How To Choose Between Carpet And Hardwood Flooring

carpet and hardwood flooring

Making the choice between carpet and hardwood flooring is tough. In fact, it’s one of the biggest decisions a homeowner makes, and it will significantly impact your experience in the home.

Wondering which one is best for you? Let’s look at the pros and cons for carpet and hardwood flooring, and you’ll be able to make a fully informed decision.

Advantages of Carpet

When you consider carpet and hardwood flooring, there are plenty of good points to consider about carpet.

It’s warmer— If you live in a cold climate and you’ve pulled your feet from your toasty-warm bed and put them on an icy hardwood floor, you have a particular appreciation for the wonder of a plush carpet on a cold morning. If you love to walk with bare feet, you might prefer carpet.

It quiets sound— Carpeted rooms are significantly less noisy than their wood counterparts—particularly if you have children.

It offers a wider variety of options— There are only so many types of hardwood flooring available. Carpet, on the other hand, is available in a huge array of colors and textures, not to mention patterns. You can find the right carpet for your room without compromise.

Your furniture won’t slide— If you don’t want your couch to move every time you flop down on it, carpet is the choice for you.

It’s less expensive than hardwood— On a budget? Carpet is your best bet. It will need to be replaced sooner than hardwood, but it’s certainly the more economical option in the short-term.

It’s safer in the event of a fall— If you drop a piece of your favorite china on a hardwood floor, it’s probably going to be in shards. Or, if YOU should trip and fall, you’re more likely to be seriously injured if you faceplant onto hardwood.

Disadvantages of Carpet

It’s dirtier than hardwood— While both carpet and hardwood flooring get dirty, it’s undeniable that it’s more time-consuming to clean carpet. While you can easily lift dirt from a hardwood floor, it’s trickier to pull the dirt from the base of your carpet fibers.

It’s not as attractive as hardwood— Hardwood is just a more elegant choice, and it fits many people’s vision for their dream home. Carpet can be beautiful, but you definitely get what you pay for.

It’s got a shorter shelf-life— Yes, carpet’s less expensive, but if you’re planning to spend a long time in the house, you should be prepared to replace the carpet within 5 years, depending on the level of maintenance you’re prepared to do.

Carpet is bad for allergies— If you or anyone else in your home is allergic to dust, carpet will simply trap the dust motes within its fibers.

It’s not environmentally friendly— Carpet’s typically created using petroleum, a man-made material and a limited resource to boot.

Advantages of Hardwood

Hardwood has been used for flooring for centuries, with good reason. Let’s look into the pros of using hardwood flooring.

It’s easy to clean— Hardwood doesn’t trap the dust and dirt that carpet does. Run a damp microfiber mop over the floor and you’re good to go.

It’s got a long lifespan— Unlike carpet, hardwood flooring won’t require replacement for decades, as long as it’s properly cared for.

Hardwood flooring is more environmentally friendly— Unlike petroleum-based carpet, hardwood flooring (when harvested in an ecologically sound manner) is good for homeowners who are eager to stay green.

It’s more versatile than carpet— If you’re tired of the look of your hardwoods, you can change up the appearance with throw rugs. Change your decor? Update the overall ambiance of your room by adding a colorful rug.

Hardwood is better for people with allergies— If you have allergy sufferers in your home, hardwood is the better choice for you. It won’t hold the tiny microorganisms that fly up in the air whenever you walk through a carpeted room.

It’s easy to move furniture— If you love nothing more than to rearrange your furniture regularly, a hardwood floor will make it infinitely easier to do so. Just make sure you are using casters designed for moving furniture so your hardwood floor doesn’t get scratched.

Disadvantages of Hardwood

It’s very noisy— Wearing hard-soled shoes? Have children who run from room to room? Hardwood is NOT muffled, so everyone in the rooms around you (not to mention the rooms below you) can hear every noise.

It’s easy to scratch— It’s hard to maintain a pristine hardwood surface, especially when you actually live in your home. If you have pets or children, it’s a matter of “when” rather than “if” your floor will be scratched.

It’s uncomfortable— If you love to sit on the floor and play with your children, the choice between carpet and hardwood flooring is an easy one. Carpet is soft and comfortable, while hardwood is hard and uncomfortable.

Hardwood is cold— Remember the scenario we listed above for carpet? Pull your feet out of your warm bed and put them on an icy hardwood floor, and it will certainly wake you up. However, it’s tough to get warm when you start your day with freezing feet.

It’s more expensive— Carpet typically costs between $3-$5 per square foot installed. Wood costs between $9-$12 per square foot installed. (Reclaimed wood can go as high as $30 per square foot!) If you’re on a budget, hardwood isn’t the best choice for you.

Some people who like the look of hardwood but can’t swallow the cost consider laminate; however, laminate flooring is less durable and it cannot tolerate moisture at all. However, it’s more scratch resistant and it’s easy to install for the do-it-yourselfers.

When you’re making the choice between carpet and hardwood flooring, there are many factors to consider. Regardless of what you pick, be sure that your cleaning service has the tools and training to properly maintain  your carpet and hardwood flooring. Helping Hands Cleaning Services will keep your floors in peak condition, whether they’re carpet or hardwood.

Contact us today for a free quote!