Carpet vs. Hardwood Floors: Which is Best for You?

What kind of flooring do you want throughout your home?

Whether you’re a brand new homeowner looking to make your new house truly your own, or your old house needs a figurative facelift, it’s time to beg the question: Carpets or hardwood?

According to a recent industry reports consumer study, two thirds of American homeowners prefer hardwood floors over carpet. Wall-to-wall carpeting had its heyday from the 70’s to the 90’s, while hardwood is currently more popular. That said, there are merits to laying down both types of flooring. It’s just a matter of what works best for your circumstances.

What are the factors that decide the type of flooring you’ll choose? Read on to learn how carpet stacks up against hardwood. Then, you can choose the flooring that best fits your needs.

If You Have Pets Or Kids

Sure, your furry friend would love to lounge around on a plush living room carpet, and your kids deserve a cushioned play space. But is carpeting the obvious flooring choice for you?

With pets and children as part of the household, carpet doesn’t usually fare well. Both kids and pets are bound to have accidents on the floor; those messes inevitably leave carpet stains no matter how thoroughly you try to clean up.

On the other hand, hardwood flooring is more resilient to spills and dirt. It’s also easier to get rid of pet hairs when you opt for hardwood.

If You Have Allergies

Do you suffer from Asthma, seasonal allergies, or other respiratory issues?

If so, carpet is not suitable for your home. A recent report confirms that carpet traps allergens and other pollutant matter. Even if you maintain it well, carpet can generally reduce your indoor air quality and aggravate your respiratory system.

The fact that carpet causes adverse reactions for people with breathing problems has stigmatized this type of flooring for years. Some stakeholders in the carpeting industry are attempting to overturn this notion by introducing new, more eco-friendly carpeting solutions. Still, the truth is that even if you don’t yet have breathing problems, you may develop them if you live in a home with carpet flooring for a prolonged period of time.

If You Want Low Maintenance Flooring

If you don’t relish the idea of spot-treating, shampooing, and vacuuming your floor all the time, carpet is not your friend. Carpets need to be deep cleaned at least once a year. This includes steam cleaning, spot treating and beyond. Also, you need special soap and equipment to get the job done properly without damaging your carpet.

Meanwhile, hardwood flooring just needs some regular mopping and sweeping to stay clean. If it develops scuffs and scratches, a simple refinishing job makes your hardwood gleam again.

If you truly want carpet but the maintenance makes you anxious, installing hardwood floors throughout high-traffic areas like your living room is a smart alternative. Save the carpeting for your bedrooms and home office.

If You’re Cost-Conscious

Do you currently have a limited budget for your flooring?

If so, carpet may be a better choice for you right now, but hardwood will cost you less money over time.

The upfront cost of carpeting is lower than hardwood, at around 3.5 dollars a square foot. This cost is on the lower end of the spectrum. Carpet can cost up to 12 dollars per square foot not including installation costs.

Meanwhile, hardwood costs considerably more to purchase and install. You can buy hardwood at 6 to 15 dollars per square foot, not including installation costs.

that said, though carpet is cheaper up front, it has to be replaced every 5 to 15 years. Hardwood doesn’t need replacing quite as often; it just needs to be refinished every 7 to 10 years.

It may be more cost-effective to choose hardwood as your primary flooring, and then simply purchase rugs for areas where you want carpeting. Quality rugs can be expensive as well, but they are easier to maintain and you don’t have to worry about installation costs.

If You Already Have Hardwood Floors

If hardwood floors are already installed throughout your home, your options are straightforward. You can choose to install carpeting over your hardwood; no need to strip your floors down to the subfloor unless the subfloor is in poor shape.

Also, you can choose to refinish your existing hardwood. If you don’t want to install new hardwood flooring, you may be able to just replace any problematic floor boards and reinforce the subfloor.

If You Currently Have Carpet Flooring

Since you have carpet throughout your home already, the obvious choice may be to replace it. However, if you no longer want to put up with its maintenance and trapped allergens, it’s time to explore other options.

Peel away a corner of your carpet and its underlay. Take care to peel away the carpet in a place with low foot traffic.

Do you have hardwood flooring underneath? If so, you can choose to rip the carpet out and refinish the hardwood.

If you only have a subfloor made of particle board, you can opt for new flooring altogether. For instance, you might choose to install tiles or a combination of tiles and hardwood.

Time to Renovate

It’s clear that in most circumstances, hardwood floors are the better option over carpeting. Though you may love the idea of sinking your feet into plush flooring, in reality the comfort comes at a high cost. You pay it not only with your money, but with your time, energy, and even your health.

If you’re ready for hardwood floor installation or refinishing, start the process today. Contact us to get a free quote and guide you through your home renovation. We offer several different services that can be of help to you.

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