This websites use cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. - More information - Accept

Carpet, vinyl, laminate and hardwood; which flooring is best for you?

Choosing flooring can be tough. Let our handy guide help you along the way.

In this guide

Comparison table

 

CarpetCarpet tileVinylLaminateHardwood

Cleaning

  • Hides dust and debris better than vinyl/laminate/hardwood.
  • Easy to vacuum, can be harder to get stains out.
  • Stain free carpets are available.
  • Easy to vacuum: can also be lifted from the floor and cleaned separately.
  • Dust and debris can be disguised in the fibres.
  • Easy to clean, but dust and debris will visibly settle on top, requiring frequent vacuuming.
  • Stains are easy to wipe off.
  • 100% waterproof.
  • Easy to clean by sweeping and mopping, though standing water can cause water damage.
  • Depends on the surface seal. If polyurethane or similar, wood will be water and stain resistant and therefore easy to mop.
  • Without coating, wood is sensitive to water so needs cleaning gently with a lightly dampened mop.

Look

  • Wide variety of different colours and patterns available.
  • Available in various different colours and patterns.
  • Vinyl can imitate wood, tiles, concrete and stone in look.
  • A great way to get a contemporary wood finish in your home.
  • Made of genuine wood so requires maintenance to keep it looking good.

Durability

  • More susceptible to wear from high traffic areas.
  • Designed to be more hard-wearing than regular carpet.
  • Wears faster in high traffic areas.
  • Durable in high traffic areas.
  • Less likely to wear in high traffic areas.
  • Can wear or get damaged from mopping.
  • Durable as long as cleaned and maintained properly.

Warmth

  • Warmest of the group.
  • Underlay increases warmth.
  • Warmer than vinyl.
  • Thickness and underlay influence warmth.
  • Cooler than carpet.
  • Rugs can be used to increase warmth.
  • Not as warm as carpet.
  • Underlay and rugs can be used to increase warmth.

Noise

  • Can absorb up to 10 times more noise than hard floors.
  • Reduces noise better than hard floors.
  • Far less noise reduction than carpet.
  • Can be improved by use of  rugs.
  • Noisier than carpets, though can be reduced with underlay/rug.
  • Noisier than carpets.
  • Underlay can reduce noise.

Cost

  • Variety of prices – our start from £3.99m2
  • Cheapest of the group
  • Replacing carpet can be costly due to having to replace the whole room.
  • Affordable
  • Individual tiles can be replaced.
  • Variety of prices – our start from £8.36m2.
  • There is little cost beyond the original price.
  • Slightly more expensive than carpets.
  • More cost per square meter than carpet.
  • Harder to install than most alternatives.
  • Most expensive of the group.

Easy to replace?

  • Harder to replace than vinyl.
  • Areas of carpet can be replaced, but will usually leave a mark.
  • Very easy to replace as individual tiles.
  • Tiles can be removed as required.
  • Small areas can be replaced without affecting the entire floor.
  • Small areas can be replaced without affecting the entire floor.
  • A lot of work involved in removing and replacing hardwood.

Ease of installation

  • Time and care should be taken over the process.
  • Using a professional ensures carpets are installed correctly and will last, though can come at an extra cost.
  • United Carpets offer free fitting.
  • Quite simple to install as long as instructions are followed carefully.
  • Easy to install.
  • If area over 15m2 is to be fitted, this will require a fully bonded adhesive to ensure a smooth and long-lasting finish.
  • DIY installation possible.
  • Laminate is normally click and lock, so is quick and easy to install.
  • Best to get a professional to install traditional hardwood floor, not least because you are spending the extra money, so should make sure the flooring is installed properly; poor installation can cause damage or lead to quicker wear.

Resale value

  • Carpet has made a comeback in recent years and is considered to be increasingly popular.
  • In a home, carpet tiles are considered of lower resale value than alternatives.
  • Liked by estate agents.
  • Most buyers do not mind that it is not real hardwood.
  • Wood effect is well liked by estate agents.
  • Most buyers do not mind that it is not real hardwood.
  • If in good condition, hardwood floors offer great resale value.

 

Cleaning
Carpet
  • Hides dust and debris better than vinyl/laminate/hardwood.
  • Easy to vacuum, can be harder to get stains out.
  • Stain free carpets are available.
Carpet tile
  • Easy to vacuum: can also be lifted from the floor and cleaned separately.
  • Dust and debris can be disguised in the fibres.
Vinyl
  • Easy to clean, but dust and debris will visibly settle on top, requiring frequent vacuuming.
  • Stains are easy to wipe off.
  • 100% waterproof.
Laminate
  • Easy to clean, but dust and debris will visibly settle on top, requiring frequent vacuuming.
  • Stains are easy to wipe off.
  • 100% waterproof.
Hardwood
  • Depends on the surface seal. If polyurethane or similar, wood will be water and stain resistant and therefore easy to mop.
  • Without coating, wood is sensitive to water so needs cleaning gently with a lightly dampened mop.

