Carpet vs. Hardwood Flooring: Which is Right for Your Home

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a close-up of hardwood floor

Ever since hardwood flooring became popular, the question of whether it or carpet is better has been a common dispute. And while this is a subject of a lot of opinion and debate, there are also hard facts about both. With these facts, you can easily decide which option is better for you personally. Things such as up-front and long-term costs, durability, maintenance, and resale value all make a difference. As such, we have put together a list of differences between carpet vs. hardwood flooring in order to help you decide which is right for your home.

Installation costs

If we’re looking at just the cost of having it installed, hardwood flooring is pretty much always going to be more expensive of an investment. Good hardwood flooring typically costs around $12 to $20 per square foot, while carpets are around $6 to $12 per square foot. However, choosing engineered hardwood flooring can help reduce the price quite a bit. The price range of engineered hardwood flooring tends to vary wildly depending on type and style. Even so, customers can typically expect a price range of $7 to $15 per square foot for engineered hardwood flooring. So, generally speaking, installing hardwood flooring is more expensive than carpet flooring. Of course, there are still many more factors to consider before deciding. Additionally, if you’re planning on replacing your flooring, you should know how to repair damaged concrete, just in case.

vacuum cleaner on carpet

Resale value

Much like carpet easily wins the installation cost comparison, hardwood flooring has a lot more resale value. As a matter of fact, studies of homebuyer preferences have shown that home buyers were willing to pay more for a home with hardwood flooring in most cases. Additionally, home buyers typically look for hardwood floors when looking for a home. Also, we need to note that hardwood flooring is much sturdier than carpet and, as such, more valuable for resale. Put simply, hardwood flooring directly influences the cost of a home, and this probably doesn’t change anytime soon. If you do decide on hardwood flooring, you might also want to consider what modern rugs can do for your home.

Durability

We’ve already touched on the topic of durability between carpet vs. hardwood flooring, and the answer is pretty clear cut: hardwood flooring is significantly more durable than carpet. Hardwood floors are made of materials that can if properly maintained, last from 50 to 100 years. On the other hand, carpets only last as long as the quality of the material. Typical carpets only last around 5 – 10 years, with higher quality ones lasting around 10 – 15 years. As such, hardwood floors are the clear winner for this particular topic.

hardwood floor—deciding on carpet vs. hardwood flooring

Health

Regarding health, it’s another clear-cut answer: carpet can be pretty bad for your health if not maintained properly, while hardwood flooring has basically no effect. This is because carpets, over time, gather dust and allergens inside of them. This can, obviously, trigger allergies, and the dust build-up can end up being bad for anyone who’s not allergic to anything. And while constant maintenance can reduce these effects significantly, there is almost no way to avoid them permanently. Certain deep cleaning methods can, of course, get the allergens out of the carpet. On the other hand, when it comes to hardwood flooring, the most you’d have to worry about is a rug if you decide to get one. And if you decide to move home in the future, remember that when it comes to packing rugs (and expensive ones especially, they require special care.

Maintenance

To keep it short and simple, carpets can be extremely annoying to maintain. Over time, dirt, dust, and allergens will gather in the fibers, becoming trapped. This can make cleaning a carpet hard, and of course, there’s an obvious allergy problem for anyone who’s allergic. Because of this, carpets must be regularly vacuumed to help eliminate these particles. Additionally, a stained carpet can take quite a bit of effort to clean or need you to rely on modern carpet cleaning services. Certain stains will require special chemicals or treatments. Hardwood flooring, on the other hand, is much easier to clean. When using a mop, a hardwood floor can be damp mopped or simply swept to remove all stains, dust, spills, and anything else. This makes hardwood flooring significantly easier to maintain compared to carpet. Also, cleaning products for hardwood floors are being constantly improved to make maintenance even easier.

top-down photo of hardwood floor

Choosing between carpet vs. hardwood flooring

At the end of the day, the choice between carpet vs. hardwood flooring is entirely up to personal preference. Quite a lot of people tend to prefer carpets in bedrooms because of the softer surface. Additionally, the carpet is good for muffling noise around the home in general. And, of course, carpet is much cheaper to have installed in your home. Still, keep in mind that the comfort and price come with a risk of allergens and annoying maintenance. However, hardwood flooring wins easily when it comes to long-term investment and overall maintenance. Not only is it infinitely easier to maintain, but it also has a much longer lifespan than carpet. Additionally, hardwood flooring adds quite a lot of value to your home. As such, while the choice is ultimately yours and it’s up to personal preference, hardwood flooring has a lot of advantages overall.

Carpet vs. hardwood flooring: which is right for your home – closing thoughts

All in all, there are quite a few things to consider between the two flooring options before deciding. However, all of the signs point to hardwood flooring being the better option long-term. Between the easier maintenance, home value, and longer lifespan, you will worry a lot less with hardwood floors. And while carpet flooring has disadvantages, we can’t deny it offers comfort, which can’t be matched by hardwood flooring by itself. We hope this list of differences between carpet vs. hardwood flooring helped you decide which is right for your home, and we wish you a wonderful rest of your day.