So I just bought a house. Yay! Most of it is hardwood flooring, tile bathroom and laminate in the kitchen. But the whole downstairs is carpet, with some ratty laminate tile in the laundry room. I had planned to pull up the laundry room floor and later also the carpet and paint the underlying concrete. But when I embarked on this project yesterday I realized there is a whole other layer of linoleum under there. It would be a pain to tear up all that, plus it's likely that layer has asbestos, given its age. I need to do something to the laundry room ASAP before I have the washer and dryer installed. Later I will replace the carpet with something easy care. WHAT do you all recommend?
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Ceramic tile is about as low maintenance as you can get.
For our laundry room (and dog feeding room and cat box room) we used this plank-like vinyl thing from Home Depot, called Allure? I think.
Easy to install, quite inexpensive, supposedly waterproof.
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If you want something classier- use ceramic tiles and hardwood.
If you are looking for low maintenance without breaking the bank, I would put sheet laminate in the laundry room and a Pergo floor in the rest.
The sheet laminate is much better than the tiles for areas that could get wet- like a bathroom floor or a laundry room floor. In my experience, water gets in between the laminate tiles and eventually the tiles come up. Extremely annoying.
I put Pergo fake wood floor in my spare room 2 years ago and it has held up great. I was worried about it scratching, but even with moving furniture and kitties tracking litter into the room, it has not scratched. It looks awesome and was super easy to install. I think my parents and I did it in a weekend.
The subfloor in that room was a mish-mash of plywood, ancient wood boards, and half the room had the lovely asbestos tiles that will only come up with an act of god. So it was uneven. I evened it out using masonite- which was the same thickness of the evil tiles.
Would definitely tile a laundry room just in case you ever have a leak. We have floating laminate wood floors and they are holding up great with the dogs who tear around. I do think the wood like tile flooring can look pretty cool too.
For the laundry, inside the exit doors to the outside, and any other wet places, get porcelain tile (ceramic is not as durable), and you can get clearance items at the big box stores on clearance. Make sure you get a bunch extra so you can replace broken or damaged ones. My previous house had laminate (Pergo Meadowbrook Oak), and it had the sound deadening layer included, so we only had to put heavy plastic under it. It installs quickly (with one cutting, and one person installing), and is almost bulletproof. You need to get a good installer with lots of experience. The old linoleum in the laundry is probably glued down all the way, so they just put the tile over it (it helps keep the tile and grout from cracking). Nothing bigger than 12 x 12 tiles though, the bigger ones sometimes are strange sizes within a box, so they can be hard to install.
I've recently been thinking of porcelain tile (the kind that is made to look like wood) with radiant heat. Just dreaming at this stage, but apparently it is pretty low maintenance as well as beautiful.
We actually had the same problem-- old, ugly linoleum tile.
we did the whole thing in wood-look vinyl (Armstrong). Looks great, was SUPER cheap, and if it gets destroyed, pull it up and put down more, since it's only glued on the edge and a couple other places. We laid it right over the linoleum and it's thin enough we only had to modify one threshold door.
I did do tile in the laundry room only just in case something happened. Our upstairs bathroom is vinyl as well.
I no longer recommend cork. They put it in the lobby at work, and because it's dark it shows every bit of dirt or dust, and it has to be waxed to keep it nice. It also didn't hold up well to sunlight (it faded dramatically around objects), and big chunks came out from normal wear and tear. I would go with tile, or a good, solid vinyl sheet. I really like the linen tile (porcelain tile with a rougher finish, it is in subway size, but bigger) and it's really cool looking. Congoleum makes some really stiff, thick vinyl that looks like stone floors-I had it in my kitchens, and it was bullet proof, and never showed any wear.
If you have slab under all the dross, I recommend polished concrete. I did a large area including laundry and bath this way, and LOVE it. I know you said 'likely' asbestos, but you can get that checked. I thought I had asbestos too, and was (happily) wrong.
Whatever you do, on hard floors, go lighter colors, or you will spend all the time wiping dust marks off, it will only look clean right after you do so and not any more after someone walks on it again.
A friend went with stained concrete on some of her house and is sure sorry now, as the stain ended up a medium brown and terrible to keep looking neat.
She is putting tile down as soon as she can, for what she said.