Hardwood vs. Carpeting

by Mel Golden
February 23, 2018

Does Hardwood Edge Out Carpeting?


When it comes to buying and selling a home, most people feel that the flooring in the home will make or break their decision.

Flooring is a big selling point for buyers and the type of flooring in a home can sometimes determine whether it sells for a great price. There are benefits and drawbacks to both hardwood and carpeting but it all really comes down to personal preferences.

Hardwood floors, while beautiful, can be a lot of work to maintain. Carpeting, while comfortable, can also be a lot of work to maintain. Hardwood floors look beautiful and add an elegant touch to a home. However, they can become scratched and damaged easily which requires filling the scratch(s), buffing, or even refinishing and resealing.

Carpets are insulated so during the colder months they are kinder to your feet, gentler on small children and they also prevent people from slipping. Nevertheless, carpets can become soiled easily which requires continual vacuuming and shampooing.

People become very ardent when discussing what type of flooring they like. There is a belief among some that hardwood flooring increases the value of a home and carpeting deducts from the value, but that is not always the case. Ultimately it boils down to the specific individual. The type of flooring that would best meet ones’ needs is dependent on the environment they live in along with the lifestyle they lead.  

Here are just some examples of real people’s impassioned opinions for either type of flooring.


“Despite lifestyle network shows leading you to believe that you must purchase flooring you don't need, most people STILL prefer the softness of carpet upstairs for comfort, convenience, and quiet. Yes, there are a lot of drones who follow the crowd, grew up vacuuming and hate carpet, but once they experience the joy of constantly sweeping, the noise of footsteps, and the overall acoustical never-ending din of a house with hardwood flooring, most regret their decision. Good carpeting, well maintained with regular vacuuming and shampooing, can last decades. However, it is the job of home lifestyle networks to sell product you don't need, to replace perfectly good decor, lighting, flooring, really everything that can go into a house. I've turned down houses precisely because they had "hardwood” floors, even downstairs. Wall to wall carpeting was a luxury item when it first came in vogue in the 1950's, and for very good and very practical reasons. They never dreamed anyone would rip it up and coo over the ugly, impossible to maintain “real” hardwood underneath. And if you have incredible cedar wood ceilings, or real wood paneling on the walls, the worst mistake people can make is add more wood to the room in the flooring.”

“Wood floors look nice in pictures. What they don't show you is the constant sweeping and re-sweeping 10 minutes later. Don't even think about it feeling cozy. The echoes from screaming kids running across the floor and up/down the stairs will have one reaching for earplugs and Tylenol. Let the next owner decide what they want. I'll always pick well maintained, carpeting with good padding.”

“You definitely need carpeting in the bedrooms. I will NOT buy a house if the entire house is wood floor. When I wake up in the morning, the last thing I want to do is crawl out of bed and onto a cold hardwood floor. I prefer carpeting in the bedrooms, tile in the kitchen and bathrooms and hardwood floors everywhere else.”

“Carpet is gross - especially if someone else has already lived in that home. Every living room carpet I see I have to plan on replacing as soon as I can afford it. It definitely affects what I'm willing to pay for the home. My first reaction when I see a carpeted living room is to mark the house off my list – although I have to remind myself that replacing it is an option.All that said, I haven't had a basement in a decade and I've never had a finished one. But where I live, I'd say 80% of the homes have a finished basement - which looks cozier with carpet. So I suppose that I would like different flooring in different parts of the home. But I personally would pay less for a home with carpet upstairs than I would with wood upstairs.”

“I would consider having hardwood floors, in good condition of course, to be worth more than brand new carpeting. My reasoning is simple. Carpets wear out and have to be replaced or washed. Not to mention what hides within it, mites & bacteria, which are difficult to eradicate and maintain 99.9% germ free. A freshly dusted hardwood floor lasts forever, and it's a snap to disinfect. Hardwood floors are relatively low cost in spot repair maintenance.”

“With solid installed hardwood, a buyer can always have it refinished and stained however they wish, and, as often as they wish over the years. So, the color or darkness/lightness of the stain shouldn't matter that much. With engineered hardwood, there must be a thick enough wear layer to refinish it. Even then, it can usually only be done a few times (at most). Most engineered floors have thinner wear layers and can't be refinished. Personally, I don't like laminate, tile, or carpet. But, if the home is to be used as a rental property, or there are children or pets, carpet may be more practical.”

“I was once a big fan of wall-to-wall carpet and went for the most expensive grades. But after ripping them up (even almost new) I find there is no such thing as a "clean" carpet, no matter how great your vacuum cleaner is! With smooth hardwood flooring there is simply no place for disgusting stuff to hide, it is all exposed and easily dealt with. And wood flooring lasts virtually forever. Discerning buyers will always pay the price for good smooth flooring like tiles and especially beautiful 3/4" thick real hardwood. But I still like a few small scatter rugs, which I clean by taking them outdoors and beating the snot out of them.”

“Although hardwood floors are much nicer than carpeting, for a young family with babies, they may choose to have the floor carpeted so that it is easier on the baby when she/he is crawling. Or, if you are selling to seniors, having a carpeted floor helps prevent the senior from slipping and falling vs. having a hardwood floor. If the carpeting is in good shape, I would have it cleaned and focus on whatever necessary repairs are required around the house. You can always discount your sales price should a buyer prefer a hardwood floor and let the buyer choose what she/he wants.”’

As you can see there are differing opinions on the type of flooring people prefer when it comes to buying or selling a home. The choice of flooring depends on the person. What is beautiful to you may not be to someone else and vice versa.

Be sure that you understand you and your families’ needs before making a decision on a home. Don’t let the flooring be the deciding factor as to whether a home is right for you, decide what is most important and tackle the rest later. Remember, all flooring, no matter the type, can be replaced.

For more information on flooring choices and what's best for your family, reach out to us! We're always ready, willing and happy to help!

Mel received his MBA in Finance from Southeastern University in Washington, DC. He resides in Montgomery County, is married, and is a father of two beautiful girls aged 15 and 9. Mel has built and renovated 8 homes as an owner/builder in Montgomery County which gave him the knowledge, expertise and the connections that benefit his clients in every step during real estate transactions. With over 18 years of experience in Real Estate, Mel has established himself as a thorough, honest, hardworking and empathic agent. He is dedicated to his clients and will work tirelessly to find his clients the home of their dreams. He is an Accredited Staging Professional and is licensed to work in DC, MD & VA. Mel has consistently been recognized for his top performance by RE/MAX International and has won numerous sales awards since 1999.
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