Posted Apr 24, 2012

Eternal Debate: Wood Floors or Carpet?

Today we bring your the first installment of Eternal Debate, where we’ll be exploring different trade-offs in a home. We’d love your feedback or opinion, so please comment here, on Facebook or Twitter

Today’s grudge match is very, very close to my heart as I recently moved into an apartment with wall-to-wall carpet. When apartment searching, I would talk about how much I loved our apartment: it has a great view, and awesome open kitchen, and a great location. But my rave would always stop dead in its tracks when I would get to: but it has carpet. It’s in decent shape but it makes our apartment look dated and dark. I still signed on the dotted line  — it wasn’t a deal-breaker — but for others carpet might be a necessary or a no-no. Here’s how it breaks down.



  • Soft and cozy under your feet.
  • Sound-dampening properties – great for keeping neighbors from hating their “stompy upstairs neighbor”


  • Needs to be vacuumed regularly.
  • Stains easily.
  • Does not age well.
  • You’ll need to become one of those “shoes off in the house” people.



  • Looks nice and ages well.
  • Easy to clean spills.
  • Better for people with allergies as it doesn’t trap dust or dander.


  • Sweeping can feel Sisyphean and endless.
  • Expensive to fix.
  • Loud and can create an echo in your house.
Photo of Hardwood Floors by Mirage Floors

I personally go back and forth over whether hardwood or carpet is better for pets — carpet traps dander and any accidents, but you also don’t have to worry about scratching the floor.

Of course if you’d want to swap out carpet for wood, you’ll have to negotiate with your landlord–Apartment Therapy has a great post on that. For now, we’re sticking with our carpet and slowly adding rugs to make the floor a little more lively — we’ve also discovered that apparently my boyfriend loves vacuuming – who knew?!

Which do you prefer, and why?


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8 responses to “Eternal Debate: Wood Floors or Carpet?”

  1. You read my mind, however for me there is no debate. I want wood floors! For me, its more of what am I willing to trade– carpet for laundry in unit? Carpet for a garbage disposal? Those are the real questions that keep me up at night! Great post 🙂

  2. Cecilia says:

    Walking around in former tenants’ DNA is gross – microscopic particles of God knows what; skin debris, old hair, bodily fluids, invisible spilled drinks from 10 years ago, and cat danders. You can retrieve year’s of “CSI evidence” from them! 😉

    Carpets are old–school and unbelievably unhygienic. You can never truly get them clean. “Steaming” only cleans the top. The stuff that gets collected at the bottom of a rug is unbelievable.

    Landlords love them because  they are super cheap and because they sound-block and keep the noise down between the apartments. But, especially in this country where people tend to keep their shoes on indoors, carpeted floors get disgusting very quickly, even if you move in to a place where they are brand-new.

    Hardwood floors come with a high initial cost for the landlord, but then the maintenance is next to nothing. And they certainly look more upscale and are very easy to keep clean.

    Hardwood flors, hands-down.

  3. Abby's friend Paul says:

    I guess you all are really opposed to walking on earth. Just imagine the dirt! 

    Granted, wood floors are way better for breakdancing and moonwalking. 

  4. MK says:

    Great article. Many people do prefer wood flooring over carpet for the cleanliness factor. Thanks for sharing.

    Wayne@ Palatine Hardwood Flooring

  5. I prefer wood floors. Although it is expensive to install and repair, the quality and durability are very satisfactory. I t takes years for a wood floor to be damage.

  6. I only prefer wood floor because it is easy to install and make your house spacious,beautiful and valuable from inside.Carpet not stay clean for long time and its cleaning is very expensive than floor cleaning.

  7. I think the wood floors would be great

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