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Best flooring for new house

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  • Best flooring for new house

    We are in the early stages of building a new house. We will soon need to make decisions on flooring, etc. I love hardwood but my dogs hate it. They need to live there too so I don't want to make them miserable. Current house has hardwood in the LR and DR - dogs loath going in there. We have Pergo in the family room - dogs don't seem to mind it. I know the big plus w/ the hardwood is resale value and the ability to refinish. It is also the "In Thing". The Pergo we have has held up well (10 years old), is easy to clean, and looks good - not as good a hardwood but I like it.
    I probably won't ever get the chance to start from scratch again so would love to hear others' experiences.
    This wiil be a horse farm so we will need to deal with mud, dogs, cats (and whatever they drag in), kids and their messes, etc.
    Oh, and ceramic tile is out - I do not like it.
    Thanks in advance for any helpful info.

  • #2
    What do you think they don't like about the hardwood? I'm curious as will eventually be making the same decision. We have tile/pergo right now and the dogs seem to dislike the pergo (too slippery) and prefer the tile (it's what they grew up with). I know the older dog would scratch wood most likely but by the time I get ready to replace he probably won't be there.


    • #3
      I've known several dogs, mostly larger, who will not walk on hardwood unless they have no choice, as it is slippery...

      If OP is in the south, or generally warmer climate, I would say TILE all the way. Have lived w/ it now for three years and couldn't be happier. (and I'm a traditional hardwood girl from way back....)
      By the way, through 4 large (60+lbs) dogs, I've never had a problem w/ scratches on my hardwood floors. Only from the furniture I tried to move w/out help...


      • #4
        If anyone gets laminate or hardwoods, or simply wants to protect from furniture scratching please use the light tan felt pads-the dark ones can bleed dye onto paint or other surfaces, and it can be hard to get out.

        For people considering laminate, they do make it 12mm thick with the noise underlay incorporated into it. Then you only have to put regular plastic down on concrete. And bamboo that's rather thick is very comparable in price to the laminate, and either can be very quick to install when you get the click together type.
        You can't fix stupid-Ron White


        • #5
          Yes, that's why my dogs don't like the laminate - slippery. I have to be really careful to keep claws trimmed short and even then it's a little hard on my older dog. The chi manages pretty well although I've noticed he's a little more hesitant about jumping up on the couch, etc. The tile didn't seem to give them any difficulty (a tiny bit slippery but I had terra cotta tiles and they didn't mind that).

          I live in the South and have always had hard-surface floors (we had terrazzo in the bedroom at our old house and they didn't seem to find that slippery at ALL - in fact that seemed to be their preferred surface. I'm seeing a lot of interesting textured concrete surfaces these days, as well).


          • #6
            One approach might be to install hardwoods but then cover with a carpet (wall to wall or a large area rug). WTW is safer as area rugs can create tripping hazards, but the right rug will work and protect the floor.
            Costs more (though you might save some by not having the floor finished if you go WTW) but you have that resale or mind-change bonus!

            I like my WTW. My next will be a durable, stainresistant lowpile. I do have hardwoods under but they were in bad shape when I bought the house and covering them was the best option. Nice on the toes - canine and human!


            • #7
              I can't recommend a flooring, but can tell you what NOT to use - any soft wood like pine.

              We bought an older home where the flooring throughout - including the kitchen & the bathrooms - is old wide-board pine. And man, has that taken a beating under lots of little doggie paws. It's not so much that it looks bad, just more, shall we say, "rustic", than most people would like. It doesn't really bother us, but it's definitely not something I'd put into a new house with pets.

              I have a copy of a long-ago volume by Martha Stewart about her escapades when she bought her first estate "Turkey Hill", back when she was still a "diva in training" instead of an merchandising empress. That house also had old wide-board pine floors, some rooms of which she did fancy old-fashioned paint stencils on. I still laugh at how she strongly stated that NO ONE was EVER allowed to enter her house wearing hard soles or - heaven forbid - high heels. All visitors wearing such footwear had to leave their shoes at the door so they wouldn't damage the floors. She didn't have any dogs back then that I recall - just cats. One has to wonder if, after she later did obtain dogs (Chows), she had their toenails pulled out by the roots.


