How To Choose Between Carpet or Hardwood in Bedrooms

The choice between carpet and hardwood in the bedrooms can be a matter of personal preference. Weigh the pros and cons to make the best decision.
Updated January 01, 2018

Choosing between carpet and hardwood for your bedroom floors is no easy feat. Some people love carpet in bedrooms while others hate it. While the choice is completely up to you, Cottage is here to help guide you through it by discussing some of the pros and cons of each option.

Pros and Cons of Carpet in the Bedrooms

Start by reviewing some of the pros and cons of choosing carpet for your bedroom flooring:

What Are the Pros of Carpet in the Bedroom?

  • Quiet and soft: Carpets are popular in bedrooms for a reason. It’s quiet, soft, and cozy—perfect for an incredible bedroom oasis. Everyone loves to step out of bed onto plush carpet. Additionally, everyone wants to be able to tiptoe around their bedroom without disturbing anyone else: Carpet is soft and insulated enough to do just that.
  • Safe: Carpet is also popular in bedrooms because it’s a really safe flooring option—not just for aesthetic reasons but for practical reasons as well. Falling or tripping on carpet could possibly result in fewer injuries than if you were to fall or trip on hardwood.
  • Cost: Carpet is an excellent option for those looking for a cost-effective flooring solution. So if you have a lot of work or changes you need to do in your house, this is definitely one factor you should keep in mind during your decision-making process.

What Are the Cons of Carpet in the Bedroom?

  • Wear and Tear: While carpet may start its life as soft and clean, it’s not likely to stay that way. Even if you take good care of your carpet and are careful not to spill anything, it’s incredibly easy for carpet to get dirty just from everyday use.
  • Maintenance: Since carpet tends to get quite dirty quickly, it requires more maintenance compared to hardwood floors. For example, you should vacuum your carpet at least twice a week at a minimum. For the best results, try vacuuming your carpet every day. No matter how much you vacuum, you will still likely need to invest in a regular carpet cleaning service. Professional carpet cleaners provide a deep clean and keep your carpet looking and feeling brand new.
  • Allergens: Even with flawless carpet maintenance, you’re still going to end up with allergens trapped in the fibers. This is especially true if you have pets in your home. If you already deal with allergy issues, you may want to reconsider choosing carpet for your bedrooms unless you want to deal with more sneezing, itchy eyes, and coughing.

Pros and Cons of Hardwood in the Bedrooms

Now, it’s time to go over some of the pros and cons of choosing hardwood for your bedroom flooring:

What Are the Pros of Hardwood in Bedrooms?

  • Easy to clean: Perhaps the biggest pro of choosing hardwood flooring for your bedroom is that it is easy to clean. If you spill anything on your flooring, all you need to do is simply wipe it up in a timely manner. You won’t have to worry about unsightly stains or having to spend hours scrubbing.
  • Fewer allergens: Another advantage of choosing hardwood flooring for your bedroom is that it collects fewer allergens compared to carpet. Dust, dirt, and other allergens get trapped in carpet fibers and are very difficult to completely remove—even with a good vacuum.

    This can potentially lead to allergy symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes. With hardwood, these problematic allergens simply sit on the surface and are easily dusted or mopped away.

  • Durable: Look no further than hardwood floors if you’re looking for a long-lasting and durable flooring option. Unlike carpet, hardwood floors, when properly cared for, can last for decades in your home.

    For example, older homes that were built over 100 years ago with original hardwood are proof of its durability. Carpet, on the other hand, often needs to be replaced anywhere from five to 15 years after installation.

  • Timeless: While hardwood flooring is durable, it’s also a timeless choice that simply doesn’t go out of style. Still, if you get the itch to change your flooring, you can always refinish it using a different stain for a completely new look and feel.

What Are the Cons of Hardwood in Bedrooms?

  • Hard and cold: One of the biggest cons of choosing hardwood flooring for your bedroom is that it can feel hard and cold. In the cold winter months, it may not be very pleasant to get out of bed and place your feet on the cold hardwood floors. Additionally, if you have children, choosing hardwood floors could result in more injuries like bumps and bruises than if you were to choose plush carpet.
  • Loud: Hardwood flooring in the bedroom can be noisy. No one wants to hear creaks, cracks, and footsteps when they’re trying to sleep.
  • Potential for damage: Even though hardwood, when cared for correctly, can last for decades, that doesn’t mean that it’s completely immune to any damage.

