Wood vs. Carpet
Wood or Carpet? This is often one of the first questions we are confronted with when renovating a home. Wood and carpet each have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the deciding factor between the two often comes down to personal preference.
Pros and Cons
Many people love the look of a classic wooden floor. Wooden flooring can appear clean and lustrous, and is versatile in nature. A natural wooden floor can provide a home with a feeling of peacefulness and warmth, while a painted wooden floor can look clean and minimalist. Hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished if the colour or style dates, proving both adaptable and durable. However, wooden flooring is expensive and those with a limited budget may not be able to afford a hardwood floor.
A wooden floor can be easily cleaned with a damp mop, great for spilled drinks and muddy footprints! It will need to be mopped and swept regularly – which may prove difficult for people with impaired mobility, or busy schedules. Dust, dirt and hair can gather and sit on the surface of a wooden floor, so regular lifting and cleaning under furniture (e.g. beds) is required to keep a clean home. Wooden flooring does not provide the sound insulation of carpet, and can promote noise transfer and echoing between rooms. Rugs and floor mats can help with this issue and are recommended for high traffic areas in the home. Wooden floors are susceptible to water damage - spills and leaks need to be tended to quickly as a wooden floor is vulnerable to moisture damage. Care also needs to be taken to prevent scratches, particularly when lifting and moving heavy furniture. Wooden floors do not trap household odours, and are not vulnerable to the parasites (such as dust mites, fleas) that may live in carpet.
Applied in the Home
From a practical and functional perspective, a wooden floor will work better in certain rooms in the home than others.
- Kitchen - A wooden floor is great for the kitchen. The hub and heart of the home, kitchens generally receive a lot of foot traffic (which introduces dirt and soil) along with food/fluid spills and day-to-day wear. A wooden floor will be easy to clean and maintain, and will withstand these interactions.
- Bathroom & Laundry – A wooden floor can work well in a bathroom if cared for correctly. Ensure moisture interaction is kept minimal, install fans to control humidity and remove any water from the floor as quickly as possible.
- Hallways - Hallways and entrances are high traffic areas. Carpeted hallways will often show signs of wear and tear, where a wooden floor will withstand this.
- Lounge – A wooden floor can look contemporary and stylish in a lounge environment. If contemplating a wooden floor for the lounge, remember to consider how the wood will affect noise and temperature control, as well as comfort (you may need to add soft furnishings).
- Bedroom – The bedroom is probably the least favourable room in the home for wooden floor. If considering a wooden floor for the bedroom, remember to address noise insulation as well as comfort properties. For example, you may need to consider how you will feel waking up in the morning and stepping onto a cold, hard surface.
A great choice if you love the look and feel, and can commit financially. Cleaning requirements include; mopping, vacuuming and sweeping. A wooden floor will have great longevity if cared for and maintained correctly.
Pros and Cons
Carpet can bring a feeling of softness and comfort to an interior space, and is available in a variety of designs and colours, with a style to suit every home. The textural and handle properties of carpet are appealing to most consumers; carpet is nice to touch, gentle underfoot and provides traction for walking upon.
Carpet is available at a variety of price points to suit most budgets, and most carpets come with extensive warranties against manufacturing defects. Carpet is a great sound insulator, absorbing sound waves and diminishing echoes, acting as a cushion against sound transfer from room to room. Carpet also provides a layer of thermal insulation (especially when combined with a thick underlay), as it forms a protective barrier between the air and the floor foundation and inhibits air draft beneath doors. Carpets are generally considered a safe option for young children and the elderly as they provide cushioning for falls. Some carpets may have fire retardant properties, such as woolen carpet, which is naturally fire resistant and has a slow ignition rate. Carpets need to be vacuumed regularly to avoid the build-up of dirt and soil which will damage the carpet over-time. Marks and stains can be hard to remove and can cause carpet’s appearance to be diminished if not treated correctly. It is recommended a carpeted floor be steam cleaned once a year to maintain its appearance and extend its life. Steam cleaning will also help remove dust mites and other parasites that can live in a carpet. Some research supports the idea that certain carpets may assist with reducing allergen exposure, such as wool carpets, which are thought to reduce the circulation of toxins in the breathing zone, binding the toxic substances within the carpet.
Applied in the Home
Carpet works well in most rooms, with the exception of the kitchen, laundry and bathroom.
- Kitchen – As trendy as it was in the 60’s, carpet will not work in the kitchen as it will not withstand food and fluid interaction and will stain and wear quickly. Opt for a wood, tile or vinyl floor.
- Bathroom & Laundry – Carpet will not work in a bathroom or laundry due to the moisture and humidity exposure. Again, it is best to opt for a wood, tile or vinyl floor.
- Hallway – Carpet may provide a welcoming and comforting environment for the hallway. If your home has a busy hallway, carpet may help with noise control. Carpet in the hallway may wear due to repetitive foot traffic and introduced soil and dirt. Regular cleaning and the addition of a floor rug may assist with upkeep.
- Lounge – Perfect for the lounge, carpet provides softness and comfort, and is great for children to play on or adults to sit on. Carpet’s noise insulation properties will help diminish the transfer of TV and social noise between rooms.
- Bedroom – Great for the bedroom, carpet will promote comfort and warmth. Perfect for a relaxing environment.
OverallA great option for a variety of budgets, with a multitude of styles and designs available to consumers. Cleaning requirements include; vacuuming and steam cleaning. A carpet has a reasonable lifespan of up to 15 years or longer if cared for correctly, and is a comfortable and versatile flooring option.
Visit your local Flooring Xtra store for expert help and advice. Select and take home samples of your favourite flooring products to see how they will transform your home. Click here to locate your nearest local Flooring Xtra store.
All images found on Pinterest.
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