Carpet, Stone or Hardwood? The Pros and Cons of Popular Flooring Choices

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From laminate to hardwood, when it comes to replacing your flooring the choices are endless. Aside from the price, which is often a major factor, there’s also dependability, durability and aesthetic appeal. Before making any final decisions and spending money on flooring that cannot withstand your kids, consider the pros and cons of popular choices.

Carpet

The comfort and affordability of carpeting has made it popular for decades, but there are some drawbacks:

Pros

Decoration. Carpeting provides a decorative element to your home that cannot be achieved the same way with other flooring types.
Sound insulation. If noise is a problem in your household, carpeting provides some sound insulation.
Price and selection. Carpeting comes in a variety of colors, weaves and textures. The selection also offers you a range of prices.

Cons

Respiratory issues. If you or someone else in your home has a respiratory condition, carpeting can be a nightmare. For many homeowners, ripping up the carpeting is the best option.
Staining. Anyone with carpet will tell you the product’s biggest downfall is staining. The combination of a lower-quality product and a glass of grape juice can be disastrous.
Durability. Even the finest-quality carpeting will look ragged, dingy and dirty after being trampled on for 20 or 30 years. Carpeting styles are also constantly changing. The carpet you installed yesterday might not look so hip and modern in a year or so.

Hardwood

Hardwood is a popular flooring option right now and for good reason. If you’re considering hardwood, think about these pros and cons first:

Pros

Maintenance. All you need to clean and maintain your hardwood flooring is a broom, mop and some all-purpose flooring product.
Durability. Walk into several older homes and you’ll see at least some original hardwood. It’s not uncommon for well-maintained, quality hardwood to last 100 years or more.
Appeal. The appeal of hardwood flooring is the product’s greatest asset. If you sell your home, include the phrase “hardwood flooring throughout” in your listing and you’ll attract many buyers.

Cons

Scratching. Although resistant, hardwood flooring is susceptible to scratches and water damage. A minor flood or persistent leak is enough to warp your hardwood flooring beyond repair.
Noise Factor. Unlike carpeting, hardwood flooring is noisy and not the most comfortable option for bare feet.
Price. A lesser-quality, unfinished product will cost you at least $3 per square foot. More exotic varieties can cost more than $15 per foot. You must factor in the cost of labor, because it will likely be a larger chore than you can handle.

Stone

Natural stone, including travertine, sandstone, granite and marble, are popular flooring choices. These types are often found in the finest homes across the United States. Like the other options, they carry pros and cons as well:

Pros

Durability. Above other varieties of flooring, natural stone is the most durable. A high-quality stone floor will last for hundreds of years. It will take more than a rowdy toddler or dog to put a dent in your travertine or limestone.
Look. The look of natural stone is another huge draw. Not only is it attractive, natural stone will greatly increase the value of your home.
“Cool” factor. Natural stone flooring is cool to the touch and a great option for people living in warmer climates.

Cons

Cost. The cost of natural stone flooring eliminates this option for many homeowners. It’s not uncommon to pay in excess of $18 to $20 per square foot for quality travertine tile.
Installation. A savvy homeowner could get away with installing his own hardwood or carpet, but it’s best to leave the installation of stone flooring to professionals.
“Cool” factor. If you’re living in a cold climate, travertine or marble flooring isn’t the most welcoming sight on a brisk winter morning.

While shopping for flooring, remember to keep the pros and cons of each choice in mind. You’ll find the product that fits your needs and budget. Don’t forget there’s something to be said for splurging on a higher-quality product that will survive for a long time.

About the Author: Nikki Forester is a guest blogger and interior decorator. Whenever Nikki’s clients need their carpets cleaned, she recommends COIT Cleaning. You can find out more if you visit www.coit.com.

 

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