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Thread: Family of soon-to-be 12...Hardwood or Laminate?

  1. #1
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    Default Family of soon-to-be 12...Hardwood or Laminate?

    We have 9 kiddos (ages 18yrs-2yrs) and a baby on the way. I was hospitalized for several days last week because of asthma complications and my pulmonologist recommended hard flooring. Our carpet is in need of being replaced anyway and the former owners had pets. Most of my kids have environmental and/or pet allergies and my 15yr old dd has asthma also.

    For those who have experience with hardwood (natural or engineered) and laminate, what would you recommend with kids/heavy traffic (no pets)? Any brand you prefer? We have a w/o basement also that is fully carpeted and there is some mold/mildew, but it's limited to one area and only in the spring/early summer when it's very wet outside. We'd like to replace that with hard flooring too. I'm not opposed to doing the-tile-that-looks-like-wood down there either if that would be a better option because of the dampness, but would like to stick to whatever will also increase the value/sell-ability of our home since we don't plan on staying here forever .

    My #1 concern with wood flooring is cracks...is there any way to guarantee no cracks? I can't help but be really grossed out by the idea of my kids throwing up or peeing/poo-ing on my hard floor and having it just stuck there in the cracks . Any thoughts on that?

    I'd appreciate thoughts, opinions, comments, recommendations, whatever, lol, HELP !
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  2. #2

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    I have hardwood and have in both houses we own. I have had an issue with cracks. I have not worried about pee on the floor...I just wipe it up. We have been into a few homes with laminate, and I don't think it compares. The ones I have seen are not as durable, though there may be some pricier ones that are. I just love hardwoods.

  3. #3

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    We have real hardwoods and I love them. I don't think there is a comparison either. I like that I can resand and refinish the floors without removing and redoing them once the kids are older and I want to get out the scratches.

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    We had ugly old hardwood in serious need of refinishing in our old house (100 year old house, original flooring, bare spots, dips in high traffic areas) but I would go back to it any day over the laminate (which I have in the kitchen now). We never refinished it because the idea of the dust from sanding it scared the heck out of me. I do not like the feel of the laminate. I have a friend who has hardwood (not like our old one, it is very nice) and she says it scratches very easily. Although they have a dog as well. She also watches all the time what type of toys the kids use on the floor and has the kids play on the rug (e.g. driving a hot wheel on the wood is a no-no). I do not know if the wood truly scratches that easily or if she is just extra careful. I want rustic looking boards on the floor when we build so I do not have to worry about little scratches.

  5. #5

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    hardwood or tile.

    i have hardwood thats original to my house and it needs replacing/refinishing... not sure which. its got the cracks you don't want but its simple to clean up even if puke or other nasties get into the cracks i just use an old toothbrush and scrub it out. (our flooring is so old... the age of the house and all the settling its dine since the hardwood was put in, not to mention that we had a wet basement that allowed most of the subfloor to warp has created some cracks and gaps that are big enough to slide a credit card in. but my aunts house is not nearly as old and her hardwood floors are beautiful and don't have the big cracks. and the finishing on her floor make it appear to have no cracks. so the newer the floor the fewer the cracks.



  6. #6

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    I have had both, and actually have both in our current house--original 70's hardwoods upstairs and has no cracks, the boards butt up together, and laminate in the basement. Like the others have said, there is no comparison. Real hardwood just isnt even in the same category as laminate. its like compairing laminate counters that look like granite with real granite.

    But, laminate is orders of magnitude cheaper than real wood. For real solid wood floors it will be in the $8-12/sqft to install, and laminate you can do yourself for as little as $1-3/sqft. So eventhough laminate isnt as long lasting as realwood, you can replace it rather cheaply.

    I do not recommend engineered hardwood. We have had both oak and maple and while they look nicer than laminate, it just doesnt hold up. it scratches and dents really easily.

