Will I regret putting hard floors down throughout the downstairs?

(63 Posts)

We put down wood-look Karndean in the hallway and kitchen last year. We absolutely love it and it looks fab. The carpet in the lounge/diner (quite a large area) however is KNACKERED and it was new 3 years ago when we moved in. I'm so sick of trying to get raisins, play-doh and felt tip out of it and it never looks clean. We're thinking of continuing the Karndean throughout and putting a big squishy rug in the sofa area.

But I've never lived in a house with hard floors in the living room. Will I really regret it? Will it be freezing? DD is concerned she won't be able to do cartwheels grin. DC are 6 and nearly 4, so no toddlers learning to walk or anything.

Anyone got rid of carpet and regretted it?

Does no-one have an opinion on this earth-shattering issue? grin

HormonalHousewife Tue 06-Aug-13 19:11:27

We have had hard floors downstairs in 3 houses since 2000.

I think it looks nicer. Yes it's a bit cold on the feet but a nice rug and slippers does the job in winter.

I don't think I'd ever choose carpet downstairs over wood again.

BrianButterfield Tue 06-Aug-13 19:14:07

We have hard floors throughout the downstairs and I'm very happy with them. They're practical and look better than carpet would with all the mess/pushchairs/bits that are in our house.

We have rugs for messing about on the floor or crawling-baby spaces. We have engineered wood and it's very forgiving - it does scratch but not so you'd really notice.

silasramsbottom Tue 06-Aug-13 19:27:49

I only have carpet in one room downstairs and it's the room I'm itching to change 3 years later.

Hard floors are far better wearing and rugs are cheaper to replace if you change colour scheme (like I have).

Spottedbag Tue 06-Aug-13 19:34:51

We ya hard wood oak floor throughout the house ( bar the loo and bathroom). We absolutely love it and have two small DC. I don't like carpets, rugs are fine. Easy to keep clean and looks stylish and neat.

Mrsrobertduvall Tue 06-Aug-13 19:38:20

We have original parquet flooring here and tiles in kitchen(with underfloor heating)
We have a couple of big rugs too.
Prefer to carpet.

nemno Tue 06-Aug-13 19:38:29

Hard floors every time for me. You can add rugs and wear slippers!

Ooh this is encouraging!

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Tue 06-Aug-13 19:43:52

Same here, never go back to carpets now, not downstairs. And my house is very chilly in winter!

superbagpuss Tue 06-Aug-13 19:44:39

we have hard floors downstairs
ideal for DC and pets as easy to clean
also DC can play better on hard floor - cars work better, puzzles stay flat etc
we all wear slippers in winter

Dirtymistress Tue 06-Aug-13 19:47:58

The only carpet we have is on the stairs. Everything else is tile or wood. Carpets are the devils work. When I wash my floors and see the filth that two tiny people generate, I can't help but that the carpets must be utterly disgusting.grin

Littlefish Tue 06-Aug-13 19:50:58

Hard floors for us too, with a lovely soft rug in the sitting room. I wouldn't have anything else. This is the 2nd house where we've had the same arrangement.

wonkylegs Tue 06-Aug-13 22:27:06

We had oak floors throughout our old house and I'm itching to put it down in this house(got to wait til the messy refurbishment bits are done).
Takes a little getting used to I had sore feet for a bit (but soon got used to it) but slippers solve that and any issues with cold.
Rugs can be used to make rooms cosy, add colour and to play on.
Ours had been down for 10yrs, coping with bikes, buggies and a completely non precious attitude to shoes, toys etc and when we put it on the Market everybody asked if it was new down grin. To me that just shows how good it was.
I want it back now! (eying the grubby cream carpet)

blueshoes Tue 06-Aug-13 23:13:20

Don't most people, if they had a choice, use hard floors in the living room? I associate carpet with older folk.

rockybalboa Tue 06-Aug-13 23:26:45

We have hard floors throughout downstairs (stripped floorboards) and with 3 small children, 3 cats and a DH who never takes his fecking shoes off, I wouldn't go back to carpet for all the tea in China. Even the rug pisses me off. Slippers are the way forward when it's cold.

I am the lone voice of disagreement. wood is fine in hallways, something cleanable in kitchen but def a nice warm carpet in the sitting room. I don't do cold and draughty!

