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Carpet or hard floor?

Carpet or hard floor?

Wednesday 22nd March 2017

Carpets are a very British thing. From top to bottom, homes are traditionnally covered in carpet.

However, hard floors are slowly gaining in popularity. They are trendy, they look smart, and they can be mopped everyday. There's no need to call a cleaning professional if you spill your tea on a tiled floor. So why opt for a carpet at all?

Carpets cost less

If we look at the total cost of purchasing and fitting, and compare like for like in quality, a carpet usually works out a lot cheaper than a hard floor.

Some may argue that a carpet costs more in the long term, as it needs to be cleaned professionally every year or so, and eventually needs replacing altogether. However, hard floors don't come without flaws or maintenance costs either. Laminate flooring can degrade quickly. Hard wood and tiled floors are the most resilient, but they can still scratch and chip. Hard floors also need professional cleaning, care or restoration once in a while, and that's not cheap.

How long a carpet lasts depends mostly on the quality of the carpet and underlay, how much you use it, and how well you look after it. That's why some carpets will still look pristine after 20 years or more.

Carpets are warm, cosy and energy efficient

The next most obvious advantage that carpets have over hard floors is of course the warm and cosy feel. In our British weather, carpets feel warmer and cosier than a cold hard floor. It's a much needed comfort to our feet, that also saves on energy bills.

Less accidents on carpets

Next, there is the safety factor. Carpets are safer to walk on: they prevent slipping, and if we still somehow fall over, they provide a softer landing than hard wood or tiles. It's safer for babies and the elderly, and for the rest of us too.

A little peace, please...

Last but not least, carpets help to reduce the overall noise level in your home. Indeed, carpets are really good at muffling footsteps, voices and all other sounds. People who have replaced their carpets with hard floors will tell you: hard floor makes everything so much noisier!

That's because the sound bounces off hard surfaces, echoing loud and clear around the house - and out of open windows.

And as most people in Britain live in towns and built-up areas, our homes usually have thin walls and close neighbours. Short of soundproofing our walls, at least our beloved carpets help to maintain a precious layer of peace and privacy.

But like most things, the choice of flooring is really down to personal preference. There's no right or wrong, as long as you like it and enjoy it!