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Carpet vs. laminate: Which is cheaper?

Ginger Dean

August 4, 2014

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: FlooringFinance and Legal

If you are thinking about upgrading your home, you have a lot of decisions to make. Home renovations can be as cheap or as costly as you want them to be: it all depends on the quality of materials you want to install, the functionality of your room, and how much of the work you want to do yourself.

How to choose the perfect flooring for your home

According to Consumer Reports.org, usage, functionality, and the size of the space are all factors that should be considered when deciding on which type of flooring you need.Once you've got the basics narrowed down - like where you want the new flooring to be and how much wear-and-tear it'll get on a daily basis - you can start considering which types of flooring will work best for you.

Two of the more popular choices you may want to consider are carpet and laminate. Laminate is a great choice for high traffic rooms. It's easy to clean and it doesn't wear away when it gets wet. Carpet, on the other hand, is may be best suited for rooms where people want to relax, such as living rooms, dens, and bedrooms. It usually can't sustain a lot of moisture and it's not as easy to clean.

The cost savings and benefits of finding the right floor

One of the first questions to answer as you're considering carpet and laminate is how you want the room to feel. Do you like the sophisticated look of hard floorings or the more comfortable appeal of carpeting? As you're pondering your aesthetic inclinations, keep one number firmly in mind: your budget.

Carpet and laminate can both be affordable - or very expensive. Shop around at a few different stores and be sure to bring samples home before committing to anything. You may have to pay a few bucks to bring the samples home, but it's well worth it.

Home Depot offers laminate flooring in a variety of styles such as wood planks and tile. The cost varies from $0.99 to $2.99 a square foot. The price of carpet varies depending on the name brand and texture. They can range from $1.98 to over $3.00 a square foot.

Which do tenants and homeowners prefer?

As a tenant, you may find many apartments have carpet throughout the space. Landlords like carpet because it can help dull the sound between floors and because it's easier to deep-clean carpet than to replace any damaged laminate flooring.

The decision of laminate versus carpet for homeowners is strictly a personal preference. But the future resale value of the home should also be taken into consideration. Styles are likely to change before you put your home on the market, but you may be able to get an idea of what homeowners in your area are looking for by browsing the "For Sale" section of real estate sites. Is wall-to-wall carpeting put right up front in many listings, or do the majority mention wood-style floors?

With all these considerations in mind, you're sure to find something you love in the price range you want. Happy shopping!

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