Whenever you are looking for an attractive home floor with certain qualities both carpet and hardwood are competitors. And carpet vs hardwood cost is one of the most popular debates all around the world.
A few said hardwood flooring is better while others said carpet.
But you should decide after knowing the facts because both carpet and hardwood floors have certain qualities and characteristics.
As Statista said, carpet floor coverings in specialized stores only in the United Kingdom will touch 2960 million U.S. dollars by 2025.
On the other hand, the Statista research department also said that hardwood flooring sales only in the United States amounted to 3.4 billion U.S. dollars.
So in this ultimate guide, I am going to do a comparison between carpet and hardwood costs in the light of figures and facts.
So, let’s start with the reasons that can affect the cost of a carpet or hardwood floor.
Reasons that Affect the Cost
On average, carpet installation costs are significantly lower than hardwood. Carpet typically costs $2 to $5 per square foot, including installation, while hardwood can range from $5 to $20 per square foot.
Which brand you will choose to buy the material ultimately affects your cost. Because there are multiple brands with different qualities of material for both carpet and hardwood floorings.
To buy a hardwood flooring material there are multiple popular brands such as Mohawk Industries, Shaw floors, Bruce hardwood flooring, and more.
But every brand has its own price for the material.
Same as hardwood there are different brands with different material prices for carpet flooring as well.
So, the point is the cost may vary with the brand name. Because every brand has different materials with different quality levels.
Quality of Material
The quality of flooring material is a great factor that can increase and decrease the flooring cost. High-quality material would be more expensive than average-quality material and medium-quality material would be more expensive than low-quality material.
It is simple!
But there is always a moderate range that you can choose to enjoy both inexpensiveness and quality at the same time.
But this could be an option because not everyone is ready to compromise on the home floor quality. So generally, we have mentioned that the quality of the material is a cost-affecting thing.
Over time, hardwood floors are generally more economical to maintain. Although they may require occasional refinishing, their resilience and durability make them a cost-effective option in the long run. Carpet, on the other hand, may need replacement every 5 to 10 years, adding to its overall cost.
Life span is how much time can last a floor.
Suppose you have installed a carpet or hardwood floor in a room with a cost of $1000 including material and installation costs. But within 5 years the floor got damaged and you need to replace it. And you spend more than 1000$ on the same flooring.
While on the other hand if you have installed a floor in the same room a costs $1000. But it lasts for more than 15 to 20 years and you don’t need to replace it.
Which is better?
Obviously the second one!
Because in the first case, you have to spend $1000 twice. In the second scenario, you have to spend $1000 for one time.
So it is a countable cost factor, how long-lasting is a carpet or hardwood material.
When it comes to resale value, hardwood floors are a clear winner. Homes with wooden floors often sell at higher prices, and faster too, according to real estate experts. They are seen as an added luxury, contributing to an upscale and timeless aesthetic.
On the contrary, carpets, while comfortable and warm, don’t generally increase a home’s resale value significantly.
Why you should choose Hardwood
Types of Hardwood Floor
Typically hardwood floors have two types, solid hardwood flooring, and engineered hardwood flooring. But these two types have further different variations.
Difference: The major difference between them is that engineered wood floorings are constructed of hardwood and plywood layers while solid hardwood floorings are made of a solid piece of wood.
So, let’s have a look.
Solid Hardwood Flooring
Oak Hardwood Flooring
In solid hardwood floors, the most popular species is oak. The major reason for its popularity is its attractive appearance and durability at the same time. Oak solid hardwood flooring has two variations that are unknown to most people, red and white oak.
Furthermore, it is affordable and readily available as well.
Cherry Hardwood Flooring
With 950 Janka hardness cherry is also a popular solid hardwood species. But it is less hard than Maple and oak. You will rarely find stains on it because of its beautiful soft color. If you want to pick a natural wood look flooring, cherry is a great option.
While from another aspect due to its softness it is not suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic, heavy furniture, and heavy home appliances. Especially whenever you move furniture and home appliances in those areas it will lead to dents and scratches.
A solid hardwood flooring with 1450 Janka hardness and made from timbers of a maple tree. Like oak flooring, maple floors are also considered the most durable wood flooring and can last for years with timely maintenance.
Due to its hardness level, it is suitable for high foot traffic areas and it can handle heavy furniture and home appliance movement with no scratches and dents as well.
It is available from creamy white to light brown natural wood look.
With a rich brown-red color and striped look, mahogany hardwood floor is popular to give an attractive rustic and classic look to a house. Due to enough hardness level, it is more durable and can last for a lifetime.
