When it comes time to install or replace flooring in your home, you're met with several options, from wood flooring to carpet, vinyl, concrete, and many more. Because your flooring will likely be in place for at least several years, it's important to consider the pros and cons of each option. In this blog, we're comparing two of the most popular types of flooring: wood flooring and carpet. We'll discuss the look and feel, maintenance, durability, and cost of each option to help you make the best investment for your home.
Look and Feel
The most appealing factor is the way it feels on people's feet – particularly while barefoot when it comes to carpet. It tends to feel warmer to the touch, especially in cold temperatures and feels soft and plush. Carpet can capture a variety of looks and styles depending on the type of carpet you choose. Carpet comes in infinite color options, and you'll also be able to choose from low-pile (shorter and more compact) to high-pile (longer, more shaggy) carpet. It's important to note that carpet is only suitable for certain areas of a home, such as bedrooms and living spaces. Because carpet in dining rooms and kitchens can cause issues with mold, you'll end up with multiple materials for flooring throughout your home, creating a slightly more patchy look.
On the other hand, wood can be used virtually anywhere in your home so that you can create a more consistent look throughout. Because wood is a natural material, it tends to create a warm and inviting look that reflects the outdoors and highlights other natural materials in your home. Not to mention, it tends to look more expensive and impressive. You can choose from a variety of types and colors of wood, as well as stains and finishes. Wood flooring can be sleek and modern, or rustic and cozy, like the circle sawn Douglas fir flooring Marks Lumber is known for. If you want certain spaces to be softer under bare feet, you can easily accessorize with rugs.
Maintenance really comes down to how you'd prefer to clean your flooring between carpet and wood flooring. With carpet, you'll find yourself using a vacuum regularly. For spot stains, you can create a DIY cleaning agent or buy a product to work into your carpet to lift stains. However, some stains can be very difficult to eliminate from the carpet, especially if you don't clean them immediately. When it's time for a deep clean (every 12 to 18 months), you'll want to enlist a carpet cleaning machine. For this, you'll need to buy or rent a machine (they're not cheap) or hire a professional to do it for you.
Wood flooring is generally easier to clean than carpet. Spills can simply be wiped away with a towel. Regular maintenance includes sweeping and mopping – just make sure to use a slightly damp mop rather than a soaking wet one, as oversaturating wood flooring with water can cause the boards to swell and warp. Every 7 to 10 years, you'll want to sand and refinish your flooring – it's an easy way to make decades-old flooring look brand new.
Most carpet on the market today will last between 5 and 15 years, depending on how well it's maintained. Wood floors can literally last a lifetime – up to 100 years – so long as you keep up with maintenance. Your lifestyle is probably the most important thing to consider regarding the durability of your flooring. Do you have young children who are prone to frequent spills, or a puppy that's still having accidents every now and then? Then wood flooring is probably the more durable option for you.
Think about it this way: more frequent spills require more cleaning, and the easier it is to clean your floors, the more likely you are to actually do it. And the more often you clean, the longer your floors will last.
Cost is always an important factor when it comes to making investments in your home. Wood flooring, including installation, costs an average of $6 - $12 per square foot. You can always reduce the overall cost by installing it yourself. Carpet is generally less expensive upfront, costing you between $2 - $6 per square foot. However, given that solid wood flooring can last up to ten times longer, it's a better long-term investment when breaking down the cost per year.
This is why it's necessary to consider how long you'll be in a home and how often you want to switch up your flooring. If you think you'll want a new style or color every five years, it might be wise to choose carpet. But if you want a timeless look that will last and add value to your home, you can't go wrong with solid wood flooring.
If you're exploring the idea of solid wood flooring for your home, be sure to reach out to the experts at Marks Lumber. We've been selling grown-in-Montana, made-in-Montana wood for more than 75 years and would love to help you find the wood flooring of your dreams.