Whether you’re just moving in or you’re looking to renovate, you’re likely to find yourself facing the big trade off that is hardwood flooring vs carpet. Your final decision is likely to come down to personal preferences, but it doesn’t hurt to equip yourself with the ins and outs of what each entail. Forget the extensive pros and cons list, here is the breakdown comparison of the two most popular flooring options.
Safe to say, hardwood flooring has been around at least as long as purpose-built homes have. It’s easy to imagine that they were once the only option – at least to a majority of the population. Like most things, hardwood flooring has gone in and out of fashion over the years. It has gone through many a cycle of being considered a cheaper option and many in which it was an indication of wealth. Decades have seen it covered and considered unsightly, only to be later pulled up years later accompanied with exclamations of “why on earth would you want to cover up these original hardwood floors”; but aside from these inevitable trends, there are many things to take into consideration when making your big decision.
Carpets are relatively much younger and have an equal history of being fashionable. These days when we think of carpets, we think of the type we nail to the floor that covers a majority of the floors surface area in our homes. Original carpets would resemble what is commonly referred to in modern day as a rug. Tapestries and other intricately woven fabrics were passed down generation to generation as a symbol of wealth and family strength. A lot less symbolic, the humble carpets of today are predominantly called upon to cushion our feet and keep us warm in the winter months.
Always a big factor to consider when picking out your flooring. We all have a budget to stick to and many of us can be quite frugal when making the big choices – especially with the rising prices. Obviously, the prices of carpet and hardwood flooring are wildly varied and depend largely on the quality, style and origin of the product. That being said, generally carpet can be sourced much cheaper than hardwood flooring. It is also generally less expensive to install though may require replacing significantly faster than its hardwood counterpart.
Cleaning & Maintenance
These can be a huge factor to consider as many of us are quite time poor and would rather not be spending any excess time cleaning or maintaining our homes.
Of the two, carpet is generally much easier to tidy. A simple zip around with a quality vacuum cleaner on a semi-regular basis will keep it looking fresh. However, in the case of spills and stains, carpets can be much harder to clean or repair. They are also susceptible to discolouration over time. It isn’t recommended to have carpets in your kitchen or bathrooms due to risk that water will gather underneath and mould will grow.
Hardwood floors are also easy to keep clean, including in the event of a stain. Maintenance, on the other hand, can be a bit more time consuming. You may find your product choice requires specific wooden floor cleaner or requires a regular coating of wood stain. Failing to follow the correct care instructions can leave your floor looking worse for wear and require expensive repairs down the line. Best to ensure you’re an expert in all things timber floor cleaner before taking the leap. As with carpets, hardwood floors are also susceptible to mould and should be avoided when designing bathrooms.
It’s no secret (and is highly controversial) that a large portion of apartments and houses are bought to be used as rentals – both long term and holiday. If this is you, you might be considering the value added to your property depending on the type of flooring you choose. The experts in property management services will likely advise you to install hardwood floors over carpet as they are considerably more durable in the event of less careful tenants/guests. If you do decide to opt for carpets, then it is recommended that you select a darker color to help disguise any damage or stains.
Perhaps it is your plan to sell on your property in a few years and this has you carefully considering your choice in flooring. If so, the recommendation will stay the same. Studies show that hardwood flooring will attract more interest from buyers and often increases the figures when having your home valued. Reasons for this include the longevity and neutrality when introducing new furniture.
Comfortability and Functionality
The levels of comfort will depend largely on the climate in which your property is situated. It is widely acknowledged that carpets are better for colder climates. It not only acts as a form of insulation for your flooring but also provides a more comfortable surface for feet that are leaving a warm bed in the night. Carpet also has the added bonus of providing a sound barrier which can be very valuable in a family home to minimise noise. Conversely, hardwood flooring is thought to be more appropriate for home in a warmer climate. This is due to the cooling properties of the material. These floors are likely to cool at a faster rate which benefits those of us who are trying to escape the heat. An unfortunate by product of hardwood flooring is the tendency to be very loud. Complaints are often made that every footstep and movement can be heard – especially problematic in multi-story houses and apartment buildings.
So, which is better?
Generally speaking, hardwood floors win out. They tend to be more durable, provide a flexibility in decorations and add overall value to your property. Google “property management near me” and you’ll likely find the nicer properties on offer have hardwood floors over carpet. If, however, your priorities are keeping the budget low, comfortability in the winter months, and keeping your wood knowledge at best decking oil for merbau then carpets may still be the best option for you. They are still a fantastic, low maintenance way to personalise your home; just be ready to replace them every 10 or so years.