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Carpet vs. Hardwood

The floors in your home are the first thing you touch your toes on in the morning are quite often a unifier for your home; tying everything together. Whether you prefer the soft plush feel carpet offers or the clean, fresh look of hardwood, choosing a floor for your home is one of the most important, and difficult, decisions you as a homeowner will make.

It is not that one is necessarily better than the other, but rather that some prefer carpet and others prefer hardwood. Regardless of your choice, a case can be made for each. So if you are having a hard time deciding what kind of flooring you should upgrade to, here are some pros and cons of both to help you decide what is right for you.

Why carpet?

Overall, for the most part, carpet is a cheaper alternative to hardwood flooring. So if budget is an issue you can expect carpet to start somewhere around $3 – $5/square foot, installed including under pad. Carpet can also stay nice and clean with regular weekly vacuuming and an annual steam clean. Another bonus to carpet is that is hides dirt much easier than hardwoods, and therefore will require less frequent cleaning.

Carpet is also quieter in the home, so if you have pets or young children who generally enjoy causing chaos and running around your home, carpets will buffer this noise better than wood for other floors. Further, carpet is warmer in the winter so you can still feel cozy when the temperature drops below zero outside.

But, what about hardwoods?

Hardwood floors are usually more expensive than other flooring alternatives, and you can expect to pay prices starting at about $9/square foot all the way to upward of $20/square foot. While the initial cost of this tends to be higher, the long-term payoff is there as it will actually add value to your home that carpet just will not. This type of flooring generally tends to be much more durable to everyday wear and tear, and is much easier to clean than something like carpet.

These floors can also help to alleviate triggers to allergies like dust particles or pet dander as they do not trap these particles. Instead they will sit on the floor and be swept up and disposed of with regular cleaning. Speaking of cleaning: it is much easier to spot spills, pet hair and dirt on these floors since they just sit on top of the floor. The downside to this is that this choice requires more frequent cleaning than some of its flooring counterparts.

If you are someone who wants to stay current and up on the hottest trends then these floors are for you. They tend to come in a really current style or finish, and will give your home a very modern and fresh look upon installation. Also, if you are worried about your carbon footprint, wood floors tend to come from more natural and sustainable sources than other flooring alternatives.

Final Word

There is not a right or wrong answer to which is better, but rather it is much more about your lifestyle, preferences and habits. Hardwood floors are current, trendy and easy to clean. Further they do not stain (provided spills are cleaned up in a timely manner) and usually come from an eco-friendly sustainable source. Carpet on the other hand is quiet and warmer for your home while being a little easier on your wallet. It needs to be cleaned less than hardwoods, but is prone to staining over time and will, generally, not last as long as wood floors will.

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