Carpet vs hardwood flooring is an eternal dilemma in the world of home design. You might be asking yourself, is carpet a better option, or will I regret it? Is hardwood worth it?
Fortunately for you, we understand that there’s a lot to think about when it comes to this aspect of home improvement. That’s why we gathered up all the facts about the qualities of each choice which might assist homeowners in deciding whether to go with one or the other. We’ve included appearance, cost, and cleaning differences, among other factors.
Whether you’re choosing between carpet vs hardwood for your apartment or mansion, here are the details:
Hardwood Floors vs Carpet: An Introduction
First off, let’s quickly go through the main characteristics of hardwood floors and carpets.
First of all, there are two forms of hardwood to choose from: Solid vs engineered hardwood.
Solid wood flooring is an excellent option if you want to refinish it frequently and want plenty of customization options. However, since it is highly temperamental, it reacts poorly to humidity and significant temperature changes.
On the other hand, engineered wood flooring is less sensitive to condition changes, and typically costs less. Its main downside is that it isn’t waterproof, and cannot be refinished continuously.
When it comes to engineered hardwood vs hardwood from natural sources, it all boils down to what characteristics you want your flooring to have and which room you’re renovating.
On the other hand, with carpets, you need to know that most contemporary ones are made by weaving synthetic fiber loops closely together through enormous backing sheets. Although you can find carpets made of natural fibers (like wool or cotton), most are built from polyester, nylon, or similar synthetic materials.
Carpet or Hardwood: Which Looks and Feels Better?
If you love variety when it comes to color, feel, and texture, you’ll probably be a carpet fan. Nevertheless, hardwood offers plenty of exciting designs for any of your home renovation needs. On the other hand, carpets can add a touch of comfort and softness to your living space.
In terms of overall appearance, the carpet vs hardwood floor debate can’t escape the fact that hardwood is more luxurious and timeless. Just think about it—the wood grain’s stunning patterns and natural tone add a classic feel to any household.
Overall, here’s the verdict concerning the aesthetic value of carpet vs hardwood floors: It all comes down to what you like and dislike. Do you like fun, quirky patterns, and a fuzzy feel? If so, choose carpeting. On the other hand, if you prefer a solid surface and a classic tone, your best bet is hardwood.
Carpet vs Wood Floor: Heat and Water Resistance
Below, you’ll find out how the two compare when it comes to their heat-proof and waterproof qualities—if they have any. These two features are essential, especially in damp spaces such as the basement.
Some people believe that carpet made from synthetic fibers is the ideal flooring if you want to renovate any area in your home. Although these contemporary carpets are water-damage resistant, you should avoid spilling liquids on them on purpose. The water can always soak into the wooden subfloor underneath the carpet, creating the ideal conditions for mold growth.
We strongly suggest ditching carpets in favor of solid flooring in areas where you’re likely to spill something, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
Another reason not to install carpet in the kitchen area is the various heat sources. In the worst-case scenario, burning carpets can emit toxic gases amid a home fire.
Nonetheless, in choosing between carpet vs hardwood for the basement, we would choose neither.
Wood flooring is not recommended for any area where moisture or water is present regularly, as it’s conducive to mold growth, warping, and lifting.
On the other hand, the benefits of hardwood floors shine through in areas with plenty of heat sources. Intense heat can harm hardwood, but you can easily sand away and restore minor scorch marks. If you’re a carpet owner, fixing the damage is nowhere near as easy.
Carpet vs Hardwood Cost
The price is one of the most significant factors when trying to make any decorating decision, so here’s what you need to know about the cost of hardwood floors vs that of carpet.
Most carpets are significantly less expensive than hardwood. And, while you do need to replace carpet materials now and then, it’s possible to find high-quality carpeting for as low as $1 per square foot. Of course, high-end options such as premium wool carpets can cost as much as $20 per square foot, but you’ll easily find satisfactory carpets in home stores for around $3 per square foot.
When it comes to the hardwood vs carpet cost battle, it’s obvious that the latter is winning. The price of solid hardwood flooring starts at roughly $4 per square foot and only goes up. Keep in mind that you’ll also need around about $8 per square foot for installing each panel. Nevertheless, hardwood is an investment that will last you for many years.
Hardwood vs Carpet: Cleaning
Another critical factor is a material’s overall upkeep.
Wood Floor vs Carpet—Which One Needs Less Care?
Since it’s easy to vacuum a carpet, it’s not difficult to keep it serviceably clean on a regular basis. However, thoroughly cleaning a carpet can be challenging, because stains tend to soak in and remain permanent.
Moreover, dust, microbes, and other allergens are easily caught in the fibers. If you or a family member has an allergy, a fluffy carpet is a no-no. In fact, allergies can make your hardwood floor vs carpet dilemma very easy.
Homeowners with kids or pets are advised to choose hardwood flooring because it’s simple to keep tidy. You can vacuum, sweep, or mop it to maintain hygiene regularly. With the right hardwood floor cleaner, you can finish the job in no time, and you won’t endanger any vulnerable members of your family.
To recap, when it comes to carpet vs hardwood for allergies, you should choose the latter. Wood floors don’t capture pollen, dander, dust, and other allergy-causing substances, unlike carpeting.
A Carpet or Wood Floors: Maintenance and Durability
As hinted earlier, one material is more durable than the other. This factor is essential, because it determines the lifespan of the material and how frequently you’ll need to replace it.
Regular carpet vacuuming is recommended, as is removing stains as soon as possible. If you feel unfit for the job, you can always hire a skilled cleaning service to extend your carpet’s life.
So how is hardwood flooring doing vs carpet in terms of durability? When properly cared for, hardwood flooring can last for generations. Furthermore, even if severe wear occurs, you can sand and refinish solid hardwood up to four times during its lifetime.
