How to Weigh the Costs of Carpet vs Hardwood Flooring

How to Weigh the Costs of Carpet vs Hardwood Flooring

Flooring might be one of the most important parts of your home’s interior, and the good news is that you have several options. As you weigh replacing your floors, you’ll need to make a comparison of carpet vs hardwood flooring.

A determining factor for many homeowners in this decision is cost. Hardwood flooring has an average price of $10 per square foot, versus about half the cost for carpet at around $5 per square foot. Knowing this, why would you choose the more expensive option? The truth is that many Americans do prefer hardwood flooring and make this choice for several reasons.

Lifetime Value

Carpet has an average lifespan of about 10 years. After that, you will have to pay for replacement. On the other hand, hardwood flooring could stay beautiful in your home for multiple generations. To get this sort of life out of hardwood flooring, it might need to be periodically refinished.

If you’re going to compare the lifetime cost of carpet vs hardwood, there are several calculations you should make. When you buy hardwood floors, the assumption is that they have at least a 4mm wear layer that is sandable. This would allow you to resand and refinish the wood twice throughout its life.

Assuming you paid $10 per square foot for the flooring and $2.50 per square foot each to have the floors refinished twice over 30 years, this is a cost of about $15 per square foot. Over that same period, you would have had to install carpet three times, so you are looking at roughly the same lifetime cost.

Return on Investment

These figures make perfect sense if you plan to stay in your home and enjoy your hardwood flooring. But, what if you don’t expect to stick around that long? Even if you plan on selling in a few years, it might still be a better idea to pick hardwood over carpet.

According to a study released by HGTV, the number one request among home shoppers is hardwood floors. If you want to sell your home and it has wall to wall carpet, you won’t receive as much interest and certainly won’t get as much for your home as you would if it had elegant hardwood flooring.

Of that study’s respondents, 54% said that they would pay more for a home that had hardwood flooring and 21% of real estate agents even advise homeowners to install hardwood before putting a home up for sale. Another study released by the National Association of Realtors determined that hardwood floors give homeowners an estimated 91% return on investment. So, even if you’re not making this your forever home, this is a choice that makes sense.

Hidden Costs

Your flooring costs encompass more than just the installation price. If you want your floors to look and perform well, you need to take care of them. For example, experts recommend having carpets professionally cleaned at least every other year. This will cost approximately $0.30 per square foot.

Failure to take care of your carpet could result in some consequences such as strong odors, health issues, and a shorter product lifespan. To prevent this, you would need to have carpets cleaned 15 times over 30 years, costing about $4.50 per square foot on upkeep. Because of this added expense and the other reasons we’ve listed, hardwood is the best and most cost-effective choice.

Ready to Put Hardwood Floors in Your Home?

If the thought of having luxurious hardwood floors in your home has caught your interest, the qualified professionals at Elegant Hardwood Floors in Charleston can help. We have developed a reputation for commitment to quality and outstanding customer service, and are ready to answer your questions or help you make the right choice for your needs.

Contact us now to find out how we can help make your hardwood flooring vision come to life.