Hardwood floors are sometimes viewed as fiendishly expensive, while carpet is perceived as more affordable. A closer look might reveal otherwise.
First, consider your flooring investments like you would your other investments—look at them over the long term. Also carefully compare the expenses of maintaining carpet versus hardwood over time. Remember that carpet tends to have a relatively short lifespan, usually about 10 years. With wear and tear, carpet can turn unsightly and dated in no time at all. When you factor in professional cleaning, replacement costs, and the fussing over every little spill, you will realize that carpet tends to be equal, if not more costly in terms of time and money, than hardwood over time.
If you are set on a hardwood “look” but still balk at prices, laminate flooring is a practical option for you. Laminate is available in attractive styles that are quite effective in simulating hardwood. If you’re still hooked on the idea of carpet, place area rugs over your hardwood for the best of all worlds.
When you install or refinish hardwood, you will get your money back when you sell. No one can predict what the real estate market conditions will be. What if you are faced with selling in a bear market? Your realtor will agree that the big-ticket item of hardwood floors on your listing can only help you. Hardwood attract buyers, and you are likely to unload your home for more money in less time.
In fact, you can increase the price for a house with hardwood flooring. According to the National Association of Realtors, buyers are willing to spend $2080 more on a house with hardwood flooring http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/04/28/24-7-home-features/2106203/).
Aren’t wood floors impractical? They are so easily scratched and ruined
There are workarounds to avoid scratches. Most of it is common-sense behavior. Lift up (don’t drag) your furniture when you move it across the floor. If you can’t resist an urge to drag things across the floor when you move them, visit your hardware store and buy a product called “Furniture Sliders” to place under the legs of your furniture.
Glue-on felt pads placed under furniture legs work well, too, and allow you to move furniture without scratching the floors.
A third option is furniture cups, which you can find in any hardware store.
Hardwood is timeless, sturdy, always in demand, and beautifies any space.