If you’ve come to the time when floor replacement is not only evident but necessary, you may be asking yourself which route to take.

Maybe a plush carpet for a warm and cozy feel, or shiny restored hardwoods for a vintage look,

or maybe the low cost and low maintenance of laminate flooring?

Either way, a choice has to be made and it’s not always the easiest one to make,

so here is a quick breakdown on the pros and cons for each variety.

New Flooring Options For Your Home

Carpet Culture

There are definitely advantages to taking the carpet route. Furnishing your home in carpet guarantees warmth, comfort and even softens slips and falls.

It can also reduce noise levels of televisions, sound systems, phones and other household sounds.

And depending on the type of carpet you purchase, and your level of care, it can maintain its life for several years.

As far as pricing, carpet costs anywhere between $3.34 to $4.12 per square foot.

So a typical 1200-square-foot home would cost roughly 4,000 dollars or more.

Another downside to choosing carpet is that it requires a lot of maintenance.

Spills, dirt tracks, animal hair can all alter carpet’s nice clean appearance in a matter of weeks.

And full-on carpet cleaning can be costly and tiring.

Hardwood Floors

If you currently have carpet and are considering a new look for your home, hardwoods might just be the way to go.

In fact, if your home is old enough there’s a good chance that hardwoods are beneath your carpet.

Either way, restoring hardwoods isn’t as tedious a task as you may thing and is quite cost effective.

The process of refinishing requires sanding off all the finish down to the original wood.

This eliminates scratches and gaps.

Renting a sander and doing the work yourself is quite thrifty as renting a sander costs about 75 dollars a day and depending on the size of your home can be completed in a weekend.

With hardwoods, spills and dirt are much easier to clean and caring for the floors require very little.

Disadvantages however are that they do scratch easily, and don’t provide the soft plushy comfort of carpet.

Laminate Floors

Another alternative to both carpet installation and hardwood restoration would be laminate flooring.

Laminate flooring can add a new style and dimension to your home furnishings and comes in a variety of styles.

It’s virtually maintenance free and is even conveniently packaged upon purchase.

Most laminate flooring are sold in 4 foot strips or in tile form for easy installation.

It installs easily by the clicking together of each end and is easy enough as a do-it-yourself type situation.

Some drawbacks include hollow sounds when walking upon, a fairly unnatural feel to bare feet and they are very hard and unyielding to the foot.

Also their lifespan does depend on the quality of the flooring so make sure to check with the manufacturer on their warranty.

And the cost is a bit higher than carpet with prices varying between 5 and 7 dollars for materials and installation per square foot.

Whatever you decide, be sure to do your research and find which option best suits your home,

your lifestyle and most certainly your design aesthetic.

A freelance writer, Wendy Kellison, learned about the benefits of different flooring from Tiffany Home Furnishings, a furniture store in Portland, OR.