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Let's talk about fake floors


Moxie
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Ok, the floors aren't really fake, they do exist! The fake part is what I'm putting on them.

 

So, we have a big house that was hit hard with the 80's stick. We got it cheap knowing that it would be years of updating. As an aside, this was a mistake. Our interest rate is so low, we should have spent more for an already updated house. Constant home improvements will suck the life right out of you.

 

The original plan was tile in areas with water and hardwood everywhere else (no carpet, carpet is disgusting).

 

Tile and hardwood are expensive. The current floors are hideous. It is hard for me to clean because it is all so damn ugly.

 

How does the hive feel about LVP and fake wood floors (laminate??)? This is a middle class neighborhood so high end is not expected. Will I regret not saving longer for nicer floors? Part of me hates the idea of fake stuff but most of me just wants to make some progress.

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How long do you plan to live in this house? If this is the forever house, then you don't want laminate. If this is the interim house, you might be able to live with the laminate and try to take really good care of it (vacuum/dust mop, no steam mops, Bona or other cleaner, no shoes in the house, etc.).

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The previous owners of our house had put pergo laminate in a couple of rooms, and while it wasn't necessarily our first choice, we also couldn't justify ripping out brand new pergo just because. So it stayed. It's actually pretty nice. It cleans easily and looks beautiful. It's held up to very heavy use with our family -- chairs scraping, muddy shoes, spills. It's in our schoolroom and dining room, which are the two most used rooms in the house. After nine years of heavy use, it's got a couple of nicks, but it almost entirely looks very nice.

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I love my laminate wood floors. I think they look good. There are a few nicks here and there but nothing bad. We were getting rid of yucky carpet and couldn't justify the cost of hard wood. I don't regret our choice at all. I don't remember the name of what we chose but it was easy to install ourselves.

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I'm in the process of installing the Allure vinyl plank in my house (built in the 60's, not worth putting high end anything in). LOVE IT! It looks like wood/laminate, soft on bare feet, doesn't need any maintenance, and so easy to clean up spills.

 

FIL put new floors in just before we did, and his real hardwood looks so fake that I couldn't justify that expense.

 

We have it in all the bedrooms and the office right now, but we'll floor the living room with it as well. "Wet" rooms (bathrooms/kitchen) are getting the grouted vinyl tile.

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We're in the process of buying a new-to-us house and I'm going to have Armstrong Alterna LVT installed in all the bathrooms and laundry room.  We considered real tile but decided there really are no benefits over the luxury vinyl product, and numerous drawbacks.  If I needed to redo an entire house I would absolutely consider LVP.

 

We have just a bit of laminate here in the foyer and downstairs half bath.  The half bath gets considerable use -- one of our cats eats his meals in there (three to six times a day), and he's not a neat cat.  I love that flooring.  I clean it with whatever I have handy and even though it's almost ten years old it still looks brand new.

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What should I put in the entry? We have lots of neighborhood kids. If it is raining or snowing, there can easily be 8-12 pairs of wet shoes on the entry floor. I don't mind because the entry is ugly time and the water doesn't hurt it at all.

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I love our laminate.  We have some original hardwoods (house is 100), but then some laminate.  Of course hardwood is lovely, but we don't have the money for that.  The laminates we have don't scratch.  They are super easy to clean. It was also fairly easy to install ourselves.  Going from scary fugly floors to that was great.  Really really pleased with it.

 

 

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What should I put in the entry? We have lots of neighborhood kids. If it is raining or snowing, there can easily be 8-12 pairs of wet shoes on the entry floor. I don't mind because the entry is ugly time and the water doesn't hurt it at all.

The LVP will be much better with the wet shoes than laminate.

The new vinyl looks really good and i think it feels much better than laminate.

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I hate fake floors.  Whatever you do, if you decide to install them make sure they are not from Lumber Liquidators.  Get a quality (expensive) brand, and keep the paperwork.

 

Or get cheap unfinished oak flooring (in that case LL is okay, and finish it yourself.  It will cost less than quality laminate to install yourself, assuming you already have or rent tools instead of purchasing them.

 

We got ours from LL. We have had no problems whatsoever.  There aren't a lot of options here.  It was LL or Home Depot.  Home Depot had a very limited selection and the prices weren't very good.

