Hardwood and carpet—two of the most popular flooring options in the market today. One is a natural, tough, and timeless material that can last for a lifetime; the other is a soft, plush, and inexpensive choice. Both floor coverings offer a unique way to provide visual appeal to your home. Both flooring products have distinct merits and drawbacks that you need to consider before installation. But which one of these flooring options is better for your home? As a Baltimore Maryland floor installer, we have narrowed down some categories to compare hardwood and carpet and figure out which option is better suited for your flooring.
One of the major differences between hardwood and carpet flooring is their appearance. No one gets confused between these two flooring types. They are very distinct from each other in terms of style, texture, color, and source. One cannot tell exactly which floor covering is better in this category. Simply because each flooring option is aesthetically appealing, and it just boils down to how will it complement the style of your home.
The look and feel of the hardwood flooring are recognizable to all. What’s enticing about genuine hardwood is its natural grain, tone, and texture that can add character to your flooring. This flooring material is a classic, timeless choice. It has this high-end and elegant look that can increase the value of your property, making it a substantial investment in the long run.
One of the best things about hardwood flooring is its versatility. It is cut from different wood species, so your choices can be limitless. It never runs out of style because you have a world of options—from wood species to texture, color, patterns, finishes, and more—providing you a lot of ways to personalize your style. You can go from rustic to contemporary and modern style, which gives you more design ideas to incorporate in your house. Plus, all these varieties are readily available in the market. You can even ask your Baltimore Maryland floor installer to provide you some samples and design options.
Like hardwood flooring, carpet comes in a wealth of designs, style, and texture. With carpet flooring, you can choose any color and style under the sun. You can mix and match patterns depending on the design choices in certain areas of the house. One great thing about carpet flooring is that it creates a cozy, homey ambiance, making you feel easy at home.
Best for Appearance: Hardwood. As a Baltimore Maryland floor installer, we can say that this category is still a matter of personal style and preference. However, most people are leaning toward the hardwood floor mainly because of its sleek and luxurious appeal.
When it comes to installation, hardwood and carpet flooring take on different approaches. Methods and processes are not the same. Hence, the cost and ease of installation can be incomparable.
Hardwood flooring installation, especially solid wood, requires expertise and skills. Solid hardwood typically has a tongue-and-groove system in which each board is nailed down to the subfloor through the tongues at the edges of the floorboards. The nail-down installation method is quite daunting and requires special tools. It can be time-consuming and complicated, so you may need a Baltimore Maryland floor installer to do the job. Unless you are a seasoned DIYer, just leave the job to the pro.
Unfinished wood, on the other hand, needs sanding and staining after installation. This isn’t an easy task as well. Although a prefinished version is already available, some homeowners still prefer to hire a Baltimore Maryland floor installer to have it done professionally. However, if in case you still prefer the look and feel of the wood, you can opt for an engineered wood where a click-lock system is available. Engineered wood can be installed as a floating floor, which makes it DIY-friendly.
While the installation of carpet flooring can be less complicated than hardwood, the process is still quite challenging. In carpet installation, you need to attach an underlayment pad first while nailing or stapling it down around the edges of the room. Once done, you can roll out the carpet over the underlayment, then stretch and attach it around the perimeter. To ensure that the carpet precisely fits the room, you need to trim while stretching it with special tools.
These processes are ideal only if you are a seasoned DIYer. While carpet flooring is less time-consuming to install than hardwood, a lot of things may happen during installation such as oddly shaped spaces on the floor or poor subfloor conditions. It could also be difficult if you plan to install carpet in multiple rooms. So, if a DIY project is not really your cup of tea, you better leave the job to your Baltimore Maryland floor installer.
Least Complicated Installation: Carpet. DIY installation is not typical with hardwood or carpet flooring. Both methods require expertise, skills, and special tools.
3. Maintenance and Repair
Since the materials they are made up of are not similar, there are also different ways to clean and maintain hardwood and carpet flooring.
Hardwood flooring is easy to maintain and clean. It doesn’t trap or absorb dust and dirt, so it is so easy to spot if you need to clean them. Maintaining a hardwood floor doesn’t require any deep cleaning. Simple vacuuming or sweeping removes all loose dirt and stains. Just make sure to wipe up any spills or splashes quickly to prevent your floor from warping. Some minor repairs, on the other hand, are simple enough as well. You can refinish and sand them down to maintain their look. Solid hardwood can be refinished at least 4 to 5 times to keep it in great shape. Engineered wood, however, can be refinished at least once or twice depending on the quality and thickness of the veneer layer.
Cleaning and maintaining a carpet are a little tougher than hardwood flooring. Carpet can absorb stain, dirt, dust, and other allergens easily. These can get stuck on the fibers and stay hidden. With this, routine cleaning methods such as sweeping, and vacuuming are necessary. Your carpet may also need an in-depth shampooing every year to keep it in good shape. In most cases, you must deep clean your carpet every 12 to 24 months. In-depth cleaning is as important as treating stains and regular vacuuming. It removes persistent small particles and dirt in your carpet, preventing it from wearing out.
Simplest Maintenance and Repair: Hardwood. It is much easier for upkeep because hardwood flooring doesn’t hide or absorb dust, dirt, and stain, so you will know when it is time for cleaning.
In any remodeling project and purchasing decision, the cost is indeed a major factor. When deciding between hardwood and carpet flooring, there is quite a big price difference, particularly if you are looking for high-quality and top-end choices.
If you’re on a strict budget, hardwood flooring is not a good choice. This is because hardwood is one of the most expensive flooring materials in the market today. Hardwood flooring installation ranges between $6 and $12 per square foot. The wood floor itself costs around $3 to $7 per square foot, while the labor expenses are about $3 to $5 per square foot. Higher-end wood species and high-quality versions of hardwood are even more expensive. However, if you still love the look and feel of genuine hardwood, you can opt for engineered wood. In looking for cost-effective hardwood options, you may want to talk to a Baltimore Maryland floor installer to provide you a better solution.