 

Look
Carpet

Wide variety of different colours and patterns available.

Carpet tile

Available in various different colours and patterns.

Vinyl

Vinyl can imitate wood, tiles, concrete and stone in look.

Laminate

A great way to get a contemporary wood finish in your home.

Hardwood

A great way to get a contemporary wood finish in your home.

 

Durability
Carpet

A great way to get a contemporary wood finish in your home.

Carpet tile
  • Designed to be more hard-wearing than regular carpet.
  • Wears faster in high traffic areas.
Vinyl

Durable in high traffic areas.

  • Less likely to wear in high traffic areas.
  • Can wear or get damaged from mopping.
Hardwood

Durable as long as cleaned and maintained properly.

 

Warmth
Carpet
  • Warmest of the group.
  • Underlay increases warmth.
Carpet tile
  • Warmest of the group.
  • Underlay increases warmth.
Vinyl
  • Cooler than carpet.
  • Rugs can be used to increase warmth.
Laminate

Not as warm as carpet.

Hardwood

Underlay and rugs can be used to increase warmth.

 

Noise
Carpet

Can absorb up to 10 times more noise than hard floors.

Carpet tile

Reduces noise better than hard floors.

Vinyl
  • Far less noise reduction than carpet.
  • Can be improved by use of rugs.
Laminate

Noisier than carpets, though can be reduced with underlay/rug.

Hardwood
  • Noisier than carpets.
  • Underlay can reduce noise.

 

Cost
Carpet
  • Variety of prices – our start from £3.99m2
  • Cheapest of the group
  • Replacing carpet can be costly due to having to replace the whole room.
Carpet tile
  • Affordable
  • Individual tiles can be replaced.
Vinyl
  • Variety of prices – our start from £8.36m2.
  • There is little cost beyond the original price.
  • Slightly more expensive than carpets.
Laminate
  • More cost per square meter than carpet.
  • Harder to install than most alternatives.
Hardwood

Most expensive of the group.

 

Easy to replace?
Carpet
  • Harder to replace than vinyl.
  • Areas of carpet can be replaced, but will usually leave a mark.
Carpet tile
  • Very easy to replace as individual tiles.
  • Tiles can be removed as required.
Vinyl

Small areas can be replaced without affecting the entire floor.

Laminate

Small areas can be replaced without affecting the entire floor.

Hardwood

A lot of work involved in removing and replacing hardwood.

 

Ease of installation
Carpet
  • Time and care should be taken over the process.
  • Using a professional ensures carpets are installed correctly and will last, though can come at an extra cost.
  • United Carpets offer free fitting.
Carpet tile

Quite simple to install as long as instructions are followed carefully.

Vinyl
  • Easy to install.
  • If area over 15m2 is to be fitted, this will require a fully bonded adhesive to ensure a smooth and long-lasting finish.
Laminate
  • DIY installation possible.
  • Laminate is normally click and lock, so is quick and easy to install.
Hardwood

Best to get a professional to install traditional hardwood floor, not least because you are spending the extra money, so should make sure the flooring is installed properly; poor installation can cause damage or lead to quicker wear.

 

Resale value
Carpet

Carpet has made a comeback in recent years and is considered to be increasingly popular.

Carpet tile

In a home, carpet tiles are considered of lower resale value than alternatives.

Vinyl
  • Liked by estate agents.
  • Most buyers do not mind that it is not real hardwood.
Laminate
  • Wood effect is well liked by estate agents.
  • Most buyers do not mind that it is not real hardwood.
Hardwood
  • Wood effect is well liked by estate agents.
  • Most buyers do not mind that it is not real hardwood.

What’s the difference between laminate and luxury vinyl tiles?

The main difference comes down to the material:

Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT)

Vinyl is plastic and very waterproof. Although it is plastic, luxury vinyl mimics real wood boards. Vinyl now has improved embossing techniques and features joinery that allow boards to click together. Luxury vinyl creates a great looking floor, suitable for contemporary homes.

United Carpets and Beds stock an amazing array of high quality, luxury vinyl.

Laminate

Laminate is made of resin and fibre board. It is more vulnerable, though reasonably water-resistant if installed properly. However, joins between the plans are susceptible to water damage. Originally laminate was more natural looking, but with progression in technology, vinyl has caught up.

What is hardwood flooring?