But it is a little bit more expensive than other hardwood floorings like oak and maple.
Be Careful: It will be difficult for you to find genuine mahogany flooring because similar woods are also sold as mahogany at lower prices.
Like cherry flooring, pine is also a softer flooring option with a classic appearance. But still, it is a more durable choice for home flooring than cherry flooring.
Now, most pine floors are made of white pine, especially in the United States. However, in some old homes, pine floors were made of pumpkin pine.
Two other main varieties of pine floors are southern yellow pine and heart pine.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
A type of engineered hardwood flooring that is constructed from composite wood pressed together under high temperatures. Because they are not made of solid pieces of wood so they are called laminate.
But they look like a real hardwood floor that is made of fiberboard with a photographic pattern. So, that’s why they are considered hardwood flooring.
Nowadays engineered hardwood floorings like laminate getting popular day by day because they are more durable than real hardwood and also less expensive.
Related Topic: 8 Common Mistakes When Laying Laminate Flooring
Same as laminate, the vinyl hardwood flooring also mimics real hardwood flooring with natural colors and markings. Even now the advanced printing technology allows vinyl flooring to accurately simulate the look of all varieties of hardwood flooring.
Also, vinyl floorings are known as the best moisture, spill-resistant, and less expensive than laminate flooring.
Related Topic: Luxury Vinyl Tile Pros and Cons: Complete Guide
Advantages of Hardwood Flooring
Easy Cleaning and Maintenance
The top benefit of having a hardwood floor surface is easy cleaning and maintenance. You only need to sweep, dust, or dry mop on a daily basis. While the areas with high foot traffic and deep stains need to be vacuumed weekly or damp mopped twice a month.
Using a steam mop also would be a better option to remove deep stains also it kills the germs from the floor surface.
As I mentioned above, maintenance is a cost-increasing factor because a floor surface that is hard to maintain demands extra cost on its maintenance.
But in that case, when you choose a hardwood floor material there is no hassle of expensive maintenance.
Hardwood floors are extremely durable whether it is solid hardwood or engineered hardwood flooring. Even after decades they still look perfect and beautiful.
In solid hardwood flooring ebony, oak, cherry, bamboo, and maple are the most durable options. While in engineered hardwood flooring both vinyl and laminate are more durable choices.
On average solid hardwood flooring can last up to 15 years and engineered hardwood flooring can last up to 20 years.
As you know the appearance of a home expresses your personality to a visitor. So, the most attractive thing about hardwood floorings is their looks. It can be used to enhance a home’s interior design.
Whatever appearance you seek it could be a traditional look, elegant or rustic look. You’ll find all these in hardwood flooring.
Further, hardwood floorings are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and grades.
Homeowners who want to increase the resale value of their homes can choose hardwood floorings. The Hardwood floor’s return on investment percentage is around 75%. So, if your budget allows, you should go with this great investment with a reasonable return.
Related Topic: How to Remove Hardwood Flooring For Reuse?
Disadvantages of Hardwood Flooring
Installing a hardwood floor you need to spend $3 to $7 per square foot to buy the material and $3 to $5 for installation. So, you will be charged around $6 to $12 per square foot to install a solid hardwood floor at your place.
If you want to save money, you can do it as a DIY project. By doing this, you can save installation and labor cost that is $3 to 45 per square foot.
However, now-engineered hardwood floorings have overcome this disadvantage with advanced printing technology. But still, solid hardwood flooring materials are more expensive than carpet flooring.
The cost may vary with the quality of the material.
Not suitable for every place
Not every type of solid hardwood floor is not suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic, and heavy objects like home furniture and appliances. A cherry hardwood flooring has a low hardness level.
So, it can’t handle heavy foot traffic, or heavy furniture movement in the room and will get scratches and dents easily.
while laminate and vinyl are both engineered hardwood floorings that can be used in every type of area. Because they both are more durable than solid hardwood floorings.
Hardwood Cost Considerations
The cost of hardwood flooring depends on the type of wood you choose. Generally speaking, hardwoods are more expensive than carpets, but the price can vary depending on what type of hardwood you choose.
Budget-friendly options include laminate and engineered wood flooring, while more expensive options include solid wood floors.
Other costs associated with hardwood installation include trimming, leveling, and labor. Trimming is necessary for a professional finish and may require additional labor costs.
