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As you look around the house to see what you can improve, the best opportunity may be under your feet. Once a significant development in home design, wall-to-wall carpeting is now woefully passé. Fine hardwood flooring—which often hides beneath newer carpeting—is once again the way to go, and possibly this time for good. If you haven’t already, here’s why you should install hardwood flooring in your home.

Easier Cleaning

Caring for carpeting can be a real undertaking. Dirty shoes, spills, and little random accidents can all leave indelible marks on carpets that never fully come clean, even with hard scrubbing. Waterproof and stain-resistant hardwood floors, on the other hand, are much easier to clean and much less likely to leave lasting memories of accidents.

Increased Durability

You’ve seen what happens when you place furniture on carpeting: the weight compresses the fibers and leaves a mark forever. Over time, regular wear also compromises the integrity of carpeting—and it only takes a few years for the carpet to get flatter, more faded, and otherwise diminished. While wall-to-wall carpeting lasts 15 years at best, hardwood floors are built to last. With proper care, they can last for several decades.

Hypoallergenic Surfaces

There’s no telling what can settle amid the fibers of your carpet. Dust and the dust mites that feed upon it can turn up, but so too can mold spores, pollen from outdoors, and dander from your pets. Even vacuuming isn’t a guaranteed solution—a lot of the time, it simply kicks up particles, only for them to settle back down again. If you have environmental allergy sufferers in your home, removing carpeting in favor of hardwood can mitigate exposure to the allergens that give them so much trouble.

Goes Great with Area Rugs

For the aesthetically inclined among us, hardwood floors simply look better. An entire living room full of wall-to-wall Berber carpeting is visually fatiguing, while green shag carpeting looks more like AstroTurf that has made its way into the home. The varied wood grain patterns of hardwood panels lend nuance and depth to the room, but they also set the stage for the accents of colorful and eye-catching area rugs, which can provide a captivating mix of surfaces.

An Investment in the Future

We’ve come to look at our homes as more than residences. We also hope that our real estate can function as a wise investment—one that will continue to grow in value through the years. Augmenting the resale value of your home is one of the best reasons why you should install hardwood flooring and replace any wall-to-wall carpeting. All the factors we listed above—from the ease of cleaning to the aesthetic value to the allergy-friendly nature of hard surfaces—work in concert to elevate your home’s value on the market. It’s an investment in what’s arguably your biggest investment of all.