Hardwood flooring is flooring made from planks of timber. It was used traditionally to add structural support, though is still popular for aesthetic reasons. It’s thick, durable and can withstand several finishes designed to protect it.

What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered wood is similar to traditional timber flooring, but has two planks on top of each other rather than one, increasing the stability of the floor.

How do I join carpet and laminate flooring?

When joining a carpet and laminate flooring between rooms, you will want to purchase and install a door bar. A door bar has two purposes:

  • Protects the ends of the flooring
  • Provides an attractive transition between flooring

Door bars can be made of different materials, such as PVC, aluminium or stainless steel. Choose your material based on the style you’re looking for. Metallic transition strips are more resistant against foot traffic or heavier equipment rolling over the area.

We also offer adapting profiles in a colour matched wood for each of our laminate: Find out more here!

Best flooring per room

Bathroom

Vinyl suits bathrooms as vinyl is the most waterproof compared to the alternatives. It is easily cleaned and can provide the durability needed to withstand heavy use.

Nevada stone effect vinyl flooring

  • High quality
  • Long lasting
  • Excellent underfoot comfort
  • Slip resistant
  • 18 stone effects

£21.99 m2

FIND OUT MORE

Bedroom

Carpets are the ideal flooring for the bedroom as they provide warmth and comfort under foot. The style of carpet depends on your taste, but a twist pile carpet not only provides style, but comfort too.

Lush twist pile carpet

  • Durable and luxurious
  • 100% bleach cleanable
  • Twist pile
  • Stain resistance
  • Five year warranty

£5.97 m2

FIND OUT MORE

Kitchen

Hard floors (eg. vinyl) are the best for kitchens as they make it easier to clean up spills and crumbs. With the range of styles and colours available for vinyl, you can transform your kitchen.

Luxury Step tile effect vinyl flooring

  • Heavy duty PVC
  • Slip resistance
  • Hard-wearing
  • Works best with underfloor heating
  • Five choices available

£13.14 m2

FIND OUT MORE

Living room ­

Carpets create a cosy environment and keep the warmth in the room. If your living room is a high traffic area, ensure to get a durable carpet to resist the footfall.

Temple Soft deep pile saxony carpet

  • Hardwearing and can resist high traffic areas
  • Luxuriously soft pile
  • Comines comfort and style
  • 100% bleach cleanable

£12.99 m2

FIND OUT MORE

Best flooring for families, young children or babies

Carpets are more suitable for babies and toddlers as the softness provides a layer of safety for them. Plus, if your baby lies on the floor a lot, carpet will be much more comfortable.

Carpet is also good for toddlers since it softens trips and falls unlike harder flooring. Stains can be harder to remove from carpet, however, stain-resistant carpets are available.

Carpets are also less likely to get damaged by toys and movements of furniture unlike laminate or vinyl, which can be susceptible to rips or scratches.

Stormcloud twist pile carpet

  • Lifetime stain-free guarantee for life
  • Family-friendly
  • Long lasting and durable against constant footfall
  • Ideas for the busy 21st century home

£13.14 m2

FIND OUT MORE

Best flooring for pets

The type of carpet you own depends on the type of pet. Generally, harder floors like vinyl are favoured as they are easily cleaned and less likely to collect hair. Some animals, such as house rabbits find the hard floor uncomfortable, which will need considering.

Loop carpets (such as Berber) are not recommended as pets if their claws become caught in the tightly woven pile, it can damage both the carpet and your pet’s claw.

Best flooring for cats

Cats are happy on vinyl floors, however, they can scratch and damage some floors so make sure you go for a quality vinyl. Equally, cats are happy with carpet, enjoying the warmth and comfort provided, but they can also scratch and pull at it.

Best flooring for dogs

Vinyl works well for puppies. This is because vinyl is easy to clean and water-resistant, meaning little accidents are easily cleaned away. Choose a high quality vinyl as they are more durable against scratching.

Well-trained adult dogs are perfectly happy on carpets, and actually prefer the comfort of soft carpet under paw.

For more information, have a look at pet-proofing your carpet

Best vinyl for pets

New Jersey wood effect vinyl flooring

  • Low maintenance
  • Slip resistant
  • 15 year wear warranty
  • Powerback for great resilience

£19.99 m2

FIND OUT MORE

Best carpet for pets

Xtron Opulance Twist Pile Carpet

  • Resistant to heavy domestic use
  • Stain resistant
  • Nine modern colours

£12.99 m2

FIND OUT MORE

Related content

The benefits of choosing carpet for your floor

A step-by-step guide to choosing, buying and fitting a new carpet

Underlay FAQs

Back to Buying a carpet

eCommerce Solution by code media