dining room with wood hardwood, a wood table, and accent wall

Carpet vs. Hardwood Flooring: The Pros & Cons

The flooring in your home can change the entire look and feel of your space. It’s clear that the two most popular styles of flooring that homeowners lean toward are carpet vs wood floor.

Though carpet and hardwood flooring are two classic choices, these options can be polar opposites in many ways. Deciding between the two can be difficult, but there’s definitely a flooring that works for all lifestyles. Not sure what flooring would work best for your lifestyle or your budget? Here are some differences between carpet flooring and hardwood flooring. 

apples in a blue mesh bag laying on white carpet

Carpet vs Wood Floor: What is it?

Carpet Flooring- Carpet is made from synthetic fibers to create a lush floor of soft material. Carpets can make a home feel cozy and warm, but in the summer, the warmth of the fibers can be less desirable in the heat. 

Hardwood Flooring-  Hardwood flooring is made from cut and treated wood that can be put in any room of the home. Hardwood floors are temperature-regulating year-round, with the ability to collect heat during the cold months.

Cost and Time of Installation

Carpet Flooring- It’s no secret that carpet flooring is an affordable option for a floor installation, but it depends on what style of carpet you decide on. If your carpets are hypo-allergenic or a high-quality fiber, they will be more expensive per square foot. Carpet flooring takes anywhere from 1-3 days to install in your space depending on the size of the room. 

Hardwood Flooring- Traditional on-site hardwood floors can take up to 7 days or more to install and have a higher price tag than carpet flooring, but with prefinished hardwood flooring, you can have a beautiful hardwood floor installed within 1-3 days depending on the size of the space.

Carpet vs Wood Floor Value over time

Carpet flooring-  Carpeting is a great and cheaper flooring option (depending on the carpet). But if you have ever watched a home improvement show, you know, the carpet is the first thing to go. This is often for many reasons aside from just an “ugly carpet”. Carpet often lasts anywhere from 5 to 15 years depending on care. However, even with the most durable and low maintenance carpets, you can see distress within the first 5 years regardless of maintenance and that is just hitting the surface. What most homeowners really care about is what is underneath. Dust and grime start to accumulate – making carpet a less hygienic option that often leaves a lingering smell.

Then there are carpet trends. Have you ever witnessed a carpet in someone’s home that just doesn’t go with the space? We’ve all been there. You turn the corner to the family room or den, and you’re met with a green shag carpet straight from the 70s and you think it looks a bit dated, right? Well, that’s because carpet flooring tends to look dated when it’s been in your home for a decade or longer. Especially if the carpet chosen was originally trendy for that time. If you’re ever selling your home, most buyers will likely take the carpets out and replace them to their own style preferences. For homeowners looking to sell this could be another headache in the selling process. 

Hardwood flooring- The great part of having hardwood floors is the simple timeless design that increases the value of your home. Hardwood floors are currently the preferred style for most homebuyers, and having hardwood floors can increase the value of your home on the market later down the line. Even if your floors are a more dated, dark red stain with scratches and dents, refinishing your hardwoods can revitalize your floors and update your look. A standard hardwood floor refinish will sand out the scratches, re-stain them to your desired color, and finish them to fit the current design trends. Hardwood is a timeless and durable flooring option that, if properly maintained, will not need full replacements.

Maintenance and Care

Carpet Flooring – A spill can be catastrophic for a carpet! Think about grape juice or paint splashing and soaking deep into the fibers of your carpet (we all remember those old infomercials). It can be extremely difficult if not near impossible to remove those stains even if you treat the spot immediately after the spill. 

Especially in high traffic and high spill areas you rarely see carpet if ever. Can you imagine carpet in a bathroom or kitchen? The stains that would come from dropped food or the mold that would eventually start to grow out of the pure moisture soaked in by the carpet would mean frequent replacements and huge headaches. For this reason, carpeting is not commonly chosen when you have a full house with children and pets. If there’s water damage or stains, carpet flooring may need to be removed and replaced more frequently. 

Hardwood flooring- Hardwood flooring isn’t immune to moisture and water damage either, but with a proper coating, it can withstand spills and daily wear and tear with a much easier clean-up. It’s also possible to replace individual damaged pieces of wood or refinish floors entirely for a brand new look that protects against moisture and at a lower price than a new install.

Allergies

Carpet Flooring- Another big difference between carpet and hardwood flooring is the attraction of allergens to the surfaces. Carpets aren’t the best for the homes of families with allergies, because dust and allergens can settle deep in the fibers of your floors. There are new hypo-allergenic carpet piles available currently, but even with these allergy-friendly options, you will still need to regularly vacuum and steam-clean to keep the allergies at bay. 

Hardwood Flooring- Hardwood flooring makes ridding your home of dust easy because there is nowhere for the allergens to hide. Of course, there will still be the occasional dust that settles on your floors, but you can always easily clean it away, or bring in a specialist to deep clean your floors. Taking care of allergens is much easier on a hard surface than on a soft one.

dining room with wood hardwood, a wood table, and accent wall

Versatility

Carpet flooring- These floors are made of carpet piles from fibers, most commonly nylon, polyester, and wool. Pile is the style of loop used to attach the fibers to the surface. There are many variations of the pile that make carpet dense, soft, shaggy, and short. You have a large range of options to achieve the look you want with carpet because there are so many different colors, patterns, and styles of carpeting.

Depending on your lifestyle, carpets are most commonly found in bedrooms and common living spaces. It would be difficult to have carpet flooring in spaces that are prone to getting wet like your kitchen or bathroom.

Hardwood flooring- With many types of wood, finishes, and patterns, there are endless opportunities for a hardwood flooring company to help you achieve your look. Most choose to lay hardwood flooring down in the main living spaces of your home, and with coating available to deter spills, they are great for dining rooms as well. The benefit of hardwood is you can not only achieve the look you love right from the start, but you have the option to update it with refinishing OR just by adding a decorative rug. Hardwood lays the groundwork allowing you endless opportunities for updates.

Choose the Flooring Best for You

Choosing the right flooring for your home and lifestyle can be tricky, especially when there is money involved. When you are deciding carpet vs wood floor consider pricing, longevity, and lifestyle in order to make a well-informed choice. The floors in your home are not only where your family spends their time, where memories are made, but an investment into the home itself. 

If you decide hardwood flooring is the best flooring option for your home, 

schedule a consultation with the hardwood specialists at Totta Hardwoods. 

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