Monday, November 16, 2015

The Case for Carpet: Is Carpet the Right Choice for Your Home?


Authorities have differing stances on carpet as a flooring choice in homes. Reality is, just as with other flooring, there are many varieties and qualities of carpet. Some may be more suited for your home than others. When maintained properly and cleaned regularly, carpet (just like any other flooring) can be a great choice for your home, though.

There are many benefits to using carpet. First, it's one of the most affordable flooring options, with prices being between $1.50-$7 per square foot. Usually, the higher the price, the better quality the carpet is. Even a high-quality carpet is often less expensive than decent quality hardwood flooring, which costs between $9-$12 per square foot. Tile can be even more expensive, costing between $10-15 per square foot. Vinyl and linoleum flooring can be in the same cost range as carpet. However, there are many other aspects aside from cost to keep in mind regarding your home's flooring.

Carpet flooring is great at reducing the noise level, whereas linoleum, vinyl, hardwood, and tile simply aren't; tile is especially bad at just bouncing sounds rather than absorbing them. All carpet easily absorbs sounds, so consider the noise level in your home when choosing your flooring options. With all the electronics we have in the home these days, the absorption of sounds with wall-to-wall carpeting can be quite advantageous. It's a particularly important feature in multiple-level homes. There are even Homeowner Associations of condos and townhouses that require carpet to be installed on second story floors or above, simply because the foot traffic can become too noisy to neighbors when other types of flooring are used. Also, living with children or loud pets, like dogs or birds, would be easier on the ears when there is carpet to absorb the various noises.

The softness of carpet also can provide more of a homey feeling. It provides a softer, warmer place to walk barefoot, sit, play, and it even provides thermal resistance, helping rooms stay a comfortable temperature while using less energy. The texture of carpet also helps to prevent slipping, and softens falls. This can be an important feature of carpet; especially when considering homes with toddlers or elderly individuals. Even pets, like cats and dogs, usually prefer carpeting to other flooring options. It's easier for them to walk and lay on compared to other flooring types.

Many allergists say that having carpet at home is bad for those with asthma and other allergies. They argue that the carpet's fibers absorb many allergens like dust, pollen, mold spores, and fungi. However, many studies have shown that homes with properly maintained carpet actually helps to reduce asthma and allergy symptoms (CRI & Jaakkola, et al.). This is because carpet is able to trap the allergen particles, removing them from the air you breathe; effectively acting as a passive air filter. With other flooring, small movements just get the small particles on the floor airborne, making them more likely to affect those with allergies. You can even see when sweeping that many of the particles on hard flooring simply become airborne. Among the various flooring options, new carpet also releases the lowest amounts of volatile organic compounds, making it the best choice for those concerned about indoor air quality.

Carpet can really add to the quality and comfort of your home. It's one of the most affordable flooring options. It helps with noise reduction. It makes the floor soft and the perfect temperature for walking barefoot on. Obviously, other flooring options are preferable in the kitchen and bathrooms, and other areas of the home that often get wet. However, when cleaned and cared for properly, it's the best option out there for those concerned about indoor air quality and home comfort.

Works Cited:

"Carpet Enhances Your Home." Carpet for the Home. The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). Web. 20 Oct. 2015. < https://www.carpet-rug.org/Carpet-for-the-Home/Benefits-of-Carpet-and-Rugs.aspx >.

Jaakkola, Jouni J. K., Helen Parise, Victor Kislitsin, Natalia I. Lebedeva, and John D. Spengler. "Asthma, Wheezing, and Allergies in Russian Schoolchildren in Relation to New Surface Materials in the Home." Am J Public Health American Journal of Public Health (2004): 560-62. American Public Health Association. Web. 22 Oct. 2015. < http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.94.4.560 >

Article written by Melinda Stock, a Kirby Independent Representative in Central Florida.
To learn more about maintaining a clean, safe, and healthy home, visit Melinda's website, http://www.kirbyexpert.com. With a Kirby Vacuum Home Care System, you can easily clean and maintain your home's carpet and other flooring.
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