My customers seem to be split on this one, and my simple answer is that it depends on 2 things: 1) what is your budget and 2) what did you grow up with?
Most customers and real estate agents agree that hardwood is preferred for common living areas such as the living room and dining room. In Westchester NY (as well as Mid-Atlantic and Northeast), by far hardwood is the preference. It looks better, it’s easier/less expensive to maintain, it lasts longer and it improves the value to the home. Even though it costs more than laminate flooring or carpet, it will last so much longer so that in the long run, it will actually cost less.
But, for the bedroom, customers seem to be more split – probably 50% prefer hardwood and 50% prefer carpet.
Hardwood floors cost more, so I definitely have some people that would prefer hardwood, but can only afford carpet, so they wind up with carpet. Ironically, the hardwood will cost them less in long run as it doesn’t need to be replaced every 7 yrs or so. (But, I understand and appreciate that for some this doesn’t matter because they have a limited budget now and they need to do something now).
Some prefer carpet for the bedroom since it’s warmer and softer on their feet. This appears to be more of an issue in Northeast/Mid Atlantic where is gets cold here in the winter. And, if the bedrooms are over a garage, it’s even more of a concern. Also, some have little kids that play on the floor often, so they figure its better to have something soft there until they are older.
Others prefer hardwood since it looks nicer and gives it a more formal and richer look. They will then use area rugs under the beds so they have something soft on their feet. Many customers also prefer hardwood because it’s easier to clean and maintain and tends to hold less germs/bacteria, etc. Those with allergy or asthma concerns also prefer hardwood for this reason.
What’s interesting (when budget is not the issue) is that most customers prefer the surface that they grew up in their bedroom when they were younger. After all, that’s what they are used to. It makes them feel comfortable. What is also very interesting is when I work with newly married couples moving into their first home where one of them grew up with carpet and the other hardwood. It’s fascinating watching their decision-making process. Of course, usually the wife wins, so whatever she grew up with is the right answer.
If you are about to put your home on the market and you need to replace your bedroom flooring (i.e. the carpet is dirty and/or smells and/or is taste specific), I generally advise customers to spend whichever costs less and is line for the price/type of home and neighborhood. Because buyers who would be moving in are split, it’s challenging to predict which they would prefer.
Regardless, both hardwood and carpeting can work for bedroom, so select what is right for you if you are living or moving into the home.
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