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Old 10-20-2010, 10:11 AM   #1
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New to this -- redoing carpet/hardwoods in entire house


Good morning. We're about to close on a 2,000-sf foreclosure that needs new flooring throughout. Wondering if any of this is something we could do ourselves, and also what would be a logical division of carpet/hardwood.

First, what to put where ... This is a bilevel split. We'll be getting new carpet put in throughout the lower level and most likely up the stairs (I don't really like uncarpeted stairs and also think that removing carpeting and redoing the stairs would be more complicated and take more time than we want to spend on this). Upstairs, the living room (to the immediate right of the stairs) and master bedroom (way left down the hall) already have some kind of engineered hardwood floor, and the kitchen and dining room (in front of you as you come up the stairs) have ceramic tile (which has its own issues -- cracked tiles and insufficient grout). We're considering putting more engineered hardwood in the other two bedrooms because of suspected allergy issues. If we do that, would it make sense to continue the carpet up the stairs and along the hallway, and have that be the only carpet upstairs? Or would you stop at the top of the stairs? I prefer to walk on carpet. We have one eye toward resale value in the future, maybe 5-10 years, so want to make decisions that make sense from that angle as well.

Then, as to the hardwood flooring, budget is tight, so I'm browsing websites for deals and wondering if we should try to install it as well. Have no idea how complicated these floors are to install. We refinished plank hardwood floors in our current place successfully, but that's all the experience we have with floors. Can you tell me what you think of these two options -- both in terms of quality (relatively speaking, for a low-budget option) and whether it's something that a noob might be able to do with reasonable results in a reasonable amount of time?

* Kahrs Linnea 1-strip Woodloc
* LM Flooring engineered plank flooring

Other recommendations are welcome. (Even if it's "go hire someone." )

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Last edited by dahlias987; 10-20-2010 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:34 PM   #2
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New to this -- redoing carpet/hardwoods in entire house


I am Gregg with The Home Depot in Chicago. Congrats on the new house! I think you are going in the right direction with your flooring ideas. For the kitchen I would install new tiles, but in the dining room I would install the engineered wood that you are installing in the rest of the house. I also don’t see a problem with putting the carpeting on the stairs and hallway as long as it’s the same carpet that’s on the lower level. I know you said that there might be an allergy problem, but carpet in the bedrooms makes the most sense in my opinion. If that won’t work use the same engineered wood flooring that you’re installing in the rest of the house. Having your floors be consistent really helps the flow of your home.

Have you thought about using laminate flooring instead of engineered flooring? Laminate has extensive warranties against warping, fading, and scratching. It looks great and is a much lower cost than engineered flooring. It might help with the budget and it’s great if you have kids or pets. Wood and laminate flooring are fairly easy to install if you have the right tools. A miter saw and jig saw are important because there is a lot of cutting involved. It will go by pretty fast once you get the hang of it, but it is a lot of work.

Installing hardwoods
http://bit.ly/9dAm04

Installing laminate floors
http://bit.ly/bMaWku


Carpeting is an easy install, but renting a carpet stretcher and the other tools necessary cost about as much as it does to have it installed for you. Let me know what you decide to do. Take lots of pictures of the projects you do to your new home! –Gregg-
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:24 PM   #3
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New to this -- redoing carpet/hardwoods in entire house


Gregg, thanks for the response! You're probably right about carpet making the most sense in the other two bedrooms. I can imagine that would look better than having the carpet end in the hallway and three different rooms of hardwood branch off of it. We haven't completely decided on that, so we may go with carpet there after all. (The allergy issues are more "potential" than an actual problem at this time -- the kids just have some allergy-prone genes thanks to me.) We definitely will have someone install the carpet -- won't try that ourselves.

It's reassuring to hear that the floor might not be too hard to install, and my husband won't mind the excuse to have some new toys. I don't want to do laminate, if only for the resale value. The word "hardwood" just does something for a lot of people. I would really like to do wood in the dining room too, but that will have to wait because that's one of the few usable floors in the house in its current state and time is limited.

Any thoughts on how to go about trying to figure out what kind of wood we have in the living room so we could match it better elsewhere in the house?
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:11 PM   #4
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New to this -- redoing carpet/hardwoods in entire house


Dahlias987, I am glad I could help. Determining the type of existing hardwood shouldn’t be extremely difficult. First determine the species of wood that it is. The two most common species of wood used for hardwood floors are Oak and maple. Once you determine what you have it should be easy to find the same wood in a similar finish.I posted pictures of common maple and oak flooring.

The Type of hardwood flooring is a little trickier to determine. You need to know the thickness and width of each plank. In between the rooms where the hardwood floor ends and a different floor begins there should be a threshold separating the two types of floor. If you remove the threshold it will reveal a gap between the two different floors. This should make it easy to measure the thickness of the hardwood floor. You should also be able to determine whether it was glued down or nailed down.
If you are going to install a different type of floor anyway, like engineered hardwood, none of this matters. All you would need to know is the width of the planks, the species, and color. Take a picture of the floor and post it. Someone might know what it is. Thanks, Gregg
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Last edited by gotogregg; 10-20-2010 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:51 AM   #5
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New to this -- redoing carpet/hardwoods in entire house


Gregg, thanks again. I can see an edge where a previous owner did a DIY job. Next time I get over there, I'll take a picture. I want to try to match it as closely as possible because someone did a terrible repair job in the living room so there is a stripe of different color wood down the length of the room. Want to see if we can replace that section with something that matches. The rest of that room's floor looks OK.
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