The trend in homes today is hardwood flooring—hard surface floors became more popular in the 1980s and 1990s, and classic American hardwoods like oak, hickory, and maple are making a comeback.
Which works best for your home and budget? Simply put, carpet is cheaper, easier, and faster to install than wood flooring. On the other hand, wood is timeless, easy to clean, durable, and adds a lasting value to homes that carpet can’t. To decide between hardwood and carpet, experts suggest going beyond the look you prefer to how you live—considering your lifestyle, needs, and budget.
Narrowing Your Choices
We can help you narrow the field to a few suitable options—whether you decide on hardwood floors or carpeting—and then help you find the flooring that’s perfect for you and your home. Not many flooring companies can match our overall experience and expertise with all types of flooring or the size of our showroom, with 45 display floors and samples, to see, touch, and feel before you buy.
Every type of flooring has benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider:
You’ll spend more upfront on wood flooring than you will with carpet, but hardwood floors will literally last a lifetime. Top quality carpet will last between 10 and 15 years.
Carpeting is quieter, softer underfoot, and warmer than hardwood flooring, which can be especially appealing in the winter. Although hardwood flooring is noisier, harder, and colder than carpet, it’s one of the best options for people with allergies. It’s easy to warm up hardwood floors with cozy, plush area rugs, like those at Malkin’s. Area rugs also serve a practical purpose and can help to protect floors.
Many homeowners and decorators find wood floors are easy to match furniture and décor to since wood acts as more of a “neutral.” Additionally, hardwood installed throughout a home links different areas together and creates a cohesive, consistent look. Hardwood flooring comes in a variety of colors, shades, and sizes.
Both hardwood flooring and carpeting can be good, pet-friendly choices—the best flooring includes oak, cherry, maple, hickory, walnut, and other hardwoods. The harder the wood, the more it resists scratches from nails. Additionally, if something goes wrong, wood can be repaired. Since staining is a concern with carpeting, look for colorfast solution-dyed fibers with a moisture-proof synthetic backing.
Care and Maintenance
Fortunately for hardwood floor homeowners, maintaining and caring for hardwood floors isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Today, the greatest advantage of hardwood flooring is that it’s easy to clean and maintain.
Carpeting is easy to keep clean with frequent vacuuming and regular professional carpet cleaning. Best of all, carpeting hides dirt.