All the carpet has to go. It is best to remove all easy to remove flooring. The critics of maple flooring typically say that it is too light in color, or that the floor shows too many gaps. The natural color of maple flooring is something you are either going to like or dislike; so this is a matter of preference. Choosing a compitent flooring contractor is a whole different topic, but trust me, there are floor sanders in every market that can and do stain maple correctly. ProWorks Flooring , in Denver, CO has established a repution over a decade of doing solid quality work.
If you are outside of the Denver Metro area and ProWorks Flooring is not an option, I would definately have any contractor who says he/she can stain maple, provide references and pictures. If you live outside of the Denver Metro area, you should look for a flooring contractor that will provide the ongoing inspections and maintainence as part of their normal service. If you are shopping for prefinished flooring, look at the type of finish (aluminum vs. titanium oxide), and number of coats as a far better indicator of durability than the species relative hardness.
What I have found over 10 years in the industry is that if each product is applied properly using quality products, the difference in durability is indiscernable. That said, I would not be discouraged if you meet with several flooring contractors and they don’t agree on which type of finish is better. I am very happy with the bamboo flooring I purchased from Bamboo Flooring Hawaii.
As always, feel free to email me [email protected] with more questions on this topic or ANY topic related to hardwood, laminate and tile flooring. Just a few weeks ago, I met with a potential customer who had purchased prefinished bamboo flooring off the internet and had it shipped to her home. To speed up the acclimation process, we decided to strip off the plastic wrap, open up the boxes of wood, and spread the flooring across the subfloor, and, voila…2 days later the flooring was ready to roll. Removing the vinyl would risk disturbing any possible asbestos, which would then have to be removed at great cost and health risk.
Our main floor is original 1950 hardwood and we love it, but most hardwood is not a viable sub-grade flooring option. A floating bamboo floor can be OK for basements, but it isn’t a great choice for sub-grade. In terms of cost, a high-quality cork floor is more expensive than vinyl , basic carpet, or basic tile, but is less than hardwood or bamboo. Coming in at over 10% of our project budget, flooring is likely our highest cost material. Carpet Call timber teams run educational sessions for our store sales teams on the characteristics of timber flooring. Our timber expert at Carpet Call HQ consistently reminds us that Bamboo is a grass not a timber.