Carpet and hardwood floor are two highly popular types of all flooring materials. Yet there is distinction between the two.
While one is purely synthetic, quiet, soft, and cheap material with a fairly short lifespan, the other flooring material is hard and costly that has a possibly longer lifespan than you own your home.
Yet, the two have their different roles to play, and you may also discover that you are using the two materials in different parts of your home.
Each material has varieties of characteristics that make them ideal in certain environments to match certain needs. Knowing the nature of the materials will make sure you make a nice choice about the best way to use them in different locations.
In this article, we are going to look at what makes one better than the other. We will consider different qualities and come up with a winner for each.
The Best Flooring Material
Modern hardwood flooring often comes in a form out of two. Solid hardwood flooring is simply boards of solid wood milled from rough wood gotten from felled hardwood trees. These boards are properly sanded on the top surface but are left a bit rough on the bottom. Tongue-and-grooves are used to shape the edges and this allows the boards to interlock during installation.
The majority of modern carpets are made by threading loops of synthetic fibers in close space through wide sheets of the backing material. There are many carpets made of natural fiber, usually cotton or wool, but synthetic materials are mostly used, like polyester and nylon. Carpeting is made in large rolls, and customers buy it by foot measurement, in any quantities they need.
Hardwood vs. Carpet: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Cost & Installation||super expensive||Budget-conscious|
|Resale Value||Includes value; brings in more buyers||Good value at cost efficiency; quick face-lift|
|Versatility||Not perfect for high-moisture rooms such as laundries, bathrooms, and kitchens||Not all types are a perfect match for high-moisture areas, such as laundries, bathrooms, and kitchens|
|Appearance||Classic; highly luxurious looking||Still a nice option; different colors to select from|
|Cleanliness and Care||Easier to notice dirt and to clean||Dirt can hide; making it difficult to clean|
|Hypoallergenic Choices||Fewer microbial pile-up; enables regular and instant cleaning||Can create allergy-causing microbial load; involves a regular deep cleaning|
|Pet-Friendly Floors||Spills can be easily clean; noisy and scratchy when scratched with pet nails||Soft and comfortable for pets; can turn soiled with pet waste|
|Durability||prone to spills and dings, but often last longer||Spills are cleanable, but flooring would need to be replaced much more often|
|Sustainability||Natural, sustainable, and eco-friendly||Not natural as it is mostly made from petroleum|
|Comfort||Harder material; not so comfortable||Softer material; highly comfortable|
|Safety||Possibility of tripping, no cushion||Safer because of its softness and cushioning|
|Insulation and Noise Reduction||Colder and noisier||Warmer and quieter|
Hardwood vs. Carpet: Cost
Hardwood: The cost of solid hardwood flooring start at about $4 per square foot and increase from there. The average cost of hardwood is around $8 per square foot.
Carpet: Most carpet is much cheaper than the majority of hardwood materials. An even though carpeting requires replacement every few years; you may be able to get perfectly acceptable carpeting for less than $1 per square foot. Costs can also increase up to $20 per square foot based on the quality of the carpet. The average cost of most carpets available at home centers is about $3 per square foot.
- Best for cost: Carpet
Carpet is highly considered to be cheaper flooring, but don’t forget that you may have to replace it every 10 years or so.
Hardwood vs. Carpet: Best Appearance
Hardwood: The appearance of hardwood flooring is easily recognized by anyone, and its major beauty is the natural wood-tone colors as well as the beautiful pattern of the grain of the wood, which differs based on the types of wood. Hardwood flooring makes a huge statement, as strong to the eyes as it is to the feet.
Carpet: You can get different colors, textures, and feel from carpet flooring, but hardwood and carpet are both available in varieties of styles to satisfy almost any type of design you need. The carpet is not just soft to the touch, but also the look, as carpeted flooring normally has a soft, gentle look inside the room design.
- Best for appearance: Hardwood
Even though this is mostly a matter of personal choice, a lot of people find hardwood flooring more attractive than carpet.
Hardwood vs. Carpet: Installation
Hardwood: This flooring is often installed by laying each row individually, starting at the longest, and highly visible surface. Other boards are then installed by sliding the edge grooves to the edge of the former boards, then using nails or stapled to nail the boards to the joists.
