bob and i faced this same dilemma.
we decided to go with pergo (which is a high end laminate) throughout.
we've been happy with it.
The floors in my house are bamboo. It's more renewable and so cheaper I think, but basically looks and feels the same. When I was looking at houses it seemed to be an advertised selling point. I'm not sure how much cheaper it is, but if you haven't checked it out yet it's something to investigate.
Decent laminates look nice and are much easier to maintain than actual hard wood...
whats underneath the carpet?
why not pull it up and buy a few rugs and save money until you can get hardwood? concrete can be pretty, maybe not ideal...
its not like those long hard winters in texas last more thana month or two, right?
How long do you plan on being there?
If you plan on staying there for a while, I say wait it out and get what you really want. What's really the point in buying new carpet just to tear it back up 18 months later? Especially if saving that carpet expense could get those wood floors 6 months faster? You've only spent money you'll be undoing and delaying the purchase of what you really want for doing so.
And it isn't worth going into debt for in this environment. It is a luxury and with a depressed housing market won't even raise the value of the home enough to justify the expense for a while (which is why I say ask how long you'll be there).
I say budget for it in advance, say $100 per paycheck or whatever. Take it out and put it in a separate account that you absolutely CANNOT touch (unless you lose your job or need surgery or something as drastic). Don't let yourself raid it for other projects. It is your flooring money, period (like a little flooring ROTH).
If, on the other hand, you think you might be moving in the next 3 years or so, just recarpet and don't worry about doing more. But even then, you might as well wait until closer to selling so the carpet doesn't get stained.
I would LOVE hardwood floors upstairs in my bedroom, but I know that I'll won't be in the place long enough, so I'm doing other things instead. I won't be there long enough to get $7,000 worth of personal enjoyment out of it and it won't raise the home value by that much, so it is just a pointless dream for me. But if I knew I'd be there longer, I would be saving for them right now.
Also, the type of floors you can get depend on what type of foundation you have and other factors. In some cases, they might not even put hardwood in (Home Depot took moisture readings and said they would not put hardwood floors in if we hit a certain level because they could not guarantee the work). If you are curious, get some people to come out and give quotes. They'll help you price out what your looking at, take accurate measurements, and let you know what kind of floors you can/should get or not and if you need to glue down or float or install in other ways that affect cost and materials.
i love my hardwood floors.
old carpet is gross. take it out and use whatever is at the bottom, if it's concrete, do a concrete stain. google has lots of info on that:http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=stain+concrete&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=
also, old carpet may aggravate kaci's allergies/asthma. but if you self-laminate/stain concrete, those things smell really strong to me.. so be careful with the chemicals, and you may want to stay somewhere else in the meantime.
I'm not sure I trust the concrete underneath. My house tends to shift more than it should, so I'm sure there's some good ole cracks in the foundation that I've been ignoring. And yeah, the allergy/asthma angle is one of the reasons I need to find a solution sooner than later.
I watch those home renovation shows on HGTV. Yesterday they ripped up gross, stained carpet (with the intention of buying updated carpet) to reveal lovely wood floors which made them oh-so-happy. If your house was built in the 70s or early 80s, there's a good chance you already have wood. Unless, of course, you already know that you don't. Either way, good luck!
It's all concrete slab under my carpet. My dad's house, though, is like that.
oh, boo. i was hoping for a Halloween Miracle!
I'm looking at the same thing right now, for the new house. We've got that crappy industrial looking wall-to-wall carpet right now, with cement underneath. I'd love to get something sweet like bamboo or even cork or something in places or whatever, but, money. That hippie store next to Vulcan video has some flooring stuff in there, for lookin'. I'm probably going to wind up just tearing up all this carpet, painting and finishing the concrete, and going with rotating cool rugs in and out, but we'll see how it goes.
Could you do one room at a time so you can get the really nice wood? Like, start in the living room and make your way through the house? I'm pretty sure that's how we're going to have to get ours refinished. :-p
The way Lee and I did the big stuff was to wait for the 12 mths. no interest/payments from Home Depot or Lowe's. We would pay it off by the end of the year or transfer the balance to a lower interest-rate card. It kind of sucks to have that bill, but it worked out financially with no problems.
If hardwood is what you really want, wait it out and get that. In the short term, get a good steam cleaning and maybe a kick-ass vacuum. Rugs could make the rooms look prettier until you can get new floors as well.
Also, are you guys doing anything next Tuesday? We'd love to have you over for television-watching. We might have Mindy-safe cupcakes!
as far as i can tell, yes! we will have mindy-safe cupcakes! what time?
The polls close at 7, right? So around then, say, whenever you're done with dinner. Email me with an ingredient list so I can go grocery shopping for cupcake supplies. I can pick up the other staples, like crack and potato salad and sparkly juice.
Let's do this! Are you still offering? Kaci and I have been looking for something to do on Election night.
What should we bring? And what's your address? email me at ROY AT JANIK DOT OOOOOOOORRRRRGGGGGGGGGG.
MARMOLEUM!!!! You can make a checkerboard out of Marmoleum. We have it in the kitchen. Maybe not something you want all over the house but for one or two rooms it is MAJOR FUN.
Me, I say laminate. Laying down genuine hardwood over concrete slab always makes me sad. If you decide you don't like the color of the wood, it's also vastly cheaper to change later. Old carpet, and especially the old pad that's probably underneath that old carpet, is no fun.
Also you can post there. Not all the flooring entries have been tagged, but tons of people have asked flooring related questions so you could probably search for specific things.