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We've had both. We put laminate in our last house - not our forever home. We went with the most expensive laminate at Lowe's, because we liked it. It was beautiful. And it held up perfectly, for ten years, till we sold. No funky laminate sound, felt good on bare feet, and most people thought it was real. Loved that floor. We even had to replace a section after a plumbing issue, and you couldn't tell. Gorgeous. We put it on all three levels of that home. Bathrooms and kitchen got LVP.

 

I have seen bad laminate, too, though. There's a wide range!

 

We have hardwood in our new house (we bought the house with all the updates, we didn't want projects this time, I hear you). I love it, but it is harder to care for.

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We absolutely love our wood laminate.  It is fantastic for our family with kids and pets.  Ours is ten years old, and looks great.  Super easy to clean.  Don't go for the cheapest stuff.  It's worth it to pay for quality.  But, we love ours.

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I hate fake floors.  Whatever you do, if you decide to install them make sure they are not from Lumber Liquidators.  Get a quality (expensive) brand, and keep the paperwork.

 

Or get cheap unfinished oak flooring (in that case LL is okay, and finish it yourself.  It will cost less than quality laminate to install yourself, assuming you already have or rent tools instead of purchasing them.

 

We got our laminate from IKEA ten years ago and it has NOT held up as promised. We have tons of chips. Moxie, I see your kids are quite small, so this could be a problem for you too. If you end up with laminate, don't buy cheap!

 

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I think quality does make a difference. The cheap stuff feels and sounds hard/plastic-y to me.....I don't like how it feels underfoot at all, even with shoes or slippers. But I have been on some laminates that look and feel very much like solid wood.

 

I am following this thread because new flooring might be in our future. We are trying to decide between laminate or engineered hardwood or cork flooring. Some cork flooring actually looks like wood, but is warmer and softer underfoot. But I am really worried how well cork would hold up with kids.

Edited by Upptacka
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I think quality does make a difference. The cheap stuff feels and sounds hard/plastic-y to me.....I don't like how it feels underfoot at all, even with shoes or slippers. But I have been on some laminates that look and feel very much like solid wood.

 

I am following this thread because new flooring might be in our future. We are trying to decide between laminate or engineered hardwood or cork flooring. Some cork flooring actually looks like wood, but is warmer and softer underfoot. But I am really worried how well cork would hold up with kids.

We have cork upstairs - less traffic area. I love it. But we don't allow dogs up there. Dog toenails are not good for cork floors.

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Still happy with our LVP or whatever the abbreviation is. It's waterproof and dang near indestructible. I wish I had it in our kitchen and wherever the dogs go. It feels sturdier than laminate. The cork (?) backing doesn't leave that echo, and it feels very springy and comfortable.

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You might want to google recent news reports.  The government is investigating them, they have been importing unsafe laminate floors for years that are filled with chemicals that can make you very very sick.

 

It first popped up more than a year ago, they swore they cleaned it up, but it turned out current imports are even worse.  Class-action lawsuit, making a lot of people ill worse.

 

Ah yeah. Well them and all the other places.  I doubt there are differences between the Home Depot crap and their crap.  But yes that is not cool at all.  Although being it is an old house we are dealing with a lot of unsafe stuff.  I keep wondering what we are handling freely now that years later we will be told will instantly kill us.

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I have a natural aversion to floors that are meant to "look" like something else.  I would seriously consider a good quality laminate that looks like what it is -not printed to look like wood.

 

But - the wood ones aren't that bad either when well done.  I would though think carefully about the real price difference if you are not going with the cheap stuff.  I might consider, depending on the house, springing for real wood in a smaller area and a laminate in other areas - maybe more where you were thinking of tile.

 

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We had Robina laminate flooring in our previous house.  Their laminate is really nice quality.  We have hardwood in our current house.  The laminate looked much better than the hardwood and it held up way better too. Our hardwood looks terrible.  It hasn't held up to our dog at all. 

 

Suzanne

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They installed Luxura luxury vinyl plank in a walnut colored wood grain pattern at my church about a year and a half ago.  It has held up beautifully, even in high traffic areas.  When they replace carpet, they will probably move to the LVP throughout. The operations manager who oversees the maintenance crew is so thrilled that we will be able to do away with the carpet cleaning machines!  :hurray:

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What should I put in the entry? We have lots of neighborhood kids. If it is raining or snowing, there can easily be 8-12 pairs of wet shoes on the entry floor. I don't mind because the entry is ugly time and the water doesn't hurt it at all.

 

Tile.

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Tile or poured and stained concrete in the entryway.

