A friend put in solid hardwood Walnut and the nicest areas (you need to put thresholds in each doorway) of threshold used a piece of the hardwood across the doorways and closet entrances. The commercial thresholds stick up and never quite match so using the same material is much nicer. The man who installed my laminate (it had to be done quickly so I could move back because the rental house was rerented) had the hardest time on small areas like the closets and the center hallway that need to have a lot of cuts, and it went much faster when he had an experienced person doing the cuts for him while he laid the flooring. You might need to rent the floor saw too-it's rather pricey to get for only one house. You'll need a saw to undercut the doorway trim to the right height too.
They don't usually recommend the laminate flooring for "wet" environments because it doesn't do well with lots of water on it. That said, we have it in our kitchen and both bathrooms.
I think as long as you don't have little kids shoving Barbie dolls and hair brushes down the toilet or having water battles in the tub you are probably ok.
We have the Traffic Master laminate from Home Depot. It was cheaper than pergo, and had a better warranty. We put a section of Pergo and a section of Traffic Master in our entry way to see how it held up and the Traffic Master held up much better. I know lots of folks less than thrilled with their Pergo.
"Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin
We did the pre-finished glue down wood flooring upstairs. It is easy to do, but hard on the body since you're kneeling a lot. We even had the kneeler pads. The flooring is easy, the trim work a bit harder. Even if you mess up a bit (we did) it will still look beautiful.
I'm glad to hear others have done this sort of thing and not needed a pro to come in.
I plan on starting upstairs, in one unused bedroom, then to the hall, then to another unused bedroom, then the study and finally the master. Then downstairs, which should go faster as it's far more open. Though about starting downstairs, but I'd like any mistakes to be located upstairs in out of the way places
JanM, everything I've read says a threshhold isn't nesessary in doorways and that you can continue the wood straight through. Why did you use a threshhold?
We had two dog/funk-friendly flooring threads going on at one time, so while they're not identical subjects, we combined them. Pushing the ATF definition a bit, but we feel the same pain, having experienced green poo dog vomit ourselves, so carry on...
Our house is mostly hardwood and tile upstairs, but we have ivory carpet in the bedrooms. The addition of a dog door in our newly finished basement (we used Pergo down there!) has resulted in clay paw prints all over our master bedroom!
We just rented a steam cleaner from Giant and used the Bissell Pet Odor & Stain additive -- though only HALF what they recommended. Soap itself acts as a magnet for dirt, and the manufacturers almost always recommend too much (so you'll buy more). It did the trick.
We steam clean the bedrooms about every 6 months, but we only have two mature dogs. I'm guessing we have about 2-3 more years before they have to go (the carpets, not the dogs!).
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
I installed my own finished oak, tongue & groove, floor! I am the daughter of a contractor though, so I had good advice, and all the cool tools. It took me a long time, as I would just do a section each night, but finally I got it there.
One cleaning related thing I've discovered, I accidentally spilled half a bottle of color safe bleach on my lovely hardwood floor. I was frantically mopping it up, thinking it was going to stain.
In the end it turned out beautiful, and all that bleach soaked into the cracks made it smell even better than new.
Guess likely not good to mop with bleach very frequently, but wanted to point it out as a nice disaster cleanup fix I found out by chance!
For those of you who have installed your own: what underlayment did you use? I've found sources that say cork is best, sources that say roofing felt is best, sources that say kraft paper...since I'm thinking about doing this myself, I certainly have the $$ to go with what IS best. Just have to figure out what that is :-/ Cork does certainly seem to have the best accoustic properties, which would seem to address one of the big complaints with wood: the noise.
Also curious what tools you found the most useful. I have not seen the scroll saw/saber saw mentioned by Alagirl on any equipment lists, but I can see how it would be QUITE handy. Any other tools that I really should look into purchasing vs renting? I'd like to keep my rental list to tools I'll only need for one day/a weekend. I have 2100 sq ft of hardwood to install--figure perhaps 20 days of work for me? (The pros estimated 12, I think.) Right now my purchase list is air compressor, flooring nailer, miter saw and scroll saw.
Okay, you've pointed out I need to learn the proper names of all the lovely tools I inherited from my contractor-dad - right now I know what they do, how to use them, and that I'm lucky to have them, but not their proper "names" lol!
Anyway, I'm guessing at proper names but I *think* I have a decent air compressor w/long enough hose to reach wherever (I think we did have to buy a longer hose for it to do my floor), what my Dad refers to as the "finishing" gun, (as opposed to the BIG gun, which I use to repair fences, barn etc - I'll never be really happy with a hammer after experiencing power nailing, LOL), and *some* kind of saw - shamefully I admit I have no idea what is is called, but (to me) it looks like a circular saw on a small table sort of thing?
As for bottom layer, we did regular thin "underlay" wood (again not sure of the name, but it was quite thin board, on top of the thick plywood floors) then brown paper - I think its called construction paper, but again??
