When it comes to choosing a flooring material, each homeowner should consider their own needs, situation and budget. There are many different flooring options and carpeting and hardwood flooring are two of the more popular flooring options. Both flooring materials are very different from one another, with different benefits, downsides and pricing.

If your options are between carpeting and hardwood flooring for your home, you are in the right place as below we outline both flooring options, so that you can make an educated decision on your home’s flooring.

1. Composition

To begin, it may help to know what goes into the manufacturing of carpet and hardwood flooring or what they are composed of. Carpet is usually made from 100% synthetic materials that are soft and quiet when walked upon, however due to the nature of the synthetic materials, carpeting has a fairly short lifespan. Hardwood flooring is made entirely from natural materials that will provide a longer lifespan, but is also more labour intensive and costlier to produce.

It is important to know that carpeting and hardwood flooring have diverse characteristics that can be combined in a home to match the ambiance and decor of any particular area of a home or to meet specific needs.

2. Appearance

Depending on your desired look, either flooring option may help to pull a room together. Carpet comes in a wide variety of textures, colours, and plushness, while hardwood flooring offers attractive wood grain patterns that will differ based on the wood species. Hardwood flooring has a timeless look that will help provide character to any room in your home.

3. Water Resistance

Even though most carpeting is made from synthetic fibers, not all are suited for high moisture areas of the home such as bathrooms or laundry rooms. Even carpeting that is water-resistant, may allow water to seep down into the underlayer and cause issues with the wood subfloor, such as mold growth. On the other hand, hardwood flooring should be kept away from high-moisture areas all together. Hardwood flooring can sustain damage due to water or high levels of moisture over time.

4. Durability

Overall hardwood flooring is considered more durable than carpeting as the life expectancy of hardwood flooring is significantly longer than carpeting. Even though hardwood is susceptible to scratches and dings, you have the option of refinishing them to their original state. Carpeting is not affected by scratches and dents, but does has a life expectancy of roughly 10 years, perhaps a bit longer in low traffic areas.

5. Comfort

Perhaps the most popular reason for home owners to choose carpeting is the comfort underfoot.  Carpeting is warm and soft and easy to walk on. Hardwood flooring on the other hand is hard and cold. Carpeting also dampens sound and reduces sound from traveling through a home, where hardwood has the ability to deflect noise making it pass through your home more easily. Hardwood flooring is more suitable for individual that suffer from allergies as carpeting may trap dust and pollen that can trigger said allergies.

When comparing carpeting and hardwood flooring, you should consider you own needs and budget. One of the last differences we did not mention in depth above is cost of instillation. Hardwood as a material is significantly more expensive than the fibers used in carpeting, the manufacturing process is also more difficult and finally the installation process takes more time and skill to complete. All of these lead to the cost of installing hardwood flooring to be significantly more expensive than installing carpeting. However, hardwood flooring can also increase the value of your home, so you will recoup some of your investment if you are looking to sell in the future.