    There is a vinyl product we used in a bathroom at our last house that I thought was really nice, it looked great. But we moved out right after putting it in so i cant say how it would wear over time. The price was between laminate and wood. I think it is "luxury vinyl tiles" and they can be done as a floating floor or can be glued down. some even come with a self adhesive system.

    There are also some sheet vinyls that have a very realistic wood look, which would also be in the mid range price wwise.

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    What about bamboo flooring? It's kind of an in-between, looks nice and easy to clean/maintain and is durable. The only issue is I think it doesn't work on all kinds of sub-floors which I know from my grandmother's house. It wasn't right for hers and it's pretty obvious just looking at it, and that was "professionally" installed.
    Natalie [31] DH [40] 9/01, 1/06 NaturallyNatalie's Hair Accessories!

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    My father has hardwood flooring he loves it but, my stepmom hates it they hire someone every 2 weeks to clean it because she can't keep up with it granted she is 65 and the house is 2200 sq feet. We've always had laminate flooring I love it because its easy for me to keep up with and I think *I could be wrong* but, I think its more affordable. I've added the pattern we have in our kitchen/laundry/bathroom I love this pattern because we have two kids and 1 cat and it doesn't show every... little... thing. http://www.lowes.com/pd_58013-61-L65...stone%20planks
    *** Lindsay ***



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    I've had both and while there is nothing like real hardwood flooring... It was stressful for me. The dog running, kids driving hot wheels, someone spilling a drink and not whipping it up right away all screwed with it... The other place we lived at had pergo flooring and it was a lot easier for me in terms of not stressing about scratching the floors up like crazy. Also knowing that a piece could be replaced drastically cheaper helped in the stress factor.
    Katie~
    DD1 (7) DD2 (4) DS1 (22 months) Baby #4 EDD 7/13/14

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    We have laminate of some sort. It was here when we moved in. I hate it - it dents really easily. My house is only about 13 years old. We've been here about 9 years and it was already damaged when we moved in. I don't think my kids are particularly rough on it either. They're still little. We hope to eventually replace with hardwood once the kids get older. My parents have an old house and have dogs and their hardwoods are beautiful.

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    Thank you everyone!

    Cost is a factor, but it's not #1. I would rather pay for quality than have to replace something down the road because we cut corners due to expense. I'm concerned about adding value to our home so I'm trying to think a little longer term also. We live in a nicer area of our county and when we sell, potential buyers are going to expect a lot from a house with the price tag ours will have.

    I really really really *really* (lol, as in a lot ) dislike vinyl flooring...it is my very least favorite option hands-down so that's off the table . I have seen luxury vinyl in friends' homes and it looks very nice...it's just not for me (we have cheap vinyl in our bathrooms and one other room right now that the house came with, but we'll eventually replace it with tile).

    I LOVE tile and that would be an extremely easy option for us in the basement since we wouldn't have to lay cement board and dh has a lot of experience laying tile. My bestie sent me a pinterest link of tile-that-looks-like-wood and oh my word, I think I'm in love !

    Natalie...I'll have to look into bamboo! I've heard of it and years ago dh and I talked about it, but I need a refresher.

    runningmom...huh, I was under the impression that engineered hardwood was much more durable than natural hardwood ?? That's good to know!

    Lindsay...I have an aunt who absolutely LOVES her laminate floors (she has very high end laminate). She has no kids at home anymore, but they do have several pets. So for you it has been a good fit too...that's good to hear. I guess, for me, it really doesn't matter how a floor "feels"...I just want it easy to clean, allergy/asthma-friendly, and durable. If I can find a quality laminate I would think it work fine. My only concern is scratches since they're not fixable like hardwood. Have you had any real issues with scratches or anything?

    cheesy, froggie, impatient, and Brenda...I love the idea of hardwood and almost everyone I know who has them really loves them. I think, of all the flooring options, they add the most buyer-appeal and value to a home. Obviously it's a huge expense to lay new, quality, hardwood, but maybe if it's done correctly the things I'm worried about (cracks primarily) won't be an issue??
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






