Hardwood floors seem to be getting more and more popular in recent years. People think it’s sleeker and more stylish than plain old carpet. In some cases, hardwood is better, but it’s not for everyone. There are a few things you need to consider about both your house and your lifestyle. Even your allergies may play a part.
Carpet as the norm
Carpet has been the norm in at least parts of the house for a good long while. It’s popular in bedrooms and living areas, although hardwood floors and tiles are more likely in kitchens and bathrooms (the water in bathrooms makes carpet a very bad idea in general; stick to memory foam rugs by the shower). Carpet is cheap in comparison to hardwood flooring. You can get carpet that’s green or purple or blue, whereas hardwood floors are a lot more likely to be variations on brown or gray. Think colors with names like “walnut,” “mocha,” and “granite.”
What kind of climate do you live in? If you’re in a place that experiences cold, snowy, winters, then know that carpet is warmer. Think about waking up in the middle of January. There’s snow outside, and your central heat is running at full steam. Would you rather get out of bed and place your (probably cold) feet on carpet or hardwood? Walking around on cold hardwood in the middle of a frigid winter isn’t exactly a great experience, so if you live in a place like Michigan or New Jersey, you’ll probably want to install carpet in at least some of your house.
If you live in an apartment with hardwood flooring, you’ll probably be able to hear your upstairs neighbors walking around. If you’re the upstairs neighbor, they’ll probably be able to hear you. Carpet’s relative quiet makes it a better choice for multi-family housing.
Should you get wood?
Many people who make the change from carpet to wood do so because they have pets and/or kids, both of which are pretty hard on carpet. Hardwood floor can do a better job of hiding the wear and tear associated with dogs and toddlers. It also has a longer life than carpet. However, wood floors will have to be cleaned more often. You can get away with vacuuming carpet once or twice a week, maybe even less. While spills on hardwood floors are easier to clean up, you’ll need to clean two or three times a week, if not more. You may need to sweep it every single day.
If you want to spruce up your hardwood floor, you can do so by adding rugs. Rugs are a lot easier to place and remove than carpet, so you can modify the look of a room a lot more easily.
Hardwood flooring also adds more value to your home than carpet, which can be critical if you’re thinking of selling the house and moving to Florida in a few years.
Whatever option you decide, think of making other improvements to the house while you’re changing the flooring. It might be a great time to update the electrical outlets or install new light fixtures, since there’s something to be said for getting as much done as possible rather than spreading out the cost and inconvenience over a longer period of time.