Another thing to remember when making a carpet vs hardwood decision is that the latter’s surface varnish needs to be refreshed every couple of years between full-scale sanding procedures. When taken care of properly, wood flooring will last you an eternity.
Carpet vs Hardwood Resale Value
By now, you already know which material wins the battle in terms of resale value—it’s hardwood. In fact, according to a study by USA Today, 54% of homebuyers would be willing to spend extra for a home with hardwood flooring.
Also, HGTV claims that hardwood flooring is on most checklists of renters and buyers when shopping for a home.
Therefore “hardwood floors vs carpet” for resale value is hardly even a competition. Hardwood directly influences the worth and price of a home, and it’s only growing in popularity, so we can expect this real estate trend to continue far into the future.
Carpet or Hardwood Floors: Comfort and Sound
Few things are as lovely as walking barefoot on a warm, soft carpet on a cool winter night (besides sliding under a fluffy comforter). That is, essentially, carpet’s greatest advantage: It offers warmth, comfort, and will muffle any loud steps.
A high-quality carpet is just plain enjoyable to walk on, which is one of the reasons why we love to have carpets in bedrooms, living rooms, and children’s rooms. Woven rugs, in particular, are stunning in a boho bedroom.
Nevertheless, concerning carpet vs hardwood in bedrooms, it’s important to note that it depends on your needs and the age of the person sleeping there. For example, if your child is prone to mess-making, we recommend skipping carpet flooring until they are older.
On the other hand, because of its softness, carpet is a safe flooring option in your home. Remember, if you trip or fall on hardwood, you can end up with an injury, whereas carpets can provide cushioning, especially in households with toddlers and seniors.
Now, let’s discuss the qualities of hardwood floors. Although hardwood might seem like the ideal flooring, there are some disadvantages you need to be aware of. For instance, one of the most common complaints is that they are noisy.
When installed on higher levels, individuals on lower levels may hear each step. Also, if you don’t wear slippers in winter, your feet may feel cold on the hardwood.
Hardwood Flooring vs Carpet: Pros and Cons
As you may deduce from the information you’ve just read, both carpet and hardwood have their strengths and flaws. Below, we’ve listed some of them to help you make your renovating decision.
Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring
For decades, homeowners have preferred hardwood flooring as a long-term renovating option. Besides its impressive lifespan, people like hardwood for its stunning natural appearance and cleaning convenience. Here are the hardwood flooring pros and cons:
- Timeless style
- Wide range of colors and designs
- Simple cleaning and dusting
- Suitable for people with allergies
- Resilient material
- Lasts long with proper care
- Requires regular maintenance, especially in damp areas
- Not scratch-proof
- You’ll need a rug for a luxurious look
- Typically more costly than carpet or other alternatives
Pros and Cons of Carpet
The debate over hardwood and carpet flooring has shifted due to the advancements in carpet construction and materials.
Thankfully, modern carpets are typically easier to maintain and more enjoyable than the standard carpet you might have grown up with. These are the pros and cons of carpet.
- Soft and warm, especially during colder months
- Wide variety of colors and textures, including synthetic and natural fibers
- Usually less expensive compared to hardwood
- You won’t need additional rugs
- Stains are always a hazard
- Unappealing to many home buyers
- Shorter lifespan
- Bad choice for allergy-prone people
The Final Verdict
Ultimately, the choice between carpet or hardwood comes down to personal preference.
For example, many homeowners prefer carpet because it’s softer and silent. However, despite its benefits, carpets need to be frequently replaced, and they can harbor allergens such as pollen and dust.
On the other hand, hardwood is easier to clean and maintain, and lasts longer. Nevertheless, it’s expensive and noisy (if you live in a multi-story home).
We hope you now understand the difference between carpet vs hardwood floors and that you made a final decision. If not, don’t worry! Take some time and think it through.
Is it cheaper to carpet or hardwood?
Carpet is cheaper than hardwood. When you compare the total price of installing carpet versus hardwood floors, the latter will almost always be more expensive. Hardwood flooring can cost anywhere from $12 to $20 per square foot, whereas carpet prices range from $6 to $12 per square foot.
Is it better to have carpet or hardwood floors?
This depends on your preferences. If you want warmth and noise muffling, choose carpet. If you want to make an excellent investment that will last you for years to come, go with hardwood. You can always put rugs over it!
Is carpet dirtier than hardwood?
Yes, carpet can be dirtier than hardwood, even if vacuumed frequently. However, you can always invest in a quality carpet cleaner or hire a professional. Moreover, you’ll need to take extra care to avoid spills, stains, and other hazards.
Is replacing carpet with hardwood worth it?
In the grand scheme of things, yes, replacing your carpet with hardwood is worth your money. A high-quality carpet can last you between 10 to 15 years, but it should be replaced if it’s worn out or damaged.
On the flip side, hardwood can withstand more wear and tear, and you won’t have to worry about stains.
Is carpet in bedrooms outdated?
We believe the carpet in the bedroom is not outdated. However, many would agree otherwise, and we see what these people mean. For example, you should get rid of the carpet if it begins to look dull and grimy. Because otherwise, it will make your home look aged.
Do hardwood floors make your house colder?
Although hardwood floors can feel cold during the winter months, they can actually provide lasting heat. This is because wood absorbs and retains heat longer compared to carpet.
Do wood floors increase home value?
Yes, wood floors increase the value of your home. According to the National Wood Flooring Association’s survey results, 80% of real estate agents claim that installing wood floors boosts the value of a home between 1% and 10%.
What adds more value, carpet or hardwood?
As we mentioned just now, hardwood adds more value to your home, as opposed to carpet. So if you’re debating whether to use carpet vs hardwood for raising your home value, we strongly suggest choosing hardwood.