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    Quote Originally Posted by caligirl07 View Post
    I've had both and while there is nothing like real hardwood flooring... It was stressful for me. The dog running, kids driving hot wheels, someone spilling a drink and not whipping it up right away all screwed with it... The other place we lived at had pergo flooring and it was a lot easier for me in terms of not stressing about scratching the floors up like crazy. Also knowing that a piece could be replaced drastically cheaper helped in the stress factor.
    I was thinking that too . I don't want to live in a constant state of fear that the kids are going to ruin the floor, lol, so that's definitely a factor for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by sharn View Post
    We have laminate of some sort. It was here when we moved in. I hate it - it dents really easily. My house is only about 13 years old. We've been here about 9 years and it was already damaged when we moved in. I don't think my kids are particularly rough on it either. They're still little. We hope to eventually replace with hardwood once the kids get older. My parents have an old house and have dogs and their hardwoods are beautiful.
    I wonder if older hardwood floors (pre-80s) just hold up better . We did have hardwood floors in one home (turn of the century house) and although they badly needed to be refinished they were tight even though the house had done a lot of settling. That was a looong time ago though and we weren't there long...my kids were very little so that wasn't really as much of a factor then as it is now and honestly I really didn't think about our floors at that time to really take much note about how I felt about them (I was in my early 20s and it was our first non-rental home, lol, I was just glad to own a house...knew nothing about houses or home-ownership ).

    So maybe it's just the pre-finished hardwoods I've seen in peoples' homes that make me leery??
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  13. #13

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    Kelly- so far now consider we've only been in our new house for about 5 months we have not had any problems with our laminate at all. I just really love it and I think Cosmo's mom has the same type as mine but, hers might be older so I am hoping she'll chime in as well. I know she has dogs too.
    *** Lindsay ***



  14. #14

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    Real hardwood would definitely add the most value, though that may be a misnomer, it would add the most "buyer appeal" you may not actually add value, but having hardwoods would make your home more attractive compared to one with carpet. I think Tile would do the same for selling the house.I have seen that wood tile in stores, but not installed, i think it could be a fun option! I personally dont like tile because of how hard it is and the grout. I have only had tile in one house though, the kitchen and the grout was wide and light beige.

    I thought the same about the engineered hardwood, which is why we put it in a house. it had a 30yr scratch resistant warranty, and what we found was that it didnt scratch through the surface of the finish, but left an indention there. And the stuff we put in was supposed to be a high quality, extra hard.

    One option for the basement if its concrete slab is to just paint it, or stain it. look on pintrest for concrete floors, there are some really cool things you can do. "Someday" Im going to pull up the laminate in our basement and do a finish on the concrete.

    And you can do the same for the subfloors if you need the carpet up NOW and dont have the money, or arent ready to make a decision, just pull up the carpet (and I'd strongly recommend you personally not be there for that!) and paint the subfloor That is what i have in my hallway currently. The carpet was nasty and it had to go, but DH and i couldnt decide what to put there. We finally decided we wanted to match the wood floors in the rest of the house, but it was suggested we also refinish the kitchen where they tie into and we are going to remodel the kitchen...Anyway, i decided to paint them not knowing how long we will live with them. I put down 3 coats of red deck paint, then a top layer of super glossy acrylic meant for garage floors and added a bag of glitter for good measure. Sounds tacky, but I figured if i was painting the subfloor I may as well do something fun and not try to make it look like something it wasnt I love it, so much so that we decided to just put floors on hold and keep this awhile. i would never fo anything so bold i was going to keep forever, so Im enjoying it for now.

  15. #15

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    I do think the older wood floors were more durable. They do scratch, i can tell that mine areworse than when we moved it, but its some what expected with 6 kids a dog cats and we regularly have lots of people over (about 40ppl every thursday night for a youth class for our church). but its definitely better than the engineered we had previously. its really just if someone slides furniture, or tracks in a rock or something sharp. I do have a few cracks between the ends of some boards in the kitchen where it really needs to be refinished. I hadnt really thought about what might be between them until today So far no bodily emmisons that i know of Just old food and dirt.

