When you are trying to decide between new carpet and hard surface flooring such as Luxury Vinyl Plank or Tile (LVT), Laminate, Cork, Solid or Engineered Hardwood Flooring – there are many things to consider. In which rooms are you installing new flooring? How much traffic is expected in the new flooring area? Do you need to consider allergies? How much time do you invest in maintaining your new floor?
Durability of Carpet vs Laminate, LVT, Cork & Hardwood Flooring
While new carpet tends to be comfortably plush and fluffy under foot, it won’t stay that way for as long as you’d like. Over time, especially in high traffic areas, carpet will become crushed or matted. There is a saying in the carpet business, “carpets don’t wear out, they ugly out”. Although Hardwood flooring can be scratched and/or dented – with regular soft-soled household traffic the durable aluminum oxide coatings can last a lifetime. You can rest assured that any new hard surface flooring will stand up to a heavy load. Even Cork, though it is soft and can be compacted, usually decompresses any dents caused by weight once the heavy object is moved.
Dust & Dust Mites in Carpet vs Laminate, LVT, Cork & Wood Flooring
Even with regular maintenance, dust and dust mites penetrate the carpet weave and accumulate. Dust will find its way underneath the carpet under pad as well, where it will live until it is removed. Carpet actually absorbs dust particles, so carpet odors become harder to control. Air fresheners only mask the odors in carpet – they are never really gone. Dust that accumulates on your laminate, LVT, Cork or hardwood floor can be quickly swept up from hard surface flooring, reducing allergens in the home.
Maintenance of Carpet vs Laminate, LVT, Cork or Hardwood Flooring
Carpet needs to be vacuumed regularly, and even shampooed from time to time. If disaster strikes, you can have your carpet sanitized. Hard surface floors like Cork, Laminate, LVT and hardwood can be free of dust with a quick sweep, and revived of their shine with a hardwood floor mop & cleaner as required.
Installation of Carpet vs Laminate, LVT, Cork or Hardwood Flooring
Installing carpet isn’t typically a Do-It-Yourself project. It requires special tools and techniques to make sure new carpet is installed correctly without bulges or buckles. Lots of homeowners decide to install Laminate, Cork, LVT and hardwood flooring on their own. LVT for example, only requires a utility knife and a tape measure! If you prefer, there are lots of pro’s ready to click or nail down your floor.
Longevity of Carpet vs Laminate, LVT, Cork or Hardwood Flooring
On average, carpets in North American homes are replaced every 7 years, maybe more with proper care and maintenance. Carpet, like linoleum or even some Laminate flooring, will need to be replaced eventually. Solid and Engineered Hardwood flooring are expected to last a lifetime, and even add structure and considerable value to your home! Real wood floors can also be re-sanded several times.
Environmental Impact of Carpet vs Wood floor products
Carpet lasts a short time compared to hard surface flooring, and once it is tossed in a landfill it will be there forever. Nylon and polyester fibers in carpets will not decompose. Wood based products are the greener choice as they last long enough in your home for the trees used in their production to regrow, and when the material is discarded it will decompose. Immediately following installation, carpet will off-gas chemicals from the fibers, added resistant coatings, and dyes used during production. Prefinished floors are fully cured at the factory. Wood flooring products generally meet or exceed European standards and California CARB requirements, you can always ask for supporting documents.
If soft & cushy carpet is what you desire under foot, you could consider an area rug that is a relatively inexpensive, replaceable solution!