Is Wall-to-Wall Carpet Worth It?
Maybe you just bought a house that could use some sprucing up. Maybe you’re flipping a house to sell for profit, or you’re a realtor trying to sell a home to a new family. Or maybe you’ve simply been living in your home for a while and want some new flooring.
In any case, one question that’s sure to be bouncing around in your head is this: should I get new wall-to-wall-carpet? Or should I switch to a different type of flooring? In order to help you make that decision, here are some things to think about.
Wall-to-Wall Carpet Isn’t The Perfect Solution
What we mean by that is that you don’t want to cover every flooring surface in your home with carpet. There are some areas that are obviously bad candidates for carpet, like bathrooms and kitchens. There are a few areas that are perfect for carpets, like bedrooms and kids’ playrooms. And then there are the middle grounds — stairs, hallways, dining rooms, living rooms, basements, and so on.
Take a look around your house and consider your needs before you make any big purchasing decisions. If you live in a more modern, open-plan house, you might have a connected living room and dining room. If you’re worried about spills in the dining room, you’ll stick with a hard floor — but then where’s the line between the dining room and living room? It might simply make more sense to put down hard flooring in the entire space.
The same is true of hallways. While we love the feel of carpet underfoot, it’s also more susceptible to staining and wear than vinyl flooring. If you have a hallway that leads in directly from outside, you might prefer something easier to clean.
Carpet is Easier to Install
In most houses, the subfloor (the surface underneath your visible flooring) is plywood. Plywood is inexpensive and easy to work with, which is why builders like it. But it’s also not perfectly smooth, and it can have seams and bumps in it.
If you lay down a hard flooring surface, like vinyl or hardwood, the flooring surface needs to be perfectly smooth to avoid gaps in the flooring — which takes more time and money. With a good carpet pad, though, the imperfections in the subfloor will be smoothed out so well that you don’t even notice them.
Hardwood also has to acclimate. Wood expands and contracts depending on the humidity of its environment, which means that any wood you order needs to sit in your house, unwrapped, in order to adapt to the humidity levels of your home. This can take up to a week.
Carpet, on the other hand, can be installed the day you buy it. Installers will move your furniture, tear up the old carpet to be recycled, remove old staples, install the new carpet, clean up after themselves, and put your furniture back. Depending on the size of the room, it might not even take a full day!
Carpet is More Comfortable
No denying this one — carpet just feels better under your feet (and your dog’s feet, and your kids’ hands and knees) than hard floors. If you like to be barefoot or just wear socks in your home, carpet is by far the best option for the comfort of your feet.
We also recommend carpet for families with pets or small children. Yes, it can be more difficult to clean (more on that later), but you’re also well aware that little kids can fall down a lot. If your children are bonking their heads, elbows, and knees on the floor, you’d much rather that floor be padded.
Dogs prefer carpet, too! When they’re puppies, they don’t control their feet very well, and a slippery wood floor can lead to crashes and injuries. When dogs get older, a soft floor is much more comfortable on their aging joints. And in between, a carpet is simply a nicer surface to lie down on.
Carpet is Less Expensive
Prices for carpet can vary widely, just as with other flooring options, so of course there’s some overlap. But when it comes to budget friendly flooring, carpet stands head and shoulders above the rest.
That’s especially true when you buy from Sloane’s! We buy carpet irregulars — rolls of carpet with imperceptible defects, like being slightly too narrow or slightly the wrong color — directly from the factories at huge discounts, then sell them to you at 50 to 70 percent off retail price.
That means you can splurge on luxury carpet options like Stainmaster Nylon, Sorona Smartstrand, or Berber wool for under $3 per square foot. Compared to the $5 to $10 per square foot that you’d pay for mid-level hardwood (plus another $4 to $8 per square foot for installation), that’s a substantial savings.
If you’re really on a tight budget and luxury isn’t as big a priority, like if you’re carpeting a finished basement, we offer solid colors and patterns for as little as $0.69 per square foot. The only thing cheaper would be to walk around on unfinished plywood!
Carpet Provides Insulation from Noise and Heat
As anyone with a two-story house knows, heating it consistently can be tricky. Either the upstairs is too hot or the downstairs is too cold — but carpet can help! Carpet and carpet padding provide an insulating layer between floors that will help you control the flow of heat in your home much more easily.
Carpet also helps keep noise down. By absorbing and dampening sound, carpet can keep the noise of the living room TV from disturbing people sleeping upstairs, and vice versa.
Finally, carpet can save you energy! Since your carpet feels warmer underfoot than a cold wood or vinyl floor, you can keep the thermostat a few degrees colder than you would otherwise — which can add up to some real savings!
Carpet Isn’t Going Anywhere
Look around the web and you’ll find plenty of articles explaining that carpet isn’t popular anymore, that everyone wants hardwood and vinyl floors, and that open floor plans are the death of the carpet industry.
But when it comes to comfort, warmth, and simple bang for your buck, carpet still stands at the front of the pack. No, you don’t want carpet in every room. But in the rooms where you and your family spend the most time, there’s nothing better!