Installing a carpet is much less expensive than hardwood flooring. It is friendlier on your budget, yet it won’t compromise quality. One of the most affordable flooring options, the average cost of carpet installation ranges from $3.5 to $11 per square foot. This value includes carpeting, pad, labor, and additional services such as furniture removal, hauling away, and special cuts. The cost may vary depending on style, types, room size, to name a few. However, keep in mind that carpets do have an expiration date. After about 20 years or even less, you may need to replace and install a new one.
Most Budget-Friendly Material: Carpet. Installation of carpet is relatively less costly than hardwood flooring.
5. Durability and Lifespan
Aside from getting more savings on the initial cost and installation, it is also important to look for a flooring material that provides long-term investment. This material should be durable enough to withstand the test of time and live longer than expected.
If you are looking for a material that doesn’t need to be replaced for the next 20 years or so, hardwood flooring is the best choice. Hardwood is exceptionally durable that it can last for more than 50 years or even more if you maintain it properly. In fact, it is no longer uncommon for a hardwood floor to live for more than 100 years. Since you have the option to sand and refinish a solid hardwood, it allows you to restore its look without completely replacing the entire floor. You can also choose to change the stain or color of your wood in the future.
The type of wood species you choose also affects the lifespan of your hardwood floor. Wood species with higher Janka ratings are expected to last longer than soft hardwood species. If you want to know more about wood species and your options, don’t hesitate to speak to your Baltimore Maryland floor installer.
Unlike hardwood flooring, carpet has no standardized ratings to determine how durable and tough it can become. If you’re thinking about a long-term investment, carpet flooring is not the most durable choice. It has an expiration date, which requires you to rip up and replace your carpet once it reaches that age. Normally, carpet flooring is ready for full replacement every 10 to 15 years. This is also dependent on how eager you are to maintain and clean it.
Most Durable and Longest Life Expectancy: Hardwood. It is superior to carpet flooring because it is durable enough, making it an even much cheaper flooring option in the long run.
6. Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness
A lot of homeowners are becoming more environmentally conscious than ever. With growing choices for sustainable and renewable flooring materials, you can create a greener and eco-friendly home.
Hardwood flooring comes from a natural, renewable source, so it is very eco-friendly and sustainable. It doesn’t emit any toxic substances in the air, making it a noncontributory to indoor air pollution. It doesn’t absorb or trap pollen, dust, and dirt; hence, it is a better choice for a family with members suffering from asthma or allergies. Just make sure to purchase the hardwood floor from an environmentally responsible supplier or contractor. You can also speak with your Baltimore Maryland floor installer for greener options.
While there are carpet types from natural fibers like wool, most carpet floors are not considered sustainable or natural. In most cases, carpet flooring is made from petroleum, which is not eco-friendly. When petroleum breaks down, it releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be harmful to human health. Also, carpet tends to absorb mildew, pet dander, pollens, and dust. That is why it is not a recommended flooring choice for anyone with allergies or asthma.
Most Sustainable and Eco-Friendly: Hardwood. With hardwood flooring installed at home, you are also helping the environment.
Some homeowners choose a comfortable and softer wood flooring type, especially in a household with young kids. In this case, it’s all about how it feels when walking on that surface floor, rather than the style and appearance it can offer.
For obvious reasons, hardwood flooring is less soft and comfortable than carpet flooring. Although hardwood is not as cold and hard as ceramic tile or concrete, it is not as soft as carpet as well. It may be tough on your feet, particularly if you are standing for long hours.
Since it comes from a soft material, carpet flooring provides more comfort and warmth. It is so convenient to walk on and is not cold underfoot. Because it is soft and soothing, the carpet is ideal for children’s rooms, bedrooms, family room, and living room. It creates a relaxing atmosphere and provides warmth, which is beneficial during chilly weather. Aside from comfort, carpet flooring also dampens noise or sounds, making your room much quieter and noise-proof.
Best for Comfort: Carpet. For comfort and warmth, carpet flooring has a great advantage over the hardwood flooring. Just keep in mind that it is important to choose a good quality carpet, so it can really serve its purpose.
8. Resale Value
If you have plans to sell your home in the future, resale value should be one of the most important factors you need to consider. You need a flooring material that will increase the resale value of your property.
When it comes to resale value, hardwood stands out among other flooring options. According to statistics, getting new wood flooring is ranked #4 among the most popular projects to attract potential home buyers. It can increase the resale value of your home, making it an incredible selling point in the event that you are ready to market your property for sale. This makes hardwood flooring a substantial investment in the long run.
Carpet flooring doesn’t affect the resale value of your home because it is considered an inexpensive choice. Old carpet flooring, however, will have an impact on your property’s value as it may suffer in the market once you sell it.
Best Choice for Resale Value: Hardwood. Getting a hardwood floor is superior to carpet flooring when it comes to increasing the real estate value. Potential buyers prefer getting a house with a hardwood floor because of its luxurious and premium appeal.
Hardwood vs Carpet: Which Material Stands Out?
Based on the categories above, hardwood flooring has an advantage over carpet flooring, with better appearance, more versatility, easier for upkeep, better resale value, and longer lifespan. Carpet flooring, on the other hand, is also a great flooring option if you’re on a tight budget without compromising quality, comfort, and overall appearance. With all these things mentioned earlier, it only goes to show that there are a lot of factors you need to consider in choosing the right flooring material for your home. If you are ready to start your next flooring makeover but still weighing in the options, your next step is to contact us today! Schedule a free in-home consultation, so we can turn your ideas into a more structured reality.