    For example, it can be remarkably easy to accidentally scratch your hardwood when you’re moving furniture or even if you drop something. Additionally, hardwood floors are easily damaged by water or moisture exposure, resulting in warping or cupping.

  • Cost: The final con of hardwood relates to cost. Hardwood floors definitely aren’t cheap. If you’re looking for a long-term investment in your flooring, the cost might not be that off-putting. However, if you’re on a budget and are looking to save money on your flooring costs, hardwood floors might cost more than you’re willing to spend.

How to Choose Between Carpet or Hardwood in the Bedrooms: Things to Consider

Based on the above pros and cons, it’s evident that the choice between carpet or hardwood in the bedrooms is a personal one that comes down to your preferences, priorities, and lifestyle.

Here are some different factors to consider to help you choose between carpet and hardwood in the bedroom:

Lifestyle Factors

  • If you have persistent allergies, then you may want to consider going with hardwood over carpet since hardwood doesn’t trap allergens like carpet does.
  • If you have pets or kids, then you may want to consider going with hardwood over carpet so that any accidents or messes can be easily cleaned up with no stains.
  • Loose, unsecured area rugs are a leading cause of injury in adults over 65. For that reason, many choose to carpet their whole home instead of decorating with individual rugs.

Cost Factors

  • If you are planning on selling your home soon and are concerned about resale value, you may want to consider going with hardwood. Hardwood has an average ROI of 91%. Twenty-one percent of realtors advise their clients to get hardwood before putting their homes on the market.
  • If you’re looking for a long-term investment and are planning on staying in your home for years to come, you may want to choose hardwood since it’s durable, long-lasting, and won’t need to be replaced anytime soon.
  • If you’re looking to save money on your flooring costs, going with carpet might be your ideal choice. Compared to hardwood, carpet has a lower up-front cost.
  • If you have a really small space like a tiny home or accessory dwelling unit, then you may want to consider going with hardwood over carpet to open up the room and give it a larger feel.

Intentional, Cohesive Design

Another thing you may want to consider is the flooring in the rest of your house. Some homeowners love a cohesive look and want the same type of flooring throughout their entire house.

Hypothetically, if you have carpet in the main areas of your home, like the living room, then it might make sense for you to put a matching or coordinating carpet in your bedroom. In the same vein, if you have hardwood throughout your home, you may want to extend the hardwood into your bedroom for a uniform look and feel. It is definitely possible to use different shades or types of wood; the critical thing is to be intentional and plan ahead.

Alternatives to Carpet and Hardwood in the Bedrooms

While carpet and hardwood are great options for bedroom flooring, they aren’t the only ones out there. There may be alternatives better suited to your needs, including laminate flooring, vinyl flooring, and tile flooring.

Go over these alternatives in greater detail to make the best possible investment in your flooring:

1. Laminate Flooring

If you love the general look of hardwood but are looking for a more cost-effective and practical solution, look no further than laminate flooring. Laminate flooring comes in styles that look a lot like hardwood at a fraction of the price. Additionally, laminate flooring isn’t prone to scratching like hardwood is, despite being lighter and easier to transport.

Note that with laminate flooring, you tend to get what you pay for. And although laminate flooring is made to look like hardwood, most people will still be able to tell the difference between the two. Thicker laminate flooring will more likely feel like hardwood.

2. Vinyl Flooring

Another increasingly popular option comes in the form of vinyl flooring made to look like hardwood. One of the biggest strengths of vinyl flooring is that it’s one of the few flooring options that are completely waterproof. It also gets bonus points for being scratchproof.

Luxury vinyl plank is a good option if you’re looking for a middle ground between high-quality hardwood and low-quality laminate. Luxury vinyl plank can look and feel just like hardwood to the untrained eye while being more durable and practical for busy homes with children and pets.

3. Tile Flooring

While tile flooring in the bedroom may not be your first choice, it’s still something you may want to consider. Tile is on the same level as hardwood when it comes to durability and longevity. Installing tile can be quite complicated and time-consuming compared to laminate and vinyl flooring. Additionally, tile flooring is incredibly hard and cold—even more so than hardwood.

How To Choose Hardwood for Your Bedrooms

If you’ve chosen to go with hardwood floors for your bedroom, there are still a few more checkboxes you need to review before selecting a final product that meets your needs, both practical and aesthetic.

What Are Some Types of Hardwood Planks?

There three main types of hardwood planks: solid unfinished planks, solid prefinished planks, and engineered planks.