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    My in laws just put a laminate floor in and they are VERY careful about it. They are concerned about scratches and dents. Also, my mom has laminate and it dents really easily. I don't think that she has many scratches, though. The house that we are renting now has a laminate meant to look like real wood and it is scratched in several locations and was like that before we moved in. Since we didn't put it in, I don't know if it is just a cheap laminate.

    But, I am incredibly biased toward hardwood. We had it in our condo and even with two fully clawed cats it looked great even after 6 years. It is incredibly easy to wipe up spills and kid messes. But, presumably laminate is just as easy to clean. I am not sure on the allergy front which would be better but both will be world's better than carpet.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My blog about MCAD

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    Our laminate has no dents or scratches, and im sure its been in the family room awhile.

    How can i share a photo of my floor that doesnt involve photo bucket? I pinned it to pintrest, is there anyway to link that here?

  18. #18

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    re-sale value...HARDWOOD all the way. we have red oak and no stain, so finish is clear and it is natural in coloring and red oak is beautiful! i love the floors in my home! I do not like laminate, it looks fake...just a total matter of opinion i guess.

    i would recommend a hardwood 100% and not pre-finished

    why would you be concerned on hardwood with cracks? we live in a cold weather state, MN and we have no cracks in any of our floors.

    We run a humidifier in the cold months, but we have a lot of wood in our home...and it gets dry, so we want to keep it moister for our comfort levels!
    Last edited by sookie4415; 05-20-2014 at 11:22 AM.

    Jenny~ Mama to Katelyn(7), Ben(my angel in Heaven, 6), Megan(5), Allie(2years), Nora(8m)

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    Lol, just seeing this after hijacking your update thread in oct DD.
    waiting for our hearts to healBrittany(28)DH(39) DSD-(18) DS-Tristan(4) DD-Brooke(3) DS-Preston(1)*my miracles*

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    My parents have wood but dang is it loud with the dogs or when the kids are over. Theirs is about 10 yrs old....scratches haven't been bad but they did have to replace for mold by the dogs water. I have vinyl and love it....new stuff is much better than what had in previous homes. The dogs have a litter box in the laundry room and it is so easy to clean if the box gets missed. I like the look of tile but not the cold of it or the grout so vinyl has been perfect.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    Quote Originally Posted by runningmomofmany View Post
    Real hardwood would definitely add the most value, though that may be a misnomer, it would add the most "buyer appeal" you may not actually add value, but having hardwoods would make your home more attractive compared to one with carpet. I think Tile would do the same for selling the house.I have seen that wood tile in stores, but not installed, i think it could be a fun option! I personally dont like tile because of how hard it is and the grout. I have only had tile in one house though, the kitchen and the grout was wide and light beige.

    I thought the same about the engineered hardwood, which is why we put it in a house. it had a 30yr scratch resistant warranty, and what we found was that it didnt scratch through the surface of the finish, but left an indention there. And the stuff we put in was supposed to be a high quality, extra hard.

    One option for the basement if its concrete slab is to just paint it, or stain it. look on pintrest for concrete floors, there are some really cool things you can do. "Someday" Im going to pull up the laminate in our basement and do a finish on the concrete.