Mutley77 Wed 07-Aug-13 07:39:36

I like to have one living area carpeted for the cosy, sitting on the floor factor. However in a living/dining I would definitely have hard floor - much more convenient and, like you say, you can put a rug down for sitting playing on the floor if that's what your kids want to do.

I have never noticed it being particularly cold but we do like our central heating turned up in winter! Slippers are a good idea though.

PoppyAmex Wed 07-Aug-13 07:40:34

I have never lived in a house with carpets and neither have my parents.

I imagine it could potentially be warmer but can't think of any other benefits.

I've seen people washing carpets (in very clean, well maintained houses) and they were filthy. That alone would be enough to put me off.

I would never, ever, ever, ever, EVER have carpet again anywhere except a bedroom. Hard floors are the way to go, absolutely. Wood/laminate floors (and, I think, vinyl) are the same temperature as carpet, it's only tiles that might feel cold. We have tiles in the kitchen and parquet/laminate elsewhere and it's not in the slightest bit cold or draughty. Real floorboards might leave a draught but the rest absolutely don't.

Old farmhouse here and we only have carpet in the sitting room we don't use much. Four dogs, a studio, the world and his wife traipsing through means that when I mop, the colour of the water is SHOCKING. What it would be like with carpet, I cringe to think. blush

Stone floor in studio also means that everything can be swept up easily, bits of threads, beads, fabric, dog hair etc, that would be a real pain going up the hoover.

It is slightly chillier compared to the one carpeted room, but only if you don't have slippers on.
We do have carpet in the bedrooms and hall-stairs-landing, but dogs and wellies don't go upstairs

Herhonesty Wed 07-Aug-13 07:50:51


newpup Wed 07-Aug-13 07:51:15

We have oak floorboards too. Love them! They are a little cold in the winter but slippers solves that problem. I have a big rug in the lounge in front of the fire. Would never go back to carpet.

lostblonde86 Wed 07-Aug-13 07:53:06

Also agree hard floors are great! Love a rug in the living room, but can easily then clean/replace as needed, while rest of floor can be swept and disinfected grin

SanityClause Wed 07-Aug-13 07:58:41

We have lovely walnut floorboards throughout our house, apart from the kitchen and bathrooms, which are various kinds of stone and ceramic tiles.

It's lovely, and not at all cold. If your feet are a bit chilly, you can wear slippers.

(BTW, I am the kind of person who always has cold hands and feet, so if I'm not complaining about it being cold, then it really isn't!)

FanjoForTheMammaries Wed 07-Aug-13 08:00:24

Yes but be careful. .I have slipped and fallen every time we get new hard floor..including last night..ouch

If you have joined up neighbours then please consider putting sound proofing stuff down before you lay a hard floor. The noise difference coming from our neighbours house when they went over to laminate was unbelievable. We can now hear their conversations, lights being turned on etc.

tanukiton Wed 07-Aug-13 08:08:42

Look into floor heating it is fab!! It has moved on and can be quite easy to get installed

Rooners Wed 07-Aug-13 08:09:03

My mother put vinyl flooring in her living room and tbh it was terribly ugly imo.

Not sure what Karndean is like, but I do prefer wood and tiles to carpet generally with rugs of course.

We have a large ground floor flat (well it was large before I had 3 children!!) and the only room with proper carpet is the big bedroom, because it has very wonky and gappy floorboards all stained with paint, and we had so little time to put anything down that I bought a huge cheap roll from the local crap carpets R us shop, and 5 years on it is horrid. But thankfully we can't see it most of the time!

Ds1's little room has carpet tiles, same reason, no time to choose anything. They are hard wearing though ugly.

In fact the first thing we did was rip up all the filthy carpets. The hall still needs a proper floor but it's boards with a large rug over most of it - the living room is lovely floorboards with a massive cheap old Indian rug, I oiled the boards first, they are dark wood. One day I'll take up the rug but ds3 is crawling right now. (or trying to)

Dining room is now slate tiles, with rug, the kitchen is ceramic tiles I laid myself (LOVE it for cleaning purposes) and one bathroom has heavy duty vinyl, the other one ceramic tiles again.

You can't go very wrong with natural materials. Carpets are often very hard to keep looking nice.