If the flooring boards are not finished, you will need to sand, stain, and top-coat the floor with different coats of polyurethane varnish. However, it is often popular these days to have prefinished solid hardwood flooring at the factory, as also found in all engineered hardwood flooring products. Hardwood flooring installation is often done by professionals.
Carpet: During carpet installation, installers will first add an underlay pad using staples and nail tack strips down the edges of the room. They then roll out the carpet over the floor, stretch, and attached it to the edge by tacking it onto the tack strips. The carpet is trimmed around the actual size of the space as it is stretched with the use of special tools. Seams between carpets pieces are linked together with the heat-activated tape positioned under the seams. This process is tough, and that is why DIYers don’t attempt it.
- Best installation: Carpet
DIY installation is rare with both carpet and hardwood flooring since the two require the use of special tools that only a few people own. But the cost of professional installation of hardwood flooring is higher.
Hardwood vs. Carpet: Durability and Maintenance
Hardwood: Well-maintained, hardwood flooring can last for several years, and even generations to come if quality materials are used. Also, it is possible to completely sand and refinishes solid hardwood when wear becomes too visible. If properly done, you can sand most floors thrice or even four times till the end of their lifespans. There is a need to renew the surface varnish and full-scale sanding jobs every few years. This often involves abrading the finish in a little way using a sanding screen, then apply a high-quality polyurethane varnish.
Carpet: Routine maintenance should include regular vacuuming, and trying to get rid of stains immediately you notice them. Once in a while, deep cleaning from a professional cleaner may elongate the life of your carpet, but it is uncommon that a carpet will last beyond 10 years or so.
- Best for durability and maintenance: Hardwood
There is a huge advantage of hardwood flooring over carpet flooring as regards durability and maintenance.
Hardwood vs. Carpet: Sustainability
Hardwood: The constituent of each product is our next point of discussion in this article. This is highly important now, as more people are getting conscious of their purchases’ impact on the ecosystem. Hardwood flooring is natural and environmentally friendly by nature. This is because wood is normally a natural material; trees can be replanted even after being cut down.
Make sure you research the company that produces the hardwood for your boards if you plan to be conscious of your impact on the environment.
Carpet, on the other hand, is mostly made from petroleum. It is not material considered as natural by most people at all. Petroleum is a highly limited resource and is involved in the increase in pollution.
- Best for sustainability: Hardwood
Hardwood vs. Carpet: Care and cleaning
Hardwood: Between the two materials, hardwood flooring is easier to clean. With just sweeping or vacuuming, all dirt gets removed and occasional damp-mopping using a wood cleaner will get rid of deeper dirt and the majority of stains.
Carpet: Routine cleaning is not hard with carpet since you will need simple but regular vacuuming. However, some people do feel there is no way to completely clean a carpet because stains settle in and permanently, and because it is easy for micro-bacteria to get trapped in the fibers. Carpet is considered a poor flooring material for allergy sufferers.
- Best for care and cleaning: Hardwood
Hardwood is taken as the easiest flooring material to care for because it hardly gets stained and doesn’t trap allergens and dust unlike the carpets.
Hardwood vs. Carpet: Pet-friendly floors
Hardwood: You have to carefully select your choice of flooring if there are pets in your home. Hardwood flooring offers some great bonus points for keeping your pets happy and comfortable. You can easily clean up spills, and during potty-training of your pets, you can easily wipe up messes, Hardwood also hardly wears out. However, there can be much damage to your hardwood floors caused by dogs or cats.
Their nails can scrape the floor’s surface which makes you need to perform more resurfacing, and also can create a disturbing sound while scratching. Pets love to lie in the same spot every day as they are creatures of habit. Your best furry friend can end up denting your Great Dane just after a few months of getting, making it necessary for you to introduce placement of area rug in a strategic position.
When our pets start teething, you may find it disturbing when they start to chew the floorboard by the stairs or any other important flooring wood that gets in their way. The good news is, you can remove or repair individual floorboards to fix up pet damage.
Carpet: Carpets are not always the perfect choice for homes that have pets. Dogs often carry contaminants in their sheds with them when they get to your home. This could cause stubborn stains in your flooring.
- Best for pet-friendly: Hardwood
Hardwood vs. Carpet: Lifespan
Hardwood: It is not so rare for hardwood flooring to last a century, and there are many cases where a floor lasts two or three generations of the homeowner.
Carpet: Prepare to replace your carpet every 10 years or less.
