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germin8 06-17-2013 09:41 PM

We are off-grid in a place that gets 6 feet of snow a year (i.e. cold). Plus, the dirt gets everywhere. And, we would like to get a dog and cat, too. (We've never had pets.)


So, I am wondering what sort of flooring for the house we should get. Our home is unfinished and we need it all!


The kitchen, I think we are going with that laminate type that they put grout on to make it look like tile. I figure it is warmer on the feet. We sorta need it to be different than the next room b/c we cannot do the kitchen floor at this time.


So, what should get for the living area, bathrooms, and bedrooms? I am leaning toward wood with area rugs because they are easier to clean... just sweep. Plus, I don't have to turn the generator on to vacuum.  However, carpet seems like a nice lovely idea...


Do you think wood is a good idea given the climate, location, dirt, (should I mention evidence of mice :( ) and pets?

stormborn 06-18-2013 01:56 AM

No experience with heavy snow; but a lot with dirt, pets and kids. wink1.gif We have carpet in the bedrooms and wood everywhere else except laminate in one bathroom, tile in the other. I think it's MUCH easier to clean than carpet. That's what we started with and I don't know what we were thinking! And that was with wall outlets; I'm sure it'd be more of a hassle for you on a generator. Area rugs would be nice, though, and easy to shake out or touch up with a nonelectric sweeper.

stormborn 06-18-2013 01:57 AM

No experience with heavy snow; but a lot with dirt, pets and kids. wink1.gif We have carpet in the bedrooms and wood everywhere else except laminate in one bathroom, tile in the other. I think it's MUCH easier to clean than carpet. That's what we started with and I don't know what we were thinking! And that was with wall outlets; I'm sure it'd be more of a hassle for you on a generator. Area rugs would be nice, though, and easy to shake out or touch up with a nonelectric sweeper.

lightbulb 06-18-2013 03:39 AM

I would never do anything but wood with kids. (Well, besides tiles, and maybe laminat.)

We have fabulous wood floors that I absolutely love and adore in all rooms. So easy to clean.

Well, the mud room actually has tiles, because we get lots of snow too, and I didn't want wood there because it'll be wet a lot.

And bathrooms have tiles.

We don't have pets, so we don't really have to vacuum, just wash over the floors once a week, and use the mini-vacuum or sweep kitchen floor after meals.

I don't even want to think about all the stains that would be there if we had carpet, and all the extra work (and that's just with kids, not pets too).

germin8 06-18-2013 06:11 AM

Tiles are definitely colder on the feet here. I wear long sleeve almost year round so am trying to avoid it. We have wall outlets... Just not enough power to run our super vacuum (thus the generator).

Yeah, wood seems to be the winner for cleaning but carpet feels so much better. Is there a certain type of wood I should go with? We don't plan to be here more than 5 yrs but we do plan on pets.

SweetSilver 06-18-2013 09:17 AM

Laminate flooring is different from one kind to another.  The kind we chose at our own home was freezing in the winter, and we live in the PNW.  I didn't like laminate.  Even wood is better with moisture than laminate, and the kitchen is not the best place for it.  


Vinyl is warm, and so is natural linoleum ("marmoleum" now) if you want something more natural.  We have marmoleum in the bathroom, and I love it.  The tiled kind can be laid down by homeowners (though it's less waterproof because of the seams) but the rolled kind should be laid by professionals because it requires special techniques to lay it, unlike vinyl.  Really, if it weren't for the offgassing and less-than-thrilling designs, vinyl is a perfect flooring--warm, durable, pet-proof, child-proof, not slippery for dogs or children, cheap, easy for DIYers, comes in wide rolls to reduce seams (marmoleum only comes in 12' width rolls).  No, I didn't choose it for our new home, either.


We have flooring made from our own douglas fir, and we were warned and warned and warned about not using it because it is soft.  Yes, it is soft, but a pristine floor is not a priority for us.  We have kids, but no dogs that might make things worse.  The floor is incredibly warm and smooth and we don't regret it, especially since it came from our own trees.  Our floor is insulated below, and that helps.  I love our floor!  It is even in the kitchen.  We have a handful of dents there that some strategically placed throw rugs could have prevented.  It is holding up quite well, I think.


If you want dogs, well-placed rugs are recommended with wood floors.  That helps make the house cozy as well.  You can purchase those little carpet sweepers to keep the stuff off the top, and beat them out now and again.  Dirt can sift through carpeting and wear the flooring underneath, so have a good pad and sweep under the rugs regularly.

lightbulb 06-18-2013 10:32 AM

We have something called Exclusive Whte Oak G5s. But you know, in wood, there are SO many options. It's a lot personal preference. We did choose a thick one so we can sand it down.

We went to a store and looked at them irl, and made a decision there from what we saw and such (I had to touch them and read about 'em too).

MamaNicole 06-18-2013 12:13 PM

Wood with area rugs for the main living spaces for sure, way easy to clean. If you really want carpet there are some very nice natural wool carpets out there you can put in bedrooms, but they are pricy... I also really like tile floors, you can make the tile floors heated so they are warmer on the feet. Bamboo can be nice too, but seems to be softer than wood floors. Carpet + Kids + Pets + Snow = lots of vacuuming, and spot cleaning!

zjande 06-18-2013 02:31 PM

I would personally never ever go back to having carpeting! Oy, between the kids and pets, I felt like I was scrubbing carpet constantly. I hated it. I couldn't find a way to get all the stains out without using toxic cleaners either.  Wiping up spills and sweeping up everything else is SOOo much easier!


