Flooring decisions…

When B and I bought this house, the ONE thing I really disliked about it was the vinyl flooring. Because we bought this house as a spec house (i.e. a house that a builder builds without a seller in mind), everything was new but had already been chosen for us. It was a big compromise for me, and we vowed to do wood flooring within 3 years.

But then, as it does, life happens. We’ve had some expensive years and haven’t been able to do as much to the house as I would’ve liked (see: such projects as new fence, new patio, wood floors, professional landscaping… ). Pretty much the only real upgrade we’ve made is painting. But the floors… they irk me daily. Yay…. builder grade vinyl….


And the world’s cheapest carpet….


A month ago I told B I wanted to get some quotes for flooring… “just for research.” Because, ya know… “I want to know what we’re saving towards. It matters if it’s going to be $5,000 or $15,000 right? We should know what our goal is!”

And I did actually believe that. But let’s face it, once you start shopping it is really hard to wait. And then we got a pretty decent tax return. The wheels started turning. So, we set a budget and started looking in earnest (which was annoying for a variety of reasons I won’t get into). And we finnnnalllyyyyyy make a decision. Behold– our new wood floors (sample):

hickory floors

Love! I know the handscraped/distressed thing is sort of a fad right now, but 1) so pretty!!! 2) it will hide wear and tear much better and 3) its most of what is currently available– particularly if you’re set on hickory like us.

And to replace our already-worn-down-after-just-3-years carpet?


It may not look that exciting (its carpet, after all), but it is plushy and cushy and multi-colored awesomeness that looks about 10x better than our current bottom-of-the-line stuff.

So… the plan was to replace the current vinyl (which spreads through the entrance hall, kitchen, breakfast area, and half bath) and the carpet in the dining room (which is right next to the front door) with wood and to replace the great room and man cave carpet with newer better carpet.

The quote came in and? Over budget. Why are things in life so expensive? I did a bit of haggling and got the quote down to just about $250 over our previously-set max price. Which is pretty damn close. But our max budget was max for a reason… and we really didn’t want to go over that set amount. Which leaves us with three options.

Option 1: Stay the course, find the cash

Continue on with the plan and get new flooring throughout the whole first two levels of our home.

Pros: Takes care of these first two levels (and the only levels that guests generally see) with new and pretty flooring. We won’t have to deal with upgrading any more flooring for at least a couple years (until I get sick of the crappy carpeting in the rest of the house and want it replaced, but it gets less wear so we still have a little bit). It’s only $250 more than we hoped.

Cons: Stretches our budget to the max and means we won’t have much (any?) room for other projects this year. Not sure how I feel about carpet in the living room (see below).

Option 2: Split it up

Do the wood now, as planned. Save the carpeting of the great room and man cave for next year.

Pros: The carpeting isn’t really THAT bad (more of a personal peeve than obvious to guests), so it could probably wait. Cost of just the wood flooring is really reasonable and will give us lots of breathing room in our budget.

Cons: Kind of a hassle to do the flooring deal twice in two years, and its not like the cost of carpet is going down. Not sure how I feel about carpet in the living room (see below).

Option 3: Split it up, remix.

I’m toying with the idea of continuing the wood through the great room, which would make the entire main level wood. If we did this we would wait until next year to do new carpet in the man cave.

Pros: I love the look of an entire level in wood. It would probably improve the resale value of the house. It would still come in under budget and give us a bit of breathing room. (although not as much as option 2).

Cons: We’re spending more money over all. It will take 2 years to get everything done.

Sigh. First world problems, right? I think the deciding factor is whether or not we want to do the great room in wood. While I do love the look, for practicality’s sake I lean towards carpet. Carpet is cozier for a living space, it doesn’t require an extra rug, it’s easier to maintain, and given the layout of our house I don’t think that carpeting in the great room is necessarily a strike against us for resale. But… it’s pretty! So yea, torn.

I’m open to opinions here people. Let me have ’em!


3 thoughts on “Flooring decisions…

  1. #3! Especially for resale value, since it sounds so nice to potential buyers to hear “hardwood throughout the main floor.” And also because I’m pretty obsessed with hardwood floors and can’t wait until we get to put them in our house. Love the hickory color you guys have picked out!

  2. Wood throughout and do the carpet later. I think your space on the main floor is so open that the wood throughout will look amazing. Then save redoing the carpet for another time.

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