Carpet vs. Wood Flooring: Pros and Cons


Flooring can set the tone and function of a room and the style of the house, and it can add to the value of a house. Today, there are many options for flooring styles, including wood floors and carpet. Before deciding on which flooring to go with, you should consider the pros and cons of each to help you make the best decision for you and your family, including aspects like cost, functionality, durability, appearance, and maintenance. Let’s explore some differences and the pros and cons of carpet and wood floors.


Carpet can be made from natural fibers, such as wool or cotton, as well as synthetic materials, such as nylon or polyester. It comes in a variety of colors, styles, thicknesses, and textures. It can come in tiles or more often in a big solid roll that can be purchased by the foot. Wood flooring typically comes in two different forms—solid hardwood, which is usually about ¾ inch thick solid wood, or engineered hardwood, which has a thin layer of hardwood on top of a thick and less expensive piece of quality plywood. Both types of wood are created to have a tongue-and-groove edge and come in strips to allow for interlocking of pieces when installing. It can come in a variety of options, such as maple, cherry, oak, pine, walnut and more.


When it comes to cost and durability of carpet compared to hardwood floors, generally carpet will be less expensive to purchase as well as have installed. Higher density carpet may cost more than less dense, lower quality carpet, but it will usually last longer. Hardwood will most often be a higher investment than carpet in purchase price as well as installation. Solid hardwood floors will be more expensive than engineered hardwood floors, and the price can greatly vary depending on the style and type of hardwood you choose. One thing to consider, however, is how long each of these options will last. Higher density carpet can last up to 10 or more years but, at some point, will likely need to be replaced. Hardwood, on the other hand, tends to be more durable in terms of staining and wear and tear, and it can outlast the owner of the home and may never need replacing if properly maintained. So, beware when choosing carpet or hardwood, the upfront cost for carpet may be less; however, over time it could turn out to be more expensive if you need to replace it often.


In terms of appearance and functionality, carpet offers a more cozy, warm, and soft appearance to a room. It is softer to walk on with your bare feet, and it can be a safer choice in homes with small children or elderly adults who have a tendency to fall more often, as the carpet can help ease the blow from a fall. Because of the extra padding and insulation beneath the carpet, it is warmer, and it can help to decrease the sound in a room not only in terms of general noise but also lessening the sound of people walking. Hardwood, on the other hand, can add a more eloquent or classy look and style to a home. It can blend with many different types of décor, offering a more traditional look as well as a modern style. It can offer a crisper and cleaner appearance. Hardwood floors work well in less noisy rooms or environments, as they can help decrease the amount of vibration in a room. Sounds will be much clearer, but be careful in a noisy environment, as the hardwood can cause an intensifying effect of too much sound. Hardwood floors offer a colder and harder feel to the bare foot. You may choose to use area rugs in certain rooms to get some of the benefits of carpet while enjoying the look and feel the hardwood offers.


Another thing to consider when comparing carpet and hardwood floors is the cleaning and maintenance associated with each. Carpet has the tendency to hold onto dirt and dust and other allergens. It, therefore, requires regular vacuuming to keep the carpet free of these particles. Some people with allergies have a more difficult time with carpet due to this fact. Carpet also is more likely to stain due to spills, dirty shoes, and normal wear and tear. This requires deep cleaning to help keep the carpet looking clean. Fortunately, there are professionals who can help with regular cleaning and tough stains. Carpet has the tendency to trap and hold onto odors, which makes vacuuming and cleaning on a regular basis a very important task. Hardwood floors are much easier to clean and maintain. All that is required is to sweep or damp mop the floors to remove any dust or dirt to keep them clean. They are not as susceptible to staining, do not trap allergens like carpet, and they do not hold on to particles that can cause odors to stick around. For small or light scuffs or scratches, there are magic wood markers that can be used to cover those unwanted damages. If the wood gets severely damaged by scratches and scuffs, the wood flooring can be sanded or refinished occasionally to remove any damage. Neither carpet nor wood is waterproof. It is generally not a good idea to use carpet or wood in areas that are exposed to humid environments, such as bathrooms, basements, or areas prone to flooding. These conditions can cause mold and mildew to grow under the carpet, and wood can be damaged.


In terms of the resale value of a home with carpet vs. hardwood flooring, hardwood flooring comes out on top. Most people see hardwood flooring as higher quality and more pristine. Although new carpet will add value, the reality is that it will almost always need to be replaced more often than hardwood floors, thus, lowering its value in the end.


When you consider the pros and cons of each type of flooring, the best option may turn out to be a combination of both. Certain rooms may be more appropriate for carpet, such as bedrooms, entertainment rooms, or areas upstairs, whereas hardwood may be the better option for living rooms, dining rooms, hallways, and high traffic areas. When it is all said and done, it all boils down to what your preferences and priorities are, your taste, and the style and ambiance you are trying to embrace. Just be sure to consider all options before making a final decision.       <img class=”haytree alignnone wp-image-6410 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”20″ height=”19″ />


Maxwell White

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