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Hardwood vs. Carpet: Which is better for your home?

There are many factors to consider when deciding on the flooring for your home, such as cost, durability, and maintenance. Let’s address all of these factors so you can make the educated choice on what is right for your home.


Hardwood is known to be durable and resilient, able to undergo more wear and tear than carpet. Textured hardwood can hide scuffs and the ability to refinish can restore your flooring to its original luster.

Carpet is not particularly long lasting, most having a lifespan of five to ten years. Stains and damage are easily visible and is unable to be eliminated without buying a whole new carpet.


Before considering cost, you must take under advisement the lifespan of the different types of flooring and what that means with overall cost. Hardwood floors are typically a greater investment, but it will have a longer lifespan with routine maintenance. For a twenty year lifespan, carpet will have to be replaced two to four times at least. Each time the carpet is replaced, you won’t just be paying for new carpet, but also the removal of old carpet and the installation of the new. In the same amount of years, hardwood flooring will have only the original installation, the original cost of materials, and the removal of the flooring the hardwood is replacing.

While hardwood may have a higher initial cost, it will likely be less expensive in the long run.

Health Concerns

Hardwood has been proven time and time again to have a positive effect on air quality in the home. They are also known to be hypoallergenic, not harbor dirt or mites, and to be much easier to clean. Hardwood is also a great choice for the environmentally conscious, as it removes carbon dioxide from the home.

Carpet, on the other hand, is known to harbor allergens, dust, and mold. With less opportunities for deep cleaning, it is much easier for pollutants to settle into the carpet’s fibers. Carpet can also emit VOCs, or Violate Organic Compounds, that can negatively affect one’s health.

Time Spent Cleaning

Hardwood flooring does require more frequent cleaning, but the cleaning is much easier as dirt and crumbs can be easily swept up.

Carpet doesn’t have to be cleaned as often to appear “clean”, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t dirt and debris that have settled over time. This infrequent cleaning can leave permanent stains and a buildup of grime that could potentially make your environment unhealthy. The texture of carpet also makes it difficult to get all dirt and debris out, even with the most vigorous vacuuming.

Environmental Sustainability

As stated previously, hardwood floors are a fantastic choice for the environmentally conscious. In American hardwood forests, there is twice as much wood growth as there is harvested, meaning there are many more trees being planted than cut down to make flooring.

However, carpet is not nearly as sustainable and ends up at the landfill after its short usable lifespan. Once in the landfill, carpet takes up to thousands of years to biodegrade and even then, potentially poison the environment as most of the carpet is made of plastic. Carpet recycling centers are extremely limited and are not often thought about by consumers disposing of their old carpet.

Effect On Your Home’s Selling Value

With housing trends moving toward hard surfaces, having hardwood floors can increase your home’s selling price by 3-5%. Homes with hardwood flooring also are known to sell much easier than those with carpet.

Overall, hardwood flooring may have a greater upfront cost, but it will save you money and give you many benefits in the long run. With proper care, it is environmentally friendly, easy to clean, and one of the healthiest flooring options for your home.

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