A topic I often see debated across the internet is the viability of having hardwood floors instead of carpeting with children in the house. Safety, cleaning, maintenance, and longevity of the investment are a few of the many valid concerns. With so many variables involved there may not be a clear cut answer, however, in my opinion some of the pros may outweigh the cons.
Safety is always a primary concern for parents. With younger children spending most of their time crawling and tumbling their way around the house, the surface on which they do so definitely matters. On one hand, carpet is undeniably a softer material than hardwood potentially reducing some of the bumps and bruises associated with an active child. On the other hand, carpeting has a tendency to harbor all kinds of foreign substances. Even with the utmost care taken to remove shoes prior to walking over carpet, you will inevitably walk in contaminants from outside. These can include dirt, pesticides, pollen, fecal matter, ash, lead or worse. Anything you may have walked on has the potential to settle and become trapped in the weave. Carpeting makes a wonderful home for a host of living things as well. Dust mites, bed bugs, fleas and ticks will find refuge among the fibers with ease. Viruses and bacteria also have no problem living in carpet, many of which can do so for weeks. Mold and fungal colonies are known to flourish in carpet padding even without the presence of excessive moisture. Regular vacuuming and shampooing can help limit these issues but do not remedy them entirely. In fact vacuuming has proven majorly ineffective in removing most of the previously mentioned harmful contaminants and shampooing does nothing for the padding and subfloor should problems arise there. With a hardwood floor all of these problems are either avoided due to the nature of the material or easily cleaned and sanitized.
Another major concern as a parent is cleaning and maintaining the floor. Little ones tend to leave a bit of a mess in their wake and believe me when I say your flooring will take the brunt of it. Carpet may boast the ability to resist impact, but it falls very short when it comes to most other aspects of parental worry. Food and beverage spills are easily cleaned and forgotten about when they occur on hardwood flooring while carpet has a tendency to stain and may retain food particles. Paints, markers, makeup and other household pigments are also much easier to clean and remedy on wood floors than they would be on carpet. Many people say you will see more dust on hardwood between cleanings, but that is simply because it’s not being trapped and concealed in the material. It is also important to note that as the fibers become worn down and compressed, vacuuming and shampooing become exponentially less effective. Dings, dents, and scratches in wood flooring are relatively unavoidable considering the fact you’ll have the same one for decades. By selecting and installing the right wood for you, it’s possible to overcome this minor hurdle. Hand scraped and reclaimed wood flooring already has a lived on rustic look with tons of character. Any impact marks on these materials tend to blend in with the design which helps to hide any mishaps.
Investment wise hardwood flooring is the winner hands down. It may be cheaper for the initial product and installation when dealing with carpet, but the average life of carpeting is only 5 to 10 years. Hardwood floorings lifespan is between 70 and 100 years. Once carpets are stained or damaged there is very little you can do without further compromising the aesthetic value or replacing them entirely. Meanwhile, Wood flooring can be refinished multiple times over its tenure in your home leaving them looking brand new for generations to come. You would have to tear up and reinstall carpeting half a dozen times to maintain that level quality over that period of time.
In the long run, every family and every home has a different set of specific needs from their flooring. Your particular level of activity and traffic is what you need to take into account when deciding between carpet and hardwood. For more valuable information about Hardwood installation or wood floor refinishing, give us a call today to get started (347) 815-4151