Laminate Flooring vs Carpet: A Side-by-Side Comparison

March 12, 2021

Do you face the laminate flooring vs carpet dilemma? What will it be? The choice comes down to your personal preferences, but reaching a final decision can be a lengthy process because both options offer immense style and elegance.

If you have narrowed down your choices to wood laminates and carpets from the many flooring options, including the likes of hardwood and vinyl, all that’s left is to decide which of the two fits your lifestyle needs.

Let’s make the decision easier through a side-by-side comparison of wood laminates and carpets. The comparison leads you through aspects ranging from ease of installation, wear & tear, and maintenance to cost considerations to help you decide which one is best for your home.

Feel free to use the comparison guide for flooring solutions (including LVTs, carpets, vinyl and rigid board) to find the solution that suits you best.

Laminate Flooring vs Carpet:  A Comparison Overview

Take a look at “The Consumer Reports Flooring Buying Guide” for information on how laminates stack up against other flooring solutions such as hardwood and vinyl.

Laminate flooring


More affordable than hardwood flooring.

More affordable than hardwood flooring.

Wide price range that depends on the thickness, with 7 mm being the most affordable and 12 mm being the most expensive.

Wide price range that depends on the weight and pile density. The heavier the pile weight, the more expensive the carpet.

Easier to clean – only requires sweeping and once a week vacuum.

Requires regular vacuum and at least once a year deep steam cleaning.

Doesn’t collect and hide dirt – more hygienic with a superior hypo-allergenic profile.

Tends to collect dirt. Requires special underlay treatment to improve the hypo-allergenic profile.

Doesn’t attract and harbour odours.

Can absorb odours.

Reasonable water resistance profile, making it suitable for kitchens and bathrooms, but vulnerable to moisture damage from underfloor moisture.

Absorbs moisture – not suited for kitchens and bathrooms.

Not as soft and warm as carpets during the winter months.

Warm underfoot during the winter months, making it the perfect choice for bedrooms.

No noise absorption qualities.

Absorbs noise and excellent sound insulator.

Imitates hardwood flooring or stone surfaces – less design and style options.

Doesn’t imitate wood or another type of flooring – more style and design options.

Easier to install but needs a self-levelling sub-surface.

Need precision measurement, underlay and expert installation, and more forgiving of the sub-surface level.

Don’t install laminates on a new cement surface (must wait up to six months) to prevent moisture damage.

You can install carpets on a fairly new cement surface.

Easy to replace a damaged section.

Needs expertise and skill to replace a damaged section.

Click 👉 here to get in touch with your nearest Top Carpets and Floors branch for a quote on your choice of flooring solution.



Wood Laminated Flooring vs Carpet Costs

What’s the price difference? The prices compare well on both ends of the scale.

In both instances, you have low entry points and high-priced products. With wood laminates, the thickness adds to its strength and rigid character. The thicker, the more you can expect to pay. With carpets, it is about the weight and density of the pile. The heavier the weight, the denser the pile, so the higher the price. In both instances, you get what you pay for, with products on the lower price-end having shorter lifespans and the medium to higher price range lasting 15 years plus.

Wear and Tear: Wood Laminated Flooring vs Carpets

Wood laminates have exceptional traffic carrying capacity. This flooring option is well-suited for the dining, kitchen or living room because it has a special wear layer, which gives scratch resistance. The UV resistance is reasonable, although not enough to install it on the patio where it is exposed to a fair deal of sunshine. But then again, carpets are also not made for installation on a verandah.

It can damage if exposed to high humidity levels and moisture from the sub-surface. This is because it is over 70% wood.

You may wonder, “Why is it suitable for the kitchen or bathroom if it can warp because of moisture exposure?”

It has to do with the design.

Water doesn’t seep through the individual planks, giving you enough time to clean up a spill. It doesn’t absorb moisture from the surrounds and has no space for debris or food odours to collect.

The very nature of carpet construction allows for it to collect dirt and debris. It can absorb water from the top and the bottom.  Fortunately, nowadays, many types are stain-proof and even if exposed to water, the surfaces don’t warp. Wool is stain-resistant and so is nylon. The loop-pile beats the cut-pile selection in terms of durability,

How Easy Is It to Install Wood Laminated vs Carpet Flooring?

Although you can install these flooring solutions yourself, far too many factors can cause immediate failure while other mistakes will only become visible six months down the line. In both instances, expert installation is best. Don’t delay. Get a price on installation from our experienced team.

Never install Wood laminates on sprung based or uneven floors. Even 3 mm variations can cause cracks. Also, don’t fit wood laminated flooring on newly installed cement floors. You have to wait three to six months. You may also experience problems with installation in older houses where the waterproof layers have disintegrated. The surface cannot be installed if the temperature or humidity level is too high or extreme fluctuations are experienced.

Carpets need good quality underlays. Precision measurement is essential, but installation can be done on many types of surfaces. You also don’t have to wait for the carpets to acclimatise, as is the case with laminates.

What Can You Take Away from This Comparison?

If you want to replace hardwood flooring or upgrade the surface from old carpets, don’t risk having to redo it because of sub-standard installation. Both options are durable and pleasing to the eye. Finally, your choice depends on your preferences.

Click 👉 here to get in touch with your nearest Top Carpets and Floors branch for a quote on your choice of flooring solution.