We change our Brita water filters every 2-3 months, our oil filters every 3-6 months, our HVAC filters every 6-12 months. We expect these filters to capture various contaminates and we toss the filters once we believe they have captured all they can. Why then do we leave the largest filter we will ever own unchanged for years on end? Carpet.
It collects massive amounts of contaminates every day. They collect in the backing and work their way down into the pad. Dirt, allergens, water, juice, coffee, dust, thousands of airborne contaminates make their way deep into our carpets everyday. Vacuuming can only get so much out of the fibers and steam cleaning draws out some of the contaminates hidden deeper in the carpet, but it is the same premise as wringing out a dishrag, eventually you need to run it through the laundry. Carpet is the least healthy floor covering.
Hard surface flooring, hardwood, tile, engineered products, keep all contaminates above the surface so they can be easily extracted by broom/mop/vacuum. Hardwood is one of the best investments as the styles are timeless and the cost is actually less than carpet in the long run. Refinishing an existing hardwood floor is one of the least expensive services in floor remodeling. In fact, by the second time you buy carpet for a home, it would have been cheaper to have installed hardwood. And while there are many great looks in carpet, tile, and engineered floor products hardwood continues to be the most desired and therefore best return on investment flooring you can purchase.
Never has a new homebuyer grabbed the arm of her husband and said, "Oh, Honey, I just love these laminate floors!" It's always been hardwood. Always will be.