help! which flooring for beach house?

Old 08-21-08, 10:31 AM
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help! which flooring for beach house?

we are at the end of our rope trying to decide which type of flooring to put into our small beach house. i have read so many blogs and forums and i've noticed both hardwood AND laminate seem to be recommended/not recommended almost equally! hardwood and engineered wood seem to be recommended for resale value, but selling our house down the road is not an issue. i also don't know if we want to have to refinish our floors every five or so (?) years. from what i've read, dropping something heavy on a hardwood floor as well as a laminate floor can cause marks or scratches on both. we don't want tile. we'd like something that is very low maintenance, as this is a second house and we have enough at home between kids and work to keep us so busy! how much do i have to worry about water damage? i hear that if a pipe bursts or something similar happens where the floor becomes submerged in water, the laminate will buckle, but wouldn't it also damage a hardwood or engineered hardwood floor too? my husband and i are hearing go for hardwood just as much as we are hearing go for laminate, and we are so confused and feel like we are not getting anywhere! we're even getting conflicting stories about the pros and cons of hardwood vs. laminate from employees of home depot, lowes and independent flooring stores! one employee said that his pergo laminate floor has withstood dogs and kids and he has it in his own house, while another employee said that hardwood is the way to go. can someone please help shed some light as to which would make more sense to get for our beach house? i walk by our beautiful samples of hardwood and wood-look laminate and cringe because we cannot decide. some of the laminates look quite like real wood, i have to say. thank you....
Old 08-22-08, 09:14 AM
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Smile Go with wood

I have had hardwood floors in a beach house since 1972. Would never consider anything else. But I do know the pitfalls of laminate, including Pergo. I had Pergo installed for a business environment - it got wet from a bit of rain and buckled almost immediately. We luckily ripped it up and replaced it with wood within 2 weeks of the installation of the Pergo. Our winter home is 100 % hardwood and has lived through Hurricane Andrew.... The floor buckled in one place and the house was closed up for 6 days so the water had time to work its horrors. We had installed a floating floor and that turned out to be a wonderful decision. Also I have yet to see laminate wood look real enough to make it worth the money savings and so many people tell stories about a bit of hidden water causing irreparable damage. Laminate and wood laminate cannot hold up as well as wood when water gets in simply because of the structure of the manmade substrate vs. nature's wood fiber.
As for maintenance - we use polyurethane on the floors of our beach house and in 36 years of summer and partial winter use, including tons of sand being tracked through, we are only now thinking we might put another 2 coats of poly on the wood. We used a sealer, 2 thin coats of HIGH gloss poly which is more durable that satin finish and finally one coat of satin so remove that glassy look of high gloss. We continue to get oohs and aahs about those floors. The floors in our winter house which suffered from a hurricane were repaired easily, re-sanded and back in use as before.... Just run a dry mop over the floors to remove sand, grit, as you would any floor. You won't regret your decision to use solid hardwood!!!!!!

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