What You Need To Know About Flooring
Flooring is important, but the right type of flooring not only improves the look of a room, it can also increase the quality of life you have. People have always looked for the best floor to have. What has the best functionality, what looks better, is there even a difference between the different types of flooring. Though no matter what you are looking for, picking the right flooring for you is important. The biggest debate that is going on at this time is hardwood flooring or carpeting. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, so the right one for you might not be as hard of a choice as you think.
Carpets have been around longer than recorded history. The term carpet and rug is often interchangeable, as they both are closely related in construction and functionality. They were used to help keep out dirt and water from homes, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Wall to Wall carpeting however is a relatively new concept. It was after World War II that wall to wall carpeting started to become a common sight in American Homes. The functionality of carpeting with the innovation of wall to wall carpeting brought on new functionality as well. Not only did the carpeting help with dirt, but it also had the added benefit of being a sound dampener. With thick naps and padding under the carpet. The sounds produced by movement was virtually eliminated, but also sounds produced from other sources had a surface that absorbed them instead of reflecting them. Though that is not the only functionality of carpeting, here are some more:
- Comfort: Carpeting offers more comfort by offering lots of padding in not only what padding was laid under the carpet, but the nap of the carpet itself adds a level of comfort.
- Insulation: Carpeting also offers a barrier to the ground below. Reducing the loss of heat to the ground below, not only from feet, but from the ambient room temperature.
- Maintenance: Unlike wood flooring, Carpeting is lower maintenance. Cleaning the carpets with a vacuum cleaner or a shampoo cleaner might be a chore and time consuming, the cost of operating those items is less than resurfacing a wood floor.
- Safety: The higher friction surface of carpeting also reduces the likelihood of a fall. While rug burns are a hazard of falling on carpeting, because the surface does not become as slick the odds of falling on carpeting are less.
- Health: Most airborne allergens are trapped by carpeting. Trapping them in the nap of the carpeting until the next vacuuming can be done.
- Acoustics: While this was listed above, the list wouldn’t be complete without it. Carpeting reduces the echo effect that occurs in homes.
Though there are lots of advantages, there are disadvantages to carpeting as well.
- Can become unsightly: Lack of maintenance or high foot traffic could cause carpeting to become discolored or worn. This can hurt the overall look of a room, instead of helping it.
- Susceptible to moisture: Being a fabric, carpeting will absorb and hold moisture. This can lead to problems with mold or mildew.
- Health: I know this was listed above, but not only in helping with health, a carpet that is not maintained can have the opposite effect. Because it traps allergens inside the nap, walking on carpeting can release those into the air. They also can become infested with small insects with not vacuumed regularly.
Being a popular alternative to carpeting. Wood flooring, is a term often used for multiple items. Natural woods are what most people think of when they talk about wood flooring, but it is also a term that is used for laminate flooring as well. Both have similar advantages and disadvantages to them and is a comparison all on their own. Compared to carpeting though they are the same thing.
- Heating: Wood flooring retains heat better than carpeting. Since airflow just goes over the surface of wood flooring, unlike carpeting where the air flows around the fibers, heat is less likely to be lost to the air with wood.
- Ease of cleaning: Unlike carpeting, cleaning a wood floor is easier as spills are not absorbed by the finished wood and dirt and dust are not trapped inside the fibers requiring a vacuum cleaner to remove.
- Durability: Wood flooring might become scratched over the years, but can be resurfaced rather than replaced. Allowing a quality wood flooring to last years beyond what carpeting can do.
- Long term cost: Because hardwood flooring can be resurfaced if it becomes damaged or worn instead of replaced. The long term cost of a hardwood floor is less than carpeting which would need to be replaced when it wears out.
- Value: Because of the current trends. Homes with hardwood flooring have a higher value than carpeting. This is not only due to how common homes with carpeting are, but also due to housing trends.
- Versatility: Unlike carpeting, if the look of a hardwood floor is starting to lose its appeal. Placing an area rug over it is an option. Unlike carpeting where placing a rug ontop of it looks odd and out of place. Though the exception to that being by doors where people are to wipe their feet before moving further into the home.
- Health: Dust and Allergens that can become trapped inside carpet flooring will just sit on the surface of a hardwood floor. Also because there is no nap to a wood floor, bugs will not become an infestation on the surface of the flooring, unlike carpeting.
Like carpeting though, some of the advantages of carpeting can also be a disadvantage.
- Vulnerable to moisture: While wood flooring is easier to clean up liquid spills. The problem with wood flooring is if liquids stay too long on a wood floor they can become more damaged than carpeting.
- Higher Maintenance Cost: Easier to clean does not always mean cheaper. Waxing and resurfacing a hardwood floor is more costly than just shampooing a carpet. Also wood flooring is more vulnerable to sharp edges than carpeting.
- Harder to install: Not only does a wood floor require a flat surface to be installed on, if a home tends to shift and move through the seasons could cause problems for a wood floor.
- Noise: Because wood is a hard surface, sounds reflect off of it more than carpeting. Also being a hard surface when walked on or when objects fall on it the sound will be louder then softer surfaces like carpeting.
- Less Pet Friendly: Because most animals paws are meant to be used on soft surfaces with lots of friction, the smooth hard surfaces of wood flooring causes them to slide and slip more than carpeting.
The look of carpeting over hardwood flooring was left out of either, because they both can bring a room together. The designs of both vary greatly, though most carpeting that is installed is solid colors. The creativity and overall design of the carpeting and wood flooring is only limited by the cost and ease of installation.
Where to go for help
Even after going through all the advantages and disadvantages of carpeting and wood flooring the choice might not be simple. That is why the people at Flooring Center in ______ can help. Not only do they have samples of the different types of flooring available, they can also help with planning and ease of mind.