Which Flooring: Carpet Or Vinyl Plank?

19 October 2023 | Construction, General

Embarking on a home improvement journey is an exciting yet challenging endeavor.

Whether you’re completely renovating the property, a few select rooms, or simply making more minor upgrades, there are a range of decisions you’ll need to make.

One of the most crucial is the choice of flooring.

Flooring doesn’t just provide a foundation for your interior design; it’s an integral part of your home and daily life. Two popular options in this realm are carpet and vinyl plank.

Each offers distinct advantages and disadvantages that can make a world of difference in your living space. There’s a lot to bear in mind, from the aesthetics to practical considerations. Hence, it pays to do your research first.

This article will share an overview of carpet and vinyl plank flooring, covering the key considerations for both. By the end, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed choice that aligns perfectly with your lifestyle and home renovation goals.

Cost: carpet vs. vinyl plank

Although the cost of certain materials is unlikely to be the sole deciding factor, it certainly plays a big part in the decision-making process.

When comparing the cost of carpet and vinyl plank, it’s essential to acknowledge that both choices have a wide range of options.

From different styles, colors, and patterns, there’s something for every budget. However, some general trends regarding costs can help you understand the differences between the two.

The world of carpets offers an array of choices, ranging from luxurious nylon carpets to more budget-friendly triexta polyester options. This diversity means you can find carpets at various price points.

Vinyl plank flooring, on the other hand, is generally known for its competitive pricing, especially in the lower and mid-range of the market. It offers a cost-effective, attractive alternative to other flooring options, including hardwood or tile.

When opting for carpet, it’s important to take installation costs into account, as carpets typically require professional installation.

Comparably, vinyl plank is often regarded as a DIY-friendly flooring option, significantly reducing installation costs if you choose to take on the installation yourself.

Even for those who prefer professional installation, the labor expenses tend to be lower compared to carpet.

Another cost consideration with carpets is maintenance. Regular cleaning and occasional deep cleaning are necessary to keep carpets looking their best, which means long-term maintenance costs should be factored into the budget.

Carpets are also at a higher risk of wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas like stairways and hallways. Vinyl plank has much lower maintenance requirements.

It’s non-porous and waterproof, so is easy to clean and highly resistant to stains and moisture, which means you’ll save on cleaning and upkeep expenses over the lifespan of your flooring.

Appearance: carpet vs. vinyl plank

The wide varieties available in both vinyl plank and carpet flooring enable you to achieve a range of looks and styles, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Both flooring options can be tailored to suit the overall aesthetics you wish to create in your home.


Carpet offers an extensive range of color options, allowing you to find the perfect shade to complement your interior design, as well as different styles that can cater to a variety of aesthetics.

Carpet materials also vary in terms of fiber choices, such as nylon, polyester, and wool, allowing you to fine-tune the texture and look of your flooring.

What sets carpet apart from vinyl plank is its unique texture and softness. The comfort and warmth underfoot that carpet provides are unmatched.

It’s a perfect choice for cozy and inviting flooring in bedrooms and living spaces.

Vinyl plank

Vinyl plank flooring stands out for its diversity in patterns and colors. Whether you’re aiming for the timeless charm of hardwood or the sophistication of stone or tile, vinyl plank can replicate these natural materials with incredible precision.

Higher-end vinyl plank products are renowned for their realistic wood grain patterns and textures.

Although different from carpet, vinyl plank also has a desirable texture, replicating the feel of natural materials.

Planks can mimic the grain and imperfections of hardwood, making it not only visibly convincing but also providing textures often indistinguishable from the real thing.

Durability: carpet vs. vinyl plank

Being constantly underfoot and with furniture placed on top, any type of flooring is at risk of wear and tear and damage. Carpet and vinyl plank have different properties that impact their durability and longevity.

Carpet is relatively durable, but its longevity heavily relies on proper maintenance. It can withstand regular use for many years if cared for correctly.

The lower maintenance option, vinyl planks, are a favored choice for durable flooring, equipped with a wear layer that naturally resists moisture, staining, and scratching.

This allows vinyl plank floors to maintain their appearance and look newer for a longer duration, even in areas with heavy foot traffic.

A common concern with carpet is their vulnerability to damage. Embedded drag marks, which occur when heavy items are moved across the flooring without adequate protection, can be challenging to remove and affect the carpet’s appearance.

Carpets can be vulnerable to fading when exposed to regular sunlight, and lighter shades can easily stain if anything is spilled.

Comparably, vinyl planks are highly resistant to moisture, staining, and fading, making them suitable for areas prone to spills and accidents.

It’s important to note that although being resistant to moisture, repeated flooding or prolonged water exposure can damage the adhesive of the planks.

Additionally, extreme temperature fluctuations can cause the planks to expand and contract. The risk of this can be lowered by having the vinyl plank flooring installed by a professional.

If either flooring type is to get damaged to the extent of requiring replacing, carpet can cause more of a concern. The entire room’s carpet would likely need replacing to rectify the damaged area.

As for vinyl planks, it’s possible to replace only the affected planks rather than the entire floor, saving both time and money.

Applications: carpet vs. vinyl plank

Where the flooring will be placed within the home is an important factor when deciding between carpet and vinyl plank.

Certain qualities of each flooring lend themselves to different applications.


Carpet has been a traditional choice for spaces where comfort is prioritized, such as bedrooms and living areas, due to its soft and comfortable feel. It’s also an ideal option for areas where noise reduction is preferred.

Carpet absorbs sound, providing an acoustic advantage when used on higher floors of the home or spaces like a home office where a quiet environment is desired.

Carpet is less suited for households where asthma or allergies are a concern.

The fibers can trap dust, pollen, and other allergens, potentially causing issues for anybody who suffers from breathing problems.

Vinyl plank

Vinyl plank offers incredible versatility, being an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements due to its resistance to moisture, but also being visually appealing and, therefore an excellent fit for other rooms of the home too.

The ease of maintenance with vinyl planks means there is less concern for damage when used in kitchens and dining areas, where accidents are more likely to occur.

Due to its longevity and resistance to wear and tear, vinyl plank is well-suited for high-traffic areas of the home where people walk frequently. With attached padding, the planks can also boast sound-dampening qualities.

Vinyl plank is also much more suitable than carpet for households where allergies are a concern.

Whether you’re drawn to the luxurious comfort of carpet or the practical resilience of vinyl plank, finding the right flooring for your needs will form the basis of the home design you’ve always envisioned.

Take the time to really consider your wants, needs, and budget to make an informed decision when choosing your new flooring.

Happy renovating!


Powerhouse is a full-service home and commercial services company based in Texas.


  • Danielle Stone

    She has been writing professionally for 8 years, with articles published in various print and online publications. She is an avid researcher and strives to bring her readers the most up-to-date information and insights on the topics she covers. Danielle is also an expert on home renovation, interior design and construction, and she loves helping homeowners turn their dreams into realities. When she’s not writing or editing, Danielle enjoys spending time with her family, gardening and exploring nature.

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