I Need Your Help!!!

So we have beautiful wood laminate flooring through out most of our home.   You can see it in the background here:

  I like it...I love it even...but the problem is that is stops before the entryway/living room. 
The living room is covered is creamish carpet that is beyond stained from muddy shoes coming in the door.  You can see a bit of it under the Sharpie rug here:

So this is where I need your help...should I just extend the laminate hardwood throughout the entire house or will that be too many hard surfaces?  Should I make a slate entryway by the front door?   What has worked for you in an entry/living room space??  I need your help!!

Of coursethen there is the whole -- don't bring new carpet fumes into your house -- and I wonder if the fumes are any better or worse than laminate flooring...ahh the questions...   I did look up the EPA recommendations for carpeting and they simply didn't help a bit....  Your thoughts?!?


Heather said…
I would LOVE to have hardwood throughout our house, but my hubby hates the idea. :(
Andrea West said…
We have tile and laminate wood throughout our whole house, and honestly, I absolutely hate it. I think hard suface is good in the kitchen and dining area, but not in the living spaces. It's always cold and a pain to maintain because the lovely dust bunnies just float all over the place and it never feels clean. It's also very uncomfortable if you have kids that like to play on the ground in those spaces. Just my two cents!
Andrea West said…
We have tile and wood laminate throughout our entire house and I absolutely hate it! It's always cold feeling and awful if you don't have shoes on. I think it's good to have hard floor in the kitchen and dining areas, but not in the living spaces. It's also difficult to keep clean because the lovely dust bunnies just float around and I feel like it's never clean. It's also very uncomfortable if you have kids that like to play on the floor in that room. Just my two cents!
mermaids said…
I have hard wood floors throughout my entire house... bedrooms, kitchen, living areas... everywhere except for the bathrooms which are tile. Totally love it. We have a few area rugs, but not many. To me, it does not feel cold or hard at all. I love the clean look... and that it is easy to clean. Even with a good vacuum, it is impossible to get all the dust. Wood floors stay much cleaner than carpet. I love the organic look of wood much more than carpet.
mermaids said…
@andrea west... but those dust bunnies are still there with carpet... they simply hide in the carpet. I prefer to give them no where to hide so I can get rid of them more easily.

using small area rugs for floor play helped to contain the toy mess. The rug provided a natural boundary for the toys.
oh man....two different thoughts...you guys are killing me!! :)
Miss Kitty said…
All I know is that every time I pick a light color in carpet (thinking that it is "dark enough" in the sample) it gets uncleanably
dirty in just a couple of years. I like the look of the same flooring material through out the public areas of the house at least. If the laminate has held up for you, I would also put it in the foyer and living room too.
Nessa Bixler said…
Our home is wood/tile. We have some bigger rugs in our bedrooms and living room - but I love that I can get things really clean. Rugs in the entry and kitchen are machine washable.

I have a Bona microfiber floor mop. A dry mop and then a wet mop with a little wood cleaner and done.
sounds like the way to go nessa...thanks for all the input everyone!!

Miss Kitty - I ALWAYS do that too! Except for the time I bought a mainly BLACK rug and it has the opposite problem ;)
Gray Shelton said…
One wonderful product I can recommend is Flor Carpet Tile. It comes in LOTS of colors and textures. Last time I shopped for it, it was comparable in price to hardwood floors. Is there a reason you're choosing laminate instead of real hardwoods? The nice thing about carpet tile is that you can pull one tile out and replace it if it gets stained. Also, the tiles don't have to LOOK like tiles. Flor has the best collection (if not the only) that I've seen for residential uses. They even have circles! (although, IMO they are crazy expensive) But it's a thought! :)
Hi Gray - Thanks for the advice! We are looking @ laminate because it is already in our house and we are thinking of matching what we already have. Love your suggestion though and will check it out!! Doesn't Martha Stewart have a line with flor?