- Best for lifespan: Hardwood
The lifespan expected of a hardwood floor is so beyond that of carpet that it may even become the cheaper flooring option of the home in the long run.
Hardwood vs. Carpet: Safety
Hardwood: Compared to carpet, hardwood flooring is unsafe. That is because as time goes by, each plank in the flooring could lift, which could cause a tripping hazard. Also, as the hardwood floor ages, the nails could begin to rise above the floor level, which can harm anyone or pet that step or trip on them.
Carpet: Carpeting is a much safer type of flooring in comparison to hardwood floor; it is the softer option. Tripping is not much of a concern when you have carpet flooring, and if someone should fall, there is padding available to save the person from landing on a hard surface. This cushioning is also helpful in protecting dropped objects and shattering like glass or mugs which could cause cuts and scrapes.
- Best for safety: Carpet
Hardwood vs. Carpet: Insulation and noise reduction
The list of things that come to your mind when deciding whether to choose hardwood or carpet flooring type probably doesn’t include temperature and noise. However, there will be various effects on the temperature and noise level in your home based on the flooring type you choose. So which flooring is the best between hardwood and carpet?
Hardwood: Hardwood is a very cold and noisy type of flooring because it doesn’t have properties for absorbing sound or temperature.
Carpet: Carpet, on the other hand, is the opposite site as regards insulation and noise. It contains absorbent properties, which is why its surface is much warmer and highly comfortable in the colder months. Carpet is a noise absorber, lowering the level of decibel in rooms that contain carpet flooring unlike hardwood, which usually echo.
Best for insulation and noise reduction: Carpet
What’s the Best Hard Floor vs. Carpet?
Some companies specialize in carpets, while others focus on hardwood floors, but there many large flooring companies that have in their selection. Some of the top companies that sell both hardwood and carpet flooring are:
- Shaw: This flooring company is the biggest in the United States and neighboring countries, with small brands like Pergo, Marazzi, and Daltile. They don’t only make hardwood and carpet, but also make tile and laminates.
- Mohawk: This is one other giant in the flooring business and is popularly known for a carpet but also produces a wide range of wood flooring as well as other flooring materials.
- Dupont: This is a highly popular brand that manufactures some of the highly durable and softest carpets you can find. Among its popular products are carpets that use the proprietary Sorona Fibers
- Stainmaster: This is a great player in the carpet industry, with varieties of offerings for different needs and price ranges.
- Bruce: This company was formerly owned by Armstrong, but now owned by American Industrial Partners (AIP). It manufactures a various range of strong hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring
- Carlisle: This company manufactures different and a bit expensive hardwood flooring made of wide-plank.
Our company is completely Australian owned and operated and we have been in the carpet cleaning niche for more than 4 decades and are proud to tell you that we provide the most quality carpet steam cleaning service in Melbourne and its environment.
You can always contact Best Carpet Cleaning Melbourne to get answers to any questions or concerns about hard flooring.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is warmer between carpet and hardwood floor?
Carpeting is warmer, but just when the carpet doesn’t lie on concrete directly. A pad will be needed to make sure the carpet is guided against cold from the floor underneath. Wood floors give cold air a chance to get through between each board.
What should I consider when buying hardwood floors?
Select a prefinished board that has been specially engineered to reduce waste and cost. Make sure you pick a time of the year that is best for installation. Wet climate is not the best environment to install hardwood flooring.
Which flooring type is perfect for an active environment?
Top-quality, low-pile carpets can cope with much traffic, as long as you keep it level and smooth, to prevent unnecessary wear. Hardwood floors can warp and shift, and cause tripping hazards. Generally, the use of a solid flooring surface like hardwood floors will be a nice option when compared to carpet as the latter can quickly reveal wear. Cleaning hardwood floors easier, so those often stepped areas can be cleaned with ease.
Which option is better between carpet and hardwood floors?
When it comes to durability and longevity, choose hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors are made of durable materials that can last between 50 and 100 years if maintained properly. Carpets are, however, going to last as long as the quality of the material used.
Are people still using carpet in Melbourne?
Even though hardwood is insanely common in other parts of the worlds, carpeting is never giving up in Melbourne, partially because of the innovative fresh options on the market. Carpet is a brilliant choice for dens, bedrooms, or basements where you can find hardwood too cold and string, or any room where you often use water.