    And you can do the same for the subfloors if you need the carpet up NOW and dont have the money, or arent ready to make a decision, just pull up the carpet (and I'd strongly recommend you personally not be there for that!) and paint the subfloor That is what i have in my hallway currently. The carpet was nasty and it had to go, but DH and i couldnt decide what to put there. We finally decided we wanted to match the wood floors in the rest of the house, but it was suggested we also refinish the kitchen where they tie into and we are going to remodel the kitchen...Anyway, i decided to paint them not knowing how long we will live with them. I put down 3 coats of red deck paint, then a top layer of super glossy acrylic meant for garage floors and added a bag of glitter for good measure. Sounds tacky, but I figured if i was painting the subfloor I may as well do something fun and not try to make it look like something it wasnt I love it, so much so that we decided to just put floors on hold and keep this awhile. i would never fo anything so bold i was going to keep forever, so Im enjoying it for now.
    Quote Originally Posted by runningmomofmany View Post
    I do think the older wood floors were more durable. They do scratch, i can tell that mine areworse than when we moved it, but its some what expected with 6 kids a dog cats and we regularly have lots of people over (about 40ppl every thursday night for a youth class for our church). but its definitely better than the engineered we had previously. its really just if someone slides furniture, or tracks in a rock or something sharp. I do have a few cracks between the ends of some boards in the kitchen where it really needs to be refinished. I hadnt really thought about what might be between them until today So far no bodily emmisons that i know of Just old food and dirt.
    Thank you for the ideas!! Oh, and I hadn't even thought of removing the carpet *now* even if we won't be replacing the floor coverings for awhile...that's brilliant!!

    Quote Originally Posted by sookie4415 View Post
    re-sale value...HARDWOOD all the way. we have red oak and no stain, so finish is clear and it is natural in coloring and red oak is beautiful! i love the floors in my home! I do not like laminate, it looks fake...just a total matter of opinion i guess.

    i would recommend a hardwood 100% and not pre-finished

    why would you be concerned on hardwood with cracks? we live in a cold weather state, MN and we have no cracks in any of our floors.

    We run a humidifier in the cold months, but we have a lot of wood in our home...and it gets dry, so we want to keep it moister for our comfort levels!
    I'm concerned about cracks because every home I've personally been in with hardwood, it has cracks, so I'm just basing it off what I've seen (which is limited) . My BIL laid solid hickory floors in their house and it is just full of cracks...I've cleaned her house for her a few times and even tried a shop-vac, but couldn't get the food, etc...out. Maybe it's because they have in-floor heating?? She also uses a steam-vac to clean her floors...is that damaging because of the heat?

    I'm starting to wonder though if the hardwood floors I've seen were either pre-finished or just not laid correctly (admittedly we have a lot of DIY-er friends/family ).
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






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    I have had both and really love hardwood. First of all, it's beautiful. There is nothing like it. We had pergo in our old house and it looks plastic and fake. It seemed to scratch easily and I hated the sound it made when my dog walked on it. I can't even explain it, it was just annoying lol!I never thought about cracks (and have no trouble with them) but our floors scratch a lot. I was JUST complaining to my mom about my dining room floor. Our chairs have scratched the hell out of it. I spent a whole day using old english and another whole evening polishing them with bona polish and adding pads to the bottom of the chair legs. Now some of the pads have come off and they are scratching again! But I would still take it over laminate any day. Once the kids are older we can have it refinished and it will look brand new
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

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    Quote Originally Posted by macksmom View Post
    I have had both and really love hardwood. First of all, it's beautiful. There is nothing like it. We had pergo in our old house and it looks plastic and fake. It seemed to scratch easily and I hated the sound it made when my dog walked on it. I can't even explain it, it was just annoying lol!I never thought about cracks (and have no trouble with them) but our floors scratch a lot. I was JUST complaining to my mom about my dining room floor. Our chairs have scratched the hell out of it. I spent a whole day using old english and another whole evening polishing them with bona polish and adding pads to the bottom of the chair legs. Now some of the pads have come off and they are scratching again! But I would still take it over laminate any day. Once the kids are older we can have it refinished and it will look brand new
    I think that's ultimately going to be what sells me on hardwood...it can be refinished
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by macksmom View Post
    I have had both and really love hardwood. First of all, it's beautiful. There is nothing like it. We had pergo in our old house and it looks plastic and fake. It seemed to scratch easily and I hated the sound it made when my dog walked on it. I can't even explain it, it was just annoying lol!I never thought about cracks (and have no trouble with them) but our floors scratch a lot. I was JUST complaining to my mom about my dining room floor. Our chairs have scratched the hell out of it. I spent a whole day using old english and another whole evening polishing them with bona polish and adding pads to the bottom of the chair legs. Now some of the pads have come off and they are scratching again! But I would still take it over laminate any day. Once the kids are older we can have it refinished and it will look brand new
    Why not put a rug under your table? We never had our chairs scratch the floor and the pads stayed on the chairs and furniture.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My blog about MCAD

