Flooring may be the most important part of your house’s interior, and homeowners have numerous options available, both in terms of what materials they use as well as the style and appearance, probably the two most common and popular choices in floor surface covering which are hardwood and carpet, each has a variety of characteristics that make them favorable in specific environments to match specific needs. Understanding the nature of the materials will allow you to make an informed choice about how best to use and apply them in various locations.
Many a debate has been conducted over hardwood flooring vs carpet. They are indeed two of the most popular and classic types of flooring. But is hardwood or carpet better for you? Even though they are both among the most popular options for flooring, there are not a lot of similarities when it comes to hardwood and carpet. Both have benefits as well as drawbacks. So the right decision is really a personal one that depends on your tastes, situation, and budget. Outline the differences between them helps you to make a better decision about which is right for your home.
Hardwood Flooring Virtues
Easy to Keep Clean
Some people feel that it is impossible to clean carpet, because stains soak in and settle permanently, and because dust and micro-bacteria are easily trapped in the fibers. In great contrast, hardwood has a smooth, solid surface that can be easily wiped clean. It does not allow dust or dirt to hide making it much, much easier to maintain than carpet. This is especially important if you have allergies or asthma and are trying to decide between hardwood and carpet.
Properly maintained, hardwood flooring can last for a long period of time, and some of the higher-end materials can last for generations. Scratches can happen over time, but these marks can typically be removed with quick spot cleaning. If a number of marks accumulate over the years, you can refinish your wood floors to bring back their luster. Keep in mind that most experts say wood flooring can only be refinished up to 10 times. Carpet, on the other hand, usually needs to be replaced every few years. This means that hardwood may even be the more economical flooring since your initial investment pays off over time.
Wood flooring can be scuffed by certain shoes, furniture and pet claws, especially in high-traffic areas. Place soft pads under furniture to prevent scratches from shifting and use extra care when moving heavier pieces. Preventing undesirable marks over time can be as easy as leaving your shoes at the door.
The fact that carpet can attract and hold dust and microorganisms can also affect anyone working or living in the space, especially if those people suffer from allergies. Every time you walk across a carpet, millions of tiny particles are cast into the air. With hardwood, though, all you have to do is wipe or sweep the surface clean, and you are instantly free of those same potentially harmful particles.
As your home settles and flooring matures, you may hear a little extra noise when stepping in certain spots. The squeaks are usually caused by the flooring expanding or contracting with time, causing the floorboards to rub against each other or the subfloor. An area rug helps muffle the noise, but you might choose carpet over hardwood if you prefer peace and quiet.
Hardwood floors may not be best if you prefer going barefoot. Also, since hardwood cannot trap heat as well as carpet, it could lead to increased heating bills in the winter as you try to maintain a consistent temperature in your home.
Can be Refinished
When a hardwood floor is damaged, either by a stain or through some physical trauma, in most instances it can be refinished to look like new. This involves sanding down the surface past any defects and then re-applying the stain and or finish products to make the floor look completely revitalized. Depending on the thickness of the material, you may be able to do this several times over the life of the floor.
Hardwood can be left exposed for its sheer drama, but if you want to soften the look and get some of the benefits of carpeting in a room, you can lay down an area rug to cover as much of the space as you wish. With so many colors, styles and types, homeowners can incorporate wood flooring into nearly any home design. Hardwoods can be sanded and restained to fit the style of your home — even if that changes over time. Installed carpeting does not have that benefit.
Hardwood flooring has been used in homes for hundreds of years, and despite constant shifts in style and trend, it has never stopped being popular. It always matches whatever colors and accessories happen to be in vogue and can easily handle numerous different decorative choices.
Natural and Ecologically Friendly
Carpeting is made largely from petroleum, which is a very limited resource and one that is not natural in any way. Hardwood is a natural material made from trees that can be replanted and renewed. However, when buying hardwood materials, you do want to do a little research and make sure that they are being harvested by an ecologically sound company in an environmentally friendly way.
Hardwood flooring commands more respect than carpeting as a design choice in residential applications. It is seen as being “high end” and “luxurious,” both because it is a natural material and because it is normally more expensive than carpeting. Depending on the type of wood chosen and how it is finished, hardwood can create a sense of luxury and even prestige when used in certain locations. If you are prepping your home to sell, don’t overlook the resale value of carpet vs. hardwood flooring. Wood floors will turn buyers’ heads and increase the value of your home.
Hurst Hardwoods Acacia Hand Scraped Prefinished Engineered Wood Flooring 5″ x 1/2″
The quality of the flooring is fantastic. The machining of T&G is of great quality. Actual hardwood flooring comes in 12″ to 48″ random lengths. Beautiful color variation!
