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Carpet versus hardwood floors

Updated on March 15, 2010

Hardwood flooring is a big decision given the price per square foot.  But how does it stack up against other types of floor coverings?  In this article, I intend to investigate the pro’s and con’s of choosing hardwood flooring over carpet.  And although I am a “hardwood” type of guy, I will try to keep my biases in check and give you the best information so you can decide if purchasing hardwood floors is the best way to go or whether you should install carpet.

Carpet is cheaper to install
The first big upside to carpet is that the price tag is the lowest of all floor coverings.  Considering that you could install a complete house with carpet for literally 1/10th the price of installing hardwood, if you are on a tight budget then carpet would seem like a better solution.

Carpet is easier to install
Installing carpet is just a matter of sizing the room, laying an underlayment and then laying the carpet.  Many big box retailers will actually install carpet in five rooms for less than $100.  The reason why is that there is really no subfloor preparation and it can be done in just a couple hours.  Compare this to hardwood in which the going installation price is somewhere in the ballpark of $4 per square foot and you can see the difference.

Carpet is softer and will keep the floors warmer in the winter months
My baby loves carpet.  She loves to roll around on it and really appreciates the softness of the floor.  In the cold winter months, going barefoot is never a problem.  Carpet is simply softer and warmer.

Those are the upsides to installing carpet over installing hardwood.  However, there many reasons why carpet may not be the perfect fit for your home.  There are also more reasons why installing a hardwood floor would be the more sound option over carpet.

Hardwood Floors are better for those who suffer from allergies than carpet
It is absolutely undisputable that carpet, over time, will have harbor more allergens such as mold and dust spores than hardwood flooring.  If you have ever had to remove a carpet, you would immediately catch wind of the stench that is living in a carpet even as new as a year old.


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