Whether you’re renovating or building your home, deciding on the perfect flooring material can be a difficult decision. Trying to decide between carpeting and timber floorboards can be a matter of weighing up a number of factors like cost, durability, ease of cleaning and comfort.
To make the decision a little easier, it can help to create a list of the various pros and cons of the different flooring options. And to save you time, that’s exactly what we’ve done.
The Advantages of Carpeting
- Plenty of options
With carpet, there’s a wide range of options to choose from. From fabric, colour, design, style and texture, you can get a flooring that perfectly suits the rest of your home.
Carpet is number one when it comes to comfort. It’s soft and cosy, gentle on bare feet and great for the kids to play on.
Carpet can be a good option when it comes to safety, especially for children or elderly people. Because carpet is so much softer, the injury risk from falls is much lower compared with hardwood floors. Dropping glassware on carpet is also less likely to result in a breakage, which means there’s less chance of cuts from broken glass.
- Heat and sound insulation
Carpet is an excellent insulator. During winter carpet will retain more heat than bare floorboards, making your home easier to heat and lowering your energy costs. Carpet will also help to muffle noise, reduce echo and cushion footsteps, making your home quieter.
The Disadvantages of Carpet
- Maintenance and cleaning
Quite simply, carpets are much harder to keep clean than floorboards. Without regular cleaning, dirt, germs, bacteria, allergens, pet hair and insects will build up in your carpets. Regular vacuuming will take care of much of this problem, but deeper cleaning usually requires professional carpet cleaning equipment like steam cleaners or carpet dry cleaners, which can be expensive.
The contaminants that build up in carpets, especially the moisture-based contaminants like mould and mildew, can fester in the fibres and start to give off unpleasant odours. Usually home carpet shampooing can take care of this problem, but for more serious cases you may need professional carpet cleaners.
- Health problems
Dirty carpets can exacerbate a range of health problems, including allergies, asthma and skin problems. Dust, mould and insects can quickly build up to the point where they start affecting your health and the health of your family.
- Easy to damage
Carpets are susceptible to a range of damage, like tearing and staining. Unlike timber floors where you can just wipe up a spill, carpets are easily stained. Some tough stains like red wine and oils can be incredibly difficult to remove without help from professional cleaners.
The advantages of floorboards
- Easy to clean
Unlike carpet, floorboards don’t trap dust and are easy to clean. All it takes is regular vacuuming and a mopping to get them looking great.
Floorboards are also more durable than carpeting. Unlike carpeting, there are no fibres to wear down and they can’t be torn. Under normal conditions, and with a little maintenance, you can expect floorboards to last the life of the house.
- Easier to repair
If a floorboard is damaged, it’s much easier to repair than carpeting. Most floorboards are easy to replace and minor damage can usually be repaired by resanding.
- Stylish and appealing
Timber floorboards are a timeless choice for many homes. Unlike carpeting, which can quickly become unfashionable depending on the style, quality timber floorboards are always popular. They can even add value to your home and make it more appealing if you’re looking to sell your property.
The disadvantages of floorboards
Unlike carpet, floorboards do not absorb sound. If anything, they can make things noisier. Sound can reverberate off them, amplifying noise or causing echoes. Floorboards can also become noisier over time, as old and worn boards can start to creak.
- Susceptible to pests
While carpets can be susceptible to insects like dust mites, they are easy enough to treat and remove. Timber floorboards, on the other hand, can be susceptible to termite and wood borers. These insects can cause massive damage that can be very expensive to fix. They can also be difficult to remove, requiring expensive pest treatments.
- Susceptible to damage
While floorboards are more durable than carpet, they are not invulnerable to damage. Timber boards can be scratched, gouged and dented by something as common as high heeled shoes. Over time this damage can build up, causing the wood to split or splinter. Sanding and restaining usually solves this problem, but that can be a time-consuming and costly task.
- Not great for insulation
Floorboards can be difficult to heat, making a room much harder to heat during winter.
Hopefully, this has got you thinking about what type of flooring is best suited to the various rooms throughout your home. Making the right choice will mean less time and money you have to spend on cleaning and maintenance.