  25. #25

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    We have engineered hardwood and it almost still looks new (it did look new until the house was renovated this past winter and the contractor got hold of it). I remember when we first moved in, I thought I saw lots of cracks between the planks; the store sent the installer back and he fixed it. He indicated he hadn't taken his time to fill in the gaps.

    As far as scratches, the darker wood shows everything and it seems to scratch and dent easily. The rental we stayed in had beautiful dark wood but it was a pain to keep clean and chipped easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJorn View Post
    Why not put a rug under your table? We never had our chairs scratch the floor and the pads stayed on the chairs and furniture.
    It's so much easier to sweep up after my little tornadoes eat. I sweep that floor at least 2xs/day! I also worry about spills (which are also common) and the room is not that big so an area rug may cover most of it in which case we wont really be able to see the wood.

    These chairs stink. I think it's more the chairs than the floor. The floor is also a walnut color so I guess you see more? We have a lighter color in the living room and the scratching is not as bad BUT I have some dull spots which I hate.

    The bona products are pretty good. I got the polish and it really made it shine without making it slippery which is important!
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

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    I am sorry I am late responding. Our old house had just plain wooden boards that were 3 or 4 inches, painted and paint worn off over the years. It was in Florida and the wood was very old. The only place where I had a crack wide enough to get gunk stuck and not being able to get it out easily was around the fireplace - between the wood and tile. I cannot think of any place in the wood itself where a crack was a problem.

  28. #28

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    I have real hardwoods throughout my house except for the bathrooms and kitchen. Those have ceramic tile, which I hate. Anyway, I love my wood floors. They are easy to keep clean and my dh refinished them a few years ago and they look wonderful still. You won't have any cracks to worry about, if the person finishing them puts the right amount of polyurethane on them. My floors have no cracks and are as smooth as a babies butt. Lol.

  29. #29

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    the only reason i say no to pre-finished is because of the tongue and groove that they have it is significantly more expensive to get them refinished.

    as for the heat in the flooring, that absolutely would cause cracking because it is CONSTANTLY drying them out.


    Quote Originally Posted by kellyowens View Post
    Thank you for the ideas!! Oh, and I hadn't even thought of removing the carpet *now* even if we won't be replacing the floor coverings for awhile...that's brilliant!!



    I'm concerned about cracks because every home I've personally been in with hardwood, it has cracks, so I'm just basing it off what I've seen (which is limited) . My BIL laid solid hickory floors in their house and it is just full of cracks...I've cleaned her house for her a few times and even tried a shop-vac, but couldn't get the food, etc...out. Maybe it's because they have in-floor heating?? She also uses a steam-vac to clean her floors...is that damaging because of the heat?

    I'm starting to wonder though if the hardwood floors I've seen were either pre-finished or just not laid correctly (admittedly we have a lot of DIY-er friends/family ).

    Jenny~ Mama to Katelyn(7), Ben(my angel in Heaven, 6), Megan(5), Allie(2years), Nora(8m)

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    The downside of hardwood if you live in high humidity as we do is if there is a crack very quick there will be mold. Once it gets into the wood it will continue spreading.
    Here in China lots of houses have marble like floors but it is pretty warm all year long so may not work if you love in cold areas.
    Laminates are also very different and some are harder to scratch than the other.
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