 

I love our laminate wood floors. They're a nice brand and we glued the joins so it hasn't crept apart at all. Almost a decade of hard wear and they still look good - much better than wood of the same age would in a house like ours :o

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I have had both real wood and artificial.  If I was going to redo our floors, I would pick high end artificial every time. 

 

I hate having real wood. Unless it is a 50 year old house and the wood is already broken in, every single bump and scrape drove me nuts on the real wood.  We had dents in the oak from things like a chair falling over, or a can getting dropped by the pantry etc. Normal every day living. I hated dealing with the snow on the real wood and a minor leak by the refrigerator meant the entire kitchen floor had to be refinished due to color shift in the stain. The house we had, had a lot of south facing windows so the stain on floor shifted to a different color over the years due to the light on the floor.  That means that we had to pull up rugs and let the sun hit that part of the floor too, so that the floor color wasn't different under the rugs. 

 

The laminate in our entry way right now, still looks almost perfect after 15 years.  No special care, no babying it, no nicks, no chips, and no color shift. 

 

 

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We just installed Coretec Plus that looks like Maple in our kitchen, dining, laundry, and half bath. We love it! It's waterproof, easy to clean and very pretty. They have wood and stone patterns. I like the wood patterns best. It is very durable and scratch marks buff out quickly and easily with a light weight scouring pad. It's not cheap but it will hold up to wear and tear better than real hardwood in areas with high water use.

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Tile or poured and stained concrete in the entryway.

 

I love our laminate wood floors. They're a nice brand and we glued the joins so it hasn't crept apart at all. Almost a decade of hard wear and they still look good - much better than wood of the same age would in a house like ours :o

 

My dream home would be all concrete.  Each room would have a drain and a hose so I could just hose it down.  :lol:

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Just a word of caution on Luxury Vinyl. We had this installed in our home (two houses ago) back in 2011. I loved it, it was easy maintenance. However we then found ourselves in the position of needing to move (ironically because of school district changes) and it absolutely killed us on resale. A lot of buyers, at least in that neighborhood, did not want to see the word Vinyl on the flooring description. It didn't matter that it said Luxury in front of it. We ended up having to offer a floor allowance to get people in the door. So if you have any remote chance of selling in the near future, I would stick with wood, tile, or laminate.

 

In our next house, we went with wood flooring. And then I bumped the garage cabinet with my truck (which popped the sink pipe in the house) which then flooded part of my house. We had had the floor all of about two months, and had only been in the house that long and I hadn't bothered to learn where the water shut off was....lesson learned anyway. They had to rip out 2500 square feet of wood because you can't just pull some of it out the way they do wood floors here in Texas. We don't have subfloors. Anyway, we went with wood tile after that and it was my favorite floor ever. Quieter than real wood, easier to clean, no one has any idea it wasn't wood unless we told them. When we sold that house we had a ton of interest, and in the feedback everyone LOVED the floors.

 

I vote wood tile!

Ceramic tile that looks like wood or some other product I'm not familiar with?

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We are about to put in a product called Coretec (or maybe it's Coretek).  It's a waterproof, vinyl  laminate.  It comes in planks like wood floors.  I think it's really pretty.  They have all sorts of different wood like looks.  For us, it's the best option.  We don't want wood(it's expensive and this flooring is going in entry/laundry/kitchen/bathroom), laminate scares me because you aren't supposed to get it wet, and I don't want tile because grout scares me.  We need something durable and with the ability to be mopped with soap and water.

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We had two rooms redone with Smartcore last year and have been very happy with it. We chose it in part because it is not just water resistant, but water proof. As we were using it to replace flooring in rooms that flooded...

 

water proof sounded really good!

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We just put Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring in our entry/office/schoolroom area.  No one who has been here thinks it's hardwood, but everyone loves it. I went with it because it's completely waterproof and I didn't want to deal with the upkeep of sealing grout with tile.  I don't think it's something I would want in the majority of my house though.  For something like the living or dining room I would probably go with laminate, since being waterproof would be less of an issue.  I also wanted to add that in our area, houses in mid-range often have "new laminate flooring" and it doesn't seem to be a problem for sales.  If you're not looking to stay in the home forever I would keep resale in mind and make sure that laminate won't be a major problem for you though.  

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We went with the timber laminate type. I really do like it. I like the look and the feel of it. I like the price. And I like how easy it was to install.

 

Go for one of the thicker, good quality brands, and get the best possible underlay. The flooring we removed was a cheap type, with thin underlay and it had a 'rattley' feel to it compared to the more solid feel of the brand we used. The cheap one actually buckled in some places when it expanded in high humidity weather (expansion and contraction is normal, buckling is not).

