Carpet vs Luxury Vinyl Flooring – Pros, Cons & Prices for 2022

Average Cost To Install Vinyl Flooring Price Range: $1,105 - $1,960
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We’re all familiar with the comfort and versatility of carpeted floors. But have you considered flooring your home with luxury vinyl?

These are both affordable floors, so people often want to know, “Which will cost me less?”

But both carpet and luxury vinyl have unique benefits and drawbacks. I’ll compare both of these floors in details, so you don’t have any regrets.

Cost

Cost to Install Vinyl Floor
SQ. FT.
Prices
Low End
Mid Range
High End
Materials
$586
$658
$869
Labor
$645
$725
$957
Total Cost
$1,231
$1,383
$1,825
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You would love to have a beautiful home with flooring that works well with your décor, but you don’t want to break the bank doing it. That is completely understandable.

Carpet is a common choice for flooring so it no surprise that it is a bit more cost effective than luxury vinyl floors.

The average cost of buying and installing carpet totals to around $2-$5 per square foot. Even though luxury vinyl is a bit higher in cost, it is only a slight difference with an average around $4- $7.

Keep in mind though that there are luxury carpets that can cost upward of $10-12/s.f. Still most decent quality carpets are not expensive, and include free installation labor in most cases.

The winner? Carpet.

Average Cost To Install Carpet Price Range: $845 - $1,650
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Durability

How long your flooring will last is another great concern when deciding on flooring. This is especially the case when you have an active and energetic family. Carpet is known to last for many years, even decades when it is treated with care and cleaned regularly. I’d say a range of 5-20 years, depending on color and material, carpet can be easy to stain but overall it is quite durable.

Luxury vinyl flooring is made of a few layers of film and polyurethane. It is waterproof, so it is friendly to spills and won’t be as prone to water damage as regular vinyl. Luxury vinyl doesn’t need waxing or polishing and requires only mopping and sweeping to keep its original look, lasting 10-20 years before needing replacement.

5-10 years?? That’s a wide range.

You’re right, but it’s the reality. Both carpet and luxury vinyl vary in quality quite a bit, and this means how long it lasts will vary quite a bit. I’d say dollar for dollar they last about the same amount of time, but a bad carpet probably will look worse before a lower quality luxury vinyl.

The winner? Tie.

Average Cost To Install Vinyl Flooring Price Range: $1,105 - $1,960
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Comfort

Part of the functionality of flooring is its level of comfort. Carpet has a soft texture providing the floor a natural padding for your feet. The thickness of the carpet you choose will determine how soft and comfortable it is. Carpet is high on comfort simply because of its materials.

Luxury vinyl is a kind of hard floor which is not usually as comfortable on its own. To avoid stepping on cold floors, there may need to have rugs placed on top of it. On its own, hard floors do not have the texture that would provide comfort and ease.

The winner? Carpet.

Average Cost To Install Carpet Price Range: $845 - $1,650
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Eco-friendliness

Today it is very important that we consider our ecological footprint when making decisions for our home. Carpet is 90% made up of synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon or polypropylene, the rest of it is a natural fiber like wool. Some people are concerned about carpets “off-gassing” VOCs, but the carpet industry has done a pretty good job responding to this. With that said, carpet is not necessarily eco-friendly unless you purchase a carpet that is specifically from an eco-friendly brand.

Luxury vinyl flooring is often made with polyvinyl chloride. Polyvinyl chloride has a bad rep for potentially being unhealthy to constantly be exposed to. Some companies under consumer pressure have decided not to sell luxury vinyl unless it is free of certain chemicals.

The winner? Carpet.

Which Floor is Better for Allergens?

The health of your family is something to consider when searching for flooring. Allergens falling and staying on your floors can be a huge health hassle. Carpet is more likely to house sand, dust, hairs and other microscopic particles in its deeper layers that can be re-emitted back into the air. It is nearly impossible to clean a carpet enough to get all of the possible allergens completely out of it.

Luxury vinyl floors can be swept and mopped without fear of anything going deeper into its surface. Its hard nature protects it and makes it generally non-absorbent. Any allergens that fall upon its surface can easily be wiped or swept away without posing a bigger problem.

The winner? Luxury vinyl.

Average Cost To Install Vinyl Flooring Price Range: $1,105 - $1,960
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Which Floor looks Better?

One of the biggest priorities when choosing the design for your home is aesthetics. We all want a beautiful and inviting home that reflects our style. Carpet has great versatility in color, texture, thickness, and design. Carpet can add an extra touch of décor to a room and complement nearly any style.

Luxury vinyl has about the same versatility as carpet. You can choose luxury vinyl that looks like hardwood floors or natural stone. It can come in a variety of colors to match the color scheme and décor of any room. Also, hard floors have a beautifully stunning look that catches the eye in a more dramatic way than carpet.

Carpet can pull off some pretty great looks, especially when new, but I give the edge to luxury vinyl.

The winner? Luxury vinyl.

Captain’s parting words!

I think there’s a place for carpet and luxury vinyl in every home. You need some rooms with the soft warm feel or carpet, and you need some with the rugged, yet surprisingly sleek looking, luxury vinyl. Just keep in mind the pros and cons to each so there are no surprises.

If you’re interested in carpet, check out our unbiased carpet guide. If you’re interested in luxury vinyl, check our unbiased vinyl floor guide.

Still have any questions on carpet or luxury vinyl? Let me know in the comments.

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Average Cost To Install Vinyl Flooring Price Range: $1,105 - $1,960
See costs in your area
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Sam Depue
23 days ago

Hi there! Great info in this article. We’re looking to replace flooring (currently carpet) in a rental unit. We’re interested in the LVP for durability as renters seem to be hard on carpet. There are also stairs in the unit. Are there any additional considerations you see for a rental property? Is LVP appropriate for stairs?

Rick Jeffries
1 year ago

I am in the process of redoing my small house which is a 3 bedroom/2bath home about 1200 sq. ft. I plan to do all 3 bedrooms with carpet but I have a living room area that I can’t decide if I want to do carpet or the LVP that I will put in the bathrooms, kitchen, dining area, hallways, foyer and laundry room…some friends say putting the LVP in the living room will make it look bigger and much “richer” than carpet and will flow with the other LVP in a cherry wood look pattern but I am wondering… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Rick Jeffries
Carpet Captain
1 year ago
Reply to  Rick Jeffries

Hi, if you have no kids or pets, you can find a compromise between the richer look of LVP and the comfort of carpet by getting an area rug. Here is our advice on picking out an area rug: https://www.carpetcaptain.com/rug-guide/

David Monroe
1 year ago

What do you think about using LVT for second floor when first floor is hardwood? Is it common to use this combination?

Steve Connolly
2 years ago

Wouldn’t the installation of carpet take less time than vinyl.. therefore less expensive

Rosie Beckett
3 years ago

I need to get new flooring for my kitchen, so it’s good to know the benefits of vinyl flooring. You make a great point that vinyl is waterproof and this is a huge benefit for me because I have young kids who spill on the floor all of the time. Also, the fact that vinyl is easy to clean and avoids allergens and other issues is a huge benefit. [link removed]




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