When comparing the cost of installing hardwood floors over carpets, quality hardwood floors will almost always be a larger investment compared to carpets.
The carpetcan be installed on many materials, from concrete to wood, and can hide slight irregularities in the floor. The two types of flooring are similarly priced, but high-end carpets and tall hair are likely to cost more than high-end laminate floors. On the downside, carpets may be a poor choice for allergy sufferers, as carpets can trap dust mites and other allergens.
While carpets can attract and retain dust and microorganisms, hardwood is easily swept or cleaned with a damp mop to remove these particles, which can be annoying for allergy sufferers. Rugs are made in huge rolls and consumers buy them on foot, in whatever quantities they need. New installations don't usually affect resale value in any way, but homes with old carpets will certainly suffer in the market. While users can install carpets themselves, especially with some “peel and stick” marks that make DIY jobs easier, carpets generally require professional installation.
Vacuuming a new carpet with a HEPA filter vacuum and using hot water extraction cleaners can help eliminate VOCs. The carpet and padding are first cut to the correct dimensions and then the two layers are placed with nails or staples and the seams are glued together. The carpet, which is made of wool or synthetic fiber, such as polypropylene, nylon or polyester, is attached to a backrest that is usually nailed or stapled to the floor and to any padding underneath. Dense carpets with quality polyurethane padding attached to the underside can generate an R-value of 4 or more, meaning that the warmth that carpets provide to a room is very real.
However, in the case of carpets, the surface of the entire floor is padded and insulated so that noise is not easily transmitted up or down. Hardwood is considered to be the easiest flooring material to care for, as it is less susceptible to stains and doesn't trap dust or allergens like carpets do. There are some natural fiber rugs, mostly made of cotton or wool, but the vast majority use synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester. Rugs aren't a good choice for kitchens and dining rooms, for example; laminate will work better in those situations.
A Lumber Liquidators survey revealed that 100% of surveyed real estate agents preferred hardwood floors to carpets.