Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
A home’s flooring can truly change the whole atmosphere, making the interiors look more spacious, comfy, clean, or minimalist. Vinyl and carpet are two of the most popular choices for long-lasting, stylish flooring. However, if you’re also budget-conscious and wish to find the best option for your home, you also need to look at the long-term and short-term costs of luxury vinyl and carpet.
Luxury vinyl is more expensive than carpet when looking at the material cost. However, vinyl is cheaper to install, more durable in high-traffic areas, and can withstand moisture, pet hair, and daily use for longer. Carpet is more affordable but more expensive to install, maintain, and replace.
Deciding between carpet and luxury vinyl is difficult, but the flooring you choose can change the whole home’s atmosphere. So, this isn’t a decision to make lightly – learn all you need to make the wisest choice for your property below!
Is Luxury Vinyl More Expensive Than Carpet?
Luxury vinyl floor can seem more expensive than carpet at first. Naturally, there’s a range of options and designs to choose from – and their quality can make a difference in the final price. Depending on your supplier, vinyl’s cost might range from $4 to $7 per sq. ft.
However, luxury vinyl is simple to install, and you can even do it yourself if you’ve chosen a peel and stick option. If you’re up for a professional’s help, the whole flooring can be set up in less than a day’s worth of work (depending on the size of your home or room, of course).
Additionally, vinyl is extraordinarily long-lasting and can withstand the daily wear and tear of high-traffic zones, such as the kitchen and living room. If you spill something, all you need to do is wipe the liquid, and you’ll have a clean floor again!
Thanks to these properties, this kind of flooring requires minimal maintenance and care, significantly decreasing its cost over time.
On the other hand, when looking at carpet, you can buy lower-quality materials for as little as $2 to $5 per square foot – almost half the price of vinyl! However, carpet also requires special structures – such as subfloor, padding, and tack strips – to be installed. Because carpet is also heavy and cumbersome, you’ll need to invest in professional installation.
Labor isn’t only costlier, but it can also take twice as long as the time required to install vinyl. If the installation cost per square foot of vinyl ranges between $1.50 and $3 per square foot, installing carpet will cost substantially more, at $7 to $12 per square foot.
Another factor to consider with carpet is that it requires regular maintenance and cleaning to remain pristine and comfortable. Additionally, minor factors, such as spilled drinks and pet hair, may require professional cleaning if they seep or weave in deep enough.
What Is Luxury Vinyl?
Luxury vinyl has become one of the most popular affordable choices to create a stylish and modern look in your home’s interior. Luxury vinyl, also referred to as LVT or LVP, provides homeowners with all the benefits of hardwood or stone floors without the high price tag.
Vinyl comprises several layers, allowing manufacturers to play with the different designs and mimic the same consistency and look of wood.
Thanks to its versatility, durability, and ability to withstand most conditions, this kind of flooring is suitable in just about every house. Compared to standard vinyl flooring, luxury vinyl flooring is more expensive, but it’s also longer-lasting, more comfortable, and easier to install.
Benefits of Luxury Vinyl
There are plenty of reasons why luxury vinyl is becoming wildly popular – here are some of the main benefits of vinyl flooring:
- It’s one of the most affordable resilient floorings out there.
- It’s moisture and water-resistant.
- It’s stain-resistant and easy to clean.
- It requires minimal maintenance.
- It’s longer-lasting than most types of flooring and won’t need replacing for up to 10 years.
- It’s cheaper and easier to install, even by yourself.
- It’s suitable for any room in the house.
- It’s made to look like wood or stone for a natural look.
- It “gives” or spring when you walk on it for extra comfort.
Drawbacks of Luxury Vinyl
Just like most types of flooring, vinyl has some drawbacks worth considering, like:
- The material is more expensive than standard vinyl or carpet.
- It doesn’t provide much insulation to your home.
- It can be difficult to remove.
- It’s not one of the most eco-friendly materials out there.
- It lacks consistency.
How Much Is Luxury Vinyl?
