Changing your flooring is one of the best ways to give your home a fresh new look. Many people struggle with the decision of whether to choose carpet or hardwood. Your choice will likely depend on many things, including budget, resale value, sustainability and even health. Here are some considerations to make your flooring choice just right for you.
There is no doubt that when comparing carpet to hardwoods, carpet is by far the less expensive option. In fact, the upfront cost of carpeting can be less than half that of similar quality hardwoods. Two things to consider, however, are durability and investment. In the long run, hardwoods typically last longer and are a better investment.
Although decorating trends come and go, hardwood floors have always been a classic favorite. Especially in today's market, hardwood is preferred over carpeting. When it comes to the selling price of your home, hardwoods may not bring you more money, but they could likely help your home sell faster than with carpeting.
Hardwood is obviously a natural product, whereas most carpeting is made from petroleum products. Although deforestation is a major environmental concern, trees are a renewable resource. Petroleum is not. If sustainability is important to you, consider an FSC lumber product. FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council, and requires that hardwood flooring materials come from "operations that promote the health of ecosystems, local cultures and economies."
Acquiring a Clean "Look"
If you like your floors to "look" clean with little work, carpet is a good choice. A quick vacuuming of carpet will remove surface debris and pull up the fibers, fluffing it out. Wood, on the other hand, has no place for dirt and debris to hide. Pet hair, dust balls and stray sand and dirt will always be right out there for all to see. Weekly carpet maintenance usually consists of a quick vacuuming, while wood floors require sweeping and mopping. Hardwoods are more time consuming to keep looking clean.
Due to the physical nature of carpeting, it traps dust and other allergens more so than hardwoods. If carpet is not cleaned regularly and thoroughly, contaminates can work their way down into the padding, making them almost impossible to remove. Families who have members with allergies might want to consider hardwoods rather than carpeting.
Location in the Home
Chances are your home will not be 100 percent hardwood or carpeting. Some spaces just tend to be more functional with one more than the other. Although you can find some carpeted kitchens, grease splatter and food spills just lend themselves more to a hard surface. Entryways and high traffic areas are also better suited for hardwoods.