Carpet vs. Hardwood Floors. Which Is Better?

Ahh, the great debate over carpet vs. hardwood flooring. Your heart is saying hardwood, but your brain is telling you carpet. Each has its pros and cons, and today, we’re laying it all out.


(image via home depot)

First, let’s talk about appearance. Modern carpets are created by threading closely spaced loops of synthetic fibers through large sheets of backing material. They are then manufactured in huge rolls, allowing consumers to purchase it by the foot. Carpet is available in various colors, textures, and styles, so if you have the patience, you can bet that your desired style is out there.

On the flip side, modern hardwood floors instantly give a room a richer warmth due to their natural tones and patterns. There is also just something so timeless about hardwood floors!


(image via carpet one)
The flooring you choose for your home is an investment that you want to stand the test of time. Carpets can be easily damaged by liquids and any wet foods, so right off the bat, they are not recommended for bathrooms or kitchens. If a carpet becomes wet, you have to quickly dry the area. And if they are stained, use Carbona Carpet Cleaner!

However, hardwood flooring isn’t exactly known for being great with liquids either. But there are water-resistant options if you’re willing to spend a little more. Try as you might, scratches will probably (definitely) happen, which is why people tend to opt for a more distressed hardwood. Regardless, well-maintained hardwood floors can last centuries.


(image via carpet one)
When caring for carpets, the best thing you can do is invest in a good vacuum – especially if you have pets. But vacuuming can only do so much to the surface of a carpet, which is where steam cleaning comes in. The downside is the cost and time steam cleaning takes. In addition, carpets are often not recommended for people who suffer from seasonal allergies because allergens can easily get trapped in the fibers. Unfortunately, despite your efforts, carpets will never be spotless.

Hardwood floors are much easier to maintain! Sweeping and vacuuming will get all the loose dust and dirt up, then, every once in a while, a once-over with a mop and wood cleaner will eliminate any trapped dirt and stains.


(image via wilmot’s decorating)
The next factor is a big one: cost. Carpet typically tends to be significantly cheaper than hardwood, though you do have to keep in mind that carpet will need to be replaced at some point. And not all carpet is cost-effective (it can run anywhere from $1 per square foot to well over $30 per square foot).

Hardwood comes in either solid hardwood (boards of solid wood) or engineered hardwood (more cost-effective plywood), but either way, they cost, on average, about $6-18 per square foot including installation. So while they are more of an upfront investment, you shouldn’t ever have to replace them.


(image via flooring stores)
Last but certainly not least, let’s compare comfort. Carpets muffle sound, and they feel great under your feet. If you live somewhere with brutal winters, a carpet will give your space extra warmth and comfort. If you have kiddos, carpet adds some extra cushion to those inevitable tumbles.

Hardwood floors are louder than carpets, and if you have little ones or elders in your home, it can cause injuries if a person falls.

The Verdict?

So, to settle the great debate of hardwood floors vs. carpets? We can’t! Whether you choose carpet or hardwood depends on your family and personal needs. A great compromise? Hardwood floors with area rugs. You’ll have the natural look and warmth of hardwood floors with the added benefit of carpet that will keep your furniture in place and muffle a fair amount of noise. Happy floor hunting!

Sources: House Digest, Life Core, Bob Vila



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