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Q: We’re deciding between hardwood floors and wall-to-wall carpeting. Thoughts?

Photograph of two pairs of bare legs intertwined on a carpeted floor.Tamara says....
There are valid points on each side of the long-standing carpet-versus-hardwood debate. Many in the carpet industry will say that carpeting helps hold allergen-causing substances tightly in the fibres, keeping them from becoming airborne and entering the breathing zone, until released through regular vacuuming. The opposition says that hardwood flooring is better because it doesn’t trap dust and chemical fumes or harbour dust mites and mould. For those with asthma and allergies, the Canadian Lung Association recommends reducing carpet in your home by removing carpets and rugs from your bedroom, in particular, and the rest of your home wherever possible. Hardwood is a good investment because it can be refinished more than once and adds resale value to your home. It’s also easily and inexpensively cleaned by the homeowner with few chemicals required. Some complaints about hardwood are that it shows every speck of dust and pet hair that enters your home and is noisy to walk on. Alternatively, carpet is a really good option for those who want to hide dirt (especially if you choose certain colours and patterns) and for those who want to have a quieter environment—not to mention it’s cozy and cushy to hang out on, and a lot more fun to roll around naked on than hardwood!

Tamara Chiarello's interior design company, In Vision, does both residential and commercial work. Send her your decorating questions here.