I’m looking for a better flooring option!
Seven years ago, when I bought my condo in Florida, I loved everything about it except one thing.
The off white, Berber carpet.
The condo was new so the Berber was also new but I just hated the look. I bought the condo anyway, with a plan to immediately rip out the carpet and replace it with hardwood floors. But, weeks after buying the condo, I left for a 6 month deployment on my first Navy ship. So my hardwood floors plans ended there.
Except now, it’s in much worse case after 7 years of living on it. On several occasions, my small Chihuahua decided it would be fun to pull up the berber carpet, then run away with it in his mouth. This left lots of areas with damaged or ripped up carpet throughout my condo. Mostly in the living room, where it matters the most.
It’s definitely time for new flooring!
I’ve spent the last year searching 3 possible flooring options: Hardwood, Tile, and Carpet. I’ve debated about each option and am still trying to figure out the best option for my condo. Like DC at Young Adult Money, this home renovation motivated me to work hard in my 20s and save money for it.
From the beginning, hardwood has been my first choice. But my Chihuahua likes to run around the condo when he’s excited, which is anytime someone else comes to visit. I’m worried that he will scratch the floor or make a mess on it.
Pros: The main advantage of hardwood (aside from how beautiful it is!) is that it’s a long term solution compared to carpet.
Cons: However, there is certainly the possibility of scratching the new hardwood when moving furniture or cleaning up spills to prevent water damage. And it seems like everyone has a horror story about how their dishwasher flooded and ruined the entire hardwood floor. Yikes, that sounds expensive to repair!
Cost: $10,141 for 1059 sq foot of hardwood (Anderson Hardwood, Casitablanca in Lava). The flooring quote includes hardwood, adhesive, cork underlayment, reducers, T-moldings, wood installation, and removing the current flooring (tile in the kitchen and carpet everywhere else). I got these quotes from a reliable, local flooring company that I has an A+ rating and excellent reviews on Angie’s List.
I’m sure it can be done for cheaper, but I don’t have that skill and I’m willing to pay someone to do it right the first time. If you want to save more, Suburban Finance wrote an impressive article about using classified ads to save on home renovations.
Tile is an excellent option since it’s very low maintenance yet highly durable. I also had no idea that there are now porcelain tiles that look like hardwood flooring. Instead of the traditional square tiles, these are even sold in rectangular 6 x24 planks to resemble hardwood.
Pros: Sounds like the best of both world to me: the look of hardwood with the durability and ease of tile. I was hesitant at first because I didn’t know how these tiles would actually look in a house. But over the last 2 weeks, I’ve been to 2 friend’s houses with these Wood Look Tiles. And it looks amazing in their homes! Both friends have kids and small puppies and they love their floors because it’s low maintenance. I’m impressed! Thanks Amy and Mary Beth for answering all of my questions about wood like tile and pets.
Cons: However, this tile can be just as expensive as hardwood flooring. It’s also very difficult to envision the new floor with one small plank. As a friend suggested, asking for a box of the tile and laying it out in one room really helped.
Cost: $10,125 for 1059 sq foot of Wood Look Tile (Heathland in Walnut). The flooring quote includes the Wood Look Tile, Durock, Thinset, installation, and removing the current flooring.
Carpet is cheap and I have other financial goals, like paying off my mortgage, so I’m considering the carpet too. I plan to keep my condo forever and rent it out one day. Carpet costs and cleans costs could really add up with renters if I had to change the carpet every 2 – 3 years.
Pros: Again, carpet is cheap.
Cons: I hate carpet. It seems like no matter how much I clean it myself or pay to have a professional clean it, the carpet always feels dirty. I can only imagine how dirty the carpet and the pad really are.
Cost: $2,636 for 1059 sq foot of Ocean Pines carpet, installed over 7/16 inch 9.9lb rebond padding. The quote includes the carpet, carpet pad, installation, and removing the current flooring.
But really, it’s time for new flooring. Mine is destroyed.
Right now, I think the best long term financial decision is the Wood Look Tiles. It’s just as expensive at hardwood flooring but it’s a longer term option compared to the carpet. It’s lower maintenance than the hardwood and won’t scratch. I think long term, this tile would save me money from replacing carpet, cleaning carpet, or replacing hardwood.
I’d like to hear your thoughts. What’s the best flooring option?