I am having a floor delima. I have looked at hardwood, I have looked at Laminate wood, I have searched my possibilities and just cant afford it, but need to do something. Right now we have carpet with 4 kids and it is not what I want. I have wondered about taking up the carpet and doing something with the partical board underneith. Like stain and clear coats. What do you think. What would be something cheap and afordable and creative I can do with what I have. Anybody have any suggestions?
Keep checking Craig's list under the 'material' heading. Sometimes you'll find a pretty good deal there. I've seen ads for rolls of new carpet, wood flooring, etc.
I had good luck ordering my laminate flooring from builddirect.com. They have other flooring too. The drawback is that you have to order a large quantity, which is fine, but only if you really need that much.
Lumber Liquidators is another good place to go.
When you pull your carpet out, you may find stains from liquids. Painting or staining the particle board underneath probably wouldn't look very nice anyway. You'll be looking at the screw or nail heads and the rough seams and edges of the boards.
Hopefully one of the flooring guys will post some better ideas, but the only inexpensive thing I can think of would be vinyl tiles. There are some on the market now that look very nice.