bit.
I also tried to scratch it with a nail, saw, and rasp. That's stuff is amazing. They oughta make armored cars out of it.
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infiniteMPG wrote:

We are in FL, first floor, slab condo. Terazzo in kitchen, hallways, baths; tile in liv. rm and din. rm. Our tile is light, neutral color with oriental rugs in both rooms. No maint. I damp mopped part of the tile this year. Older adults, no children here. I would not have "engineered" wood here. Tile is hard - we are old enough to be aware of the danger of falls. That is the only negative about tile to me. We have carpet in bedrooms. We had a washer hose break that saturated about half of one oriental rug (wool). Rushed out to rent a super-powerful wet vac to get out as much water as possible. We were able to place stuff under it to circulate air and it dried within 24 hours. Doubt that w-to-w would go that well, but a strong vac and dehumidifier would probably dry it out before it got mildewy. What I like most about tile and terazzo is that both require so little care. With the right sealer and polish, our terazzo stays shiny, even if I let it get pretty dirty. Strip and re-do about every 3 yrs. I have a love for craftsmanship, and terazzo goes. Our neighbors in our condo have covered their terazzo with DIY tile jobs that look like crap. Tile with area rugs also allows changing the decor for relatively little money - buy a sisal rug for $100 or have any old kind of carpeting bound and fringed.
We also have two patios, rather old and stained. I don't mind, and would not want tile or paint. A little care using the grill should keep them looking decent for some time. We have rather nasty stains on the concrete outside our front door - got some cheap indoor/outdoor to lay in that entry area. Stays in place without glue because it has wall on 3 sides. Doesn't get moldy or stained, as it is protected from weather.
If you get fleas in the home, treat the pets.
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On Wed, 09 Jul 2008 09:30:36 -0700, infiniteMPG wrote:

Highlands County, Fla. here. We had the same as you currently have for flooring. Had tile installed in every room and on small front screened porch.
Wife loves it. So do I. The house "seems" brighter and cooler with tile.
In a former home we had terrazzo throughout. That's why we were easily adaptable to tile.
Both are easy to keep clean.
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