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  • DC Dave

Cost Comparison: Carpeting vs. Hardwood Flooring

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

When faced with a decision of whether to install carpeting or hardwood flooring, doing a little math might be your best bet. It will clearly illustrate the average lifetime cost of each.

Cost of Carpeting

Over 50 years as a homeowner, today’s cost per 1,000 square feet for installation and new carpeting is $3,500-$4,500 on average depending on the quality of the carpeting and hourly installation fees.

Carpeting needs to be replaced every 7-10 years on average, if maintained correctly. Over the 50-year homeowner period, this equates to $17,500-$22,500.

It is recommended that carpeting is steam cleaned every 2-3 years to maintain it. That is $300-$500 every 2-3 years for 50 years which equals $4,800 – $8,000.

Now, in addition to the dollars, there are a few other factors to consider:

  • Carpeting does not increase the value of your home because it is considered a temporary fixture.

  • Dirt sifts through carpet fibers and gets trapped underneath where vacuum cleaners do not reach.

  • Carpet stains easily.

  • Carpet fibers are a petroleum derivative and off-gas for a minimum of 2-3 months.

  • Two million tons of carpeting end up in landfills every year, greatly adding to the congestion of landfills, moreover, carpeting takes 10-20 years to decompose. Those with Stain Guard take longer.

Total cost over the average person’s lifetime = $28,000 to $45,000.

Cost of Hardwood Flooring

Over the same 50-year period, per 1,000 square feet of hardwood flooring installation, sanding, and finishing cost $5,000-$7,000 on average, depending on the wood used, finish and location.

Glitsa® Swedish finish, floors need to be refinished every 10-12 years on average—if they are maintained correctly, this can be even longer. Refinishing costs $1,500 – $2,000 per every ten 10 years = $7,500-$10,000 over an average 50-year period as a homeowner.

Other considerations to weigh are:

  • Hardwood flooring never needs to be replaced.

  • It increases the value of your home because it is considered a permanent improvement.

  • It reduces allergens, asthma and sinus problems that can be aggravated by dirt trapped in carpeting.

  • Hardwood floors do not stain, spills are easy to clean up, and there is no permanent damage.

  • Finishes off-gas for only 1 week.

  • Rarely ends up in a landfill and if it does, it is 100% biodegradable, therefore, hardwood flooring does not contribute to the congestion of landfills.

Total cost over the average person’s lifetime = $12,000 to $18,000

DC Dave

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