Author Topic: Flooring suggestions  (Read 3592 times)

meadow lark

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Flooring suggestions
« on: July 15, 2013, 02:34:32 PM »
We want to replace the flooring in our house before selling.  We currently have stained and worn 20 yo carpet, so I think it is necessary.  Our house is 2100 sq ft, and only the bathroom won't need redoing.  Actually, the kitchen has acceptable tile, but when I looked at matching it I realized that was going to be very difficult and they didn't tile under the stove and fridge so it looks weird, so we may take that out too.  Also, the adjoining dining room is currently carpeted.  We will carpet the bedrooms, but looking for suggestions with the rest of the house.  I would estimate about 1000 sq feet for living room, den, dining room, and hallway.  I am looking for the cheapest that won't turn buyers off.  I hate carpet - think it is dirty and disgusting, but I know a lot of people don't feel that way.
  So -
 Carpet?  Laminate?  Any suggestions on matching tile?

jenstill

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Re: Flooring suggestions
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013, 02:50:10 PM »
You could certainly do laminate or hard wood, or vinyl or tile and find any of them cheaply through Craigslist, or even box stores or Lumber Liquidators. Some buyers aren't going to like your choice no matter what you choose, though. One of the sellers of a home I looked recognized that the flooring needed replacing, but also recognized that she couldn't possibly choose something any potential buyer would like, so instead she offered a cash-at-closing flooring allowance. Maybe something like that would work for you? Figure the approximate cost of replacing the flooring with the mid-range option and offer that amount of $$ at closing for flooring replacement? Then buyers get to imagine what they would want installed and feel pretty good about having you "pay" for it.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Flooring suggestions
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 03:45:31 PM »
We want to replace the flooring in our house before selling.  We currently have stained and worn 20 yo carpet, so I think it is necessary.  Our house is 2100 sq ft, and only the bathroom won't need redoing.  Actually, the kitchen has acceptable tile, but when I looked at matching it I realized that was going to be very difficult and they didn't tile under the stove and fridge so it looks weird, so we may take that out too.  Also, the adjoining dining room is currently carpeted.  We will carpet the bedrooms, but looking for suggestions with the rest of the house.  I would estimate about 1000 sq feet for living room, den, dining room, and hallway.  I am looking for the cheapest that won't turn buyers off.  I hate carpet - think it is dirty and disgusting, but I know a lot of people don't feel that way.
  So -
 Carpet?  Laminate?  Any suggestions on matching tile?

You are almost always better off replacing it yourself than giving a flooring credit.  A buyer often inflates how much it will cost to do projects and will offer you less for the house.  It's also another hassle many homeowners don't want to bother with.  I would make the flooring the same as much as possible to create the illusion of more square footage.  I would also look at what is desired in your area for flooring.  Where I live carpet is fine, but other areas like hardwoods or laminates.  What is the price of your home?  Make sure the flooring matches the quality of your home.  (Not laminate if it's a 500k home).  Cheapest flooring is cheap carpet and laminate.  If the bathroom flooring is outdated, I would replace it too or people will wonder why you didn't.  There are some good looking laminates that I would put throughout a home (would still tile bathrooms).  I would do it in the kitchen too, they are water resistant enough to take it.  Then you have one seamless floor, which looks nicer and bigger.

Blindsquirrel

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Re: Flooring suggestions
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2013, 08:50:27 PM »
   I second lumber liquidators, or if the wood under the carpet is real, refinish it.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Flooring suggestions
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2013, 07:23:44 PM »
I would also do any painting before replacing floors and pick neutral colors. If you need ideas, tour some model homes and see what the designers have picked.

