Floors are important. The numbers say so, too. Between 2009 and 2014 the U.S. flooring industry grew by 1.1% each year. Whether or not we notice them right away, floors can set the tone of a room. Hardwood floors, for instance, make a room seem bigger and perhaps more refined. Carpeted floors provide a softer atmosphere both physically and aesthetically.
But how does one decide what type of floor is best for a room, aside from aesthetic appeal? Cost is a factor for most homeowners and business owners, as well as durability. Floors that last longer are obviously the better option, despite their higher price point.
All About Carpets.
Carpeted floors are everywhere. They cover nearly 70% of all the floors in the U.S. Bedrooms are particularly popular rooms for carpets, as an estimated 44% of homeowners prefer carpeted bedrooms. When it comes to floors, why carpeted ones?
Physical comfort is a big advantage of carpeted flooring. One seldom has to worry about slipping or falling on a carpeted floor, and falling on a carpet is much less severe than falling on a hardwood or linoleum floor. Carpets also insulate a room, maintaining warmth in cold weather. Beyond sheer comfort, carpets also provide several color and style options. A company can brand its logo into its carpeted floors, or a homeowner can choose from several professional designs that suit the room.
Carpets also have a decent lifespan. On average a well-maintained carpeted floor will last about ten years. Woven carpets in particular can last up to thirty years. Carpets are also easily recyclable. Carpet recycling efforts in recent years have saved an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of landfill waste in the U.S. alone.
What About Hardwood?.
Hardwood floors are becoming increasingly preferred by many. In terms of aesthetic appeal, any room can benefit from hardwood floors. They create the illusion of increased space.
In addition to how these floors look, they are also durable. Properly installed and maintained hardwood floors can last up to thirty years before needing replacement or serious repair. Hardwood floors also capture far less dust and other allergens than carpeted floors do.
Hardwood floor installation does tend to cost more than carpet installation. And despite the durability of hardwood, humidity, moisture, and other environmental factors can lead to warping and cracking. This is why proper maintenance is crucial to the longevity of one’s hardwood floors.
Other Flooring Options.
There are other floor types beyond hardwood and carpet. Linoleum tile floors, typically used for kitchens and bathrooms, have their own aesthetic appeal, and can also make for elegant and modern living rooms. Laminate floors are made of synthetic material but accurately replicate the look of wood, metal, stone, or other desired materials.
It’s almost hard to believe how much thought can go into something we take for granted every day. The next time you enter a new room, consider what the floor does (or doesn’t do) for the way it looks and feels, and consider just how important the right floor really is!