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Old 03-20-2007, 02:28 AM   #11
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aye, hardwood. you wouldn't age beer in a laminate cask now would ya?
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Old 03-20-2007, 02:31 AM   #12
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Well, I redid my hardwood floors all by myself in my living/dining room in my previous house. I was single at the time, and really wanted it done. If I can do it, you and your SWMBO certainly can! The key is to rent the right sander for the job. One thing I learned the hard way is to make sure all the nails are very, very, slightly counter sunk before you run over them with the sander! All you need is the sander, a tacky cloth, and the polyurethene. I used a lambswool applicator on a mophead to apply the finish. I did it for under $250. This was in 1999, and the floor looked great when I sold it and still looks good. (It's in the same neighborhood, I just bought a bigger house.). Also, the floors were redone in my current house- over 2000 sq ft of hardwood- in 2000. We have teenagers, a collie, cats, and all the teenagers' friends doing all kinds of things, including robots, toycars (when he was younger), hockey sticks, etc. The floors look brand new. They clean super easy, even in the kitchen. I brew in my kitchen and it cleans up really nicely.

I don't have any experience at all with the "new" floorings. But I would recommend refinishing your hardwood if your floors are in pretty good shape.
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Old 03-20-2007, 03:50 AM   #13
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I have put down laminate in the house we sold last year and I think that stuff is actually pretty good, but you have to get the floor perfectly even otherwise you can feel the floor sink in in depressions. But it was much better than the carpets that we had in there before and I think it upped the value of the house more than it cost.

BUT, if you have real hardwood and it is in good shape go with that. As the others said, nothing beats the real thing. And when we were looking for houses, real hardwood always made a good impression.

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Old 03-20-2007, 03:58 AM   #14
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I found a place locally that mills kiln dried pine into tongue and groove flooring. They sell it for about 40 cents a square foot. I bought enough for my dining room and the new bar. I have to nail it down, sand it and finish it, but I have more time than money and I'm really going for bragging rights on the new bar. As the kids move out, I'll be replacing the laminate with this stuff throughout the house. Laminate is cheap, easy and wears well, but I love the wood.
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:32 AM   #15
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I just finished installing laminate flooring in my dining and living rooms today. I replaced the carpet damaged from water leaking in from the ice dam. We went with laminate because I could do it myself and save enough money that the insurance money covered it all. We already have it in another room for over 10 years now and haven't had any troubles with it except for a nick I put in it when I dropped my drill on it. We are to the point where carpet is nothing more than a PITA so it was an easy decision.
If I were you I'd compare re-finishing your current floors to installing laminate and do what ever is more cost effective. If you are only going to be in it for a few years then either way should work for you.
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
I don't mean any disrespect, it just seems like EVERY newer house or remodeled house has laminate hardwood. Old-school hardwood, even if possibly a lesser product, to me adds a little bit more character to the house.
none taken....I agree with you, I really like the look of real hardwood. I was going for the cheap and easy method at the time.
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Old 03-20-2007, 12:53 PM   #17
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I had a house with laminate and my current house has real hardwood. Both will add value to your house. Watch any of those "flip this house" type shows and that's almost always the first thing they do. Also, if you're planning on staying in the house for any length of time, wood is going to outperform other types of flooring.

Now, between the two, I GREATLY prefer the real hardwood to the laminate. It just looks much better. I understand the advantages of laminate, but would choose real hardwood in a second for my house. I have a dog, two cats and two kids that are pretty rough on the floor. The "scratching" you get is minimal and doesn't really degrade the look at all. I've been in my house for 5 years and my floors are nowhere near needing to be refinished.

If you do decide to go laminate, make sure to get a decent quality prodduct - there is some pretty crappy stuff out there.
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Old 03-20-2007, 01:26 PM   #18
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hardwood > laminate > good carpet > linoleum > crappy industrial carpet > any carpet that you glue down



And these days if you shop around you can get waterproof laminate (suitable for bathrooms, kitchens and entryways) relatively cheaply. Helped a buddy a couple weekends ago install it on the first floor of his house (Kitchen, dining, laundry, hallway and master bedroom). He had 1200 sq feet of it shipped to his house for 89 cents a sq foot (+ $200 shipping--- negligible).

Gotta add to the 'laminate is bulletproof' comment. 2 60lb dogs who never get their nails cut running down the stairs of our house for 7 years. On the first floor, hardwood that is all bitched up evyer couple years and needs to be redone. On the stairs, carpet all worn to hell. Downstairs in the den, laminate-- looks brand freaking new. Nary a scratch.

Also, dropped a 5# co2 bottle on laminate over concrete. Laminate was completely unharmed. No dent.
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornkob
hardwood > laminate > good carpet > linoleum > crappy industrial carpet > any carpet that you glue down



And these days if you shop around you can get waterproof laminate (suitable for bathrooms, kitchens and entryways) relatively cheaply. Helped a buddy a couple weekends ago install it on the first floor of his house (Kitchen, dining, laundry, hallway and master bedroom). He had 1200 sq feet of it shipped to his house for 89 cents a sq foot (+ $200 shipping--- negligible).

Gotta add to the 'laminate is bulletproof' comment. 2 60lb dogs who never get their nails cut running down the stairs of our house for 7 years. On the first floor, hardwood that is all bitched up evyer couple years and needs to be redone. On the stairs, carpet all worn to hell. Downstairs in the den, laminate-- looks brand freaking new. Nary a scratch.

Also, dropped a 5# co2 bottle on laminate over concrete. Laminate was completely unharmed. No dent.
Wow, those are some ringing endorsements!

Thanks all fo rthe input. Once SWMBO gets back we'll rip the carpet out and make the final decision--I'm leaning towards laminate for the ease. I freaking hate sanding/sanding dust/staining. But if the existing hardwood is in decent shape--we might reconsider that.
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:53 PM   #20
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I have hardwood on my ground floor, and when I finished my basement I installed laminate over concrete. I like the way the laminate looks, certainly better than concrete and it was cheaper than carpet believe it or not, because I bought it at costco (they sell it every spring, and it is good quality) and installed it with my former SWMBO. That being said, it isn't hardwood, and while it may increase the value of the place, not as much as hardwood, but that wasn't really an option on a concrete floor without spending a ton of money and effort.

If your hardwood is salvageable, refinish it, yes, it is a PITA, a lot of work, mess, etc, but it will be so much better in the long run as far as looks (maybe less durable than laminate depending on what kind of wood).

 
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