              • #8
                I have oak floors. Yes, my 73 lb dogs scratch them. I had them refinished a year ago. As I type, I am looking at some very distinct scratches right now from where they stand when they go nuts when a squirrel is outside the window. I also have some high heel marks. I try to tiptoe, but sometimes I fail.

                I'm pretty sure the oak floors throughout and upgraded kitchen are what brought in multiple offers (on the first day) when we listed this house for sale. Are you going to be there forever? Buyers LOVE hardwood.

                I also have area rugs scattered around the house. Helps keep the floors from being worn in high traffic areas, provides warmth, and gives the dogs something to grip so they aren't scrambling. They do not cover wall-to-wall however, although it is close to that in the dining room.

                My mother-in-law put in a new kitchen last year. She has laminate floors. They are not scratched and she has a 70lb lab. Multiple times a year, when the family is home, there are 5 big dogs racing around that place. I actually got down on the floor and looked at it a couple weeks ago---impressed. I imagine she got a higher end laminate, but I can tell it's not hardwood.

                I think about these things non-stop, as I am house hunting. I would do tile in the kitchen (easier with spills and drinking bowls), hardwood with some grain or color variation (like Hickory--shows less hair and scratches) and I want to do cork in the bedroom. I'm leaning towards smooth instead of hand-scraped hardwood, because I'm afraid that will go out of style...I could totally be wrong. I really like the look of it. Also, I personally avoid super dark wood floors like the plague. A past co-worker had a beautiful, showplace of a home. She put in the most fantastic, wide-plank, reclaimed from the bottom of Lake Superior, dark hardwood floors. You saw dust 10 minutes after she cleaned them. She was very frustrated with her spendy floors!!

                I do not like carpet with animals.

                All of the above is of course, just personal preference.
                DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette:


                • #9
                  If I was not going to put in hardwood, I would put in the tile that LOOKS like hardwood, with radiant heating underneath.

                  We have hickory throughout now and LOVE IT. The dogs have never had a problem on it, as long as toenails are dremeled short.

                  I would not do laminate, unless you're planning on being there forever or are willing to rip it out and put in carpet when you're ready to sell. My real estate friends tell me laminate reduces the value of the house and buyers do not like it one bit.


                  • #10
                    I have the laminate that looks like wood (lower-end Pergo) and the two things I DO like about it (it came with the house, btw) are that it's super easy to clean and doesn't scratch. It also doesn't show dirt like the tile they have in here (who the heck puts WHITE tile in a house?). My old house (that I did) had red mixed with brownish terra cotta tiles, and it was lovely. Dark grout, only had to be swept every couple of days WITH a high-shedding lab. Sigh.

                    This house has to be swept at least 1x a day (if I'm not having company or being picky) and I have to keep throws with runners around so the dogs have someplace to launch from. It's a LOVELY, lovely, house otherwise, though. Really nice for a rental. AND they love my dogs, so I'm happy. Never thought I'd rent (25 years of home ownership) but it's kinda nice.


                    • #11
                      I built a house a couple of years ago, put carpet in the bedrooms and large 18" x 18" ceramic Italian tile in the rest of the house. Big mistake. I should have tiled the bedrooms too! Its been 7 years, and the carpet has got to go. As soon as I get some money, Ill have it ripped out and replaced with the same tile and put a large throw rug over it.

                      Love my tile. Sweep it a few times a week, mop when Im in the mood, and it looks as new as the day it was put down.

                      But I know you dont want tile.


                      • #12
                        I know you don't like tile, but that is what we had for 40 years, different kinds of it and all was much better than carpet where it was or wood, that dogs kept scratching and slipping on.

                        If you don't want tile, well, then you have to use wood, I think.

                        Either way, rugs and dog beds in the right places is a good way to keep dogs comfortable.


                        • #13
                          Ceramic ceramic ceramic. I started off with laminate (Pergo) and had a flood in the dining room that wicked all they way through the great room and kitchen because of the felt stuff on the bottom of the laminate. I replaced it all with ceramic.

