Deciding between carpet vs. hardwood in your home can be a tough choice to make. There are many things to think about, including the function of the room you’re considering and what your personal style is. Here’s what you need to know about carpet vs. hardwood floors and how potentially using rugs with hardwood can give you the best of both worlds.
John Maher: Welcome to The Rug Gallery with Same Presnell. The Rug Gallery is an oriental rug company and carpet store in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm John Maher, and I'm here with the owner of The Rug Gallery, Sam Presnell. Hi, Sam.
Sam Presnell: Hey, John.
Pros and Cons of Carpet vs. Hardwood
John: So Sam, what are the pros and cons of having a carpet versus hardwood in your home?
Sam: Well, I guess the pros would be for having carpet would be it would be a lot less expensive than hardwood would be. It's also going to be something that is probably easier to maintain. You just have to sweep it and that's pretty much about it. Cleanability of it is hire a guy for $99 that comes in and takes the pressure cleaner to it. So carpet is definitely more of an economical thing for you than hardwood would be. But the hardwood, I think, is more timeless. If you spill something on it, it doesn't stain. Just mop it up or use a cloth to pick it up. I think it's easy to take care of, most of the time, with all of the different finishes that are put onto it.
Using Area Rugs With Hardwood Flooring
John: Okay. Say you decide that you're going with hardwood in your home. What are the pros and cons of having hardwood and just leaving it open versus putting an area rug on top of that hardwood?
Sam: My big thing today is when I go to a lot of places, especially in restaurants today, I almost can't hear anything because it's so loud. I think that's the biggest thing when you have a hard surface and everything is hard, like the floors and the ceiling, the sound bounces. You'll hear a lot of echoing and a lot of noise volume that is going to come from not having a rug or something that will hold that sound or soften it and keep it from bouncing. I think that's kind of the reason why you would use an area rug if you prefer to use it. It's a much cleaner look and I think it has more of an open feeling when you don't use carpets or rugs in those spaces on top of the hardwood. It becomes more open. It depends on your look and style. To me, I like to use a rug or a carpet because it helps anchor a room or define a space.
Using Rugs to Define a Space
John: I understand you can use multiple rugs in a room to kind of define separate spaces. I think a trend in a lot of homes these days, a lot of modern homes, is to have that open concept plan. So then, you lose a little bit of having different areas in your home that are walled off that you can go to. I think that's one way that you can maybe achieve a little bit of that with different areas in your rooms by putting carpets in different places. Is that right?
Sam: Yeah, I agree with you John on that, definitely.
John: What are some of the typical places that you want an area rug in?
Sam: Again, I think it's where you want to define a space or you want to make it more cozy or warm or more inviting. So if it's a living space, you want to just define that space that we call a living area. Not try to do like a carpet, where it would be wall to wall or whatever, just define the openness where it anchors the furniture. Also the rug or a carpet will help anchor the furniture and keep it from scooting or moving on the hard surface as well. I think that you want to do. A lot of people don't like the idea of scratching the floor and things of that nature, so when you have a lot of movement of chairs like in a dining room back and forth or a kitchen table, you may want to invest into an area rug in those areas because it will help protect the floor as well.
John: In terms of the size of the rugs, you just mentioned getting the furniture up on the rug as a way to potentially keep the furniture still so that it's not sliding around on the floor. Is that what you typically want to do in terms of sizing the rug? Make sure that you get a rug that's large enough so that the furniture can go on top of it?
Sam: That's what I would recommend. Again, everybody's got their interpretation of what they like. I would highly recommend you at least get a foothold onto the rug. At least maybe six inches to a foot of it if you can. Just define that open space and anchor the furnishings -- the chairs or sofa or whatever you may have in there to help it stay in place. Some people prefer to put it all on the rug, so you get a big rug and you put all the furniture on it. That looks nice too, but to me, you're going to spend a lot of money for a rug that has a design or pattern to it in most cases, and it's not cheap and if you put it underneath the furniture, you're not going to see it. I think it's a lot of expense that maybe you wouldn't have to do unless you feel like that's your look or style. A lot of times, people just put something like I call a "postage stamp," just underneath the coffee table. To me, that just feels out of place. It's like seeing a small painting on a huge wall.
Sam: That's a turn off for me. I'm not a big fan of using too small of a rug either.
Using Rugs in a Bedroom
John: Okay. So you mentioned using it in the living room, in between the couch and the chairs and things like that. You also mentioned in a dining room, under a dining room table. What about in the bedroom? Do people put oriental rugs in their bedrooms if they have hardwood?
Sam: The bedroom area is where you talk about where you're going to hide a lot of that rug. A lot of people just do one big rug in a bedroom. So you can imagine the size of your bed -- a king size or a queen size, whatever it may be -- a majority of that is going to be underneath the bed. Keep that in mind. I think in the bedroom, that's how we do 95% of them, is one big rug and it's good looking, it just makes it hard to rotate one big rug. The other thing you could do, which we've also seen a lot of people doing today, is using several rugs. A rug on each side of the bed or a runner or a scatter type and then using one at the foot of the bed. A bigger rug, like a 5' x 7' or a 5' x 8' or a 6' x 8' or whatever it may be that defines that space at the edge of the bed.
John: Right. I think people do tend to like rugs and carpets in their bedrooms, because obviously, that's the place where you're taking off your shoes, you're getting into bed, and when you wake up in the morning, you might not want to put your feet down on the cold hardwood. So having some rugs there is nice.
Sam: Definitely when you come from colder climates, it's a plus. We're also in the carpet business. That's one of our biggest bases that we do today for carpeting is in bedrooms, just for those reasons.
John: That's really great information Sam, thanks for speaking with me.
Sam: You're welcome, John. My pleasure.
John: For more information about Sam, The Rug Gallery, and oriental rugs and carpets, visit ruggallerycincy.com. Or call 513-793-9505. And make sure you catch the latest episodes by subscribing to this podcast on iTunes and if you can take the time to give us a review on iTunes, we'd appreciate that. See you next time on The Rug Gallery.