Dreamworker's hobby is coming up with inventive ideas to make her home a more comfortable and healthy place to live.
A few years ago my husband and I decided to replace the carpet in our condo with Pergo laminate flooring. The same result would probably occur with other types of laminate flooring, but after checking all of them out, this one seemed to be the best for our purposes.
This is the story of what we did, how we did it and what happened as the result of making this change.
If you are thinking of doing something similar, reading this article may help you to decide whether changing from carpet to laminate will be the right decision for you.
Exchanging Carpet for Pergo Is a Big Decision
Hate your carpet? Want to exchange it for something that is easier to maintain, cleaner and lasts longer? Do as we did and consider laminate flooring.
My husband and I did, and we have never regretted it.
Recently some good friends replaced their carpet with Pergo. It was beautiful, and they told us it required only minimal care. This caused us to start thinking about the fact we might want to do the same because the carpet in our condo was causing numerous problems.
- It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep the carpet clean.
- Vacuuming was becoming a drudgery that produced only minimally good results.
- The cost of professional cleaning was becoming prohibitive.
- The carpet was causing of a lot of dust in the house, which was affecting our allergy problems.
The Alternatives to Carpet Replacement Didn't Work
At first we thought it was too soon to replace the carpet because of the financial loss, so we tried some other alternatives. We bought an air filter first for our bedroom and then for our whole house. We vacuumed more often; we got rid of our heavy Kirby vacuum cleaner and purchased a lighter Dyson cleaner.
These things helped somewhat, but most of the problems continued. This was going to be a harder decision than we thought!
We didn't want to make a mistake because new flooring would be something we would have to live with for a long time. More importantly, it would need to suit our lifestyle while eliminating our problems.
My husband and I realized that before we did anything, we would have to make important decisions about whether installing Pergo would be worthwhile.
We had to consider cost, because our carpet was not old, we would lose some of our original floor covering investment, and replacement would be expensive.
We also had to think about the amount of time it would take to remove the old flooring and install the new.
A flooring replacement project is messy and difficult because everything that sits on the floor has to be constantly moved. This meant the house would be torn apart for awhile and living in it in that condition would not be fun.
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Finally, if we did the install ourselves, it would require a lot of back breaking, dirty work. (I never knew how much dirt carpets hold I researched what would be involved in this project. Used carpets full of residues are much heavier than new ones!)
All of these issues made us want to check out other options.
Laminate? Designer Vinyl? Hardwood?
We started researching the different types of flooring that we might want to use when we got rid of our old carpet. It was a daunting task.
There are all kinds of choices when it comes to floor coverings. Learning about them can be an overwhelming experience! Here are some of the main flooring types that are available:
- Sheet Vinyl: Flexible vinyl that comes in a sheet and is cut to size then glued onto the floor.
- Cork: Flooring made of cork tiles.
- Vinyl Squares: Individual flexible vinyl squares that either come pre glued or need to be attached onto a glued floor
- Designer Vinyl: This is similar to vinyl squares but always needs to be glued to the floor. It is sturdier and comes in many designs that look like real stone or wood.
- Vinyl Plank: Vinyl flooring that looks like planks of stone or wood and can only be used under certain circumstances.
- Laminate Plank: This is heavier but less flexible than Vinyl Plank Flooring but looks like real stone or wood. It can only be used under certain circumstances.
- Ceramic Tile: Individual heavy glazed tiles that are put onto floors with a special glue.
- Hardwood: Floors made of actual wood.
- Stone: Floors made of stone. These usually are seen on patios and outdoor areas.
- Chemically Coated Flooring: This is a floor covering that is poured onto a concrete floor. It is seamless, comes in a variety of colors and is very durable. It is usually used on garage floors.
- Porcelain: This flooring is similar to ceramic tile, but is colored all the way through instead of just being glazed.
After many hours of reading and discussing the pros and cons of the different flooring choices, we were about to give up and just replace our present carpet with a low pile carpet.
In the past, we felt wall to wall carpet was beautiful, warm and inviting. It was always the least expensive (we thought) type of flooring. It went down fast, looked great, and installation and removal of old carpeting were always included in the price.
So, off we went to the carpet stores.
