In many homes, hardwood has replaced carpet as the primary flooring type, especially in rooms like living rooms and kitchens. New homebuilders are aware of the trend and have shifted their design choices accordingly. However, many older homes still have carpeting throughout, leaving homeowners with a dilemma. Should they remove the carpet and replace it with hardwood or leave it as it is?
Hardwood flooring has several benefits over carpeting, but there are some disadvantages, as well. Before making the decision to replace carpeting throughout your house, there are three questions you should ask yourself.
Will You Be Selling Soon?
Today’s home shoppers are likely viewing a large number of homes with beautiful hardwood floors throughout. This has upped the game for sellers of older homes, who are now required to compete with brand new homes in the same price range. While hardwood flooring is the top request of homebuyers, this may not translate to every room. Some consumers have stated a preference for carpeting in bedrooms, which allows them to step onto a soft surface when they get out of bed in the morning. Hardwoods in areas like kitchens and bathrooms can also turn some buyers away, since these areas are prone to spills and moisture. For that reason, some homeowners choose instead to install tile or laminate flooring in these rooms.
Do You Have Allergies?
Carpet has gotten a bad rap for its supposed contribution to allergies and asthma. However, a 15-year study in Sweden determined no correlation between the two. In fact, the study pointed out that when carpet use declined in the country, allergies increased by 30 percent. Some postulate that carpet acts as a filter, trapping allergens that might have otherwise been floating freely in the air. If carpet is cleaned regularly, it may be a better option for families that are concerned about air quality. When handled by a qualified professional, even the most deeply-embedded particles can be removed, keeping the home free of allergens.
Are You Prepared for Maintenance?
Whether you find hardwood maintenance easier than carpet depends largely on your preference for sweeping versus vacuuming. Carpets should be cleaned at least once every one to two years—more frequently if your household has pets. Hardwood flooring removes the need for this type of cleaning, but don’t assume wood-based flooring doesn’t have its own maintenance requirements. At least once a year, homeowners should use a wood-cleaning product to deep clean floors and remove any dirt and grime that builds up. Many experts recommend also using area rugs throughout the home to reduce dirt and protect wood from furniture marks. Just like carpet, these area rugs will need to be vacuumed and deep cleaned on a regular basis to remove embedded dirt.
Hardwood floors can up your home’s value by meeting customer demand. But consider the maintenance requirements of this type of flooring before making the commitment. If you don’t plan to sell your home soon, it may be best to leave the carpet in place until you prepare to sell, especially if you enjoy the feeling of carpet beneath your feet.