by Dylan Bowen August 08, 2022 5 min read
Family homes can be unglamorous. Messy. A headache to clean. From spilled drinks, food stains and dirty footprints it can seem impossible for the floor to stay clean! So, what is the best choice when it comes to a manageable family home flooring? Carpet or hardwood? There are benefits and weaknesses for both so let's see!
There are many benefits to using carpets! For one, carpets are comfortable! If you want to go for that cosy, feet sinking in the carpet feeling that we all enjoy curling into then yes, carpet! Carpets are also great for warmth as they insulate heat and sound: if you want a warmer home then carpets are for you, especially if you live in a country that is chillier your home will need to be as insulated as possible. This also means your home won't be echoey either! So, carpets are great for comfort, warmth, and health, and leading onto the next pro: financial reasons! Carpets being a financial solution to a colder home is worthy to have its own pro if you're weighing your options, saving your money on those heating bills. The next thing is that carpets can be safer! Especially if you have toddlers and children who are living, breathing hazards because of their playing, crawling, walking, and running. Therefore, you may have to go for carpets as a safety precaution - no one wants to face plant into the hard wall! Lastly, carpets come in a myriad of colours, styles, materials, and pattern, meaning you have more choice when it comes to style and design.
Now the downside of carpets. At number one, carpets can attract dirt, dust and other contaminants which is unhealthy. Due to the carpet fibres, and depending on the ‘shagginess’ of it, they are prone to containing these unwanted bacteria which can be an issue, especially to those with allergies and respiratory health conditions. Secondly, this means that carpets are more of an inconvenience to clean than hardwood! They are much harder to extract dirt, soil, dust, sticky substances that have lodged inside, food crumbs and general contaminates, so it requires more time, effort, and financial investment for its maintenance while hardwood floors can easily be hoovered or moped and done with. For example, a spilled drink on carpet requires some carpet stain remover/steam cleaning/chemicals, time and effort to remove, while hardwood floors only need a quick, easy wipe! Now, carpets can also increase the risk of rodent infestation and dust mites due to their ability to contain dust, dirt, food particles and general crumbs. So, you will have to keep on top of your cleaning game more often than hardwood floor to avoid this issue. Lastly, we have odours. Carpets can also retain foul odours which are unpleasant, and yet again, require time, effort, and financial expenditure to remove. If you have pets, children, and teenagers, it is inevitable that odours will develop in your carpets.
Hardwood flooring really does have many advantages. First off, they come in a variety of materials, types, and colours, so they are aesthetic pleasing in homes. For example, materials like mahogany, oak, ebony. The types can be solid wood, engineered wood, parquet wood flooring, laminate, and vinyl flooring. The colours range from light wood floors, dark wood floors, mid tone, and golden wood floors. The next pro is that they are easy to clean and maintain - they don’t require a lot of time and financial cost of maintenance. So, if you need the convenience of ease, hard wood is for you. If you live in a hotter climate, hardwood flooring will make your home feel much cooler than if you had heat retaining carpets too. Another point is hygiene as hardwood floors don’t retain dirt, dust, fleas, food substances and contaminants. This means they are healthier if you have allergies, respiratory issues and want to keep a hygienic air quality in your home. Hardwood floors also are very good in terms of ageless quality long term investments, which means they can last 100 years if maintained well and a good return of investment. Lastly, hard wood floors have good acoustics so if you, your children, or partner love to play music, it will help instrumental tunes sound crisp and clear as opposed to carpets.
Now onto the negatives. Hardwood flooring can be pricey, so if you don't want to splurge on a lot of money then it could be a problem. The second thing is that they aren't as warm and comfortable as carpets, so they can be very cold (especially in the winter) and hard on the feet. So, you may need to wear some comfortable slippers or add some rugs to avoid this issue. Noise is also an issue because hardwood floors do not retain heat or noise, so sounds can echo if you don't have a lot of soft items in your home making it a place that is noisy. Hardwood floors are also a little dangerous when it comes to play-time, if your child falls down the stairs or face-flat on the floor, it can be dangerous and not ideal for their wellbeing. Next, hardwood flooring can also damage due to termite infestation if you did not choose the right type of wood. Otherwise, termites will feed and destroy the wood from the inside out. The same type of damage goes for water and other harsh detergents/chemicals, so be aware that you shouldn’t wet the floors too much as it can seep through and destroy the wood (this can lead to mould or fungus) . Neither should you use damaging detergents if you want to protect the flooring.
If you live in a colder climate and have children, as well as the time, energy, and tools to take care of this flooring, then carpets may be the better option for the family home. Even though they can hold dirt, dust, food, and other contaminants, it can be overcome if you make it a habit to regularly clean the carpet. You won't have to worry about children getting hurt or being too cold in the dropping temperatures. Neither will you worry about high bills!
Another conclusion is going for both! You can think about having a combination of both carpets and hardwood to have the best of both worlds. Places like the stairs and bedrooms may need carpets to keep warm and safe, while other areas can be hardwood flooring with a rug! Just think about where you would want each to be in your home for safety and practicality.
If your family home is in a hotter climate, and there is no worry of little children getting hurt, then maybe hardwood floors are the answer. Better for the busier householders who do not have time or the effort to clean carpets too. Especially if you want a healthier option and do not mind spending money, then this is for you!
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