DwellsUndertheSink Wed 07-Aug-13 08:19:49

we only have carpet in the hall, and in DHs study- and I am desperate to change the hall carpet to hardwood as the carpet just will never get over the puppy peeing on it.

Ok you've convinced me! OYBK it's ok, we're not attached. Just got to save up now...and choose a huge rug!

cardoon Fri 09-Aug-13 16:03:32

So pleased to see this thread! We are going for Karndean, van gogh, in aged kauri throughout - what 'wood' do you have?

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 09-Aug-13 16:22:51

Have always had hard flooring downstairs ever since we bought our first home - we usually go for wooden though. Practical, full of character and easy to clean.

I think it's French oak - light colour anyway. We were set on dark flooring but got samples in and the light colour was just perfect for the house.

cardoon Sat 10-Aug-13 08:19:45

Did you have any issues with the fitting - kick boards in kitchen no longer fitting/having to shave doors, for example? We're having to have 9mm ply unfortunately.

No, but I think they just put latex straight onto the concrete.

mamapants Sat 10-Aug-13 08:44:52

Focusing on the important point of your OP, why is your DD worried she won't be able to do cartwheels without carpet? That's confused me.

Also agree I much prefer no carpet downstairs. Me and DP are both very good at spilling wine. I've never found it cold, although my sister has complained she finds the kitchen and bathroom floor cold. But we will still be having hard floors in our new house. Wood in livingroom and study, slate in kitchen and bathroom.

doglover Sat 10-Aug-13 08:45:32

I'm not convinced! We've just moved into a house with tiles in the kitchen and (cheap) laminate in the bedroom (?) and the clickety-clack noise of our dogs' claws is driving my dh mad!! It's a bungalow so we can hear the noise a lot and it is irritating.

How do the rest of you who have dogs find this issue?

I'd prefer to have a hard floor in the lounge when our renovations are done but there's no way this will happen with our current dilemma.


When I go to someone's house with carpet its the first thing I notice and I always say "how" in my head when I think about what's been split over my hard floor over the years that's gone on seconds but soaks into carpet, carpet people must have to be so strict with kids and visitors to prevent spilages

shockers Sat 10-Aug-13 08:54:55

doglover, we have wooden floors downstairs in every room except our sitting room. The noise of claws on floor gets on my nerves, but I am quite intolerant when it comes to repetitive noise (eating noises drive me insane). Nobody else in the house seems to mind, so I think maybe I'm just a bit unreasonable!

aftermay Sat 10-Aug-13 09:04:16

Jar dean is softer than laminate, warmer and quieter. We had this in our last place and we chose it for the noise aspect. We have carpets now which I'm itching to change.

aftermay Sat 10-Aug-13 09:04:36


chickabilla Sat 10-Aug-13 12:22:23

We had stripped wood floors downstairs inour old house and a mixture of wood, tiles and laminate downstairs in our new house and would never choose carpet downstairs.

The boys (6 and 3) manage to roll around the floor together with no problems and both learnt to crawl and walk on wood.

We never used slippers in the old house but had a rug. I suspect we might need slippers for the new tiled kitchen floor in winter but that's ok, hopefully it will discourage the boys from playing in the kitchen!

youcantplayonbrokenstrings Sat 10-Aug-13 12:26:11

We've got wood flooring throughout the ground floor.

I love it as we have a dog and 2 messy DC.

Our dogs claws don't click clack on the wood floor, though they do on laminate and I agree that that is very annoying!

Our house is draughty in winter though.

Jaynebxl Tue 13-Aug-13 07:54:55

Another fan of hard floors everywhere. We have only had carpet in the bedrooms in our last two houses. The one before that had a lounge carpet and it was hideously dirty whatever we did. The worst would be carpet in the kitchen I think. I really feel the cold but have never suffered because of a lack of carpets and as others have said a decent rug deals with the cartwheel issue.

FieryChipotle Tue 13-Aug-13 07:58:54

Hard floors are the way forward! The only place we have carpet is on the stairs. I have oak wood flooring and it has never been cold and looks great, plus it's easy to clean.