Doing that made us stop and think again because we began to realize that carpets are not necessarily the best overall deal financially.
Carpets always come with big guarantees, but for various reasons, the guarantees are usually useless. They always look good the first year or so, but once they are cleaned, it seems they need to be redone fairly often. After awhile, even that does not work. There are visible wear marks in many places and some areas never come clean.
Also, experience had taught us that no matter how much we vacuumed, there was still a fair amount of dust and dander in the house. This not only looked bad, but was affecting our health.
The vacuums we had to use were big, bulky and hard to push. They took up space and often smelled. They also needed to be maintained and replaced from time to time, and emptying the bags or cleaning the bins was nasty business.
We realized that every five years we were spending $2,000 for carpet, another $1350 for cleaning, an average of $500 for a vacuum cleaner plus the cost of supplies and upkeep. For what the carpet was costing us, we could install a better floor that would last longer and wind up costing us less.
In the end, we knew the best way to go was to replace the carpet because although the install would be problematic, once it was done, we would never have to deal with carpet issues again.
The Dyson Bin Sends Our Carpet Packing!
Earlier I mentioned that one thing we tried was to replace our Kirby vacuum with a Dyson.
Dyson vacuum cleaners have a clear plastic dirt catcher that let's you see exactly what is coming out of your carpet. Even though we thought our old vac had been doing a good job, we were shocked to see what was coming out of the carpet when we vacuumed with the Dyson.
It was disgusting!
What we saw in the Dyson bin sealed the deal for us | the carpet had to go.
We sold the vac the day after we advertised it, thus giving ourselves an extra $300 towards the purchase of new flooring. We then advertised the carpet by telling people that they could have it in exchange for uninstalling it. It was gone within a day, also.
Pergo It Is!
Prior to eliminating the carpet, we had decided that we were going to buy and install laminate flooring.
We then had to decide what brand to buy. Here are the choices we had that were recommended by building contractors:
- St. James / Dream Home / Lumber Liquidators
We decided that Pergo was the best choice for us because it would be installed over a concrete floor in an area where there would be no moisture or condensation and would be easy to keep clean. If we gave this new floor proper care, it would probably last the rest of our lives.
Our Pergo Install Has Improved Our Lives
My husband did the install (he`s extremely good at this sort of thing), and everybody who sees our new floor falls in love with it.
We love it, too, because the house is cleaner, our breathing has improved and our lives are much easier than they were before we made the change..
This floor was a good investment, both financially, time wise and health wise. It is now three years since we did the install, and the floor still looks like new!
We are happy we made the change from carpet to Pergo and think that anybody who decides to do the same will have no regrets.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Do you know how much it costs to have wall-to-wall carpet pulled up and have laminate flooring installed in its place?
Answer: You will have to do some comparison shopping to see what this will cost. You can pull the carpet up yourself, but it is a heavy, dirty job and disposing of it is not easy. Spend some time checking prices at carpet stores and big box stores such as Home Depot. Laminate can be very tricky to install, so you want to make sure the person doing the job is good at it. Installation usually includes carpet removal and disposal. If someone offers you a cheap price, ask to see some of the installations they have done in other people's homes before you hire them.
Question: Can laminate be used on stairs?
Answer: Yes, but it would be slippery to walk on, so may not be a good choice.
© 2015 Sondra Rochelle
Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on September 03, 2015:
If you use a quickee professional hardwood floor mop first dry and then with a mixture of vinegar and water, it takes less than 10 minutes to completely clean the floor (unless you have a huge house). We hardly ever have to clean the floor..maybe once a week...but we don't walk barefoot and there are no small children here. I have never felt the floor was dirty. However, we live in a small condo in FL, so maybe that makes the difference.
Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on September 03, 2015:
We also ditched our carpet for Pergo. Although we don't regret it, one thing I think people may not realize is that with a hard floor, such as laminate, you will feel the dirt more on your bare feet. Also, if you have crawling babies, they will get more of the dirt on their knees if you don't clean the floor every day.
There is a lot of dirt in carpet, but it sinks down into the pile. All of the dirt on a hard floor stays on top. When you clean it, it is really clean, but when you don't, all of the dirt is on top.