Today’s homeowners are investing more and more into hardwood floors, and pulling out yards of carpet. Both have pros and cons, so consider carefully before tearing out all the carpet and making the investment in solid-wood flooring. But is this an either/or situation? There may be room for both carpeting and hardwood.

Clean-floor movement

As hand sanitizers and germ-focused attention have gained traction, things that seem unclean have come under more scrutiny. One of those things is carpeting. With an emphasis on cleanliness, homeowners are opting more for hardwood over carpeting. But as any long-haired-pet owner can tell you, those beautiful hand-scraped wood floors may look wonderful but there’s a constant fight over roving hairballs. With carpet, a quality vacuum will pick up the hair and keep your carpeting clean, too.

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Upscale

Wood floors are often chosen for their warm, rich appeal. Compared to carpeting, the price for wood floors is substantially higher. Depending on where you live, though, you may not be able to get a return on your investment if you replace all the carpeting with hardwood. Hardwood, while beautiful, has its drawbacks.

The first is noise. If you have a two-story house, a wood floor upstairs can be very noisy, creating an echo that’s hard to get away from. Hardwood isn’t a good option in wet places, such as kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms, since the wood can be damaged by water and humidity.

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Carpet is a good choice where temperature and noise are a concern. A house full of young children will be much louder with hardwood and quieter with carpeting.

Cold climates make carpeting a nice choice for insulation against low temperatures, and it helps with that cold shock when you get out of bed in the night or first thing in the morning.

Hardwood isn’t impervious, either. It should never be cleaned with a wet mop and can be scratched by pets. Plus, it can be damaged by dirt on shoes and is expensive to refinish. Carpeting is easier and less expensive to replace.

Happy medium

No matter what flooring or combination of flooring you choose, doormats at doors and carpets at the entryway are vital for keeping down contaminants and dust brought in by shoes and pets’ paws. According to a 1991 doormat study conducted by the EPA, doormats and carpets help reduce contaminants in the house by up to 60 percent.

And both wood and carpet will stay substantially cleaner if shoes aren’t worn in the house.

A house with carpet is good for young children and makes playing games and playing with toys a softer, more enjoyable experience. But it’s hard to beat the appeal of wood.

Creating a house with a balance of carpeting in the bedrooms and family rooms and hardwood in the entry, dining room and formal living room will give your home the advantages of both.