Here’s what you need to know about each type:

  • Solid unfinished planks: Solid unfinished planks are what you see in older homes. These planks come unfinished, are installed, and then stained after installation. These planks can then be sanded down and refinished down the road.
  • Solid prefinished planks: Solid prefinished planks are a quicker and easier option compared to solid unfinished planks. These planks come completely stained and finished and are ready for installation.

    Some of these planks may come with slightly beveled edges. These edges can create gaps in your flooring and gather dirt, dust, and pollen.

  • Engineered planks: Engineered planks involve bonding a thin piece of hardwood on top of a plywood or MDF base. Like solid prefinished planks, engineered planks come prefinished and are ready to install. Installation is made easy with a “click-lock” system where planks lock into each other.

Types of Hardwood

In addition to different types of planks, there are different types of hardwood to choose from.

Here are a few popular options:

  • Bamboo: Bamboo is a beautiful variety of hardwood that comes in many colors. However, bamboo is not ideal for humid and damp areas. Another downside of bamboo is that it tends to scratch easily, although it can be refinished.
  • Maple: Maple is one of the most popular choices for hardwood floors because it’s extremely durable. Maple doesn’t come in a wide variety of different colors, so if you’re looking for a specific shade, it could get tricky.
  • Rosewood: Rosewood is a relatively new hardwood option that comes in a surprising range of colors, including out-of-the-box options like purple and yellow. If you’re looking for a unique take on hardwood, consider rosewood.
  • Walnut: Walnut is another popular hardwood choice since it’s one of the strongest hardwoods. Walnut typically comes in a really dark stain, which is great for some homes but could highlight dirt and imperfections.
  • Cherry: Cherry is a classic hardwood option known for its rich and bold appearance. Cherry isn’t as durable as its peers and is prone to scratching. The color of cherry hardwood may change over time, although it can always be refinished.
  • Pine: Pine offers a rustic look perfect for any modern farmhouse vibe. Pine is actually a “softwood,” making it more prone to dents, dings, and scratches.
  • Mahogany: Mahogany provides a rich and luxurious feel to any room. This luxurious feel comes at a price; mahogany is one of the most expensive hardwood options.
  • Oak: Oak is another popular option known for its versatility and wide range of colors. Oak is loved for its durability, making it ideal for the bedroom and other high-traffic areas.

How To Choose Carpet for Your Bedrooms

On the other hand, if you’ve decided that carpet is the best flooring option for your bedrooms, here’s what you need to know to choose the best possible product:

Carpet Pile

Carpet pile is the density or thickness of the carpet’s fibers. As a result, carpet pile impacts the look and feel of the carpet.

  • Loop pile: Fibers are arranged in tight and compact loops that are surprisingly durable and stain-resistant. There are different loop types to choose from, including level loop, patterned loop, cut and loop, and sisal.
  • Cut pile: Fibers are cut at the top to provide a softer feel than a loop pile. There are different cut pile types to choose from, including Saxony pile, plush pile, textured cut pile, frieze cut, and cable cut pile.

Carpet Fibers

In addition to pile, carpet comes in a variety of different fibers that affect how the carpet looks and feels.

  • Nylon: Nylon is the most popular carpet fiber out there, thanks to its softness and durability. Nylon gets bonus points for being stain-resistant and mildew-resistant.
  • Olefin: Olefin is another option that tends to be more affordable than nylon. However, it’s less soft, so it might not be ideal for the bedroom.
  • Polyester: Polyester is affordable like olefin but soft like nylon, giving you the best of both worlds. Polyester is very wear-resistant if you invest in a high-end product.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic isn’t as common as some of the other fiber options mentioned above, and it’s marketed as a low-cost alternative to wool carpet that’s fade-resistant and hypoallergenic.
  • Wool: Wool is a great high-end product that’s remarkably soft and perfect for bedrooms. It’s eco-friendly, but it can get expensive depending on the product's production and features.

From the Ground Up

At the end of the day, there are pros and cons to both carpet and hardwood flooring. It really comes down to your preference, priorities, and budget. If you need help designing the perfect small space or accessory dwelling unit, reach out to Cottage’s team of ADU construction and design experts. We can help you visualize and choose the right finishes for your ADU project.

Sources:

Thinking of Installing hardwood Floors? Here's What to Consider | The Washington Post

5 Signs It May Be Time to Replace Your Carpet | Seattle Times

Vinyl Flooring: Pros and Cons | Forbes

Slipping and tripping: fall injuries in adults associated with rugs and carpets | PMC

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