Carpet versus hardwood flooring is the age-old debate regarding flooring options for homes. Some people prefer hardwood flooring downstairs and carpet upstairs, or vice versa.

Others might like a mix of the two. Both options have their appeal and come with their pros and cons.

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Carpet Vs. Hardwood Flooring for the Upstairs

Is carpet or hardwood better for upstairs?

If you’re thinking of redoing your upstairs flooring, here is a quick comparison of carpet and hardware to help you decide.

Each material can be suitable under different circumstances, and you might want to consider different factors before choosing.

#1. Cost

Carpet is a significantly cheaper flooring option than hardwood. You can get good quality carpet for between $1 and $20 per square foot.

Even if you replace the carpet every few years, it is still quite affordable.

Hardwood floors are much more expensive than carpet floors. Hardwood can cost anywhere between $5 to $50 per square foot, depending on the quality of the wood you buy.

Of course, if you think of flooring as an investment, it isn’t necessarily bad to spend more on hardwood floors.  

Carpeted floors are the more cost-effective option.

#2. Lifespan

Carpet doesn’t usually last very long and needs to be replaced every few years.

If used upstairs in a house where adults, children, and pets are spending more time relaxed, the carpet may come into more use and wear off earlier.

In such a case, it would need to be replaced often.

Hardwood has a significantly longer lifespan than carpet. Hardwood flooring is expected to last for the entire lifespan of a house or at least for a few decades.

When it comes to the upstairs part of the house, it is not updated too often as it is mostly for the family. This makes hardwood a good choice.

Hardwood floors have a longer lifespan.

#3. Comfort

Carpets are generally considered more comfortable as they are soft and feel great when you walk barefoot on them.

Carpets are also safer if you have little children who tend to trip and fall over more often. Since the upstairs part of a house is more family-oriented, carpets are the key to improved comfort.

Hardwood flooring is usually not too comfortable since it can be very loud. Footfalls seem amplified on hardwood, and dropping anything on the floor is loud and obstructive.

For this reason, hardwood isn’t the ideal choice for upstairs, where you would want comfort and relative silence.

Carpeted floors are the more comfortable choice.

#4. Care and Maintenance

Carpet care includes regular vacuuming and spot treatment for stains. Although this is easy to do, carpets can get stained easily, making it difficult to get those stains out.

This is especially a problem if you have carpeted floors in an upstairs family area where the family has food and drinks, and the children and pets stay unsupervised.

Hardwood flooring has to be mopped and wiped down every few days to keep it clean and shiny.

You may also want to refinish the floor every few years to get rid of any scratches. While hardwood can stain or get scratched, it is generally much easier to keep maintained and clean.

Hardwood floors are easier to care for and maintain.

#5. Health

The upstairs part of a house is for your family to let loose and spend quality time, including your children and pets. This is where health safety plays an important role.

Carpet can get quite dirty over time, and dust and micro-bacteria can get trapped in the threads.

This can pose a health threat and cause allergies in children and adults alike. Carpet is even more of an issue if you have pets and are dealing with dander.

Hardwood has hypoallergenic properties and resists dust, dander, and other allergens.

Hardwood is the better option when it comes to staying healthy and keeping your family area clean and safe.

Hardwood floors are better for your health.

#6. Appearance

Carpets give you a lot of choices in size, colors, textures, and materials. You can also use carpet to make different rooms in the upstairs section of your house look different and use carpet to incorporate more fun into your design.

Hardwood is also available in a variety of styles and colors, although most people prefer to use the same kind of hardwood flooring throughout their houses.

Additionally, it can be easier to choose furniture and décor when your hardwood flooring is more neutral in appearance.

When it comes to appearance, the choice is a matter of personal preference.

#7. Susceptibility to Water and Heat

Carpet is usually quite resistant to water and heat damage due to the synthetic fibers used to make it.

However, too much moisture can lead to the growth of mold, which can be a serious concern.

As for hardwood, wood is highly susceptible to water and heat damage and can become swollen or warped with too much exposure. Hardwood also swells and shrinks as the seasons pass.

When it comes to susceptibility to water and heat, both options have their issues to consider.

So, Which Is Better for Upstairs: Carpet or Hardwood?

After comparing carpet and hardwood, are you better equipped to choose either option for the upstairs portion of your home?

Carpet is more cost-effective and comfortable and comes in many different colors and styles.

Hardwood, on the other hand, has a longer lifespan, is easier to care for and maintain, and is the healthier option.

Both carpet and hardwood tie when it comes to appearance and susceptibility to water and heat.

The final decision on which is better, carpet or hardwood, is up to you!

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