What are the advantages of hardwood floors versus carpeting?
Before considering any of the cost, insulation, or safety factors, it’s necessary to note that the main difference between carpet and hardwood is the feeling of each and the appearance of each. Carpet is available in a wide variety of colors and textures, offering a range of options to suit almost any home. Carpet is also softer and more comfortable than hardwood, which is why it’s common to see a bedroom with carpet, while hardwood isn’t as prevalent.
Hardwood is solid and feels firm underfoot, but the primary appeal is the appearance. You can choose from many different wood tones, colors, and wood-grain patterns to find the hardwood floor that suits your preferences. Hardwood floors also works better with a radiant floor heating system because it conducts the heat better.
If the goal of updating the flooring is to increase the resale value of the home, then the choice is clear. Homes with hardwood floors are typically more popular with prospective home buyers and real estate agents. Trying to sell a home with old, worn, or stained carpet is a more difficult task. A new hardwood floor improves the appeal of the home and increases the resale value. In fact, on average, you can expect a 70 to 80 percent return on investment after installing a new hardwood floor, despite the higher initial hardwood flooring cost.
One of the most important factors to consider when deciding between carpet and hardwood is the longevity of the flooring material. Carpet is cheaper to buy and install, but if you don’t want to start seeing the backing through the fibers of the carpet then you will need to replace this type of flooring every 10 to 20 years.
When hardwood flooring is installed correctly, it is a highly durable option that far surpasses carpet in longevity. You will still need to take care of the floor, especially when it comes to cleaning up spills, pet waste, or any other liquid messes, but so long as the home is properly maintained, a hardwood floor can last more than 50 years. Spills on hardwood are also easy to clean up quickly with a cloth, towel, or mop.
If allergies are a concern for anyone in your home, then carpet flooring isn’t the best choice. This is due to the complex construction of carpet, which can make it very difficult to completely remove dust, dirt, pet hair, dander, or any other allergens that have gotten trapped in the thousands of tightly woven fibers. While vacuuming regularly can help keep the carpet clean, allergens can still become trapped so deep in the carpet fibers that you need to deep clean the floor to completely remove these substances. Hardwood flooring is clearly the superior choice for families who are sensitive to pet hair, dust, and other allergens because these substances are very easy to clean up with a broom and a mop.
In general, carpet is more susceptible to fire and excessive heat than hardwood because the fibers have a lower burning point than wood. This means that carpet would catch on fire long before hardwood would ignite, and minor burns would be more serious with a carpeted floor than a hardwood floor.