Once the basic framework of a house has been built, the flooring solution is the most important point to be considered. Thus the selection of the flooring option needs to be done after a lot of careful deliberation and discussion. There are many different types of flooring options available today; each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Hence it is very difficult to say which flooring solution is better than the other since the choice depends on:
- The type of weather and climatic conditions which prevail in that region and
- The amount of foot traffic to be witnessed by the new flooring option to be installed.
On the basis of these two points, it would be worthwhile to say that hardwood and carpet are two such options that score in either of the two points or in both points. Comparing the two on the basis of certain key factors which need to be considered when selecting a flooring option are:
1. Local climate
A hot climate warrants the installation of hardwood floors, which remain cool throughout the hot summer months. Carpet is the best option for flooring in a region which experiences a cold climate (like Illinois). Insulation takes place much better in carpet floorings than in hardwood floorings. But in regions with the prolonged rainy season, both the flooring options have to be checked for damage due to moisture or water seepage.
2. Prefered looks
This depends on the aesthetics of the user. One wanting a traditional look with timeless classical elegance should opt for hardwood floors. Of course if one wants a cozy comforting warmth with bright designs and patterns, carpet flooring is the best. Carpet has many different colors and designs available to homeowners. But the character, the warmth, and the aura of the room tend to increase with age with hardwood. Carpet floors, however, feel soft and warm underfoot while wooden floors tend to feel hard.
3. Usage of the floor
In terms of foot traffic, hardwood floors fare much better since carpet floors tend to get worn out with constant and heavy usage. For the bathroom, which experiences a constant usage of water, hardwood is better than carpet. Hardwood floors are also prone to moisture but to a much lesser degree than carpet floors.
4. Maintenance and durability
These are two very important qualities that determine the justifiability of spending more when opting for hardwood floors. The longevity or durability of carpet floors is much less compared to wood. Hardwood floors, if maintained properly, can be handed down generations. They can also relatively maintenance-free and need only a regular sweep and an occasional vacuuming. Carpets attract dirt and need to be vacuumed and cleaned on a regular basis. Carpets also tend to retain stains from spills and become matted over time.
Hardwood floor tiles and planks are invariably costlier than carpet tiles. Installation is a costly, relatively difficult process when compared to the installation of carpet tiles which can be easily glued or nailed in place.
Carpet floors can be patterned into new designs but they have to be replaced when they get worn. On the other hand, hardwood floors simply need to be refinished to make them look shiny, new, and cared for. Often, the choice depends solely on the aesthetics and budget of the owner. You have to factor in the maintenance costs and then finally decide which flooring material to install.