For most homeowners, carpet and hardwood are the best flooring options. However, they are typically different and offer unique benefits. If you are unsure whether carpet or hardwood flooring is right for your home, use this guide to help you decide based on your needs.

Carpet Flooring

There are numerous types of carpet materials ranging from low to high quality. The more basic grades will generally last between five and 10 years, but a higher-quality carpet can potentially last up to 20 years when well-maintained. 

While carpeting isn’t high-maintenance, it should be cleaned regularly to extend the life of the flooring. The fibers trap dust, dirt, and other allergens, so it’s necessary to vacuum at least once a week in low-traffic areas and two or more times in high-traffic spots. Also, deep carpet cleaning is needed every six to 12 months to remove stains and odors. 

hardwood flooringUnfortunately, too many spills and pet accidents can degrade carpet over time. While synthetic materials made from petroleum are stain-resistant, they release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as they age, which can irritate the eyes and respiratory tract. 

Natural fibers—like wool—that are made from sustainable resources have a natural barrier that protects against stains, but if any spills penetrate this barrier, they are almost impossible to clean. However, if natural materials are not combined with synthetic backing or adhesives, there is no risk of VOCs, making them less harmful to your health.

Hardwood Flooring

While hardwood flooring is considerably more expensive than carpet, it can withstand significantly more wear and tear. When well-maintained, wood floors can easily last between 50 and 100 years. 

Although the hardwood surfaces show dirt, they are easier to clean than carpet. Daily sweeping or damp mopping will quickly remove any dust, stains, and debris. However, hardwood is susceptible to moisture damage, so it’s best to avoid placing it in areas, like the bathroom, that are prone to spills.

While the flat surface reduces the risk of tripping hazards, it’s not quite as comfortable as carpet. It also offers less insulation and noise reduction. However, you can easily correct for these qualities by adding an area rug. Plus, unlike wall-to-wall carpeting, area rugs are easily movable. However, wood is a natural, sustainable material, making it more environmentally friendly than most carpet products.

If you’ve decided to install new hardwood flooring in your home, turn to the professionals at JT’s Floor Refinishing based in Springfield, MA. For over 30 years, this family-owned and operated flooring company has provided hardwood installation, sanding, refinishing, and re-coating services from Greater Hartford, CT, to Vermont. Call them today at (413) 788-6149 for a free estimate, and visit their website to learn more about their services.