Wall-to-wall carpeting, once a home decor status symbol, has been overshadowed in recent years by the popularity of hardwood flooring. However, carpet can be a comfortable, affordable, green and attractive floor covering option. Find out why.
There’s nothing like sinking your toes into the deep pile of a carpet when you first get out of bed on a frosty winter morning. Trending now for the bedroom are super comfy plush carpets … some of them so soft that you need to use a special vacuum cleaner.
Speaking of winter, carpeting creates a warm and cozy surface that small children and pets will especially enjoy. Carpet’s insulating effect may allow you to lower your thermostat and reduce your heating bills in the cooler months.
Walking on carpeted floors with resilient underlay is easy on the joints, making carpet a great choice for homeowners with arthritis, bursitis and similar problems.
In a busy, lively household, carpeting acts as a sound buffer. In fact, many condo dwellers are obliged by their bylaws to install wall-to-wall for this very reason.
To reduce the effect of dust on family members’ allergies or other breathing problems, you should vacuum carpets frequently. A vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter will prevent dust circulation in the indoor environment. Make sure that the carpet is kept dry to avoid mold, which is also dangerous to the respiratory system. (This may be why the fashion for carpeting bathrooms was so short-lived!)
Carpeting is an affordable flooring solution, lower priced than almost all other materials except for vinyl sheeting. Although installation costs slightly more for carpet than for hardwood, the overall cost of carpet totals approximately half that of wood.
However, carpet does not last as well as hardwood floors, usually about 10 years for a good quality product. Its lifespan may be extended with proper care and maintenance. Remove your shoes when coming in from the outdoors and have your carpet professionally steam cleaned on a regular basis – every 12 to 18 months, and more often in high traffic areas or homes with children or animals.
Most carpeting today is made from synthetic fiber: nylon, polypropylene, polyester or triexta (branded as “sorona.” PET polyester is being used increasingly; this material contains a proportion of post-consumer waste from recycled containers, and at the same time is stronger and more stain resistant than older types of polyester.
More good news is the fact that synthetic carpeting is lower in VOCs than other non-natural flooring options such as laminate. It is recommended to leave your home for a few hours during and immediately following installation, as a precaution. The house should be well ventilated with open windows and fans for 48 hours.
Glue used to fasten your carpet in place may off-gas. Ask the flooring professional you hire to use tacks instead.
It’s advisable to look for natural or recycled materials in your carpet backing rather than styrene, which may cause cancer in humans. If you wish to have the carpet itself made from natural sources, choose traditional wool or less well-known fibers such as sisal from the agave plant or coir from coconut trees.
When you shop for hand-woven carpet, the GoodWeave symbol will assure you that it was not produced by child labor.
Forget the mushroom-like carpet colors of yesteryear. Today, pale green, blue and yellow are the new beige. These complement most furniture and accessories and upbeat neutral is the ideal palette if you are planning to put your home on the market in the near future. On the other hand, you may wish to experiment with interestingly bold hues, tone-on-tone or two-tone looks or a trendy Moroccan color scheme.
Fashionable textures are equally varied. They may be smooth (Saxony), lightly textured (textured Saxony) or nubby (loop pile). Some of the most interesting offerings have textured patterns incorporated into the weave. Surprisingly enough, friezé, which is very popular now, is a near-reincarnation of that iconic 70s style – shag carpet.