What is the best flooring for our condo? See details below.

We now have light bamboo flooring which is too soft -- that it scratches and dents easily. Also, previous owners put rug on top of bamboo and now there are nail holes all over. We have had tile in kitchen but cans dropped took chunks out of the tile. We understand there is vinyl that looks like wood so what is your opinion about that or other flooring? We want to cover foyer (with possible entrance medallion pattern in center of foyer) kitchen, bathroom, living-dining rooms and possibly one of the bedrooms. Thank you.

  6 answers
  • My suggestion to anyone doing any home improvement, is to go to at least 2 or 3 stores and handle the products you are considering. It is one thing to do research on line, but quality can't be seen on a computer screen. I never ever order anything on line unless it is a product I have used in the past.

    Flooring is semi-permanent, personal and pricey - you need to love it as it is an investment in your home. I like the new vinyl products - there are glue down and laminate vinyl planks and still old fashioned sheet vinyl. Complaints on the planks is that if they get too wet, they are just as prone to damage and warping as wood look laminate (Pergo type) flooring.

    Consider your climate (snow? Sand?), your family's lifestyle, are you barefoot and flip flops year round? A sock family? Shoes on at all times? Pets? Children?

    I absolutely love the medallion idea for your foyer - no matter what you choose, be prepared to pay extra for the labor involved.

    Here are a couple links to read to help you decide! Enjoy the process and hope you post here on Hometalk.

  • Michele Pappagallo Michele Pappagallo on Dec 26, 2017
    Check out luxury vinyl plank flooring. It is amazing....comes in many patterns, is 100% waterproof, easy to install and priced reasonably.

  • Debbie Gartner Debbie Gartner on Dec 26, 2017
    I love Coretec Plus, and we started installing it 5 to 6 years ago. It looks and feels real and has a bit of cushion/insulation with the cork underlayment.

    And, importantly, you can install Coretec Plus on top of tile and bamboo, without the need to rip it up. (provided your floor is level; if it's not, it may bounce a bit as it's a floating floor).

    The one thing you will need to check it the height and a) make sure you have enough clearance with the appliances in the kitchen (in particular check the dishwasher) and clearance with the front door.

    Our experience w/ condos is that Coretec (or similar options) are thin enough for these clearances.

    You can read my full review of the products (pros and cons) here: http://theflooringgirl.com/blog/review-coretec-plus-luxury-vinyl-waterproof-hardwood-planks/. You'll also see there are tons of Q&A in there, too.

    Regarding medallions, I'm not a big fan of those, especially in a small home. They usually make it look smaller and lowers resale value as it's taste specific. Also, you will NOT be able to do those with a floating floor such as Coretec. But, I suppose you could make that section tile. And, medallions are very expensive.

    Oh, and also be aware that there are now plenty of coretec plus knock-off now, and almost all of them are less expensive for a reason. Most of those claim to be waterproof, but they aren't (we have gotten many complaints about the knock-offs and almost all of them are thinner and have inferior backing.

    I'd encourage you to get samples at look at them in your own lighting. In my article, there are places to order samples.

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Dec 26, 2017
    You can buy premade medallions in a variety of materials and patterns. I really dislike laminate as that's what it looks like - fake wood, and would never use it in a kitchen due to spills. Ceramic tile or vinyl tile is actually the best in the kitchen or baths. Having had many houses that I've remodeled, I use carpeting in the bedrooms and tile or real wood throughout the rest of the house. I love the new wood look ceramic tiles with area rugs to soften the look.

  • Leslie Leslie on Dec 26, 2017
    Whichever way you go make sure the installer or if you are DIY, lets the wood or wood laminate acclimate to the weather conditions inside your condo. This helps to prevent buckling. Also if you are DIY do your research online on how to install. Will save you headaches in the future. I have Bamboo laminate ( which is real bamboo, I do not wear outside shoes in my homes ) in my condo in southern Florida and because of the bad hurricanes and the loss of electricity and AC, the humidity build up caused an 11" x 8' area between the kitchen and dining area to buckle. I may have to repair if it does not go down. I would also consider the vinyl planks which the ones I have seen, beautiful.
    An aside, good laminate flooring IS real wood just thinner and layered for strength. If I am correct it was first used overseas as moveable flooring if you rented. You could lay down the laminate and then if in the future you moved and wanted to take the flooring with you it was easy to disassemble and take with you to your new place of residence. Pergo I believe was one of the first laminates to be sold in the US :)

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Dec 26, 2017
    We have a wood laminate floor that was installed for us and I have to say that I like the rough hewn look because it will hide any dent since it will just blend in and the flooring we purchased can get wet,literally flooded and will not warp, under lament will need to be replaced the the flooring can be let out to dry and o ce dried can be reinstalled. Have you considered carpet in a condo situation just to absorb noise from neighbors? I agree with a lot of the comments hear you do need to narrow down your search but then go to the store and actually feel them and try to scratch them walk on the planks with heels. If they are unwilling to allow you to do this then they don't want to sell the product. Some stores actually have the flooring installed in different settings so that you don't even realize that you are already walking on the flooring and it is usually in the kitchen and bathroom displays. So go to stores and ask them you will be surprised and overwhelmed by choices and check out the consumers report on these floors since they rate them as well. If your plan is to still have area rugs keep in mind to ask how that will effect flooring since even hardwood changes color due to sunlight. And ask if you should or should not have a rug gripper under the carpet since it grips your flooring and can damage floor finish. Some of the new floor since it can be real wood just thin layer can be refinished ask about that as well. I wood not recommend to install it over preexisting flooring although tempting. It is just better to start out with a nice clean repaired plywood and underlayment floor. What you don't know is what you can't see. And a good foundation leads to a better finished product. Regardless of what route you take start with a good foundation especially since the one area has nail holes.