Carpet vs. Hardwood Floors

One major improvement many people make to their home is to change or upgrade their floors. A nice looking floor will add value to a home. On the other hand, a stained, old, outdated floor will bring down a home’s value.

If you are like many people, you love the look of real hardwood floors. For years people have enjoyed wood floors in their homes to add warmth and charm. Hardwood floors are not a fashion phase. It is amazing how many colorations are now available to the consumer. If you are looking at increasing the value of your home, then a hardwood floor is your answer. Most interior designers recommend hardwood floors as the base-layer to a room. They then suggest using a rug to enhance the overall color scheme of the room.

There are many other variables to consider when choosing floor coverings. If you do a bit of work before making a decision you are more likely to be happy with your final selection. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Cleaning
    • Hardwood floors can be cleaned thoroughly by using a vacuum and a damp mop. This is one reason why those with allergies prefer wood floors to carpet.
    • On the other hand, carpets need to be vacuumed and shampooed on a regular schedule in order to keep dirt particles from penetrating the weave. Carpet can not be cleaned 100%. Over time dirt will build up under the weave and padding. If you have every removed an old carpet, you will have seen this first hand.
  • Lifecycle
    • Hardwood floors can last a lifetime with the correct maintenance and care. Of course, if there is extensive traffic, you may need to sand and refinish your hardwood floors every 10-15 years. But isn’t that better than installing a new flooring product.
    • A carpet generally lasts between 10-15 years depending care and maintenance performed, and amount of traffic that occurred. Over time, a carpet will matt and become difficult to clean and will need to be replaced.
  • Health
    • As Hard wood floors are a natural product, they do not release gasses. They are also friendly to allergy and asthma sufferers.
    • If a healthy home is your objective, carpet is not the best choice for floor covering. Carpets accumulate dirt under the weave and padding which is unsanitary. Carpets are manufactured from synthetic materials which contain toxic chemicals that outgas for many years. These gases are what you smell when you go into a carpet store. Other benefits of carpeting, such as stain proofing, fire resistance, color fastness require the use of toxic chemicals. These chemicals are released at the highest rate in the first three years, but will also continue for many years.
  • Noise
    • Hardwood floors can be quiet by placing area rugs in strategic locations.
    • Carpets absorb sound from things such as TV, radio and walking.
  • Liquids
    • Spills on hardwood floors can be cleaned up immediately as wood is resistant to stains and absorbtion.
    • Liquid spills will stain a carpet and if the carpet does not dry, the extended dampness may cause the formation of mold and mildew.
  • Warmth
    • In cold climates, hardwood floors can be warmed up by the use of area rugs.
    • Carpets are warm to walk on.

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