Hardwood underneath carpets, do I refinish the hardwood or re-carpet?

If you have hardwood floors underneath your carpet, is it better to refinish the hardwood or to recarpet? Which is less expensive? I get this question often from my customers and it is such a lucky find when you have hardwood flooring underneath the carpet.

Contemporary lounge chair in room Most customers prefer hardwood flooring – it looks nicer, it improves your home’s value and it’s easier to clean. And, any real estate agentwill tell you that homes with hardwood floors will sell faster and at a higher price.

What seems to be a pleasant surprise to a lot of people is that it usually costs less to refinish your hardwood floors than to recarpet them. Refinishing hardwood is often less expensive than most people think and also, you are working with an asset you already have – hardwood floors. Contrast that to buying new carpet where you need to purchase the materials + take care of the labor. Pending on the quality of the carpet, that price can often be a lot higher, especially with gas prices increasing (carpet is petroleum based).

Hardwood flooring is usually easier to maintain and less expensive to maintain. Hardwood can really last for hundreds of years (in fact, I’ve refinished floors that were made in th 18th and 19th century. Carpeting is, on average, replaced every 5-7 yrs. Usually, it’s replaced far before the warranty technically runs out…due to all the stains. Cleaning your carpets annually (professionally) will definitely improve their appearance and help prolong their life. But, this is an additional expense you don’t have with hardwood floors.

In the short-term, adding hardwood floors will cost more than carpet, but in the long term will cost less. And, if you already have hardwood flooring, it is clearly less expensive to refinish it rather than to replace the carpet.

Author Information

Debbie Gartner is the owner of Floor Coverings International in Westchester NY. She is known as The Flooring Girl and she can be reached at 914-937-2950 for more information. Her estimates are FREE.


About Anita Clark Realtor

Anita Clark has written 617 posts on this blog.

Anita is a residential Real Estate Agent in Warner Robins Georgia, with Coldwell Banker Access Realty (478) 953-8595, aiding buyers and sellers with all their real estate questions on her Warner Robins blog.