Carpet vs Hardwood Floors: A Guide for Homeowners

Your floors take more of a beating than almost anything else inside your home. You walk on it, drop things on it, and track mud or dirt onto it. That’s to say nothing of what pets and kids do to your flooring as they run around on it.

Plus, Covid restrictions just amplified all of that abuse. So, it’s not surprising that flooring is one of the most popular home improvements right now. Of course, many homeowners find themselves pondering the carpet vs hardwood debate.

Both flooring options offer benefits and pitfalls. If you’re not sure which to pick, keep reading for a breakdown of how the flooring materials compare and contrast.

Home Carpet Floors Benefits

Carpet offers several key benefits. On the whole, it’s the less expensive option, which is often a key consideration.

You can get carpeting in a wide range of colors and styles that can complement virtually any decorating style. Carpeting helps add an extra layer of insulation, which makes your floors softer and warmer. Carpet reduces echoes and dampens sound.

Home Carpet Floors Pitfalls

Carpeting also comes with some drawbacks. Most carpeting only has a working life of around 10 years, and wear-and-tear can reduce that lifespan a lot. Keeping carpets truly clean often proves a challenge and they’re subject to stains.

Carpets trap allergens, which makes them problematic for anyone with allergies or asthma.

Home Hardwood Floors Benefits

Hardwood flooring provides its fair share of benefits. The lifespan of solid hardwood floors, such as oak hardwood floors, can go as high as a century or more. Hardwood flooring is highly durable and stain-resistant with prompt cleanup.

You can refinish hardwood flooring to renew its appearance. While not quite as diverse as carpeting, you can find hardwood flooring that goes with more decorating styles.

Hardwood flooring, unlike carpeting, also helps improve your overall home value.

Home Hardwood Floor Pitfalls

One of the main pitfalls with solid hardwood flooring is the cost. It can easily cost you twice as much to install hardwood as it would to install carpet. If you want an exotic hardwood, the price goes up even more.

Hardwood floors don’t insulate well, so you can expect cold floors on cold days. Hardwood can also prove problematic in highly humid locations. The wood will expand and contract as it absorbs and loses water content, which can drive warping in the wood.

Hardwood vs Carpet and You

Making a decision in the carpet vs hardwood debate isn’t a simple either/or choice.

Carpet offers an inexpensive solution for flooring. It comes at the expense of offering a limited working life. That makes it practical if you don’t plan on staying in a home long-term.

Hardwood flooring offers an exceptional lifespan and the chance to refinish it. It’s also a more durable and stain-resistant option. You get those benefits by literally paying more for it.

Looking for more home improvement tips? Check out some of the posts over in our Home Tips section.