Planning a renovation and trying to decided between carpet and hardwood? Each has beneficial qualities and characteristics, but if you are trying to make a decision on flooring, you’ll need to to take an honest look at upfront and long-term cost, maintenance, durability, and even resale value.
Flooring is the foundation for your home décor, and no one wants to have to replace it every few years, so you won’t only want to consider hardwood and carpet trends, but also which will best suit your needs and make the smartest investment.
Also remember that you don’t have to choose just one. Most homeowner’s choose a combination of hardwood and carpet flooring depending on where they will use it throughout their home, and each situation can be unique depending on the project, size of the home, and owner’s preferences.
Carpet is usually the suggested choice for bedrooms and master bedrooms because it is soft and cozy. It is warm and can reduce sound. Hardwood in bedrooms may cause sound to resonate and make bedrooms feel cold.
Hardwood, on the other hand, continues to grow in popularity, and it is the preferred surface in most rooms. In fact, many homeowners are even converting kitchen floors and entryways, as well as powder rooms, to hardwood floors.
When comparing the cost of installing hardwood floors over carpet, quality hardwood flooring will almost always be a larger investment compared to carpet. Installing hardwood can cost between $12 and $20 per square foot installed, while carpet is closer to about $6 to $12 per square foot installed.
There are many types of hardwood flooring, however. Engineered hardwood can be much less expensive than solid hardwood floors, and customers can usually expect to pay between $7 and $15 per square foot installed, which is comparable to carpet.
Long-term, hardwood flooring may be the most cost efficient option. Quality, well-maintained carpet can last about 10 to 15 years, but typically needs to be replaced if it becomes worn out or stained. Hardwood flooring, on the other hand, can withstand significantly more wear, tear and spills without needing to be replaced.
Good quality hardwood floors could honestly last a lifetime if well maintained.
Put simply, hardwood flooring is easier to clean and maintain than carpet. Hardwood floors can be swept or mopped.
Carpet maintenance is tougher because dust, dirt, and allergens become trapped within the fibers over time. Carpet requires regular vacuuming and deep shampoo cleaning.
As in maintenance, hardwood flooring is the winner in terms of durability and longevity. Hardwood floors can last 100 years if properly maintained. Carpets, however, typically only last as long as the quality of the material — usually about 10 to 15 years before they need to be replaced.
If you’re planning to sell within the next 10 years, resale value can play a big role in your decision.
Many real estate agents will tell you that there’s no question — hardwood flooring will get you a better resale value. But we recognize that that’s not always the case. Sure, some buyers are willing to pay more for a home with hardwood floors, but we argue that different factors affect this decision.
Currently, the popularity of hardwood flooring remains high, so it isn’t a bad idea to renovate to hardwood flooring before selling your home. Reports suggest that this project could generate an average return on investment of 90%!
But carpet isn’t totally out of style and hasn’t lost favor with home buyers. Older generations particularly love it. So new installations of carpet don’t tend to affect resale value either way, but homes with old carpet will certainly suffer in the market.
If you do choose to replace your home’s carpets with hardwood flooring, consider some current trends.
Colors like dark browns, grays, and light (not yellow), white washes are popular. Buyers prefer wide planks and matte or satin finishes. Reclaimed woods and other environmentally friendlier options are also well regarded in today’s market.
At the end of the day, the decision between carpet or hardwood floors will ultimately be one of preference. As mentioned, many people prefer carpet in bedrooms because they enjoy a softer surface. And in the case of two or three-story homes, carpet can also help reduce noise. However, despite advantages in comfort and insulation, bedroom carpets are often culprits for allergens, and require vacuuming and stain maintenance.
Conversely, hardwood floors are gaining in popularity in the whole home. And while they have higher input costs, hardwood does seem to be the best value for overall cost, maintenance, and durability.