Though there are many other options, carpet and hardwood are given the highest preference. Here are some pointers for you to consider while choosing between the two for your house.
In terms of appearance, both carpet and hardwood floors have their own charm. While there is a whole range of colors (meaning you can choose anything from an outrageous red to a subtle gray) and patterns in carpets, hardwood gives a limited choice in this area.
However, this is where the problem lies. Walking bare feet is a prerequisite when it comes to carpets, if you want them to last for a long time. This is not the case with hardwood flooring though. Carpets provide heat and sound insulation, both of which are missing with hardwood floors.
You need to have them professionally cleaned every once in a while. Cleaning hardwood floors is also essential on a daily basis, as per the instructions provided by the dealer. It should also be re-polished every few years to have it looking as good as new.
An important concern is health. A lot of people are prone to allergies from carpets, because over time, a lot of dust gets collected into it. It also invites mites and bed bugs. This is why cleaning it regularly is very essential. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, do not pose any such problems.
However, an important consideration here is that hardwood lasts longer than carpet, and is more aesthetically appealing too. As such, a lot of people are willing to invest in hardwood floors, keeping in mind its benefits in the longer run.
You are probably now clear about why hardwood flooring is a better option than carpeting. It also adds to the value of a house, something that a carpet does not even come close to doing. It is easier to clean and maintain, and looks much better too. This is not to say that you should not use carpets at all.
In fact, if you do want to use carpets, use them in places that do not have much traffic, such as in a den or in places that require sound insulation, such as the basement. If you have to make a choice between carpet and hardwood, then hands down, hardwood is the winner. It is still ultimately up to you though, as only you would know what suits you best!