You want to put in new flooring in your home, but you aren't sure whether you want hardwood or carpet. You have a distinct set of advantages to both, so you need to carefully consider how you feel about a few key areas when you're making your selection.
You have a few lifestyle factors to consider when you're going through your options. If you have a large family and a busy lifestyle, you're going to get your carpet dirty on a consistent basis. Dirt, mud and debris get tracked in when the kids get home from school, and you're probably not going to have the time to fit in vacuuming and carpet shampooing. Hardwood takes less time and effort to maintain, especially if you control the dirt influx from the outdoors.
Carpet may cost less per square foot on average, but it also has a shorter lifespan than hardwood flooring. Spills, rips and tears reduce the effective life of your carpet, so you may need to swap it out every five to ten years. In contrast, hardwood flooring is known to last for hundreds of years, with only the occasional refinishing required to keep it going.
Does anyone in your family deal with allergies, such as dust mites or pollen? These allergens can get tracked into the carpet and cause irritation over time, especially if you can't vacuum the floors as often as you'd like. Hardwood floor gets easily swept up in a few minutes, so you limit any allergen exposure and avoid it living in your floors.
If you want to put flooring into a condo or another above-ground level floor, be conscious of the sound levels. Hardwood flooring transmits more sound than carpet, although you can address this problem by strategic placement of area rugs.
Hardwood's durability and the way it's produced reduces its carbon footprint compared to most carpet material. If you want a sustainable and environmentally friendly option for your home, wood is the winner here.
Hardwood flooring installation is a more extensive process than carpet, which can be a downside if you're in a hurry. Typically you have the time to spare when you're shopping around for new flooring, so this is a minor area to consider when you're making a selection.