Reastie Tue 13-Aug-13 08:04:02

Interesting thread. We've just had Kardean put down in our dining room, kitchen and hall and so far it's great. I'd love to do the whole house grin . My main concern though if you have floorboards underneath (like we do) it would be problematic if you need to get to any pipework etc under the floor hmm

I only have a runner on my stairs, I like the feel of carpet but not the look or maintenance.
Hard wood and tiles throughout my house grin I love it

TwoStepsBeyond Sat 17-Aug-13 14:35:57

Given the state of my hard floors (only laminate here sad ) I dread to think what sort of state a carpet would be in by now!

DCs (& their mates) wheel their bikes through the house to the garden, nobody ever takes their shoes off and I'm a slatternly housewife, so there is generally a dustpan full of dirt and fluff every other day. This would all be lurking in a carpet!

I put a fluffy rug down in the sitting room for the winter (sometimes remove it in summer to make it feel more open) and don't have to worry about spills, dropped food or people traipsing in and out. I'd never go back to carpet in the hall/dining room and certainly don't regret having hard floors in the sitting room either.

Jaynebxl Sun 18-Aug-13 09:19:26

I have to add a disclaimer here. We moved house less than a month ago and the kitchen floor is driving me bonkers. Actually not because it is a hard floor but because they put white tiles down and it never looks clean! Will be covering it in Lino once we are settled!

MadeOfStarDust Sun 18-Aug-13 09:28:58

Every house I've visited without carpets in the living room has felt "wrong" to me (just me I guess...) the sound echoes, doors sound loud when closing them, they are cold or expensive to heat, and most people with hard floors seem to do the "showhouse" thing of pale painted walls - so no paper to muffle the noise either....

I have sight issues and rugs are bloody awful for tripping on... as are spills for slipping on with a solid floor.

Sometimes seems a bit sterile to me... sorry... just my opinion.....

valiumredhead Sun 18-Aug-13 09:32:09

Why go for kardean if it's knackered after only a couple of years?

Oak flooring is the way to go imo, it's fantastic,I would never have carpet downstairs. You need need rugs though imo, and slippers!

Meglet Sun 18-Aug-13 09:38:10

My entire house has hard floors, except the stairs. I'd never go back to carpets.

Hard floors in the bedroom doesn't bother me either. It doesn't matter if the dc's are sick or I drop a tub of moisturiser everywhere.

satsumagirl Sun 18-Aug-13 09:39:20

We have wood floors on whole of ground floor (open plan kitchen/ dining/ living area). Love it and so much easier to keep clean! We have a rug in the living area bit for cosiness. I chose a dark pattern for that to hide vom stains from my baby!

stubbornstains Sun 18-Aug-13 09:52:25

But baby puke is white satsuma!

Tell me, is wood/ laminate actually more expensive than carpet? Is this why rental landlords will carpet the whole place as a matter of course? We have disgusting carpets in our downstairs- particularly the dining room. There has also just been some kind of complex leak that has left a big stain on part of the carpet, and the dining room now smells of damp. Nice. So, it's time to start working on the LL about new flooring, but I'm sure he won't shell out for hard flooring if it's more expensive....I'm also considering suggesting the old Changing Rooms option of varnished ply...

hedwig2001 Sun 18-Aug-13 10:02:27

Can you use a steam mop on any of these wood or laminate floors?

valiumredhead Sun 18-Aug-13 10:06:26

I wouldn't use steam on real wood, you need to clean it very little actually, just a wrung out micro fibre cloth/mop after hoovering.

Jaynebxl Sun 18-Aug-13 10:26:30

I guess it is all down to what you're used to really... when I go in a house with carpet everywhere it feels a bit wrong and kind of dated. Personal taste and all that.

valiumredhead Sun 18-Aug-13 10:30:31

I don't like laminate,I agree feels a bit dated unless you get the really good stuff. Wood is a whole different ball game though imo.

The karndean isn't knackered - the carpet is!

valiumredhead Sun 18-Aug-13 11:32:26

Oh sorry, that'll teach me to skim readgrin

cardoon Sun 18-Aug-13 14:50:58

TFFT! I've just ordered mine <wobbles>

FranklymydearIdontgiveadamn Fri 23-Aug-13 14:53:41

We only have carpet in our bedroom. Most downstairs is tiled apart from 2 reception rooms and rest of bedrooms, landing etc is wooden floors. I have a big rug down in the room where the dc watch tv

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