Hurst Hardwoods Hickory Character (Jackson Hole) Prefinished Solid Wood Flooring 5″ x 3/4″
This 5″ Hickory Jackson Hole Character Hand Scraped Prefinished Solid hardwood flooring is perfect for those wanting the natural characteristics of a real hardwood floor. This is a 3/4″ thick solid wood floor that can be nailed or stapled down. It is also carry recommended underlayment; a moisture barrier paper made from 100% recycled paper that contains zero VOCs. Each board is individually hand scraped by actual human hands and not by machine, giving your flooring a worn and more rustic look and feel; truly, a unique and one of a kind floor.
VIF International Limited French Oak Cognac 5/8 in. Thick x 4-3/4 in. Wide x Varying Length Click Solid Hardwood Flooring
This product is beautiful! Customer service for this product is excellent, and very good communication about delivery. This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, and may arrive in a generic box.
Bruce Hardwood Floors Timberland Value Ground Oak Strip 3/4″ x 2 1/4″ – Cherry
Bare Decor EZ-Floor Interlocking Flooring Tiles in Solid Teak Wood Oiled Finish (Set of 10)
These tiles are awesome. These teak tiles are very high quality on the whole. The EZ-Floor interlocking flooring tiles come in an oiled finish in solid teak wood. No glue or tools are required – just snap the interlocking tiles together. It can be used for indoor or outdoor settings. Perfect for an entryway, mudroom, deck, terrace, showers, bathrooms, pools or anywhere in between. Tiles can be removed and relocated if needed. Each tile is 9 solid pieces of solid teak wood on a plastic base. The teak is responsibly harvested in Indonesia. It’s regularly inspected and every shipment receives Indonesian government clearance for compliance with responsible teak harvesting.
Most carpet is considerably less expensive than most hardwood materials. You will find plenty of styles, textures, and types on the market with price ranges to fit any budget. Plus, since carpet is easier to install than hardwood, DIYers can save on installation costs too.
Although carpet is cheaper than wood upfront, you will probably need to replace carpeting sooner than wood flooring. The lifetime of your carpet depends on its quality. Basic grade carpets typically need replacing in about five years, while high-quality versions can last 10 to 15 years. If you are deciding between carpet and hardwood in a sunny living room or an unventilated basement, keep in mind that UV rays and humidity can affect the color of carpet over time and impact its longevity.
The biggest appeal to carpeting is that it is soft and feels great beneath bare feet. This is particularly soothing in bedrooms, children’s rooms, and some family and living room areas, where you want to promote an atmosphere of comfort and relaxation.
Carpet is going to be much warmer than hardwood floors, especially on a chilly winter morning. It acts not only like a blanket for your feet, but it also helps to insulate the room, ensuring that warmth remains indoors and doesn’t slip through more porous flooring materials. The warmth carpeting lends to a room is very real.
The fact that it is soft and warm makes carpet just about the most comfortable flooring material you can stand on. This can be especially important when standing for long periods, where harder wood floors can cause pain in feet, ankles, and knees. Good carpeting with a dense foam underlayment is a much more comfortable floor than hardwood. Coziness is one of the biggest benefits of carpet over hardwood. Carpeting adds a homey feeling to your space and the soft surface allows for young kids to play on the floor comfortably, particularly in areas like the basement.
Friendly to Children
Carpeting is great if you have kids because the surface provides a comfortable, safe cushioned surface on which to play. Falls on carpeting is much less traumatic than on hardwood.
Carpet fibers easily retain dust, dander, and other allergens. You will have to vacuum frequently to pick up these particles, especially in homes with pets. Also, in rooms with high humidity and moisture levels, carpeting is prone to mold and mildew growth.
From wine spills to muddy pet paws, carpets stain easily. If not treated quickly with a carpet cleaner, liquids can soak into the padding or subfloor, leaving a lingering odor. To resist discoloration, some carpet manufacturers use pre-treated synthetic fibers. This may keep your carpet looking like new, but be aware that chemicals are often used in this process.
In order to get rid of dust and stains, you will likely spend a lot of time vacuuming and spot treating, especially in homes with pets and children. And the costs of maintenance and professional cleaning can add up over time. If you are looking for something low-maintenance, hardwood may be a better fit.
The fact that it is so soft makes carpet a particularly safe flooring choice. Carpet is a safer option than hardwood for pets, children and the elderly. Slips and falls are far less likely, but if they do happen, the carpet itself and the padding underneath can help prevent injury. With hardwood, a trip or fall can result in injuries and broken objects. With carpet, though, you have a cushion running across the entire room, making damage from an accident much less likely. This can be a strong consideration in homes with small children or elderly residents.
A major complaint about hardwood floors is that they are loud. When installed on upper levels, people below often complain that they can hear every footstep. An old installation may also squeak in certain spots. With carpeting, though, the surface of the entire floor is padded and insulated so that noise won’t easily pass up or down. Carpet acts as an insulator, providing the peace and quiet you are looking for, whether you live in a two-story home or a multi-family complex. As one of its biggest advantages over hardwood, carpet can also trap heat in your room on cold days and prevent cool air from escaping in the summer — keeping energy costs down.
