March 16, 2021

Cost of Lifetime Ownership of Carpet vs. Hardwood Floors

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Is carpet or hardwood more expensive? Hardwood flooring almost always costs more than carpet when comparing the upfront price. Installing carpeting might be a few dollars per square foot, but hardwood flooring is usually double that price. However, when comparing lifetime cost, hardwood floors seem to be the better choice. Let’s look at the various aspects of each to understand their actual lifetime value.

Carpet vs. Hardwood Maintenance

Hardwood flooring is easier to clean than carpeting. Since it has a smooth surface, you can conveniently wipe up spills and remove dust from hardwood. A spill could stain carpets, and you would need to run the vacuum often to prevent dust and allergens from sticking to the fibers. To keep up with hardwood flooring, you only need to follow these simple tips:

  • Wipe up spills with a dry or slightly damp cloth as soon as you notice them.
  • Use furniture pads under the legs of your tables, chairs and sofas to prevent scratches on the floor.
  • Sweep or dust every day to remove dust and pet dander from the floorboards.
  • Vacuum at least once a week to get rid of crumbs or dirt that could scratch your floors.
  • Clean the floorboards with a hardwood cleaner once a month.
  • Apply a new hardwood floor finish every five years to maintain its shine and durability.

Carpet vs. Hardwood Resale Value

Whether you’re selling your house or trying to choose between carpet or hardwood in the family room, hardwood flooring is the better option. Potential homebuyers appreciate the appearance and longevity of hardwood floors over carpet. Even if some might want to install carpet in their bedrooms, most prefer to have hardwood throughout the house instead of carpeting.

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) estimates that installing new hardwood flooring yields a 106% return on investment (ROI). You don’t make money on most home renovations, but it seems that you do when you lay down hardwood throughout your property. Here are some reasons why hardwood flooring has a higher ROI than carpeting:

  • People looking for a home are willing to pay more money for a house with hardwood flooring than carpeting.
  • Hardwood floors last longer than carpet, so you’ll have to pay for a replacement less often.
  • This type of flooring has a feeling of luxurious beauty that carpeting cannot replicate.
  • Eco-conscious homebuyers enjoy the natural materials within hardwood flooring.
  • Wide-planked flooring is part of the modern trend because it makes a room feel more spacious and open.

Carpet vs. Hardwood Restoration

When your hardwood floors become dull and marked up, you can sand and re-coat them to make them look brand new. You can apply this treatment several times, but you’re making the wood a little thinner each time you sand. To change the color or pattern of your carpet, you would have to rip it out and install a new one.

Here are some ways you can refinish your hardwood flooring:

  • Deep clean your floors with a broom, vacuum and hardwood floor cleaner to get rid of scratches from dirt and dust.
  • Sand the floor with a drum sander or belt sander to get rid of scratches and stains from the hardwood floor.
  • Sand the edges or the stairs with an edger sander or small orbital sander.
  • Use a floor buffer to level minor unevenness left by the drum sander and edger.
  • Vacuum to get rid of all the dust.
  • Apply a wood stain with the desired color.
  • Apply a protective coat of wood finish to enhance the durability of your hardwood floors.

Carpet vs. Hardwood Health Benefits

Hardwood flooring is healthier than carpeting. Carpets retain more allergens, dust and viruses that can build up in the home. They’re also often made of non-renewable synthetics that give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Hardwood flooring has finishing options, such as our prefinished series, that don’t contain VOCs.

Here are some reasons why hardwood is healthier than carpeting:

  • Carpets trap dirt and allergens, and if you don’t maintain them, the buildup can make you and your family sick.
  • Hardwood flooring is the ideal type for people who have allergies and asthma.
  • Mold can grow on carpeting, especially if there are food particles caught inside the fibers.
  • Since hardwood flooring doesn’t hide dust and debris like carpeting, hardwood promotes a healthier lifestyle because it reminds you to clean.

Carpet vs. Hardwood Durability

Typically hardwood floors are more durable because of their density and convenient replacement. Even though hardwood flooring is vulnerable to rotting and warping, you can treat it better with the right preventative measures. Properly maintain your hardwood floors so that they last, and adopt a no-shoes policy to prevent dirt and grime from staining your hardwood floors.

Even though carpeting can survive heavy furniture and other wear and tear, if it gets ripped or stained, you’ll have to replace it. Hardwood flooring can be stained instead of replaced, but even if you have to replace a piece, you can easily change out a broken panel instead of ripping up the whole floor.

Carpet vs. Hardwood Longevity

Hardwood flooring can last nearly a century with the right maintenance and conditions. Some older homes that are centuries old still have their original hardwood flooring. On the other hand, you would have to replace most carpets after a decade, with high-end brands lasting a little longer.

The longevity of hardwood is due to its durability. If it gets damaged or stained, you can easily sand it or refinish it without needing to replace it. No matter what kind of damage happens to carpet, the only way to fix it is to invest in new flooring.

Is Carpet or Hardwood a Better Investment?

Even though carpeting can be soft and absorb sound, hardwood flooring is typically a better long-term investment. As you consider whether to put carpet or hardwood in the bedroom, you can have both by adding an area rug to give the floor a soft feel. You’ll appreciate the rugged character of wooden flooring that enhances the rustic style of your home.

Let’s review the reasons why hardwood floors are better for your home than carpeting:

  • It’s easier to maintain regularly.
  • It yields a higher ROI if you’re planning on selling your house.
  • You can conveniently restore its color or shine by sanding and refinishing it.
  • It’s healthier to have in the house, especially if you or your family members have asthma or allergies.
  • If it ever gets damaged, you could repair it or put a new stain on it instead of replacing it.
  • It can last for nearly a century, so you won’t need to replace it as often as you would carpeting.

Let Us Guide You Through the Woods®

At Superior Hardwoods of Montana, we’ll provide your home with the most beautiful hardwood floors that honor the untamed majesty of Montana. If you’re ready to make an investment that’ll increase your home’s value, consider installing hardwood flooring. Contact us online or call 406-235-7452 today if you have any questions or want a quote for your new floors.