Trending Back To Carpet
March 16, 2021
Posted by D. A. Burns
Home flooring has been trending toward the installation of larger areas of hard-surface flooring for the past twenty+ years. Hardwood, stone and tile flooring gives the impression of elegance and maybe the feeling that a more premium construction quality was used throughout the home. Having high-quality flooring can add resale value, prompting many homeowners to select flooring materials other than installed carpet when remodeling.
Recently, flooring retailers have reported that carpeting, installed wall-to-wall, is making a comeback. According to industry sources, the percentage of carpet being installed has increased compared to other surfaces, and designers are adding carpet to rooms that might have had hard-surface flooring in the recent past.
It seems that some of carpet’s advantages have become more apparent, and also more desirable, with the additional workload that homes are getting today. As combination home, office, gym, school and entertainment centers, our homes now face issues similar to commercial spaces, where practicality is the highest importance. In commercial spaces, hard surfaces are typically limited to restrooms, cafeterias and showy lobbies, while carpet is used everywhere else.
What are some of the reasons carpet might be chosen over a hard surface?
- Quiet – sound reduction for a quiet environment
- Soil hiding
- Lower installation cost
- Lower long-term maintenance costs
- Style – a wide range of color, texture and pattern
A more quiet home may be highly desired today with people being more active at home. The combination of walls, glass and hard floor surfaces can echo and amplify the sound of voices and music, while soft surfaces – whether carpet, area rugs or fabric furniture – will absorb sound for a calmer environment.
Warmth, Comfort and Safety
Soft surfaces insulate a floor to provide additional warmth and can cushion an otherwise hard fall. In colder seasons, carpet retains warm air longer, offering an energy conservation benefit. Carpet also provides a comfortable place to sit, play, or work and gives a room an overall warmer feeling.
This might seem contrary to popular belief. So much misinformation was created by an erroneous Swedish study that even allergists may still recommend carpet removal. Those studies have been proven false; the rate of asthma among Swedish children skyrocketed as carpet was removed from homes and schools. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s subsequent studies show that carpet’s ability to trap and hold allergens is a good thing. Those allergens are no longer kicked up where they can be re-circulated and ingested. They’re contained until vacuuming removes them. Like many scary stories, the apology didn’t get the same headlines as the original story.
Carpet vacuuming will need to be done far less often than floor sweeping – there is no dust bunny chasing with installed carpet. Carpet can also handle more abrasive soil than hardwood or vinyl finishes without showing damage.
Cost and Durability
Commercial property managers know that, in addition to a lower cost to buy and install carpeting, it takes far less effort to keep carpet looking good than other floor coverings. Maintaining a hard floor requires constant attention, while carpeting needs less frequent vacuuming and only occasional deep cleaning. The right carpet will stand up better to abrasion (and pet claws) than hardwood or stone.
A spill cleanup on carpet will take more effort than it would on a hard surface floor, so we wouldn’t recommend using carpet in areas exposed to water or frequent spills. Kitchens and bathrooms, entries from outside, and many high-use areas would benefit from using a flooring surface made for the job, though the right carpet might still be a good choice for some of those areas.
If you’re rejecting the thought that carpet can be stylish you may have that frumpy old fuzzy stuff stuck in your head. With thousands of styles, textures and colors, carpet allows a high degree of personalization in your living space. Today’s carpet can be practical, offering fade and stain resistance, and still be elegantly patterned to make a design statement.
We don’t think everyone is installing carpet over their hardwood floors like they did in the sixties, but a family room, den or home office that used to be laminate may be much more comfortable and stylish with carpet.
As carpet cleaning professionals we may be excused for seeming to be a little biased toward installed carpet. But, we also love hard-surface flooring, as it calls for area rugs to add comfort and design. D. A. Burns started as a professional rug cleaning company 86 years ago, and we didn’t get to be the largest rug and carpet cleaning company in the region by ignoring our history!
For a few ideas, check out Couristan’s guide.