Leveling is important to ensure the floor lies flat and will need to be done before installing the flooring. Additionally, labor costs will depend on how difficult it is to remove furniture or obstacles that make it harder to install the floor correctly.
Why You Should Choose Carpet
Types of Carpet Flooring
Nylon fiber is one of the most widely used materials in carpet manufacturing. It is the hardest carpet material because of synthetic fibers that can resist water, stains, and dirt. Moreover, it can last for years due to its high durability.
According to fastfloors.com research carpets made with nylon fibers covered 65% of sales of total in the United States.
There are multiple other features that make nylon fiber carpets an ideal option like well stands to abrasion. More durable texture retention that maintains the original look.
Related Topic: Is Nylon Waterproof? Nylon vs Polyester
Carpet material made with recycled plastic is known as polyester. It is also called polyethylene terephthalate.
Most importantly, these types of carpets are recyclable and highly stain-resistant. But less comfortable underfoot than a nylon fiber carpet. Almost 25% of carpets are manufactured and sold in polyester material.
Because it can last for years even in areas with high foot traffic.
It is also known as polypropylene synthetic material which is a type of thermoplastic. Olefin carpets are more water-resistant than any other carpet material because they are made of plastic.
However, as compared to polyester carpets, they are not resilient fibers.
It could be installed anywhere in a home except the areas exposed to direct sunlight because it is a heat-sensitive fiber.
Wool carpets are the softest carpets and provide a comfortable feel while walking. Wool is one of the most expensive carpet materials but for some reason.
The thing that makes them more unique, wool carpets are made without using harsh chemicals. So, they are completely safe for the environment, especially for pets and children.
Moreover, they are fire retardant, dust resistant, and naturally regulate humidity.
However, a detergent that has alkaline substances can damage wool fibers.
Like polyester and polypropylene fiber material carpets, acrylic is also a synthetic fiber that is made of plastic. Acrylic carpets mimic wool carpets but they are less expensive.
The same as wool but it is the closest carpet material to wool in both appearance and feel.
As they are made of plastic they are more durable, long-lasting, water-resistant, and stain-resistant.
The most luxurious high-end cut pile carpets are triexta. They are more suitable for all living areas in a house. Triexta carpets are the only carpets that provide a more soft and comfortable feel underfoot than wool or nylon carpets.
They are also known as a subclass of polyester but they are more durable, long-lasting, and stain-free than polyester synthetic material.
Popular brands like Mohawk offer 25 years of texture retention warranty. Moreover, they provide a lifetime stain and soil warranty as well.
Advantages of Carpet Floor
The biggest benefit of a carpeted floor over a hardwood floor is cost. The carpet is less expensive than hardwood.
Installing a hardwood floor can cost between $6 to $12 per square foot for medium or low quality and $12 to $20 per square foot for high-quality materials.
While a carpeted floor can cost only $5 to $10 per square foot for high-quality material. Both material and installation costs are included.
As I’ve mentioned above the carpet floor is less expensive than the hardwood floor. Easy installation is a major reason for this.
Because you can install a carpeted floor by yourself. So, by doing this you can save labor installation cost that ultimately reduces your budget. The average labor cost to install a carpeted floor on a flat surface and stairs can be $1 to $2 per square foot.
The simplest thing you have to do is lay the carpet accurately on the surface.
Everyone wants a comfortable feel underfoot while walking on a floor surface. No doubt hardwood floorings are also comfortable to walk on but the carpet floorings are the most softer floors ever.
Especially the wool, triexta, and nylon are more comfortable.
Related Topic: How Long Does Carpet Last? Ultimate Guide
Disadvantages of Carpet Floor
Hard to clean
Cleaning a carpet can be a difficult task if it has deep furniture stains, pet waste stains, and other old dirt stains. If you don’t eliminate these stains on a regular basis, it will be difficult to remove them.
Note: To remove pet stains and odor you can use pet carpet cleaner spray.
Low resale value
Carpet floors have low resale value as compared to hardwood floors. It usually depends on the age and condition of a carpeted floor. Because the life span of a carpeted floor could be between 10 to 15 years.
So, a carpeted floor with more than 15 years of age and in bad condition has the lowest resale value.
Carpet Cost Considerations
The first thing to consider when determining the cost of carpet installation is how much material you need. The size of your room or area will determine how much carpet you need and therefore affect the price.
Generally speaking, carpets tend to be less expensive than hardwoods, but the price can vary greatly depending on what type of carpet you choose.
Budget-friendly carpets are typically made from synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester, while more expensive carpets are made from natural fibers like wool.
