There is an ongoing debate as to whether hard floors or carpeting is “better” and this brief article will certainly not settle the discussion in either camp.

My position is that you use the flooring that best meets your needs while accepting the reality that any product will have strengths and weaknesses inherent to the product and use. An example is that if you are looking for a “quiet” surface you will probably choose carpeting (or possibly cork in some limited cases) since it tends to absorb the sound far better especially in the case of hard shoes and other noises reverberating across the room or hallway.

Another strength of carpet is that it tends to “hide” soils up to a limit and can be maintained by utilizing an effective (think suction) vacuuming system. Carpet can tend to be a “dirt sink” in that because it is not visible, many people tend to assume it is clean when it is getting progressively dirtier each day. Carpet can be maintained by means of interim cleaning such as encapsulation or more extreme HWE (Hot Water Extraction) when necessary. Carpet does not wear out; rather it tends to ugly out.

Hard floors are considered to be more durable than carpet but do have the issue with sound as well as tending to show soils, scratches and other blemishes that are not evident with carpet. Hard floors that require floor finish, buffing/burnishing and other labor intensive processes can be more expensive to maintain than carpet in the short run. Most will agree that hard floors tend to last longer than carpet but not always. The ideal hard floor is a low maintenance tile (preferably without grout lines) that does not require floor finish and can be maintained by dust/damp mopping or using an autoscrub machine if appropriate.

Carpet or hard floor? You decide but please allow others to differ.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or