When deciding which flooring material to use, the pros and cons of each should be critically weighed because your choice can last you 10 years or more and will have subsequent maintenance costs. Homeowners may prefer carpet for comfort or aesthetic reasons; however, carpet has its drawbacks when compared to other types of modern flooring today.
Carpet flooring is a natural site for the accumulation of dust and dust mites, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This poses a health risk to everyone living in the house or building. Carpet flooring should be avoided if people living in the house have respiratory or allergy problems. Similarly EPA warns consumers that new carpeting can emit chemicals causing headaches, skin irritations, or shortness of breath.
The maintenance cost of carpet flooring is somewhat expensive compared to the maintenance of other types of flooring material. Carpets require more frequent vacuuming as compared to wood, tile, laminate, stone, or concrete floors, and therefore increase electricity costs. Also, a professional carpet cleaning to completely remove accumulated dirt, dust, or stains on the carpet carries a heavy cost when most other types of flooring can be thoroughly cleaned with just a mop and broom.
If not frequently cleaned, carpet flooring can absorb pet odors and other undesirable smells, which can be difficult to completely remove or clean. If water is spilled on carpet consistently or there is a continual source of moisture, like in humid climates, mold is prone to develop on the underside of the carpet causing health risks and sometimes requiring a professional carpet cleaner specializing in mold mitigation.
Carpeting is usually made of less resilient materials than other flooring types increasing its likelihood of damage. Carpet loops can be easily yanked by pet claws and furniture causing damage that is difficult to repair.
Unlike hard floors, spills can have a long-lasting effect on carpets. Some carpets today offer stain protection, but others soil easily--and sometimes permanently--making your only options to hide the stain or replace the carpeting in the whole room.
The majority of carpets are made of synthetic materials. Synthetic carpets tend to have a relatively short lifespan--sometimes as short as 10 to 15 years--due to the constant wear and tear that is incurred. Though other carpet options, such as wool fiber carpets, can last up to 30 years, other flooring materials, such as tile, can last a lifetime if installed correctly, according to "This Old House" magazine.
- Photo Credit feet and carpet image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com
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