The Pros and Cons of Using Carpet or Hardwood for Bedroom Remodeling

Carpeting or Hardwood: Which is Best Choice For Your Remodeling Project

One of the most prominent elements of your home's interior both functionally and aesthetically are your floors. Today,  homeowners have numerous flooring options available regarding materials, style, and appearance to help create the perfect environment to meet their needs. 

Two of the most popular choices when remodeling is carpeting and hardwood. Both offer plenty of benefits and a few drawbacks. Which you choose comes down to several factors including functionality, your taste, and your creative vision for your space. 

Let's take a look at the benefits and challenges of using carpeting and hardwood flooring for your next bedroom remodeling project.

The Physical Differences Between Carpeting and Hardwood

Both materials offer many benefits and drawbacks when used in the bedroom:

Using Carpeting When Remodeling

Carpet in a Basement

Carpet is an ideal choice for a child's playroom. It is soft underfoot, and provides a warmer floor and creates a quieter room.

The Benefits:
When it comes to the bedroom, a primary concern is comfort. Nothing is as soft and comfortable as plush carpeting. Carpeting is versatile, comes in a wide range of colors, fibers, and textures. If you are adding radiant floor heating as a part of your bedroom remodel, carpet is a compatible although seldom-chosen flooring material. Carpeting can also help to absorb and muffle sound making it an excellent choice for enjoying a relaxing sleep. Carpeting often hides dirt, so while it requires weekly vacuuming, you won't be bothered by the daily appearance of dirtiness. 

When compared to hardwood, carpeting has a shorter lifespan meaning you'll have to replace it sooner. It also requires more maintenance like vacuuming, shampooing and stain removal. Carpeting can also harbor mold and allergens, especially in areas near the bathroom where there may be some residual humidity or moisture. If it is used with radiant heating, you may need to adjust the temperature a bit higher due to carpeting's insulating capacity. Carpeting is not as environmentally friendly as hardwood, may fade when exposed to sunlight, and can emit volatile organic compounds depending on the material and glues used.

Using Hardwood Flooring When Remodeling

Site-Finished Hardwood Floor

A genuine, site-finished 3/4" hardwood floor can last the life of a home.

The Benefits:
Hardwood offers homeowners a look that is unmatched by any other material. It's available in a range of colors, styles, and species and is easy to maintain. When it gets worn, it can be refinished making it a long-lasting, extremely durable alternative. Most types of hardwood can be used with radiant floor heating, and it doesn't harbor mold or allergens. Today, many species of hardwood flooring are a sustainable and renewable resource that is environmentally friendly. 

While hardwood is durable, it is harder and colder underfoot. It also does not offer sound or heat insulation and is more difficult to install. Over time, when exposed to sunlight and humidity, hardwood may darken and adopt a patina that is different than its original color. Hardwood is also more expensive than carpeting. If you have a pet, the shed fur might require frequent sweeping in order to maintain a clean appearance.

Choosing The Right Remodeling Material To Fit Your Design Goals

Ultimately one of the factors to consider when choosing between carpeting or hardwood in the bedroom is the overall appearance of the material in terms of your design style. 

Hardwood flooring has a classic appearance that can fit into any design from contemporary to rustic depending on the color, finish and species of wood used. Hardwood flooring is available in a variety of widths from wide pine flooring to narrow maple planks. Hardwood can be installed in straight rows or a number of patterns like herringbone that can add a visual focal point to your design. Wood flooring can also be stained in a variety of colors and can be refinished as your tastes or design needs change. 

Carpeting comes in a broad range of colors, styles, and designs including patterns like cut-and-loop which gives a variety in color and texture. Carpeting can be thick or thin, plush or hard and can be a single color or multi-colored to match any color scheme or design style. Because carpeting is made from fibers instead of wood, it naturally offers a softer and warmer appearance. 

Other Factors To Consider 

Along with the physical differences and design preferences, other factors may influence your decision based on your goals. Here are some other factors to consider.

Resale Value: 

While carpet hasn't completely lost favor with home buyers, it is mostly favored by older generations. New carpet installations don't affect resale values; however older, faded carpet can be a negative when it comes time to sell. 

According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, 21% of realtors advise their clients to get hardwood flooring before selling. The same report estimates that hardwood has an average ROI of 91 percent.

If you're considering selling within ten years, hardwood can boost resale values.


When it comes to durability, there's no contest! Quality hardwood flooring can last for decades. If it becomes worn, it can be refinished easily. Carpet, on the other hand, is not very durable and needs replacement every 5 to 15 years. Unlike hardwood, there is no standardized rating system for carpet and any ratings available are not an indicator of durability. 

Environmentally Friendly:

As more homeowners are seeking ecologically friendly, sustainable remodeling materials manufacturers are responding. While most carpeting is made from petroleum and is not considered environmentally friendly, new low VOC emitting carpeting is available. Wool is a sustainable natural fiber that is also an option for homeowners.

If you're committed to environmental sustainability, many hardwood choices are renewable and sustainable. The Forest Stewardship Council oversees the harvesting practices and environmental impact of lumber producers in the US and Canada. If environmentally friendly materials are important to you, look for FSC certification when purchasing hardwood products.

The bottom line is that both hardwood and carpeting are excellent choices for use in a bedroom remodeling. It comes down to personal preference and style. When it comes to the bedroom, carpeting is soft and cozy. It is warm and can reduce sound. Hardwood helps sound to resonate and can make a bedroom feel “cold.” Hardwoods are the perfect choice for busy areas in the home,  like the living room and family room. Hardwood floors are easier to clean, and if you're planning to sell, buyers prefer hardwood, and it can help your resale value.

Additional Articles On Home Remodeling

If you're considering a remodeling project, give the experts at Degnan Design-Build-Remodel a call. We can help educate you on the many choices in flooring and help you choose the perfect material to meet the unique needs of your family. 

This article was updated by Abe Degnan on 7/25/2018.