Other costs associated with carpet installation include padding, trimming, and labor. Padding is important for comfort and insulation and will need to be replaced every few years.
Trimming is necessary for a professional finish and may require additional labor costs. Lastly, labor costs can also increase if there is difficult furniture removal or other obstacles that make it harder to install the carpet correctly.
Carpet vs Hardwood: Similarities
Multiple Installation methods
Bot hardwood and carpet flooring can be installed in a bunch of ways. You can install them as a DIY project. especially all types of carpet floorings and in the hardwood flooring laminate and vinyl are super easy to install.
They don’t even need to be attached to a subfloor.
Simply laying a carpet on a flat surface could be a method while on the other hand laying a carpet on a surface after applying a floor adhesive also could be a method.
But the second method is better than the first because it won’t allow the carpet to be misplaced and stops to move from unnecessary movement.
So, the point is both have multiple installation methods but you should choose the best one.
If you are concerned about your home environment and want to pick an eco-friendly flooring material, both carpet and hardwood floorings are best as they are not environmentally harmful. Because they are not made of harsh chemicals.
So, they are suitable and safe for children and pets in a home.
Moreover, both carpets and hardwood floorings are also available in green textures.
Available in different varieties
As I have mentioned above both carpet and hardwood floors have multiple types with different varieties of colors, textures, and sizes.
So, you can choose your needs and desires.
You should choose a flooring material that is more durable and long-lasting. And the good news is both hardwood and carpets have more durable materials.
The lifespan of a hardwood floor is up to 20 years while a carpeted floor can last for up to 15 years.
So, once you’ve installed them you don’t need to replace them soon.
The lifespan of both hardwood and carpet floorings may vary with the quality of the material. Because carpet flooring with low-quality material can hardly last 10 years.
Also, durability depends on where you place the flooring. If you install softer hardwood flooring like a cherry in a high-traffic area, it can’t last for 20 years.
Water and heat-resistant
Water/moisture and heat both are the most common damaging factors for any flooring. Most importantly if your floor is not water and heat-resistant, it won’t last for years.
In short, water and heat damage reduces the durability of any floor.
But not in that case, because both hardwood and carpet floorings are fully water and heat-resistant.
Carpet vs Hardwood: Differences
Cost is one of the biggest differences between hardwood and carpet flooring. Cost may vary with the quality of the material. But still, a high-quality carpet material has an equal cost to a medium-quality hardwood material.
Hardwood floors are easier to clean than carpet flooring. So clearly, hardwood floorings have an edge on carpet floorings in the case of maintenance. A well-maintained hardwood floor can last for 25 years or more.
Simple dry or wet mopping on a regular basis will be enough to maintain a hardwood floor. While if you have pets and children in your home you have to clean a carpeted floor multiple times a day.
So, you can say it is a little bit more difficult to maintain carpet flooring than hardwood.
Which is the Best Carpet or Hardwood?
As any homeowner knows, carpet and hardwood are two of the most popular flooring options on the market. But which one is the best? Carpet has a number of advantages.
It’s softer and more comfortable underfoot, and it’s also cheaper and easier to install. However, hardwood has its own set of benefits. It’s more durable and easier to clean, and it can also increase the value of your home.
So which is the best flooring option? The answer, of course, is hardwood.
Wrap-up: Carpet vs Hardwood Cost
As you can see hardwood floor is the most suitable option with multiple advanced flooring qualities. But if your concern is the only cost, you can go with carpet flooring.
Because both have all the qualities a good home flooring should have, but with a cost difference.
However, I will give you advice to increase your budget and go with the hardwood flooring material. But if you are already standing on the edge, still decision will still be yours.
Carpet vs hardwood cost comparison is an important factor when deciding on which type of flooring is right for your home. Carpet tends to be more affordable upfront but may need more frequent replacement due to wear and tear.
Hardwood floors are generally more expensive upfront but have a longer lifespan if maintained well. Ultimately, the decision depends on your budget, home style, and preferences.
Last but not least, don’t forget to give your feedback about the article in the comment section.
Is wood flooring colder than carpet?
Real hardwood feels colder underfoot than carpet due to the difference in material. Wood is hard and gets easily cold in winter while carpets are made of fabrics and other soft materials, so, they feel warm underfoot. However, engineered wood floorings like laminate and vinyl are colder than wood flooring in winter.
How often should you replace the carpet?
The lifespan of a carpeted floor is between 10 to 15 years. So, you should replace the carpet after 15 years of usage.