Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

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AndroAsc
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Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by AndroAsc » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:56 pm

I've always rented apartments with carpet flooring, but now it looks like at least half of my options are hardwood flooring.

Are there any major maintenance issues for renting a place with hardwood flooring, especially if I move out in say 3-4 years time? I don't want to get charged 3-4 years down the road because I "neglected" to maintain the flooring.

I'm also approaching from the perspective that I don't clean stuff, so if I only vacuum once or twice per year, will the hardwood flooring still be ok? I also have a high tolerance for dirty and messy environments, and I'm a no maintenance person.

Like for me, carpet flooring has been really good, and I have had no complaints when moving out from 2 apartments. I also get the impression that apartments will just replace the old carpet with a new one, so even if the current carpet is "shit", it's not going to be an issue since it gets replaced anyway. Also, I don't have pets/animals.

Kennedy
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Kennedy » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:09 pm

Are you sure it's real hardwood in the apartments? Apartments generally have a wood-look flooring that is either tile or vinyl. If it's real hardwood, cleaning/vacuuming only twice a year will be an issue. Get yourself a Roomba and program it to run twice a week.

Big Dog
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Big Dog » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:16 pm

or get yourself a swiffer and 'dust' a couple of times per week. Other than that, it should be maintenance free. If you want to shine it up, put on a couple of coast of Mop 'n Glow. If you swiffer frequently, and take off your shoes, the shine will last several years.

02nz
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by 02nz » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:24 pm

I use the iRobot Braava 380t mopping robot and love it. It uses a reusable microfiber cloth (which you dampen slightly) to mop your hard floor. Much quieter than the robot vacs. Not for big messes, more for keeping the floor clean and dust-free. It's the only maintenance we've done on hardwood floors for years and all seems fine. $250 on Amazon.

AndroAsc
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by AndroAsc » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:27 pm

Thanks, but I'm a no maintenance person. That means no roomba, no "simple cleaning" once per week. I don't clean period. The only time I clean is to mop up spills and stuff. But I don't intentionally poke holes and damage the floor too (just to clarify).

What kind of damages can I expect if the hardwood floor is not cleaned over 3-4 years?

I'm ok paying a small sum if it's reasonable, and I can just price that into the rental.
Last edited by AndroAsc on Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dm200
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:27 pm

In the last few years, "manufactured" wood floors have become more popular.

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Kenkat
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Kenkat » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:03 pm

All of the dirt that you are currently not cleaning and that now disappears down into the carpet will sit on the surface of the hardwood floor and be visible. This may not bother you either but I will say the one thing you need to be careful of is to avoid things that will scratch the hardwood. Grit on the floor plus furniture such as chairs can leave scratches. Area rugs are an option to limit open floor space where furniture is involved.

Small Law Survivor
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Small Law Survivor » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:15 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:27 pm
In the last few years, "manufactured" wood floors have become more popular.
Could you give an example of this? I'm thinking of tearing off a basement carpet, and this would be a good alternative.

Swimmer
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Swimmer » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:55 pm

Hard floors are generally very easy to care for. We have it in our condo, but run a cordless Shark over it once a day. Takes five minutes. If we don’t, we’d see stuff (dust, crumbs, etc.) A lighter color shows less, but it still shows. A Romba is a good alternative, but don’t just neglect it. No matter what hard surface you choose, it will get damaged over time if you never clean. No offense, but eww.

spectec
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by spectec » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:54 pm

Small Law Survivor wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:15 pm
dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:27 pm
In the last few years, "manufactured" wood floors have become more popular.
Could you give an example of this? I'm thinking of tearing off a basement carpet, and this would be a good alternative.
We recently installed interlocking vinyl strip flooring in a vacation property and are very pleased with it. Its available in numerous colors and styles, and is very durable. We chose something with a distressed wood appearance. If it gets wet, it won't warp or bubble. If a section gets damaged, its easily replaceable. Seems like it would be a highly desirable choice for a basement.
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daveydoo
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by daveydoo » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:11 pm

Real wood with PU finish (for example) is maintenance-free. Just don't let water stand on it, or have a wet crawl-space under it.