If I were you and I was planning on staying only 5 years or so, I'd just buy whatever is the lowest cost, non-carpeting flooring out there! thumb.gif


Something else to keep in mind is the size of your throw rugs- I found I preferred ones that are small enough to easily shake outside, and throw in the washing machine during the muddy snow months.


My husband installed all our flooring himself and saved us from doubling the cost of the flooring. However, it was an enormous project and he hated it mightily. Sheepish.gif


(edited to add: during our weeks of researching, we found Great Floors to be lower cost in the grand scheme of things than any other flooring stores or Home Depot, but this was one year ago..)

homeschoolingmama 06-21-2013 08:03 AM

We may be buying an old farmhouse and we will be renovating.  We will leave all of the original wood alone except for the kids bedrooms.  I want something cozy there.

pumabearclan 06-26-2013 12:49 PM

I have used top quality vinyl in some of the houses I've lived in and it is wonderful. Can be scrubbed, swept, washed, and vacuumed and holds up very well.


Now I have wood, which is fine also, but more care is required.


"Anything but carpet" would be my suggestion. Very hypoallergenic.

youngmom89 07-16-2013 04:37 AM

We also live in a place that gets a lot of snow in the winter. we have all wood floors, except the kitchen and bathroom has slate flooring(very cold to walk on in the winter though,lol)

I love having all wood floors. it's so much easier to clean. if the kids spill something, then oh well, I just mop it up not problem. I'm not sure what kind of wood would be best. my boyfriend built his house so he uses all sorts of different kinds of wood, whatever is most affordable. One of the rooms just has plywood, which is cool, because we paint it and when we get sick of the color we just paint over it with another color. Right now it's grasshopper green. lol. Before that is was a pale yellow and before that it was periwinkle. I think wood is the way to go, you just sweep it when it's dirty. it's very easy to maintain. except in the winter because we have a woodstove and we have wood and dirt everywhere, but I still think it is easier than carpeting. and healthier to breathe in too, especially if you have pets.

woodsymom 07-23-2013 10:48 AM

We also live in a very cold & snowy climate. For the most part we have hard wood floors & linoleum with throw rugs. I try to shake out the rugs outside, if I don't vacuum - even in the winter. Be careful with laminate, since it does not hold up really well to wet floors (meaning snowy wet boots, not just regular cleaning). We heat 100% with wood and I wish that we installed light colored wood floors vs. the dark that we went for. Our house is dusty because of the wood heat and every little bit of dust shows on the wood floors ;-( Personally I really like linoleum in our kitchen - there are a ton of different styles out there, it is durable and warm on the feet. We actually had that installed, vs. DIY, and it turned out great and easy to clean with 2 toddlers. My DH & I installed radiant floor heat before we laid down the flooring in some of the newer parts of the house, that's great on cold days. We don't have indoor pets, but I would bet pet hair would show up easily on dark floors, like dust would. Good luck!

Lovesong 07-29-2013 03:44 AM

Living in Sweden, so we do get LOTS of snow, not to talk about the muddy in-between seasons and the rainy summers. Wood floors is somewhat of a standard here, because they are hard wearing, warm and easy to keep clean. Not to talk about the fact that if you invest in a real, solid wood floor that can be sanded down more than once or twice it isn't hard, nor expensive, to freshen up the floor when it starts to look unacceptably worn (when this is depends on your personal tastes, and the finish of your floor).


We've chosen a hard wearing boat lacquer for most of our floors (the same kind used on sailing boats), which has held up beautifully these last ten years and probably will hold up another ten easily. We are far from careful with our floors, sliding furniture rather than lifting quite often, cats running around like crazy, occasional boots stomping all over them...they hold up beautifully, because we've chosen a hard working finish. That's the key to wooden floors. Choosing a finish that works. In a guest bedroom, soaped wooden floors are beautiful and soft and will hold up well but put those same floors in the entrance or mudroom and you will have a problem.


When it comes to softness of floors, a properly installed wooden floor might have a hard surface but it is kind of...springy, I suppose the word is so the feeling under your feet isn't really hard. Just smooth. I can't explain it in a better way than that. But I know that it is really painful for me walking around in my fiancé's kitchen, because it is a concrete floor covered with linoleum unlike my own kitchen floor which is a wood one, and so gives a little bit when I walk on it. So that's another plus for wood floors.


The only flooring I would not recommend is actually wall-to-wall carpet. If you want the warmth and softness of a carpet, then put a loose one down where needed. Not all over. For example, on the open floor space in the nursery, the hallway etc. 

WaywardLady 02-05-2014 09:41 PM

At my house, the only room with carpet is the children's bedroom.  The day the sale closed I tore out carpet in half the house to expose the original wood beneath and eliminate molding carpet padding.  The kitchen still has sheet vinyl and the bathroom has vinyl tile.

We have a dog (170 pound St. Bernard/black lab mix) and I much prefer anything but carpet where he is concerned.  The carpet collects hair and (to me) feels gross to play on if not freshly vacuumed.  With the other flooring types, the hair blows toward the walls in between sweepings.

With the vinyl tiles, the children take baths and get water on the floor.  The adhesive nearest the seams has "let go" of the floor and the loose portions have become brittle.

As to which is warmer, I have no idea;  I wear shoes or house shoes all day.

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