Flooring can add so much character to a room, when done right. You don’t have to go the traditional route either. Many flooring alternatives to carpet have popped up over the years, including cheap and luxury vinyl.
Both carpet and vinyl have their pros and cons, so it’s worth doing some research and compare flooring to find the best fit.
Vinyl vs Carpet – Durability
Vinyl is more durable than carpet and well-suited to areas that attract a hive of activity. Quality vinyl flooring that’s properly installed can last for more than 20 years, with little maintenance required.
Cheap vinyl is easier to rip and tends to fade under prolonged exposure to strong sunlight. Luxury vinyl brands, on the other hand, resist stains and water, while coping better with foot traffic.
Traditional vinyl is difficult to repair. If you damage it, you probably need to replace the entire platform (unless you purchase vinyl plank flooring).
Carpet is durable if you care for it properly, but stains easily – making it less robust than vinyl. Having said this, it’s possible to find a suitable variety for your needs.
Make sure you opt for a heavy-duty rating if you install carpet in areas that get a lot of activity (stairs, playrooms or halls). You can also suss out the durability of a brand by its label, which features a star-rating system.
Nylon is a popular choice for rooms that attract a hive of activity, because it withstands a lot of pressure. A loop pile style creates a relaxed look and hides footprints well. If you have children or pets, you can’t go past wool carpets. These tend to resist stains well, as long you’re quick to grab the cloth!
Vinyl vs Carpet – Maintenance
If you’re pressed for time and the thought of cleaning makes you shudder, vinyl flooring is probably for you. It’s easier to clean than carpet and completely water-resistant – the perfect option for your kitchen and bathroom!
On the down-side, scratches and grooves show up easily and the entire floor needs to be replaced when damaged. The exception is vinyl planks. These aren’t glued down, so you don’t need to remove the entire platform if one plank gets damaged.
How to maintain carpet flooring? We get this question a lot!
It’s a good idea to vacuum carpet frequently (although it hides dirt well) to prevent damaging particles from building up. You can prolong its lifespan if you clean up spills straight away. Make sure you carefully blot the area, working from the outside edges to the inside of the spill.
You may also need to steam carpet regularly to keep it healthy, especially if there are children or pets running around.
Carpet is not as easy to clean as vinyl, and it demands more attention.
Vinyl vs Carpet – Style
Vinyl floors come in most colours and patterns, so you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to creating your ideal look. Pigmentation is added to create the colour, which doesn’t fade quickly.
The beauty of luxury vinyl is that it can replicate the natural appearance of more expensive materials, such as stone, wood and tile. In fact, it’s now difficult to tell the difference between materials, thanks to evolving technology.
You can also easily replace vinyl with other flooring products, by laying tile, bamboo, carpeting or hardwood over it. This is perfect if you change your mind!
Carpet can create a warm and inviting atmosphere for your home or office. There’s a range of colours, patterns and textures to choose from, so you can easily tailor the look. Different styles include loop (casual, low-maintenance), cut (formal), pattern (striking, bold) and texture (casual, soft).
But there are some limitations, when it comes to enjoying endless texture AND colour choice, because of the dying and tufting technology. Carpet selections that offer more colour varieties tend to have less patterns to choose from and vice versa.
Vinyl vs Carpet – Comfort
Although carpet can’t be beaten on comfort, luxury vinyl flooring is growing in popularity.
Flexible and non-porous, vinyl is incredibly versatile, because it adopts the texture of any material you lay beneath it. Installing vinyl over a foam or cork floorboard creates a soft landing that works well in bedrooms and play rooms.
As a bonus, vinyl doesn’t feel cold to touch in winter. You can also purchase brands with a padded underlayer, if you want to boost comfort even more.
You can’t go past the plushness of carpet to add a sense of comfort to any room, especially during winter. Carpet is a popular choice for bedrooms, because it’s soft, warm and easy on the feet! Most people don’t realise it also acts as a noise dampener, which is perfect for homes with children.
On the downside, carpet might not be suitable if you have asthma, since allergens in fibers can cause breathing problems. Chemicals used in carpet production could trigger sensitivities in some people too.
Vinyl vs Carpet – Climate
Luxury vinyl is perfect for any climate (especially subtropical and mediterranean). If you live in a humid area, this is your best bet, since it’s water resistant. But not all varieties were created equal! Keep in mind that cheap vinyl flooring will fade when exposed to strong sunlight over time, so it’s worth paying more for a better product.
Carpet is perfect for cool to temperate climates, because it acts as insulation to retain warm air. Having said this, it doesn’t fare so well in very hot and dry, or warm and damp conditions, since it absorbs heat. You can install a moisture barrier underneath (such as cork or foam rubber), to prevent moisture from getting in.
Vinyl vs Carpet – Price
Is vinyl flooring cheaper than carpet? Generally, yes. At Carpet One, our vinyl flooring prices range from $20 to $81 per square metre.
Vinyl is a lot cheaper to install than other options. As with carpet, you get what you pay for, with luxury vinyl flooring costing a little more. It’s worth spending extra on quality varieties, if you can, since these put up with more wear and tear.
Want to find out more? Give us a call and we’ll answer any question you have! We can walk you through choosing the perfect flooring too.
If you consider installation and upkeep costs, carpet is more expensive than vinyl. Our prices range from $30 to $100 per square metre at Carpet One. High-quality brands tend to be more expensive, but there are cheaper options too. This gives you some flexibility, depending on your budget.