Carpet vs. Hardwood: 7 Reasons to Pick the Latter

Hardwood floor with a rug
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Mulling over flooring options? Your biggest question is often “should I choose carpet or hardwood?” Even vinyl or tile melt into the background alongside such flooring big hitters.

But the carpet vs. hardwood debate wasn’t always an issue, even during the 19th century. People often covered wood floors with early woven carpets.

It turns out wall-to-wall carpets aren’t a new invention!

But nowadays, more flooring options to choose from can make it difficult to know which to pick. 

Are you caught up in the carpet vs. hardwood dilemma? Read on to learn 7 reasons why you should pick hardwood every time.

1. Hardwood Is Much Easier to Clean

Dirt shows up more easily on hardwood flooring. That may sound like a downside but it’s a huge benefit.

It makes cleaning hardwood floors much less of a chore. A simple sweep with a broom a few times a week does the trick.

For high-traffic areas, you can run a vacuum cleaner with a hardwood attachment. A mop makes light work of muddy footprints or spilled drinks.

But dirt can hide in a carpet. The fibers often trap pollen, dust or pet hair. 

Every time you step on carpet, you release those pollutants back into the air. It’s a nightmare for anyone with allergies.

Meanwhile, spilled liquids aren’t always so easy to soak out of the fibers.

Carpet needs regular vacuuming to keep it clean. An annual deep clean with shampoo also helps keep it looking fresher. But that’s a huge investment of your time.

2. Hardwood Is a Sustainable Flooring Source

Unless you get a carpet made of 100 percent wool, petroleum products form the basis of many carpets. This isn’t a natural choice.

Hardwood offers a natural and environmentally-friendly option. Suppliers replant trees after they’re cut down. This makes hardwood a sustainable choice.

Renewable options let you enjoy your new floor with a clear ecological conscience.

Not to mention the fact that newly polished wooden floors smell amazing.

3. It’s a Better Long Term Investment

Carpet may be a good choice for the budget conscious. Upfront, the initial investment is much lower.

But on a long term basis, hardwood lasts longer. Hardwood offers a timeless look for any room.

True, it’s susceptible to dents, scratches or spills. But it’s also easy to sand and resurface to bring it back to its best appearance. It can even last for 75 to 100 years.

If you tear or stain the carpet, you need to replace it. Even if you only replace a section, you risk the repair looking obvious.

Carpet starts showing signs of wear and tear within a couple of years of being laid. Hardwood doesn’t begin to show its age for around twenty years.

4. Wood Supports Regular Decor Changes

Carpet doesn’t always support a decor change. If you’re changing the color or general look of a room, your existing carpet won’t always suit the new scheme.

It’s more disruptive to empty a room to take up a carpet. 

By contrast, it’s much easier to change decor schemes around a hardwood floor.

Many kinds of wood suit a range of decor choices, making it a more flexible choice. Repaint the walls and swap out the furniture for an instant life.

And you can quickly alter the look and feel of a room by adding rugs. They also help to bridge the comfort gap, adding the softness and texture of carpet.

5. Hardwood Floors Boost the Resale Value of Your Home

Hardwood is a great investment in more ways than one. 54 percent of home buyers are even willing to pay more for hardwood floors. 

If you’re looking to sell, just make sure you have them spruced up before buyers come round. 

Check out flooring trends too. No matter what the era, people choose wooden floors because they’re perennial favorites.

Be careful about the plank layout though. Herringbone patterns can look dated. And the direction of the planks can make rooms look narrow.

For small rooms, consider paler woods to make the space look bigger. Or add a pale-colored rug on darker woods. 

With the right hardwood flooring, any room can instantly look more luxurious.

6. Wood Is Compatible with Underfloor Heating

Many people will cite the extra comfort of carpet as a reason to choose it. They do have a point. Carpet is softer underfoot and helps warm up a room.

But engineered hardwood floors are compatible with underfloor heating. This is because of the way that they’re made. Layers of ply are bonded together and topped off with a layer of solid wood.

The treatment of the hardwood makes them less susceptible to temperature changes. It doesn’t expand and contract, making it a great choice with underfloor heating.

Have the look of traditional hardwood flooring with the comfort of underfloor heating.

Just imagine how you’ll feel swinging your feet out of bed and feeling warm oak under your toes!

7. Hardwood Is More Durable Under Furniture

The clue to the popularity of hardwood is in the name. It’s exactly that – ‘hard’. Which makes it far more durable as a flooring choice.

True, hardwood is more vulnerable to dents caused by objects being dropped. But over time, it’s more durable when it comes to heavy furniture.

Just look at any carpet in a room where the furniture never moves. You’ll find deep dents among the fibers where chair or table legs stood.

They are a handful of hacks to help, but the carpet doesn’t always fully recover.

Hardwood flooring shows no such signs of furniture having stood there. It makes it easy to rearrange a room without the previous layout being obvious.

Carpet vs. Hardwood

The carpet vs. hardwood has raged on for years. Don’t get us wrong, carpet still has plenty going for it, especially if you have small children.

But hardwood offers durability, low maintenance, and a better profile for allergens. It also boosts your home’s resale value and offers more options for changing your decor.

What’s not to like?

Check out our gallery to get inspiration for your next hardwood floor.

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