When deciding what flooring you choose for your home, two of the most popular choices are carpet and laminate. They are comparable for a similar budget, and both significantly cheaper than hardwood flooring. However, a luxury handmade carpet with a high pile will be the less expensive of the two options. Both options take up a similar amount of the market, with around half of all flooring sold each year being carpet.

Suppose you're looking for the most hygienic option or suffer from allergies, every flooring option has its pros and cons. Both are easy to clean and maintain. If you spill anything on a carpet, like any liquid or food on it, you'll have some work to do to stop it from staining. On the other hand, as far as laminate flooring is concerned you need to mop up and dry any liquids that you spill.

Both laminate and carpet can be installed yourself. With laminate flooring, a 'tongue-and-groove' option is ideal, which allows you to connect each section with relative ease. While it is possible to install yourself, at times a carpet needs a professional to do the installation, to ensure it is done in the right manner.

Carpet is generally made from wool or synthetic fiber like nylon, polyester, or polypropylene attached to a layer of padding stapled to the floor. Laminate floors are made from several layers of fiberboard material made synthetically, and then a top layer is made to look like a traditional wood or stone material.

Durability

A high-quality laminate flooring lasting over 25 years if properly maintained. While a fine quality handmade rug can easily last upto 50 years , a carpet wall-to-wall flooring lasts for about 15 years. While the two options are comparable in cost initially, it really depends on the usage of the rug or flooring. Modern carpets are more durable than 10-20 years ago, but you'll still be doing well for a carpet to last longer than ten years.

Installation

Regardless of your floor's condition, carpet is very versatile and can be installed over almost anything, from wood to concrete, and is a good option if your floor is slightly irregular as it can cover these quite effectively. When installing a new carpet, both the carpet and padding are cut to the correct dimensions, and then each later is installed using staples or nails to keep it in place. Some carpets can be installed yourself, but most will need a specialist, which is usually recommended to ensure that the carpet is fitted correctly. 

Laminate flooring can also be installed over most floor types, with the only exception being carpet, which will need to be removed before you get started. If the floor is incredibly uneven, you may need to prepare it beforehand, and often getting a professional to do this is advised if your floor is even, though you can install laminate flooring yourself with relative ease, especially by choosing a tongue-and-groove option which makes the process of connecting each laminate board together a simple process.

Maintenance 

Carpets take considerably more care than laminate flooring, with the first issue being if anything is spilled on them. Spills need to be cleaned immediately to prevent staining or mold forming if left too long. It would be best if you vacuumed at least once or twice a week and more so in areas with a higher footfall. A deep clean is also advised every year or so using hot water extraction. Laminate flooring is far more forgiving, but some maintenance is still required.

If pools of liquid are left on laminate floorboards, it can damage and may need replacing if left for too long. While laminate flooring is made to imitate hardwood flooring, you can't treat it the same, and sanding techniques can't be used on laminate floors. While resistant to wear and tear, the top layer of material can scratch, so adding protective pads on the bottom of chairs and tables can be a good idea to stop scratching. The best way to clean laminate flooring is with minimal water, so vacuuming and brushing will take care of a lot of the work, and then using special cleaning fluids to give it a final polish.

Cost

The cost of both laminate flooring and carpet can vary wildly, from very cheap to luxury flooring options. Carpets generally start at around $2 per square foot and can go up to $15, while laminate flooring starts at $3, and the most expensive options are up to $11 per square foot. For carpet, the expense comes with a thicker or higher pile, and cheap carpets will be far thinner and not as comfortable to walk on. It's recommended that you read Carpet Flooring Reviews in the price range you're interested in to find the best one for you. Cheap laminate flooring is less durable than more expensive options, more liable to becoming scratched, and won't last as long as the more expensive.

Suitability

Most homes have both laminate flooring and carpet depending on the room. Kitchens and bathrooms will often be laminated, as there's a high chance of water damage or spills. Dining rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms are better carpet choices due to their warmth and comfort. Carpet is also a good choice for stairs as they have a lower slip risk than laminate flooring, especially if you regularly wear socks around the house.

Sustainability

Laminate flooring is made from melamine resin, which is very tightly bound, which helps to reduce emissions and any potential health effects, making it an ideal choice if sustainability is important to you. Laminate flooring can often be recycled, unlike carpet, which is generally made from non-renewable materials. As far as sustainability is concerned with carpets, one can also choose recycled material carpets like sari silk rugs, natural fibers like jute rugs etc.