Are you renting or remodeling your own rental? If the latter, know that it's pretty fragile. We have 3/4" solid red oak with a hard finish and even that shows abuse (we're 20+ years in, though). Sliding furniture or chairs will scratch it. Dogs running around, etc. We know what not to do but renters may not care.
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barnaclebob
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by barnaclebob » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:19 pm

No flooring will look good if you don't vacuum for 6 months at a time. I treat my wood floors the same as my carpeted floors except I have to wipe up some spots with a damp cloth every now and then.

annebert
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by annebert » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:40 pm

I am just shuddering thinking about living with a carpet that hasn't been cleaned in 3-4 years. And I am not a neat freak by any means.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by BolderBoy » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:30 pm

Don't wear shoes inside the apartment. Just socks. Makes a big difference in the cleanliness of your abode.
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nalor511
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by nalor511 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:32 pm

Not cleaning is really gross, and there are probably all sorts of critters living in your carpet, you may want to rethink that stance. With hardwood, all that stuff will be very visible. Buy a cheap vacuum and use it once a week.

michaeljc70
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:14 pm

If you really vacuum 2x a year, hardwood is probably not for you. All the gross stuff can fall to the bottom of a carpet (depending on type) out of site. On hardwood floors it obviously has nowhere to go.

spectec
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by spectec » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:05 pm

BolderBoy wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:30 pm
Don't wear shoes inside the apartment. Just socks. Makes a big difference in the cleanliness of your abode.
Great suggestion. We've always done this, regardless of the type of flooring. Shoes come off as soon as we come in the door, in all seasons. It makes a HUGE difference in cleanliness, plus it's healthier.
Last edited by spectec on Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:47 pm

AndroAsc wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:27 pm
I don't clean period.
What kind of damages can I expect if the hardwood floor is not cleaned over 3-4 years?

Get a monthly cleaning service to come in and clean the place up. Your friends and family will appreciate it even if you don't care. And it will be less expensive than being charged for ruining a real hardwood floor.

Having said that I'm surprised that a rental unit would actually have a real hardwood floor in it given the typical renter. I'd check to see if what appears to be a wood floor actually is some synthetic plastic or vinyl product that is supposed to look like wood. The fake wood flooring is generally pretty tough and less prone to damage from dirt/dust/grime being tracked around.

privateer79
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by privateer79 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:53 pm

invest 250 in a roomba.... you don't really have to do much other than push the button to set it off and empty it and put it back on the charger assuming you don't have yarn laying all over your floor or something else it will get wrapped up in....

with hardwood (manufactured flooring especially) you can't let water puddle on the floor without cleaning in up (a few drops isn't a big deal but a large cup or bucket full of water is).... should be obvious but if you do, the water will seep into and warp and crack the wood underneath.

supalong52
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by supalong52 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:30 pm

I suggest a dirt floor like the kind you might find in a pre-contact primitive village. Literally zero maintenance.

ponyboy
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by ponyboy » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:08 am

Imagine wearing a sweater for 1 year straight. Once a week you take it outside and brush the dirt off it. Once a year you wash it. Thats carpet folks...and most people still have carpet in their homes. You think by running a vacuum over it that it actually gets clean? Its picks up the fine particles...but the filth is still there until you shampoo it.

Hardwood floors arent maintenance free. They need vacuumed or swiffered...whatever you feel like. Also a good idea to wipe them down with a wet rag once a month.

Either way...there's no free lunch.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:44 am

supalong52 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:30 pm
I suggest a dirt floor like the kind you might find in a pre-contact primitive village. Literally zero maintenance.
excellent advice!

Turbo29
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Turbo29 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:51 am

ponyboy wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:08 am
Imagine wearing a sweater for 1 year straight. Once a week you take it outside and brush the dirt off it. Once a year you wash it. Thats carpet folks...and most people still have carpet in their homes. You think by running a vacuum over it that it actually gets clean? Its picks up the fine particles...but the filth is still there until you shampoo it.

And we have bodies in the streets due to this "filth?" It always amazes me how many people obsess over stuff like this. Marketers love this, that's why he have antibacterial soaps and mouthwashes to kill 99% of the bacteria in your mouth, ad nauseum.

