Carpet VS. Hardwood Floors: Which Is Right for You?

Are you looking to renovate your home? Or perhaps you’re looking to buy, and you don’t know which type of flooring is the right fit for you. When deciding whether to go with carpet or hardwood floors, you have to think about your budget, the resale value of each, the maintenance each requires, and many more considerations. In this blog, we’ll be discussing the different aspects of carpet and hardwood flooring so you can decide which is the right choice for you.


Almost always, quality hardwood will cost more than carpet. On average, installing hardwoods can cost between $12 and $20 per square foot, while installing carpet can cost anywhere between $6 and $12 per square foot. However, there are hardwood and carpet alternatives.

Engineered hardwood flooring can be dramatically cheaper than solid hardwood floors. The average cost of this floor option will run you about $7 to $15 per square foot.

Synthetic carpets are petroleum-made. We’ll talk later about why that may not be a great thing, but if you opt for a natural carpet option, like wool, expect to pay upwards of $20 per square foot.

You should also consider the lifespan of both hardwood flooring and carpet. Depending on the grade of carpet you purchase, you’ll end up replacing it after about ten years, while hardwoods, if properly maintained, can last generations.

Resale Value

On average, 54% of home buyers are willing to pay more for a home with hardwood floors. This statistic proves that hardwood floors have a direct impact on the value and price of a home. However, carpet still reigns as king for older generations, especially in multi-level homes, where sound travels quickly. Some people prefer carpet for bedrooms, children’s rooms, and stairs because it offers comfort, warmth, extra padding for young and elderly residents. Overall, when it comes to resale value, hardwood is prized for its classic look, but you’ll have people looking for some carpet.


When it comes to maintaining them, hardwood floors are easier. Sweep and damp mop them to clean dust, spills, surface stains, and other debris. Unfortunately, things like dust, dirt, and allergens become trapped in carpet fibers over time. Vacuum both floors regularly, but certain stains require a deep shampoo cleaning or special chemicals and treatments with carpet. At the end of the day, if you’re concerned about keeping things clean, we suggest you go with hardwood floors. They’re less susceptible to staining, and they don’t trap dust and allergens.

Health/Environmentally Friendly

As mentioned earlier, most carpets these days are made from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester. Petroleum is nonrenewable and breaks down unevenly, giving off volatile organic compounds as it ages. Natural carpets, like wool, have less impact on the household and environment, but they will cost more.

As well as offering allergen relief, hardwood floors are a more sustainable flooring option for the environmentally conscious. Trees can be replanted and renewed. Just make sure that an ecologically sound company is harvesting the wood for your floors in an environmentally friendly way.


While carpet offers more variety in color, texture, and feel, hardwood also comes in hundreds of styles to meet any interior design need. Ultimately, it depends on the look you’re going for. Carpet is soft to feel and appearance, while hardwood offers its rich natural tones. Match that with the wood’s varying grain, and your wood floors create an opportunity to make a bold statement.

Water and Heat Resistance

Neither carpet nor hardwood flooring is ideal for damp or hot conditions. While the synthetic fibers in most modern carpets make them exceptionally resistant to water, water can still seep down into the backing layer and the wood subfloor where mold can grow. As far as heat goes, carpet damages easily by heat. Some carpet materials can even release toxic gases if caught in a severe home fire.

Hardwood is fine for living areas and even the kitchen but keep it away from bathrooms and laundry rooms. You’ll want to avoid installing wood floors on concrete slabs, as moisture from the ground tends to seep through those slabs.

Intense heat can scorch hardwood. Mild scorch marks can sometimes be sanded out and refinished, but the best thing to do is just to stay away from that intense heat.

Carpet VS. Hardwood—Conclusion

Overall, we suggest hardwood for your home, with a touch of carpet here and there for those of you who prefer the comfort and security it can provide. While hardwood floors cost more, they offer a higher resale value for your home. Their timeless and effortless look can turn any room into a designer’s dream. You’ll be the envy of all your house guests with your clean lines and glossy finishes.

Hardwood is also easier to keep clean and more environmentally friendly than many carpet options available today. However, we understand that budget and preference are everything, so we’re not telling you to forgo carpet entirely. Carpet has its benefits and is perfect for some homeowners. We hope this helped clarify why some individuals choose hardwood over carpet.

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties

At The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, we’re here for all your home needs. We’re the experts on selling, buying, and maintaining your home. Are you interested in our current listings? Check out our website! Do you want to learn more about our services and what we offer? Call either of these phone numbers to talk with a team member: (618) 791-5024 & (618) 791-9298.

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