Learn about affordable flooring and carpet options. Find out about modular carpeting, laminate flooring and staining concrete as alternatives to expensive wall-to-wall carpet.
LESLIE: Jenai (sp) in Texas needs some help with carpeting . What can we do for you?
JENAI (sp): Well, we were just wondering what is the best, most cost-effective way to replace carpeting  in our living room. We’ve lived in the house for about five years and noticed lots of stains coming up through the carpet  and we also have a 1-1/2-year-old son now who loves his juice and we (INAUDIBLE) (Tom and Leslie chuckle) [or he likes sad] (ph) parents. But anyway – and so that’s what’s happening all the time and so we didn’t know if a wood floor or staining the concrete  or just laying carpet again or – we didn’t know what the best options were.
TOM: Well, I tell you, you can totally have the best of both worlds. If you take up the carpet and put in a hard surface floor – whether that’s wood; it could be solid wood; it could be engineered hardwood …
TOM: … or it could be laminate – and then you could put throw rugs on top of that and have a little bit of both.
JENAI (sp): OK.
LESLIE: Well, or even if you’re – if you’re totally sold on having wall-to-wall carpet but you know that there’s going to be messes and things that happen over time, there’s a company called Flor  – F-l-o-r – and they make carpet tiles and you can sort of create your own crazy pattern or stripe or just go with something simple. And they range between like $9 and $16 per – I think they’re 20-inch square tiles. And then when you lay them out on the floor, if, say, your child spills their favorite juice box on the floor, you can just pick up that tile and replace it with a new one.
JENAI (sp): OK.
LESLIE: So that’s an option if you’re really sort of sold on a carpeting situation and it’s cost-effective and good-looking.
JENAI (sp): OK. Alright. And what about staining concrete? Is that real expensive or does it last or …?
LESLIE: Well, it depends on the kind of look you’re going for. If you want something that is, you know, a solid color or even a pattern and color, you can go with an epoxy coating. But again, then you’re dealing with a very hard surface that also has a very distinct design style look to it. And if that’s your aesthetic and that’s something that you want then go for it. Otherwise, I would say acid staining, which gives it a more organic look and then something that’s polished. Those are do-it-yourself situations but also something if you hired in a pro you could get a little bit more detail done to it. It depends on, you know, the surface that you’re looking for. With small kids I don’t know if concrete would be the best choice.
JENAI (sp): Right, right. OK. Alright, well that helps me out a lot and we will – we’ll probably look into some wood flooring then.
TOM: Sounds like a great choice. Jenai, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.