New American Funding Blog

To Carpet or to Hardwood?

By Rosemarie Pirio   |  January 14, 2013

Carpet or hardwoodIt’s a question as timeless as “why is the sky blue,” (although I do believe that has been answered, something about the atmosphere). Yes, this blog will attempt to answer every homeowner and home buyer’s deep burning desire to know, carpet or wood?

Joking aside, it is a very common and realistic question. When deciding which route to go, there are some considerations to make.

Do you take coffee in the morning?

Imagine waking up in your warm bed after a deep sleep. When you place your feet down on the floor, what do you want to feel? If you want to put your feet down and feel something nice and cozy, then the soft, insulating sensation of carpet would be a good choice. Carpet naturally maintains heat, which can be beneficial in colder environments. It also absorbs sound, so if you’re not a morning person and loud sounds annoy, carpet might help.

If the above argument resounds with you, please keep reading and don’t count wood out just yet. Die-hard wood lovers use area rugs as a way to achieve the same experience described above.

Do you live with the “accident or allergy-prone?”

If you have kids, teenagers, or live with the accident-prone (never imply that you yourself might have this tendency) then your floors are going to see a lot of spills and wear and tear.

When it comes to surface debris, a vacuum can easily clean carpet.  The good news is, with the right carpet, a bit of dirt isn’t too apparent. The bad news is, over time the spills will catch up to you.  Grime will sink into the weave, forcing you to shampoo the carpet. The dampness from the grime and shampooing unfortunately promote rotting and the growth of mildew. The time and effort to keep your carpet looking new adds up. Not to mention that once a carpet begins to unravel, there’s very little that can be done to stop it. As you might conclude, replacing carpet inevitable. A stark reality is that carpet might also be a disaster for those who  suffer from allergies. Carpet traps dander, dust, mildew, mold and pollen. Take care of those you love, even the allergy-prone, and consider what carpet might do to them. No one wants a constant stuffy nose.

Wood on the other hand requires a different maintenance routine. Surface debris, dog hair and dirt are very apparent on wood floors, so you might find yourself sweeping often. However, wood is much more resistant to stains and spills. Although a mop will be needed, the amount of effort to keep your hardwood floor looking like new is much less than the shampooing and spot cleaning of carpet.

The need to replace hardwood floors is seldom, if at all necessary; hardwood floors can get scuffed, scrapped or dented, but this can most often be remedied by sanding, smoothing and refinishing it. It’s possible that your floor is already refinished, so the occurrence of these scuffs and scrapes is even less likely. If you’re looking for longevity, hardwood flooring is a smart choice.

For the Fashionista

For the fashion-conscious, it’s important to note that wood is classic, and never goes out of style. There are a variety of woods, colors, consistencies and designs to choose from, and if you want to add anything extra, a chic area rug can do just the trick. If the trend changes, so can your area rug with minimal cost!

Carpet on the other hand is a gamble. Carpet styles come and go, and if you want to keep up, you’ll have to replace your carpet often. If you want to go with a pattern, be sure it appropriately matches its surroundings. In this case it might be wise to call in an interior decorator. If you want to change the look and feel of your environment, it’s more of a challenge but not impossible! 

The Coupon Clipper

If you’re working on a budget, hardwood floors are surely more expensive to install than carpet. The carpet average cost per square foot ranges from about $3 to $4 dollars whereas the average cost per square foot for hardwood ranges from $7 to $10. However, from a long-term perspective, hardwoods last longer and require less maintenance, resulting in a better investment.


Do what you want! Be fashionable, a grump in the morning, allergy-prone or a bargain shopper, but chances are, you might want to have both carpet and hardwood floors in your home. Most kitchens and bathrooms are not carpeted for obvious reasons, while entryways and high traffic areas are well-suited for hardwood floors . Keep the above arguments in mind and happy flooring!

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