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Jeanne
Need advice on picking out flooring

I would like to take advantage your experience especially as many of you seem to be strong on doing the best possible job.

I am researching what flooring would be best for the second floor of my house. The main floor has mostly 2 ¼ red oak hardwood, finished on site. I really love it. The second floor has horrible carpet that should have been thrown out 5 years ago. The second floor has 4 bedrooms and a landing/hallway. I want to start with the master bedroom and hall – about 325square feet. I have $1000 saved up and can save about $200 a month. I am a little impatient and would like to do something by this summer.

I wanted hardwood like the main level, but I inquired into the cost today and I think it will not be possible. It also might be an over improvement for the house. I assume prefinished hardwood would be even more expensive. I can DIY a floating or glue down floor. I’ve looked at laminate, engineered hardwood and hardwood. I have confusion in my brain. Can I get anything decent for $5 a square foot? Any recommendations?

Other info: The kids are teenagers or older. There are 2 small dogs – each under 20 lbs. We will probably be in this house for another 5 to 10 years. I live in the Midwest.

Thanks!

A. Spruce
Re: Need advice on picking out flooring

Flooring choices change faster than you can change your mind! DO NOT start this project and think that in 6 months or a year from now you can just by more of the same flooring, you won't. Even if you could, it isn't going to match because of sun exposure and wear and tear to the previously laid materials.

Get prices for enough material to cover EVERYTHING you want, plus 25% for waste, damage, and culling. Prefinished is actually going to be less expensive and more durable than finished in place, however it will show seams and irregularities that finished in place won't, so this is a choice you must make and an allowance in cost of product.

One thing that you can do to piece this together would be to use boarders around the rooms and hallway in one color material, and then fill the body with another cooler. If you go this route, purchase ALL of your border material at one time, and purchase each room body fill as you can afford it. What this will do is allow you to run your border and body per room/area, and if the body color is slightly off from one batch to the next no big deal. The caveat here is that you will have to purchase the same brand of flooring AND hope that their joinery methodology doesn't change as you purchase more body material. As you can see, this is why it's important to purchase the entire project at once, plus overage, instead of piece mealing it together.

Jeanne
Re: Need advice on picking out flooring

Thank you for the idea of the border. I saw a picture on Pinterest recently which used that idea. I am considering carpet for the other bedrooms - depending on what I can find in the laminate/hardwood for my budget.

A. Spruce
Re: Need advice on picking out flooring

Carpet with a 12" border really works well for common areas. For bedrooms I'd think twice about it, though it could work if this suits your tastes. A good place for transitions is under the center line of a door, not the threshold, but the actual door itself. With the door closed, the transition should be hidden underneath it.

dj1
Re: Need advice on picking out flooring

"Can I get anything decent for $5 a square foot? Any recommendations?"

If you shop around 'wholesale to the public' outlets, you'll be amazed on how much you can find under $5 a sq ft. You can also shop on line, though I rather see and touch it before I buy.

This week I'm laying laminate - it's 1/2" light oak finish - for $1.49 a sq ft. Pretty good stuff, if you intend to be there 5 years.

Another good idea: bamboo, it's real wood. There is so much bamboo flooring coming from China, that you can find the best bamboo for under $2 a sq ft.

What ever you select, you still have to be able to install it correctly, to realize the savings.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Need advice on picking out flooring

Also think about the installation method. A floating pre-made floor will be easier to remove after a few years than a glue or nail down floor.

(cheap floors don't last long)

Jeanne
Re: Need advice on picking out flooring

Thank you for your ideas and advice. I have decided not to hardwood the three other bedrooms. My oldest daughter is a professional musician and prefers carpet for the acoustics. The next daughter is the owner of the 2 little dogs and said to keep the old carpet till she moves out and the third child does not care because she cannot see her floor anyway. Those bedrooms will get carpet as needed. So, I will be doing the master bedroom and hall only in hardwood.

I saw this solid oak prefinished hardwood floor today:
http://www.menards.com/main/flooring/hardwood-flooring/hardwood-flooring/prefinished-oak-solid-hardwood-flooring-3-4-x-2-1-4/p-1421450-c-12448.htm

It is $2.75 square foot after rebate and installation in this area for prefinished hardwood is $2.50 to $3. It only has a 15-year guarantee on the finish, but it will be in a low traffic area and I did not like the shiny finish on the more expensive ones. It is made by Great Lakes Wood Flooring. As it is solid wood it can be refinished. I will continue to look around. Let me know if any of you have had a bad experience with this product.

Thanks!

dj1
Re: Need advice on picking out flooring

Your hardwood choice looks very good.

About the children: a musician, a cat lover who's moving out (when?) and a third who can't see the floor (covered with laundry?) - you got it made.

Jeanne
Re: Need advice on picking out flooring

Thanks dj1 -there is also a web developer son whose room is in the basement (my basement flooring question will come later) and a hard working husband. My husband went through a New Yankee Workshop phase a while ago so I have a few power tools. Unfortunately the phase passed before he purchased a nail gun. He lets me do what I want to the house as long as I stay within budget and don’t remove load-bearing walls.

The daughter with the dogs (she likes cats too) graduates from college this May. She is debt free and will probably stick around a while so as to remain so. My secret mom hope is a good young man with honorable intentions will come a courting. The harpist and web developer are actually a bit older, but both are dyslexic with other learning disorders – which makes them late bloomers – but they are working on their own small businesses. The one in high school - yes it is laundry (clean) plus art supplies and tennis shoes etc.. on the floor. They are all good kids – I am very lucky:)

Thanks to all for the help!

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