- Carpet vs. Hardwood Flooring: Which Is Right for You?
- Carpet Or Hardwood: Which Floor Works For You?
We have always had a healthy mix of carpet-lovers and hardwood-advocates. But while each flooring type has its pros and cons, it finally boils down to personal preferences, aesthetic needs and specific circumstances.
But what aspects do you need to consider? Let’s take a closer look.
At all costs
Budget constraints may tip the scales in favour of one flooring material over the other.
When it comes to a cheaper option between the two, carpet is a clear winner. Even if you choose luxurious styles like velvet and expensive materials like wool, carpet would still cost lesser than hardwood.
Over the years, however, you will need to replace carpeting and this would add on to long-term costs.
Generally, when it comes to installation, carpet can be installed in under eight hours. There is rarely any chance of damage to the subfloor. Some choose to go DIY to save on installation costs although it is quite labour-intensive. While overall, carpet seems affordable, replacing it every 10 years can add on to your costs.
Hardwood floors are a big investment. But a sizeable plus is that it’s a lifelong one, since it doesn’t need replacement every decade.
When it comes to installation, hardwood flooring is typically a 1 to 3 day commitment, which means higher labour costs. Hardwood is rarely ever installed in a DIY manner since it’s time-consuming and labour-intensive. Once installed, there will be additional costs of stain, varnish or oil for extra protection.
This cost pile-up makes hardwood seem too expensive – but in reality, it will help you save on maintenance and replacement costs in the long-run, considering it will last you a lifetime.
The look and feel factor is also something to consider seriously since a floor can make or break a room.
Carpet is hands down softer and warmer underfoot. Many love the plush, cosy and comfortable feel. Modern day carpets also come in a wide variety of patterns, styles and colours so that every taste is indulged. Carpets have the ability to make a room appear luxurious, as in the case of wool or Saxony type carpets or warm and inviting like the loop pile type.
That said, it is very rare to spot a fully carpeted home these days and it is usually placed in rooms that require quiet or warmth.
When it comes to appearance, hardwood is hard to beat. The rich, natural textures and vivid colours give you plenty of choice to experiment with. You also have the option of parquet patterns that can upgrade any space. Besides, you can stain and polish hardwood when it loses its sheen.
On the downside, some do not like the cold feel of hardwood floors. While they are smooth to walk on, if you prefer the soft and quiet tread that carpet offers, hardwood might not be for you.
Each flooring material has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to maintenance and care. Can these floors take on the elements? With the vagaries of the weather and regular accidents at home, tackling it all can be challenging in unique ways for both floors.
With carpets, you will need to steam clean and deep clean, so that all the accumulated dust, hair, odours and debris get cleared up. Otherwise, carpets pose a high risk for allergens and are not always suitable for people and kids prone to allergies.
If your carpet does get a tear, it is hard to find a solution to fix it. Most would place a piece of furniture to cover the tear, but this is a clumsy solution. It is most likely that you would have to rip out the whole carpet and replace it.
If your carpet is subjected to moisture, like water spillage from a glass, you need not worry. Most synthetic fibre carpets dry quickly and won’t warp or bend under the impact.
However, long-term exposure to moisture and dampness can result in mold. With prolonged exposure to sunlight, your carpet can fade easily. Although there are fire-retardant options available, you should be cautious and never keep hot objects close to carpets to avoid a potential fire or burns on your carpet.
Hardwood requires sweeping or dry mopping once a week to make it look as good as new and to keep grit and dirt from scratching the floors.
When it comes to stains on hardwood floors, you’ll need to clean up spills immediately to prevent permanent damage. Hardwood can easily warp, bend or rot with exposure to any kind of moisture, including dampness brought on by weather changes.
Like in the case of carpets, both sunlight and hot objects can scorch or change the colour of hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are no match for pet nails and can easily get scratched with the smallest amounts of dirt and grit.
But hardwood has the glorious advantage of being able to be stained or sanded down to restore it to its former glory.
The lifespan of your floor is a crucial factor to consider, since it adds on to your long-term costs as well.
Generally speaking, most carpets last around ten years if maintained well. But in case of high-traffic spaces, you might have to replace your carpet in just five years. This is because carpets collect layers of dust, stains, allergens and mites over several years, which is a potential health hazard. They also tend to look jaded and worn out over the years.
These hardy floors can last you a lifetime if cared for well. In fact, hardwood floors can last over a century and are almost like flooring heirlooms. While you might need to replace damaged boards, stain and varnish over the years, the entire floor can weather everyday challenges and stand the test of time.
Last, but not the least, let’s look at what type of flooring holds its weight in gold in the property resale market.
While carpet design and durability has grown in leaps and bounds, it’s not exactly a much-coveted floor. The value of your home will not rise drastically by having carpeting in your space. This is, in part because carpets are associated more with practicality than with grandeur and are mostly used to absorb noise and make a room feel cosy.
On the other hand, hardwood floor’s longevity, timelessness and magnificent look is bound to increase resale value for your property and attract new buyers.
How do I choose?
It is purely a matter of personal choice, since both flooring materials have their own unique advantages. It’s best to consider the above factors to make an informed decision and pick one that suits your needs.