Hard Surface Flooring Vs Wall to Wall
Since it appears many people are replacing their carpets with hard surface flooring, i.e. hardwood, laminate or tile, I would address some of the trade-offs.
I do agree that a hardwood or laminate floor looks awesome. I also agree that 90% of the allergens and pollutants in a house are found in the carpet. YOU are concerned about cleanliness and allergies. But let's look at the trade-offs.
Carpet has more traction and will help prevent slips and falls. And when someone does fall, the cushioning softens the impact; there are fewer injuries.
*PET OWNERS* - Something to be aware of.
Here is a consideration one of my clients shared with me.
His dog was developing hip problems from walking on the slippery laminate. He needed to lay runners over the laminate to help his pet.
Also, unless you have a Poodle type dog, all that cat and dog hair blows all over, as was told to me by another client who replaced their carpet with laminate.
Carpet is a super sound-absorber, ten times more efficient in airborne noise reduction than any other floor covering.
It is just SO MUCH quieter.
You won't hear the pitter patter of little feet (ie your pets) all the time.
Carpet's insulating characteristics reduce the amount of energy needed to keep temperatures comfortable, providing actual thermal resistance, or R-value. Its a lot warmer on the feet, cause when your feet are cold, everything is cold!
4. ERGONOMICS / COMFORT / ESTHETICS:
When compared with hard-surface flooring, carpet provides therapeutic conditioning to your feet, reduces leg fatigue, and is much easier on the back.
If you remember the movie Die Hard where John McClean was digging his toes into a thick soft carpet? Can't do that with a beautiful hardwood floor.
As I've mentioned, there is something inherently beautiful about a hardwood floor. However, carpet does have more interior design flexibility and variety.
TAKE THE TEST
If you want to experience the difference between hard surface flooring and carpet there is a very simple test you can do.
Next time you're walking around the house in barefeet, just throw a towel on the floor.
Step on, step off, step on, step off.
When I do that its feels like a 5 degree increase in temperature when I'm on the towel. It just feels better.
5. LOWER MAINTENANCE COST:
Carpet is less expensive to maintain than hard-surface flooring, when both are maintained properly. Don't forget your own Time;
hard surface floors are more time demanding, sweeping or mopping almost every day whereas a good vacuuming once a week will maintain a carpet.
It is also easier to install a carpet and properly maintained will last you 20yrs plus.
6. INDOOR AIR QUALITY and ALLERGIES:
Carpet helps control airborne allergens and microscopic particles by trapping them until vacuumed. Hard surfaces are easier to clean up from spills but allow dust, hair and allergens to recirculate and remain airborne.
See the article : Carpets in Schools/Swedish Study
7. PET ACCIDENTS may be easier to clean on carpet rather than hardwood or laminate. If the urine soaks into the flooring, I can often remedy the problem on carpet. With hardwood, it might be able to be sanded or cut out.
On laminate however, it will need replacement. One client couldn't find a match, it had gone out of stock. She had to replace her entire floor, ie the Living room, the dining room, the hallway, the den, just to repair a 4 sf area that a dog had urinated on.
Often I have discovered that a good proper cleaning, One to Two times a year, will alleviate many minor allergy issues and will keep your home smelling fresh and looking pristine!