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Best flooring for pets and kids?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
We moved into our house a year ago, and our carpet is (well, is supposed to be) almost white. We have 2 kids and a dog, and the carpet is in horrible shape, even though we steam clean it every other month or so.

If you have kids and pets, what have you found to be the easiest to maintain? Carpet, wood laminate (like Pergo), or hard wood?
post #2 of 14
My first choice is hardwood. I'm not a fan of laminate - it doesn't add value to your home, and it wears out at about the same rate as carpet (though it is easier to keep clean).

We didn't put in hardwood until our kids were 8, but we have a dog. The trick is to keep the dog's nails trimmed short - I do mine about once a week, or whenever I can hear his nails clickity-clacking on the floor.
post #3 of 14
I have hardwood floors with rugs and I like it because it's more obvious when the floor is clean or dirty. I sweep every day and mop when i can. Like PP said, you just need to keep your dog's nails trimmed. Limit the number or ride-on toys or toys that could damage your wood floors. If you do have indoor ride-on toys get the kind the the wheels can turn and aren't stationary where they only face one direction.

I've read that bamboo floors are softer and more prone to damage by pets and kids. So if you are green minded look for more sustainable woods. I personally would not do laminate. I think it looks cheap, IMO.
post #4 of 14
We have pine flooring, maybe b/c we live in a cabin. I think its much easier to clean then carpet, and it looks nicer than laminate, but not as expensive as hardwood. I sweep, vacuum and swiffer it at least every other day w/ my two lil mess makers, and dh hand waxes it once a month.
post #5 of 14
I'd do wood. I wouldn't even worry about the nails & toys myself. I think the dents & scratches just give it more character & life. But then again, maybe I'm just lazy - lol
post #6 of 14
We have cork. It feels so nice on your feet, easy to clean, and environmentally friendly.
post #7 of 14
We have wood in the bedrooms since the dogs don't really run in there - no matter how much we trim nails one of the dogs scratch the wood floor. In the main living area we have a lot of tile and some carpet. I prefer no carpet and considered making it all tile with rugs. Even with two dogs and two children our carpet doesn't get that dirty. Most stains are from a dog getting sick and vomiting or my older dog having an accident. After a professional cleaning, Bac-out eventually removes any residual stain or discoloration. (Our carpet is off-white.) I'm sure it helps that all our walk-ways are tile and we don't wear shoes in the house. The tiled hall ways are great for ride-on toys and even scooters!

Do you wear shoes in the house? I think that tends to make carpet dirty. Prior to children we wiped the dogs feet every time they came in the house – wet or dry – so it became a habit for the dogs to sit before running through the house. We've been lax but intend to re-start that practice once we install new carpet.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by nascarbebe View Post

I've read that bamboo floors are softer and more prone to damage by pets and kids. So if you are green minded look for more sustainable woods. I personally would not do laminate. I think it looks cheap, IMO.
We put in bamboo in April and I love it. It is a bit softer than regular wood but we also keep the dogs nails trimmed and any scratches or dents are looked at as memories.
post #9 of 14
We have Laminate. We chose it because it comes in different wear ratings and on the highest wear rating (commercial grade) it outlast real wood. We live in a sandy area and have pets so durablity was our most important decision maker. Real wood would have been nice but I only want to put in new floors every so often...
post #10 of 14
We have bamboo, tile, carpet, wood and laminate floors. We are trying everything.

The bamboo was an experiment that failed. $1000 later, and I hate it in the entry way. If I didn't have dogs, it would be fine, but bamboo scratches really easily. In fact, sometimes we bring in rocks accidentally (we live in the sticks) and the rock gets stuck under the wheels of the vacuum cleaner and scratches the bamboo even more.

Tile is great, but I wouldn't install it now with a 6 month old baby tumbling around everywhere and an arthritic dog. It's hard and slippery. When my ds gets a little older, I may consider it, but there's still the old dog scenario.

Carpet gets dirty in our house very easily. We also foster kittens, so carpet doesn't stay clean, even where the dog doesn't roam. There is an eco-friendly carpet available now, and I think we might install that in our ds's bedroom this summer. It's a low traffic area, and I won't have to worry about ds falling, tumbling, whatever. Carpet in bedrooms seems like it's good to do - when you get out of bed in the morning, a warm-ish floor is nice. Though I can't decide between carpet or hardwood floor w/an area rug for our bedroom. I keep changing my mind.

Our kitchen has wood flooring. It's scratched to hell, but it still looks nice. All in all, I think real hardwood is the way to go. Our dog was getting up a few weeks back, and his leg slipped out from under him. He really screwed up his knee. But an area rug(s) over hardwood look awesome (imo) and that's what we'd do if we replaced the carpet in the living room with hardwood - cover alot of the wood w/area rugs. I think of the area rugs as "disposable," baby-friendly (if they're chemical-free), and old-dog-friendly.

We also have laminate in a couple bathrooms, but it's cheap and flimsy and I don't think I'd do that again. Our house is such that we can't put tile in the bathrooms, or else that's what we'd do. Had I known then what I know now, I would opt for an engineered flooring that matched the hardwood floors and have those installed in the bathrooms. Engineered flooring isn't as cheap as I'd like though, but it looks nice. You can still refinish some engineered hardwood floors, much like real hardwood floors, just not as many times. Just depends on the thickness of the top layer of wood. We really liked Kahrs flooring.

Just my :
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I'd love to do hardwood if we can afford it. The carpet is getting so bad that we're thinking about doing it in the front two living areas at first, and then working our way back as we can afford it--but then again, I can see some disadvantages to doing that too. Ah, house stuff is never is completely "done", is it?
post #12 of 14
WE have bamboo, at first I loved it. 2 years later I hate it. Its scratched all over the place. We are looking at having it refinished eventually but I would honestly rather replace it with cork and tile.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBinSATX View Post
We have Laminate. We chose it because it comes in different wear ratings and on the highest wear rating (commercial grade) it outlast real wood. We live in a sandy area and have pets so durablity was our most important decision maker. Real wood would have been nice but I only want to put in new floors every so often...
Real wood can last hundreds of years. There is no laminate on the market that will last anywhere near that long.

Real wood might have to be refinished periodically, but that's not the same as replacing it completely, which you will have to do with your laminate (or carpet) when it wears out.
post #14 of 14
25 years of no maintenance are long enough for me.
I've lived in an older home before and we started refinishing the wood floors in there. It's much more difficult than it sounds, especially once the wood has dried out more, etc.
A lot of hardwood also takes a very long time to grow so the trees used for that would probably have taken longer to grow than what the floor will last for.
Bamboo would be one of the few fast growing hardwoods (also better choice than exotic hardwood from south america/rain forest, etc.)
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