I'm not suggesting that one not vacuum and shampoo but the worries over it can be carried to an extreme.

There is a growing body of evidence that the modern epidemic of allergies is due to too much cleanliness. Keeping an obsessively clean environment, especially for children, results in their immune systems not developing properly.

You obsess about your filth all that you want. I will vacuum my carpets when they look like they need it and shampoo them occasionally.

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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:04 pm

Turbo29 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:51 am
ponyboy wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:08 am
Imagine wearing a sweater for 1 year straight. Once a week you take it outside and brush the dirt off it. Once a year you wash it. Thats carpet folks...and most people still have carpet in their homes. You think by running a vacuum over it that it actually gets clean? Its picks up the fine particles...but the filth is still there until you shampoo it.

And we have bodies in the streets due to this "filth?" It always amazes me how many people obsess over stuff like this. Marketers love this, that's why he have antibacterial soaps and mouthwashes to kill 99% of the bacteria in your mouth, ad nauseum.

I'm not suggesting that one not vacuum and shampoo but the worries over it can be carried to an extreme.

There is a growing body of evidence that the modern epidemic of allergies is due to too much cleanliness. Keeping an obsessively clean environment, especially for children, results in their immune systems not developing properly.

You obsess about your filth all that you want. I will vacuum my carpets when they look like they need it and shampoo them occasionally.
There is a big difference between obsessing and cleaning once a year. Honestly, I thought the thread was a joke with vacuuming once a year. How long does it take to vacuum an apartment? I'm no clean freak, but it sounds nasty.

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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by daveydoo » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:15 pm

Turbo29 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:51 am

There is a growing body of evidence that the modern epidemic of allergies is due to too much cleanliness. Keeping an obsessively clean environment, especially for children, results in their immune systems not developing properly.
+1. Not sure you can retrofit it as an adult, though! (Probably more about early exposure.)

And then there are all the white-carpeted no-shoes-allowed households... Fun for all! :D
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Miakis
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Miakis » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:03 pm

Not cleaning will be extra disgusting with hardwood. There's nothing to catch dust and hair, so it just gathers on hard surface floors. A stiff breeze will cause all of that stuff to stir up and float around. Humidity may cause it to glue itself onto the wood. Your clothes and furniture will become filthier, because those will be the soft surfaces available for dust and dirty to cling to.

What is the long term effect of not cleaning? Well, I've never tried not cleaning for 6 to 12 months, but you can expect more scratches, etches, the finish may come off when you do try to clean because of the deep cleaning that will be required to scrub off the detritus.

I would say that carpet is preferable if you truly refuse to do anything to maintain the home. Hardwood is preferable if you're willing to put the modicum of effort required to purchase and empty a Roomba once in awhile.

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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Scrapr » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:48 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:44 am
supalong52 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:30 pm
I suggest a dirt floor like the kind you might find in a pre-contact primitive village. Literally zero maintenance.
excellent advice!
not so fast my friend. we clean construction sites as a business. one of our contractors did a home with a dirt floor. i keed you knot. it was small like an ADU. about 6 months later we get called to haul it out. it has started sprouting weeds! Maintenance: weed wacker 1x/week? :D

ilovedogs
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by ilovedogs » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:53 pm

I've had oak floors for decades and they are still beautiful. I do not put any cleaning material on them. I take off my shoes when I come in, wipe up any spills, and sweep when I need to.

OP, I agree with you about low maintenance. Personally, I say hardwood is easier than carpet in a rental.

Take pictures of it, if it matters to you, and take them again when you are leaving.

Dottie57
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:06 pm

I think wood floors need some type of protection. Varnish, polyurethane or Wax. When little, my mom waxed the wooden floors. Carpeting was done later. Mom hated the waxing, but the result was always beautiful.

Any flooring takes some kind of maintenance.

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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Hockey10 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:37 pm

AndroAsc wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:27 pm
Thanks, but I'm a no maintenance person. That means no roomba, no "simple cleaning" once per week. I don't clean period. The only time I clean is to mop up spills and stuff.
Sounds like you are one of my college roommates.