Another Reader

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Re: Flooring suggestions
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2013, 07:42:19 PM »
I think it depends on the price range of the house you are selling.  For a starter home or modestly priced middle level home, you can get some decent looking laminates for under $1.50 per square foot.  I would put that in all the common areas that are not wet areas and put a matching carpet in the bedrooms.  With regard to the kitchen, I would try to use a contrasting tile to create a border and use the tiles you remove to create the border to fill in under the appliances.  Upgrade the baseboards throughout the house if it's in the budget and choose a fairly light beige for the walls and paint the trim white.  For a more expensive home, looking at model homes, decorating magazines and TV programs about decorating will help.  Popcorn ceilings must go at this price point.

You do want to avoid the busy look of multiple flooring types coming together.  It's visually disturbing.  Minimize this by making as much of the flooring as possible the same color.

Dicey

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Re: Flooring suggestions
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2013, 11:34:00 PM »
Don't be so hasty in pulling out the carpet. We just sold my MIL's home. The almost white carpet was terribly stained, including some burn marks in front of the fireplace. The carpet was about 20 years old, but it was good quality nylon. I did some spot cleaning to see if the stains would lift (used club soda and clean white rags and the stains did soften dramatically). I carefully trimmed the burn marks, which turned out to be superficial after the club soda cleaning. We then hired a reputable carpet cleaner. (To find one, call the best carpet dealer in your area). The results were wonderful! The carpet looks close to new, certainly not twenty years old.
Yes, the buyers will replace the carpet eventually, but this approach gave them time to figure out what they want. In the meantime, they get to walk on clean, plush carpet.
If you must replace the carpet, polyester gives you the most bang for your buck. It won't last as long (despite manufacturer's claims) as nylon, but it will hold up for a few years and will look good when you sell.

meadow lark

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Re: Flooring suggestions
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2013, 08:33:52 AM »
After meeting with our realtor we have decided to tile the kitchen, dining room and utility room.  And re-carpet the rest of the house. I appreciate all the suggestions.  Diane - envious that carpet cleaning worked for you.   When we bought they had just cleaned the carpets, it took about 2 weeks for the stains to come back.  And blind squirrel - I wish there was wood under the carpet!  Refinishing asbestos tile if frowned upon in my neck of the woods!

Another Reader

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Re: Flooring suggestions
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2013, 10:45:54 AM »
Polyester stains easily, and is difficult to clean.  It also crushes quickly - the fibers are less resilient.  However, you can get very nice looking polyester carpet for much less than the equivalent nylon.  I use it on resales, but I use nylon in the rentals because it lasts longer and cleans better.

Did the agent give you estimates of how much value the proposed improvements would add?  Is the anticipated return significantly higher than the cost?  Or are the improvements designed to reduce marketing time?

Dicey

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Re: Flooring suggestions
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2013, 11:13:58 PM »
After meeting with our realtor we have decided to tile the kitchen, dining room and utility room.  And re-carpet the rest of the house. I appreciate all the suggestions.  Diane - envious that carpet cleaning worked for you.   When we bought they had just cleaned the carpets, it took about 2 weeks for the stains to come back.  And blind squirrel - I wish there was wood under the carpet!  Refinishing asbestos tile if frowned upon in my neck of the woods!
That sucks! When this happens, it usually means one of two things: either the cleaner was in a hurry and stopped cleaning when the carpet "appeared" clean, but actually wasn't, or the staining was so bad it had penetrated into the carpet pad. The nature of any carpet fiber is that stains will wick up the yarn to the surface unless they are removed completely. Have you had it professionally cleaned since then? If it was good quality to begin with, it could still be savable, particularly in lower traffic areas such as bedrooms. 

Either way, it sounds like your realtor is giving you good advice. Your willingness to do this research and take suggestions bodes well for a successful sale. Best of luck to you!

P.S. Since I originally responded, I had a conversation with a former customer (I'm retired from the flooring industry.) He said his "magic" solution for nylon carpet is a 50/50 plain ammonia and water solution in a spray bottle. Since the carpet is "hopeless" it can't hurt to try it and ammonia is certainly inexpensive, so I thought I'd pass it on...