Carpet vs. Hardwoods – Which Is More Sanitary?
Carpet versus hardwood: it’s a debate that feels as old as time. New homeowners have dealt with this issue for ages now and people come down hard on either side of the debate.
When you are trying to decide between carpet and hardwood, you need to ask yourself one major question: which is more sanitary? Are hardwood floors or carpet more sanitary for your home and the people living in it? This is a vital question to answer because if you end up with the option that is dirtier and more prone to getting messy, you will have to clean it more often. Over time, this will cost you a lot of time, energy, and money. Additionally, you want the option that is going to be cleaner because that is better for the health and well-being of everyone living in your home, especially children or pets.
At the end of the day, there is a cleaner, more sanitary choice, and it might surprise you.
We all know what it’s like to get stains on our carpets. Not only is there the problem of getting the stain out, but it’s almost impossible to completely remove the effect that takes place within the fibers themselves. Dirt, urine, smells, and funkiness are brought out even more when stepped on, so the issues are never actually completely resolved.
What’s more, the bigger problem is the allergens that come from infected carpets. Even if your family has a tolerance or lack of allergies from these things, the guests that you bring into your home may experience them.
If you insist on carpeting part of your home, the best thing you can do for safety is using a vacuum that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Note that you will need to vacuum every week or two regardless of visible pollutants to maintain your carpet and enable the ability to get rid of major issues when they do arise.
Steam cleaning is a popular choice, and this is an okay option, but it’s very important to dry the carpet after use. Opening windows and using fans are great tools at your disposal here. If the carpet isn’t dried, mold and pests show up.
The beauty of hardwood floors is the ease and effectiveness of cleaning. A simple mopping gets the job done for good. No more dealing with things like nasty pet dander or dust mites. Bacteria is not a joke.
One of the benefits of having a hardwood floor is that you are able to see messes on it much easier. If you stay on top of cleaning, that means that a hardwood floor will be a cleaner floor because you will quickly take care of any damage or mess that you see.
Keep in mind, hardwood isn’t always the best choice when it comes to this aspect. There are times when you might not see a mess because it is on hardwood. A liquid spill, for example, often shows up easier on carpet, which means you will notice it sooner and clean it up faster. Depending on the coloring of your hardwood, you might not see a spill of any liquid and that might lead to it sitting, drying, staining, or doing long term damage.
However, most messes will be much more visual on a hardwood floor. Whether it be a dropped piece of food, mud and dirt, or a mess from your pet, it will show up clear as day on hardwood. If you clean your floors once a day – even if it’s just a quick sweep – you will see the latest mess that needs to be addressed.
For this reason, hardwood floors are often cleaner simply because the messes that end up on them are so much more obvious and don’t fall into the many nooks and crannies of a carpet, forever lost below the surface.
Which Costs More to Clean?
This is a tricky aspect of the debate between carpet and hardwood floors. Many people want to know which one is more expensive when it comes to professional cleaning. Will you be spending more money on a hardwood floor or will you be spending more on a carpet? The answer isn’t that surprising: hardwood floors will set you back far less than a carpet.
Just because cleaning a hardwood floor is cheaper than cleaning a carpet doesn’t mean that tending to hardwood won’t be cheap. It will still cost you a pretty penny. Actually, it can cost a lot because most people will clean their hardwood floors far more often than they clean their carpets. Many homeowners who have hardwood floors keep a bottle of wood cleaner handy and pour a bit on the floors and mop it up at least once a week. The best wood cleaners that will really get the job done don’t come cheap. So while hardwood floors are going to cost less than carpets when it comes to cleaning, it will still cause a hit to your wallet. But staying clean is always worth it.
Cleaning a carpet is much more expensive than cleaning a hardwood floor for multiple reasons. For one, you will need a vacuum and those are usually quite expensive if you are looking for one that will actually achieve everything it’s supposed to. A vacuum is vital for a carpeted floor, otherwise your home will soon be filled with germs, dirt, grime, and other things that can do long term damage to the carpet as well as to the people living in your home.
However, everyone who owns a home with carpet inside also knows that there will come a time when you will have to purchase the services of a professional carpet cleaner. Whether you are renting the tools yourself or hiring a firm that will do it for you, professionally cleaning a carpet is quite the process. First of all, it can cost more than $100 per visit. Secondly, you need to be home when the professional team arrives to clean. Thirdly, you need to do a lot of prep before someone comes to clean your carpet. Generally, you need to remove all of the furniture from the floor and have it totally bare so that the cleaning can take place. Plus, after your carpets are professionally cleaned, they can remain damp or wet for about a day more.
The truth is that carpets get dirty much faster and much easier than hardwood floors and the cleaning process to take care of them is a lot more of a hassle too.
Dirty carpets are breeding grounds for allergies. For those reasons alone, buying a hardwood floor over a carpet is probably the right approach when you are trying to choose the more sanitary option.
Of course, you can still have a very dirty hardwood floor, even if it is usually cleaner than a carpet. However, carpets are higher maintenance and it’s harder to tell if they are actually clean or not. Hardwood floors are more sanitary and cost-effective when considering the time and money that goes into most carpet-cleaning products.
The truth is that no matter which option you choose, you need to make sure that you are always attentive to your floor and buy the right products and spend the appropriate amount of time making sure it is as healthy, bright, and clean as it can be. Cleaning a floor, whether it is hardwood or carpet, is an essential part of owning a home.