My Dad took a long time measuring & laying the first line of hardwoods (at one end of the house, in my case the bedroom) as he said the first line set the standard for how straight the whole floor would be. After that he taught me to do it and then pretty much I was on my own - and even my Dad said I did a good job (huge praise for him, he's a perfectionist with house/building stuff, you classic old time craftsman!)
Note, the boards aren't always perfectly straight, the shorter ones were easier to get there with a nail in one end, then we wedged (crowbar) or hammered (the old fashioned kind) as close as it would get, then nailed it in. Sometimes a board was so curved we would save it, and inevitably would find a place for it.
It really is kind of artwork, and I admit I was impatient, but now I look back fondly on those nights, after work & riding, taking out the compressor gun and making my own home a little lovelier night by night...
Compressor or maybe this one? (Does anyone have any comments on if these are powerful enough to power the nailer? The guy at Lowes said the red one would be fine.)
Not sure which scroll/saber saw to buy. Might be able to beg one off a friend.
The brown paper is kraft paper. I did rip up some oak in the entry way that had kraft paper underneath.
I am really looking forward to the massive sense of accomplishment that's going to come when the floors go in. I do really enjoy completing projects and building stuff. The one thing I'm really not comfortable handling is electrical (too much risk of, you know, burning down the house or something if it's not done right!) but I've handled other building/repairing/installing projects before and have not yet had to call out the pros to fix my screw ups.
I've only used thresholds where I have flooring material changes...such as wood to carpet or wood to tile. if you do use thresholds...spend the little extra and get the wider/flatter ones with the graded slopes on the sides. Otherwise prepare to get really annoyed everytime the vacuum gets hung up on one.
I can't imagine trying to lay real hardwood myself...but then my handy skills are more lacking than I'd like to admit. I do try to do everything handy, but about 30% or so of my "projects" need fixing and a few require me to bring a pro in to fix what I REALLY screwed up. Laying tile is easier than hardwood IMO...as long as you have the spacers and a wet saw and buy a lot of extra tiles for when you screw up the cut sizes on some of them. Darned hard work, but doable.
I like cork or felt as an underlayer to hardwoods...I think both are pretty comparable in cushion and noise control. Type of hardwood also contributes to noise control. Oak is a really hard wood...the harder the wood the more noise it makes. But softer woods scratch easier. For a house with a lot of dog traffic and a lot of incoming dirt...think about doing a couple coats of poly to finish it. Adds shine, protects against shallow scratches and water and the ones today don't get dull over time. The poly has to dry 100% before regular traffic though. Pick days where you can open the windows.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
I have 4 indoor/outdoor dogs- two small and two large. I am probably as hard on the floors as they are- and we have the red AL clay. Turns everything orange.
I gave up and had a heavy duty vinyl flooring installed all the way through the house. It looks almost like hardwood- for real. Some people don't know it isn't until they touch it. It is very thick and "rubbery" so gives some cushion to the floor too.
I buy cheap to moderately priced wool rugs (dark and patterned) for some of the rooms and runners and it looks great.
I keep the rugs vac. until they are too far gone and then toss for more (check Home Decorators or Overstock).
There is an area of our house where the original owners installed hardwood (den and kitchen) and it is on its last legs from the dogs' tonenails shredding it- especially in front of the back door where they rev their engines and scratch off to after the squirrels. When I decide that stuff is dead enough, I think I am going with the same vinyl in a slate pattern.
I love it love it love it. A good mopping and it is like having a new floor.
Feels soooo clean and smells good!
You do have to be careful about dragging furniture across because it will tear- but the dogs' nails have not damaged it all- and my dogs are 60-80lbs and one is a wildman Doberman tearing all through the house, sliding stops, etc.
I can't remember the brand name- Mannington or Armstrong- think it was Natural Fusions. But is VERY thick, and rubbery- it handles like fabric- very drapey and soft, not like what you think of vinyl like- a hard piece that will break if you bend it.
No carpets allowed in my house - we have tile and wood floors; the dogs make too much of a mess not to mention mud that sneaks in on paws etc, even with people leaving shoes off and in the mudroom. It is useless to spend all that money on carpets and cleaners, even without pets. I am not convinced that they are ever really clean.
I agree with 2foals...give up now and try to replace the carpet with any surface that you can mop. One can find the larger 1' x1' tile on sale at Home Depot or Lowes and I don't think it is that hard to install...or if you are brave, the Pergo type floor would likely be good too...
I have the Hoover steam cleaner and it does work quite well.
My saving grace with this house and it's off white carpets has been pretty iron baby gates from Kidco. The kitchen area (vinyl) is gated off for the first line of defense and the dogs can scamper in, get toweled dry, and then chill until their paws are dry enugh to run around on the carpet. I have my dining area and living room permanently gated from the dogs; they've never been in those rooms.
If you clean regulary with the home steam cleaners, the carpets never get too nasty. I clean mine about every month/6 weeks.