Carpet is available in a variety of designs and colors in order to fit your interior design scheme. You can make a bold and colorful statement or go neutral. And if you have uneven flooring, installing carpet can hide the imperfections and help level things out.
While carpet remains one of the top options, it is only chosen in one out of every four flooring projects. Hardwood remains the most desirable flooring option for the majority of homeowners, not only when replacing floors, but when new homes are built.
YJ.GWL Soft Indoor Large Modern Area Rugs
Fluffy area rugs are made of hypoallergenic material that ensures faux fur skin-friendly to family members, also no smell, no shed, and durable usage. Many kinds of beautiful colors to meet your style of the home. Opulent color makes a bold and dazzling fashion statement, the shaggy carpets are an easy way to decorate your bedroom, kid’s room, and living room. Warm-up your floors with this attractive contemporary rug. The non-slip bottom design is ideal for wooden or other material floor surfaces and it doesn’t move at all. Embellish the floors and create a comfy landing spot with this shaggy rugs.
Safavieh Madison Collection MAD611B Bohemian Chic Vintage Distressed Area Rug
Beautiful high-quality area rug. It is a Bohemian pattern with the right amount of color pop without being gaudy or overwhelming. It is not plush or super thick but has just enough softness for comfort. It is a great quality, especially for the price. A stunning array of colors gives a designer look and feel to any room at a comfortable price point. Vintage effect is achieved from a power-loomed construction which ensures design consistency and durability.
Noahas Super Soft Modern Shag Gray Area Rugs
This is a good value of money. If you are looking for something temporary and awesome than go for this one as thickness is not too much but considering the money you are spending that’s the best value you can get. Don’t expect something extraordinary but the quality is pretty much reliable. Really easy to clean and soft but not very thick. It is light to lift up and vacuum underneath yet it does not slip as it has small rubber patterns on the bottom. Dust and dirt on the surface can be removed easily. Please try to hand wash or wipe clean, that’s the most convenient way with minimal efforts.
The fluffy area rug is made of faux velvet surface, sponge interlayer, and non-slip plastic spots bottom. Perfect for your bedroom/living room, this rug is the best option. There are different color options available which are gray, blue, creamy, black, gray-purple, green, hot pink, pink, purple, beige, white, indigo, and blush.
nuLOOM Moroccan Blythe Runner Rug
It is so cheap but this rug is a fantastic value for money. It’s soft, laid flat right away, looks great, and so far is very easy to maintain! Power-loomed rug ensures long-lasting beauty and convenient upkeep, with virtually no shedding; a perfect fit for your living room, dining room or hallway. It is designed with resiliency against everyday wear-and-tear, ideal for high traffic areas of the home.
Which Flooring Works for You?
One of the biggest and earliest decisions you will have to make regarding your home renovation is choosing the proper flooring. And it should come as a surprise to no one that hardwood floors and carpeting are hands down the most popular choices for floor surface coverings. But many homeowners in the midst of a renovation struggle with which floor type works best for their home and its unique needs.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to pick one type for the entirety of your home. Each room can have a unique flooring type to match the vibe or use of the area. Each type of flooring has its benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately, the decision may come down to who uses the room, where the room sits in the home and whether allergies are a potential concern.
- Carpet: Basement, bedroom, den, family room, hallways, playroom
- Hardwood: Bedroom, entryway, dining room, hallway, kitchen, living room
Replacing Carpeting with Hardwood Floor
As you weigh investing in hardwood for your floors, you will need to evaluate your budget, the preferences, and traditions in your community and your own taste. Some people only want to step on soft carpeting or area rugs in the living room and family room, while others prefer hardwood flooring surfaces. In some warm climates, wood flooring will not fly.
In more traditional markets, tastes still lean toward oak wood flooring, but some owners of more contemporary homes are choosing to refinish and stain their wood floors in different colors. Other flooring trends in hardwood include wider planks, the use of reclaimed wood or hand-scraped wood that looks antique, and exotic species of hardwood such as hickory or walnut.
Homeowners on a tight budget may want to skip hardwood and consider laminate flooring, which offers the look of wood floors at a lower price point. Keep in mind that a flooring choice for people with allergies typically leans toward a hard flooring surface that will not hold dust. With flooring made from hardwood, there is often less dirt and fewer allergens than what’s trapped in the fibers of carpet flooring.
You should also think about the care and maintenance of hardwood required for your floor surface since you will need to take care of it for years. Hardwood floors last longer than carpet can be easier to keep clean, and can be refinished. In the end, though, the decision about whether to install hardwood floor or carpeting in a bedroom should be based on your personal preference, at least if you intend to stay in the home for a few years.