 

It chips when a sharp knife is dropped on it (an issue in the kitchen and dining room), but otherwise is very hard. Dh recently tried to drive a screwdriver into a board that we were trying to remove and he really struggled!

 

Boards are resistant to water splashed and spills, but don't cope well with being soaked. We've just dealt with boards that got very, very wet due to a leaking dishwasher connection. Water had got underneath the boards and they sat in it for a couple of days we think. We removed several rows of boards and left then to dry. While they were definitely permanently damaged with swollen areas, they were still structurally sound to re-use (hidden under the dishwasher). If I did it again I'd consider using vinyl boards in the kitchen and laundry. And definitely buy a spare pack of boards in case any get damaged - we ended up replacing one of the water damaged boards with a spare.

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There was a long thread here when I was choosing new flooring. Pretty much nobody here agreed with my plan to use wood-look ceramic tile.

 

I went ahead and did it, and it looks GREAT. One of my friends liked it so much that she put the same floor in her house.

 

 

Our house is currently on the market. We have gotten very high feedback about the flooring. It was expensive to have installed, but my friend did hers herself and that made it durable, beautiful and affordable.

 

Here are some pictures in the listing.

 

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/23509-Dogwood-Trail-Dr-Hockley-TX-77447/28747773_zpid/

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There was a long thread here when I was choosing new flooring. Pretty much nobody here agreed with my plan to use wood-look ceramic tile.

 

I went ahead and did it, and it looks GREAT. One of my friends liked it so much that she put the same floor in her house.

 

 

Our house is currently on the market. We have gotten very high feedback about the flooring. It was expensive to have installed, but my friend did hers herself and that made it durable, beautiful and affordable.

 

Here are some pictures in the listing.

 

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/23509-Dogwood-Trail-Dr-Hockley-TX-77447/28747773_zpid/

Ugh, your kitchen is so pretty. I want it so hard!!

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There was a long thread here when I was choosing new flooring. Pretty much nobody here agreed with my plan to use wood-look ceramic tile.

 

I went ahead and did it, and it looks GREAT. One of my friends liked it so much that she put the same floor in her house.

 

 

Our house is currently on the market. We have gotten very high feedback about the flooring. It was expensive to have installed, but my friend did hers herself and that made it durable, beautiful and affordable.

 

Here are some pictures in the listing.

 

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/23509-Dogwood-Trail-Dr-Hockley-TX-77447/28747773_zpid/

 

it really depends where you are.  some places tile is much more practical.  here,  we have a mcmansion up the street that used the wood-look porcelain tile instead of hardwood throughout the main floor (rather than just in wet areas). . . . . it's just one of the reasons it makes it feel like a spec house as opposed to the more custom look buyers at that price point want.   they've lowered the price twice. in SIX months, and it's still sitting.

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That wood-look tile is gorgeous in the pictures, and I can see lots of potential benefits like easy cleaning. In our case I'm not really that focused on resale; we're (hopefully) here for the long haul.

 

But I've just been through years of looking after elderly parents, many falls and trips to the emergency room, and the years of small kids racing through the house and falling aren't that distant either.

 

So when I'm thinking about modifications to a house we're staying in, on the one hand smooth floors which are continuous between kitchen, dining room, bedrooms etc sound wonderfully accessible, but on the other hand the image of heads hitting ceramic floors is worrying me. I guess heads hitting wood floors don't do too well either, really, lol.

 

For those of you who have lived with these floors, what did you think of the safety angle? Would you be comfortable with children and unsteady elders maneuvering on them?

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That was a consideration for us. My kids slipped many times on the old kitchen floor, it was very slippery.

 

We have LVP in the kitchen now, and when we looked at samples I wanted one with more grooves in it. It was not my first choice for looks, I like the smooth looks.

 

No one has slipped, and it is still very easy to clean. I had worried about the grooves being hard to clean, but nothing gathers in them, I think bc they are a little slick compared to a natural surface.

 

So ----- it is so easy to clean, it looks nice with just sweeping or vacuuming all the time. No one has fallen.

 

Before it only looked good with mopping!

 

It does look nice too, but it is not the nicest thing at the store by any means. It looks nice in our house, though!

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We had hardwoods installed and love them. My parents recently had expensive laminate installed in two connecting rooms. It doesn't look bad, though it doesn't look like hardwoods, but it feels like plastic when I walk on it, and their house is so much louder. We have hardwoods in most of our house, but those two rooms of laminate echo throughout their living area. It's crazy.

