Nicole, My family has been agonizing over the same decision for a large family room. We have three teenagers and a large dog. I love the look of solid hardwood floors, but we were advised that the nails on the dog would ruin the finish on the hardwood, and I'm not convinced that the finish on the laminates is that much more durable. Moisture resistance of the laminates near doors to outside is a concern. Carpeting is out , due to the dirt and food stain factor from the teenagers. I think that ceramic tile is the best , least maintenace floor. We have it in the kitchen and it is great. However, it is very, very expensive for large areas.