Let’s talk about flooring. Nothing says “buzzkill” quite like grimy, worn-out beige carpeting in an otherwise inviting home (unless you work at Kleiner Perkins, in which case “women showing up at an all-male dinner for Al Gore” spells buzzkills all around. Zing!) Anyways, back to flooring. Our home, like most of the rentals we’ve had in California before it, is covered in mostly beige carpeting, with some very cheap tiling in the bathrooms and kitchen. This generic, faux-stone beige tile works well in the kitchen, although we may update it in the bathrooms. But the beige carpet is mostly awful. With 2 dogs and a husband who was known in childhood for always having some kind of food stain on his clothes, our carpet looks like hell with less than a year of wear on it. While we could spend $150-$200 to clean all of the carpets, I am also considering living with lackluster flooring until we can replace all of the carpets. My current thoughts lean towards:
Option 1: Carpet
There is such a thing as good-looking carpet. Carpets that are designed for high traffic, and with shorter fibers can look quite sophisticated.
2: Hardwood Flooring
Another option is dark hardwood floors, and covering the main living area and center of bedrooms with large area rugs. This definitely looks more elegant, but I think it would be a bad idea for our second bedroom, which is really a converted loft, and hardwood floors would amplify the noise. But look at that Brazilian walnut floor.
3: Professional Cleaning and Wait it Out
The best option (financially and environmentally) is usually to restore or deep clean what you’ve got. Our carpets did look pretty good when they were new, and if they didn’t have so many stains, I probably wouldn’t even think of replacing them anytime soon. With Lumber Liquidators being investigated for dangerous levels of formaldehyde in their laminate wood products (another reason to choose real hardwood flooring), the more research you can do on your product and its origin, the better. Salvaged materials can offer a deep discount, and their carbon footprint is significantly reduced (since there is no additional energy or natural resources required to produce these materials) If you’re getting rid of carpet, check for recycling options. Even though the Southern California mentality of “new is better” is pretty deeply ingrained in me, I’m learning to remind myself when I feel tempted to throw it all out and get something new.