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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by MJS » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:13 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:47 pm
Get a monthly cleaning service to come in and clean the place up.
+1, although weekly cleaning is a true delight. My original thought was a Roomba, but they are a pain to maintain unless you're bald. Your apartment manager might be able to find someone who cleans several units, so you'll get a price break and get someone trustworthy.

FlyAF
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by FlyAF » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:33 am

What kind of adult doesn't clean their living quarters? Grotz! Do you enjoy the company of women?

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lthenderson
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:45 am

AndroAsc wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:56 pm
I'm also approaching from the perspective that I don't clean stuff, so if I only vacuum once or twice per year, will the hardwood flooring still be ok? I also have a high tolerance for dirty and messy environments, and I'm a no maintenance person.
In my experience, you probably don't want hardwood. Hardwood shows dirt much more readily than carpet sits it sits on top of the floor and isn't nestled down into the carpet fibers. Not only is this unpleasant to walk on bare footed, but when wearing shoes, the grit will then scratch the floor as you walk on it. We vacuum are carpets once every two weeks or so but with hardwood, we swept it about every other day.

Also in apartment situations, I would probably prefer carpet because I think it holds up better to short term abuse. I'm guessing most apartments use laminate wood products and anytime something heavy is dropped, you run the risk of piercing the thin layer on top into the presswood that comprises the majority of the floor thickness and this is often times a much different color and shows up like a sore thumb.

My final issue would be the noise issue. Hardwood floors are definitely much louder and you could run into issues of irritating your downstairs neighbor with your walking on the hardwood.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Artful Dodger » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:14 am

I think alot depends on the apartment, and condition of existing floors. Our daughter went to school in Chicago, and a rented a number of older apartments with hardwood. Most looked like they were original (ie. ancient) and were definitely worn. Whether or not they were regularly cleaned wasn't going to affect them much. They will stay cleaner if you remove shoes, don't track in dirt, have few friends visit, and don't have pets.

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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:41 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:14 pm
If you really vacuum 2x a year, hardwood is probably not for you. All the gross stuff can fall to the bottom of a carpet (depending on type) out of site. On hardwood floors it obviously has nowhere to go.
+1

Dirt, dust, crumbs, hair. It all accumulates and shows on hardwood/tile/vinyl.

You need to at least sweep or get a stick vacuum. That only does so much for dust/grime. An occasional damp mop is necessary.
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Elsebet » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:37 pm

We use a leafblower every other weekend to blow all the gunk (mostly dog fur) off our hardwood floors to the outside. Works great around furniture and takes only about 15 mins for our small ranch home. We spot sweep/vaccuum/clean as needed, wet mop maybe 2-4x a year. I love hardwood, would not consider any other type of flooring.

Thesaints
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Thesaints » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:39 pm

Not maintaining carpet is a lot worse than not maintaining hardwood...

Jags4186
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:56 pm

Instead of worrying about “maintaining” hardwood floors, I’d worry more about cleaning fees when you leave and medical bills for asthma related issues.

Hardwood floors require nothing more than a once a week microfiber dusting and once a month damp mop. Of course if you are pushing furniture and scratching the floors, that can’t be fixed inexpensively.

Hug401k
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Hug401k » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:56 pm

I shudder to think of wall to wall carpet vacuumed 2 x per year. All that build up in the corners. I'm a hardwood kind of person. If they really are wood, they are pretty indestructible. Mine are almost 200 years old. Plus, the dust will stick to your socks for a natural dusting at least?

Seriously, hire someone to come in once a month. Just try it. You'll feel better.

Starfish
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Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Post by Starfish » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:30 pm

The carpet is the most disgusting thing invented.
Any king of real or fake wood flooring with removable carpets you take out and beat couple of times a year in addition of weekly or bi-weekly vacuuming is so much better.
In my opinion the incredibly large amount of asthma cases in US has something to do with this, probably together with the overuse of AC with dirty ducts. I have no AC and no glued carpets in my house, but unfortunately I have the horrendous furnace heating with blown air.

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