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Carpet Versus Hardwood Flooring

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Many people choose to go with carpet instead of hardwood flooring in part because of the perceived cost difference. Though, in general, installing a wood floor will cost more than installing carpet, it does depend on the which type of carpeting or wood you choose. A wood laminate floor may cost less than an expensive carpet, for example.

The other thing to consider when comparing carpet to hardwood is the true cost over time. A decent wood floor can last a lifetime, and although carpet can last up to fifteen years if cared for properly, a ten-year life is more typical. Also, since hardwood or wood laminate is the preference of more and more home buyers, you might increase the value of your home by choosing one of these.

Apart from financial considerations though, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both carpeting and wood for floors. Let's first take a look at why you might want to choose to install carpeting.

* Warmth; it is nice to have something warm to walk on in northern climates. Carpet even provides a layer of insulation for the home if it is on a slab or unheated crawl space. This can reduce heating bills somewhat.

* Safety; it is less dangerous to fall on a carpeted surface versus hardwood floors. This may not matter for most of us, but if there are small children or frail elderly residents in the home, it can make a difference.

* Noise control; Carpet is just plain quieter when you are walking on it. This may or may not matter where you live (it makes more of a difference if you are in a condo with people living under you). You can place area rugs around the home strategically to partially alleviate this problem.

What about hardwood? Here are some of the advantages...

* Health; although there is some evidence that carpet traps allergens which would otherwise be in the air, in general hardwood is better for allergy sufferers if it is kept clean. Carpet also holds dust mites and other critters which are not killed by vacuuming. The toxic chemicals used to make carpet also tend to be worse for allergy sufferers than the sealants used for wood floors.

* Appearance; the right carpeting can look great, but often only if the furniture and walls complement its color and design. Hardwood floors to go well with any decor.

* Durability; hardwood or wood laminate floors can last a lifetime, as mentioned. Unlike carpet, they also can be sanded and refinished if damaged.

There is no definitive answer for everyone. There are good reasons for both carpeted and hardwood floors. But if you have wanted wood and just thought it was too expensive, you might want to get an actual quote and look at the lifetime cost versus carpeting.

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