The cost of luxury vinyl flooring varies depending on the quality you’ve chosen. However, generally, you’re looking at the following price tags:
- For materials: $0.50 to $3 per square foot
- For installation: $1.50 to $3 per square foot
The cost of maintenance is minimal since you can clean it yourself with readily available household products. When cared for properly, luxury vinyl can last as long as 10-20 years before needing replacement, making it an excellent value.
Who Is Luxury Vinyl For?
As we’ve seen, luxury vinyl is an incredibly versatile material that fits any homeowner’s needs. While it only adds minimal value to a home and doesn’t provide much insulation, it can make a room look clean, stylish, and sophisticated.
It’s available in many colors and patterns, which means that it’s suitable for any architectural and design style – from modern homes to rustic properties. Luxury vinyl also springs when walking on it and, when it comes with an underlayment, it can minimize sounds.
Ultimately, most homeowners looking for a clean, hypoallergenic, and healthy environment will benefit from luxury vinyl.
Carpet has been one of the most loved flooring styles for decades, and it’s constantly been developing to become a modern addition to new homes. If you’ve lived in a house with carpet flooring, you understand that it has its perks.
Carpet is made of natural fibers, nylon, polyester, or wool and comes in various patterns and colors. Providing reliable insulation, carpet can make your home warmer during the winter and increase your property’s energy efficiency.
While it might be cheaper to buy, carpet is more expensive to install and maintain. At the same time, it has one of the longest lifespans of any kind of flooring – it can last for up to 30 years without needing replacement!
Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about installing carpet:
Benefits of Carpet
Carpet is an excellent and highly affordable option for your home’s flooring. Here are the benefits of choosing carpet over other materials:
- It increases the home’s insulation, increasing energy efficiency, and reducing bill expenditures.
- It comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
- With the proper maintenance, it can last for up to 30 years.
- It’s usually made of natural fibers or alternatives such as nylon and polyester.
- It minimizes noise, making your home more soundproof.
- It can make a room look cozier and more comfortable.
- It provides a soft underfoot.
- It’s particularly suitable for homes located in colder climate areas.
Drawbacks of Carpet
Carpets are a great type of flooring if you’re budget-conscious. However, it has some drawbacks that are worth considering, like:
- It can be expensive to install and maintain.
- It can attract dust mites and bacteria.
- It’s not suitable for pets.
- It can quickly become dirty and unhygienic.
- You might need to invest in regular professional cleaning.
- It’s not ideal for all rooms of the house.
- Signs of wear and tear can become visible in high-traffic areas.
How Much Is Carpet?
Carpet is an affordable kind of flooring, especially when compared to stone or hardwood. However, while carpet material might be cheap, it comes with other associated costs that you shouldn’t ignore. Here is a breakdown:
- Cost of carpet: $3 to $5 per square foot
- Cost of installation: $1.5 to $2 per square foot
- Cost of maintenance: $70 to $150 for professional cleaning
Additionally, it’s worth keeping in mind that you’ll also need to install a subfloor, padding, and tack strips to install the carpet properly. These materials help the carpet remain in place, but they might force you to pay higher maintenance and installation costs.
Who Is Carpet For?
Carpet is an excellent choice for homes in colder climates because it provides insulation and allows you to create a cozy and comfortable atmosphere.
Carpet might not be the best option for pet owners, and some individuals find having carpet worsens their allergies. Indeed, it’s not surprising that carpeted floors can worsen air quality and environmental health within the home.
Both carpet and luxury vinyl are great alternatives for your home’s floor. Luxury vinyl might seem more expensive at first, but it requires minimal maintenance and care. You can clean it and take care of it with the products that are already in your household. Additionally, it’s moisture and tear-resistant so that you can count on less wear-and-tear in most rooms.
Oppositely, carpet can seem cheap at first, but the cost of installation and maintenance can quickly add up – especially if you decide to switch to another kind of flooring in the future.
- Floor Critics: Vinyl Plank vs Carpet Flooring
- The Spruce: Luxury Vinyl vs. Standard Vinyl Flooring Comparison Guide
- BobVila: The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Flooring
- Flooring America: Everything You Need to Know About Carpet Material
- NIH: Do Carpets Impair Indoor Air Quality and Cause Adverse Health Outcomes: A Review
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