Should you refinish the hardwood floors hiding under your carpet?
If you watch home-improvement shows, you’ve no doubt noticed that the first thing renovators look at is flooring. Most of them start tearing up the carpet to see if there’s wood underneath. Carpet isn’t necessarily inferior to hardwood floors. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. If you’re facing this dilemma, our experts at Classic Floor Designs can help. Keep reading to learn more about your options before you decide between carpet or hardwoods.
Any remodel decision should start with your family’s living habits. Do you remove your shoes when you come in? Do you have a houseful of rambunctious kids? Are your pets house-trained? Do you eat dinner in your living area while watching TV?
If your family tends to track in dirt and frequently spill food or drinks, you’re probably better off with hardwood flooring. Spills wipe right up, so it’s almost impossible to stain.
One advantage to carpet, though, is the cushioning it provides. Parents of infants sometimes stick with carpet or buy plenty of rugs until their children are walking. Carpet muffles sound, so think about that if your upstairs bedrooms are occupied. Other noises, such as a dog’s bark or loud music, tend to reverberate from a wood floor. Too, carpet is warmer underfoot. That can be an advantage in cold climates.
Again, accessorizing wood with rugs resolves most of its drawbacks.
Many would argue that there’s nothing more beautiful than well-kept, gleaming hardwood floors. Wood does seem to be ever popular. Rarely has it gone in and out of vogue as some flooring materials have. For a classic look, it’s hard to beat. Carpet, on the other hand, comes in lovely colors, textures, and patterns. The right choice of carpet can anchor an entire room and lend an inviting warmth.
If your carpet has a plain pattern and is neutral in color, it won’t be difficult to redecorate rooms around it. A rich color or complex pattern, however, can pose problems when you want to buy new furniture or give the walls a fresh look. Carpet is somewhat limiting.
With hardwoods, depending on the finish, you typically have more freedom to change your color scheme or incorporate different patterns and textures into your decor. If you’re the type that quickly gets bored with the furniture arrangement, consider the ease with which felt-padded, heavy objects slide over hardwoods.
Quality carpets are made with better materials and last a lot longer than they used to, but the superior durability of wood cannot be denied. When properly maintained, hardwoods can take abuse for decades or even generations. Sanding down the surface erases any defects. Reapplying a stain or finish completely restores the wood to its original luster. This process can be periodically repeated for as long as you own your home.
Carpet, depending on the traffic at your house, must be replaced every five to seven years on average. The pile eventually wears down and stains inevitably mount up.
Some homeowners prefer carpet because it hides dirt. Others don’t like it for the very same reason.
Whether you go with carpet or wood, floors must be carefully maintained to preserve their appearance and prevent health hazards. Dust balls and pet hair are readily apparent on wood floors, so they require sweeping or dust-mopping at least every other day. Spills aren’t a problem, and even paint is easy to remove once it dries. Carpet should be vacuumed at least once a week to remove dirt and potentially harmful microorganisms. Spills should be promptly attended to, and professional cleaning is recommended at least once a year.
Carpet fibers, carpet padding, adhesives, wood sealants and wood finishes have all been made safer for families and pets in recent years. If you’re concerned about your family’s health, research flooring manufacturers to make sure that they comply with indoor air-quality requirements. Some carpets do contain allergens. Unlike carpet, which is made largely of petroleum, wood is a natural, sustainable, renewable material.
Carpet is undeniably less expensive than real wood. However, given the cost of replacing it every few years, wood might be a better long-term investment. Refinishing wood doesn’t cost as much as replacing carpet.
Do hardwoods add resale value to your home? Figures are hard to confirm, but many surveys of real estate agents indicate that they do. Also, in a poll conducted by USA Today, more than half of the potential home buyers surveyed expressed willingness to pay more for a house with hardwoods.
With any remodel, decisions about flooring are often the toughest. We hope that we’ve given you plenty to go on and we are happy to help.