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Not quite safety, but one of the things that I am not as crazy about with tile or stone floors is that they are so hard to stand on.  I would still use them in some areas and use rugs for places where I stood, like the sink, but I would probably prefer not to use them throughout the house.

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I always think wood laminate looks great.

 

I prefer wood in theory, if you can get it, but wood laminate is fine. Let the kids re-do it when they inherit the house.

 

Wood tile here is not considered luxurious at all and I would not go for that. You have the money, do real wood if you want. Otherwise go for cheap and wait until the kids get bigger to do wood. Wood tile is so 1960s... believe me, we live in neighborhoods built in the 1960s-70s and the flooring is amusing.

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We have LVP in the kitchen, and I love it. It looks great, is easy to clean, and wears like steel. I have multiple cats with claws and a 7yo who likes to drag chairs across the floor and who drops things regularly, and there isn't so much as a scratch on it. The cats spill their water in there constantly, and it's nice not to have to worry about damage.

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There was a long thread here when I was choosing new flooring. Pretty much nobody here agreed with my plan to use wood-look ceramic tile.

 

I went ahead and did it, and it looks GREAT. One of my friends liked it so much that she put the same floor in her house.

 

 

Our house is currently on the market. We have gotten very high feedback about the flooring. It was expensive to have installed, but my friend did hers herself and that made it durable, beautiful and affordable.

 

Here are some pictures in the listing.

 

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/23509-Dogwood-Trail-Dr-Hockley-TX-77447/28747773_zpid/

Your house is gorgeous!! Love those floors! And you aren't too far from me!!

 

As for the OP, we had 12.33mm laminate with the 'thickest' underlayment made at the time in our under 2000sqft house everywhere but the kitchen, baths, laundry, and foyer. Loved how easy it was to clean but oh my, it was so LOUD!!! It was one reason we sold that house. My ears could not take the echo. Tile isn't any better, though. I think worse. I would go with an engineered hardwood with an excellent underlayment. Many, like bamboo, are very hard. Wet areas like a foyer, use tile but go for a porcelin using a micro-grout line.

 

I agree--carpet is disgusting.

Edited by Paradox5
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There was a long thread here when I was choosing new flooring. Pretty much nobody here agreed with my plan to use wood-look ceramic tile.

 

I went ahead and did it, and it looks GREAT. One of my friends liked it so much that she put the same floor in her house.

 

 

Our house is currently on the market. We have gotten very high feedback about the flooring. It was expensive to have installed, but my friend did hers herself and that made it durable, beautiful and affordable.

 

Here are some pictures in the listing.

 

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/23509-Dogwood-Trail-Dr-Hockley-TX-77447/28747773_zpid/

Your house is beautiful!

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We have laminate and I love it. We went with it because it was so much less expensive. Hard wood was out of the budget. We've had ours over 10 years and it looks exactly the same today as it did when installed. Except for that dent in the floor where my Kitchenaid kneaded itself off the counter and plunged to the floor. Oops!

 

Our fridge and dishwasher have leaked all over on multiple occasions and it was never a problem. We have had dogs in the house the entire time and you can never tell, except for the muddy paw prints they sometimes bring in, but that is easy to fix. I damp mop it with vinegar and water and it's looks like new.

 

Our installer said that if you do damage a piece, it is easy to pop out and replace, just make sure to order some extra. With real wood, you often have to redo the entire floor.

 

I would do laminate again and use the money I saved to do something fun. :)

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We had some laminate in the old house, have real hardwood all upstairs except the tile in the kitchen and bathrooms and some vinyl plank in the basement. I love my real hardwood, it is gorgeous, it does show scratches and such and with 4 kids life happens(and although I cringe at marks it is just character) but I'd never trade it. That being said there is some laminate that looks very nice and I'm in love with the vinyl plank flooring. My uncle had some vinyl plank installed in his house and I was blown away with how good it looks and feels- I was happy to pick it for the basement(especially due to it being water proof) and if I had a redo I would have put it in my kitchens and bathrooms. I HATE cleaning grout. I thought I got a dark enough grout to hide dirt stains, I did not, it is a PITA and hard. It may look nice but it isn't worth it and there is vinyl plank that looks even prettier. So, my personal vote considering your circumstances would be vinyl plank and buy the best you can afford- it makes such a huge difference in how it holds up.

Edited by soror
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