Common Areas: Carpet or Flooring?

Today we looked at a large historical remodel in downtown Baltimore, MD and the property owners asked whether they should use carpet or flooring in the hallway and common areas. The question is really answered by what is important to you and/or your tenants. Each option – carpet or flooring – will have its pros and cons. I will go through the pros and cons below so that if you are in the same situation you can make an informed decision.

Long Term Budget/Short Term Budget

Most types of carpet will be the least expensive material that you can put on the floor supplied and installed. Even though it is not as expensive as other options the design of your space does not have to be compromised at all. Carpet comes in a wide variety of colors, patterns, styles, and qualities. However carpet is a type of material that will wear out. Depending on upfront carpet quality, traffic, and upkeep you should figure 5-10 years on the life of your common area carpet. Take the life span of carpet and the replacement cost into consideration when figuring your long term or short term budget as most other types of flooring will not have to be replaced as frequently.

Sound Absorption

Again carpet will win this category as well. There is no material that comes close to the insulation and sound absorption of carpet (you can add even more sound deadening qualities to your carpet if you lay it over a carpet pad).


Like I mentioned above, carpet has a life of 5-10 years and will require periodic cleanings and upkeep. If the long term is your primary goal stick to a hard surface material instead of carpet (tile, wood, VCT, etc.). Your best bet for longevity is a ceramic or porcelain tile (this is also your most expensive).


Every product category has its pros and cons with regards to style and everyone has their own preference. This is best figured on what you want and the look you are going for in your property.

That should cover most of what is important when choosing to install carpet or flooring in your common areas. To choose between the different types and styles of carpet or flooring…that is another discussion. If I missed any issues or if you have any further questions please feel free to call or email us anytime. We will get right back to you!

Come in or call 410.318.8888 to see what types of carpet and flooring we can offer you.