                          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                          • #14
                            Thatmoody-White ceramic tile was very fashionable for quite a while, and still sells a little. Of course, you notice that the people on House Hunters usually scream bloody murder about white tile, and want to replace it.
                            Another tile problem is grout, and the need to seal it to protect it properly.

                            For kitchens or dining rooms Marmoleum is nice, but pricey. It is the true linoleum, and lasts for many years, is resilient and lasts for many years. You can mix the plank or tile types and make interesting patterns if you want too. We have it at work and after a while (we are talking a very sandy, heavy use area) they used the shiny, but nonslip wax they use in malls, etc and it really looks nice, but it isn't ordinary floor wax.

                            I liked my ceramic floors, but my dog didn't like walking on it. I think it was an age thing in his case.
                            You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                            • #15
                              I put in light oak flooring last year, but my 100 lb lab scratched it the first week. Sigh... I have a rug in the living room but I have to vacuum it every day, sometimes twice a day, because the dog sheds and it shows. Otherwise I do love the hardwood. In the summer, my dog loves the hardwood and the tiles. It's cooler.
                              My neighbour are in the midst of redoing their whole house. They chose tiles and dark, wide plank hickory hardwood. It looks rustic, not smooth, and they have two dogs (much lighter than mine and dark!)... It looks beautiful, but my yellow lab...would not work!!

                              I hate wall to wall carpeting and could not wait to get rid of it.


                              • #16
                                If you DO decide to go with hardwood (or if anyone else who reads this thread later is thinking about it) be sure to check out how HARD your desired wood is:


                                We went with hickory because it was the hardest "standard" flooring I could find (ie, not one of the crazy expensive specialty flooring.)

                                We've had two 70 pound dogs on the floor and it is only lightly scratched where they routinely turn at speed, and the scratches are only viewable if the light and the angle is right. I do try to keep the nails dremmeled but I'm not great about being consistent with it :-/


                                • #17
                                  I would love to have hardwood, but Pergo is sooo easy to live with. Cleaning is a breeze, no scratches from the dogs.


                                  • #18
                                    5 dogs of my own-3 bigs, 2 littles- and we board so often have up to 12 here in the house and we just did our kitchen and decided on this.


                                    Its not everyone's cuppa tea, but we are loving it. The color variations in the wood don't show hair too badly, and its been almost a year and very little scratches to be seen-the handscraped finish helps with that. My contractor loved it and put it recently in his own home.

                                    I have area rugs everywhere- dark Orientals only, and even in the kitchen. I got some gorgeous ones relatively cheap on Ebay for the kitchen and got them cleaned, and its how I deal with many many paws in the house. Vacuum 2x/day and dark Orientals

                                    The rest of the house is oak, and with strategic placement of my Sarouk and Ushak friends-and I truly consider them my good and loyal friends-my floors look pretty good!


                                    • #19
                                      We had bamboo in our last home. It held up extremely well to my large english mastiff, an english bull terrier and a pit bull. Naturally any floor is going to show some scratching but I am still amazed at how well it looked after 12 years of dogs. Also a dog can have an accident and wet on it without warping or staining if it is not cleaned up immediately.

                                      We just recently sold and remolded my family home. I put in maple and have been extremely disappointed. If a dog has an accident it wants to warp and it has scratched much more easily. Four dogs are on it. It was my big mistake for listening to my husband and not doing bamboo again.

                                      I keep area rugs on my high traffic areas to make it easier on the dogs. Home Decorators Collection has some great Sisal area rugs that are inexpensive and can be ordered in a variety of sizes to fit hallways, living rooms, etc. When they get nasty I just thow them out and order new every few years.


                                      • #20
                                        When considering floors, don't forget on the hardwoods link to look at swelling as well as the hardness factor. I was surprised at the swelling possible with some floors that were also very tough (Brazilian Cherry for example). I'm glad my friend is getting the click together Bamboo for the non kitchen/bath areas for her home. And I'm glad to read that the bamboo is resistant to moisture (my friend's cat is a problem sometimes). I think the most important money saver for installations over concrete is to get teh click together, because the recommended installation for around here over concrete is to install plywood subfloor first, so that would be cost prohibitive for most of us.
                                        You can't fix stupid-Ron White