carpet versus hardwoodChoosing flooring is actually a very complicated decision to make, as it requires the purchaser to think not only about their current flooring, but also flooring needs for years down the road. In addition, while it is important to get the right look for flooring, it is also important to take into consideration the safety, maintenance and durability of the flooring as well. Many people find themselves stuck for a decision when it comes to choosing between hardwood and carpet for their floors. Here are some comparisons of the attributes of both.

Carpet can come in many styles and thicknesses, from luxurious Berber carpeting to standard carpet with little shag. One of the great advantages of carpeting, of course, is the softness that it offers. This type of flooring is exceptional for adults with small children, as children can learn to walk, play and roll around without getting hurt. The downside to carpets and children is that spills are much harder to clean.

While hardwood flooring is not as soft and cozy as carpet, it does have a cleaning advantage over carpet. Spills are easily cleaned up with a rag or mop, and the flooring can even be sanded and refinished in extreme cases. Once a stain has set in carpet, it is generally there to stay.

Carpet can act as a natural insulator for your floors, and will actually help keep your home warmer and keep your heating bills down. Since carpet is installed over a layer of foam, it has two layers of protection between your feet and the cold temperatures under the house. The downside to carpet is that it can often trap allergens, hair and animal dander within the fibers and for people with allergies, carpet can be difficult to manage.

Hardwood may not offer as much insulation protection, but it is one of the most hypoallergenic types of flooring on the market. As wood flooring is smooth, it does not grab dander, hair and allergens as well as carpet, and sweeping and damp mopping the floor is usually all that is required to get your wood floor sterile and allergen free once again.

When comparing your options for flooring from a flooring store, be sure to take into account who will be using the floors, the level of activity and use, and the heating and health needs of those in the house as well. Your flooring can make a big impact on your comfort as well as the look of your home.