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Trying to decide: Cork vs bamboo vs engineered hardwood

9 years ago

We are gearing up to replace flooring in the bedrooms, hallway, stairway, living and dining rooms, and trying to make the most of our limited budget. As much as we like hardwood floors, they're are too expensive for us. On the other side, we don't like laminate flooring because it looks too "plastic" to us.

I would love to hear opinions on pros and cons of:

- Cork (click/interlocking, pre-finished)

- Bamboo (click/interlocking, pre-finished)

- Engineered hardwood (click/interlocking, pre-finished)

Our needs:

- Easy to DIY for an inexperienced person, low cost of installation if we hire someone to do it;

- Pet accident resistant (we have two cats), can be wiped with damp cloth;

- Doesn't show dirt much, resistant to scratching/denting;

- Likely to last for decades with adequate care; I plan to put runners in the hallway and on the stairs, and an area rug in the dining room;

- Best value and looks for the money.

Right now we have ugly carpeting in the bedrooms, hallway, stairway and living room, and crumbling ancient vinyl flooring in the kitchen and dining rooms.

We'll put sheet vinyl in the kitchen as the most practical and budget friendly choice. We know a handyman who can do it cheaply.

Since our budget is limited, we consider DIY-ing the flooring in the bedrooms. I'm somewhat handy: have repaired and refinished wood furniture, stained, cut and replaced wood trim around the house. I have no experience with flooring but hope to learn as I go. DH is not handy at all. Depending on the costs, we might hire the handyman to do the hallway/living/dining/stairway because of the large size of the area and more complicated shape (e.g. the stairs).

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