05 Sep 2015

Floor coverings are one of the most important materials to choose from when building a new home. Aside from the different aesthetics offered by different floor coverings, each type also comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Floor coverings are one of the most important materials to choose from when building a new home. Aside from the different aesthetics offered by different floor coverings, each type also comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. This article will examine the difference between wood, carpet, and tile floors, to make your decision between the three a little easier.

Carpet

Carpet is a popular choice for most homeowners. While some people choose to carpet their entire home, others choose to only carpet specific rooms (just the bedrooms, for example). There are a number of reasons why carpet is one of the most popular types of flooring:

  • Carpets are comfortable. They provide a soft, welcoming touch to a room, and can turn the floor into an area that can be sat or lay down on directly
  • Carpets come in a variety of shades and colours, so finding the perfect tone or shade to match your interior spaces is easy
  • They add texture to a room, aiding in their aesthetic appeal
  • Warmth is another key advantage of carpet floors. The fibres can retain heat, and using underfloor heating can further improve this insulation. This is why carpets are more popular in colder climates. While tiles can be extremely cold to the touch, carpets do not have this issue
  • Since carpets are soft, they are also considered to be safer and more practical in households that have children or elderly occupants, as they provide somewhat of a cushioned layer in the case of a fall.

Beside all the benefits of carpet, it also has a fair few disadvantages. Those with allergies or dust sensitivity can struggle with carpet floors, as it tends to collect dust, and in extreme circumstances, can even harbour dust mites and harmful bacteria.

Maintenance is therefore important with carpet, and it can be more difficult than other floor types. Stains are harder to remove from carpet as they stick to the fibres, and regular steam cleaning is recommended.

Hardwood

Hardwood floors bring a pleasant aesthetic to a room, no matter its decor. There are a number of different wood types and stains ensuring the right tone is available for any home.

When compared with carpet, hardwood is better for those with allergies or dust sensitivities, as it does not collect dust or breed dust mites. Maintenance is easier for this reason, as a simple mop or vacuum is all that’s required to keep it free of dust. On the other hand, some types of wood are extremely sensitive and can be dented when stepped on by heels. Homeowners should therefore be careful of what footwear they wear on hardwood floors.

Unlike carpets, wood is hard and can also be slippery. It can therefore be considered a potential safety hazard in a home with children or elderly occupants.

While it provides a nice finish and adds value to a home, wood is also expensive to purchase and install, meaning that it’s not always accessible to all homeowners.

Tiles

Tiles are an extremely versatile floor covering. They’re available in a range of colours and styles, so matching a tile to your interior decorative scheme is rarely an issue. They’re also fairly simple to install compared to other flooring options.

Another benefit of tiles is that they are easy to maintain. They don’t collect dust, nor do they stain as easily as carpet. They are generally quite durable and are a cost effective floor covering option, particularly for larger areas. Being so easy to maintain and durable in their nature, tiles are a popular choice for modern homes.

As with other flooring types, tiles do also have their disadvantages. They can be slippery and therefore dangerous as they are extremely hard and can cause injury when fallen on. Tiles also don’t have very good insulation, making them cold to the touch. While this is a good thing in hot climates, in seasonal or cooler climates this can bring discomfort and higher energy costs when it comes to heating.

Every home is different and each family has different requirements for their flooring. As outlined in this article, each floor covering has its own advantages and disadvantages. The best way to determine the right option for you is to weigh these pros and cons against what best suits your purposes as a household.