Is it time to kick the hard stuff? Your feet, wallet and downstairs neighbors may be nodding.
I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m ready to embrace wall-to-wall carpeting again. In fact, I’m not sure why it fell out of favor in the first place. It is great for newly walking babies, provides a comfortable place to sit and play, and gives a room such a warm feeling. To be honest, for me the echo and starkness of vast wood or tile floors can be downright uncozy.
Bruised knees aside, there are plenty of reasons to ditch the hard stuff in favor the softness. Let me try to convince you.
1. Insulation. Carpeting holds warmth and insulates against extreme cold and heat. In colder climates this can be a big advantage. As energy and gas costs continue to rise, having carpeting throughout your home can lower your energy bill.
2. A sense of luxury.
Have you stayed in a luxury hotel recently that didn’t have carpeting? It is the most used floor covering in hotels for many reasons.
You can choose from many styles and colors. That means your ultimate choice will reflect how you want to personalize your living space. A carpet can be a neutral foundation or a focal point with bold pattern and vibrant color and texture.
Carpeting is ideal for cushioning our footsteps, reducing slips and falls, and minimizing injuries when falls do occur. It can provide safety protection for the whole family, but especially for toddlers and seniors.
And don’t forget about your pets. How many times have you winced as the dog or cat tried to take a corner too fast and skidded into the wall? Do pets a favor: Give them some traction.
4. Noise reduction. Many condo bylaws still require wall-to-wall carpeting. No need to wonder why. Big-screen TVs, speakerphones, computers and modern sound systems make our homes noisy places. Carpeting helps absorb these sound vibrations, especially with a good-quality pad beneath it. It works as a barrier between floors by reducing sound transmission to rooms below.
5. Durability. Carpeting will maintain its life and beauty for many years when properly cleaned and maintained.
6. Easy maintenance. If you have dogs or cats, no matter how often you sweep, you’ll still get tumbleweeds of fluff rolling around on hardwood floors. Wall-to-wall carpeting is easy to maintain. Vacuuming and occasional cleanings are all it takes. And treatment of stains is getting much easier with new technology. Today most stains can be easily removed if they are treated immediately.
7. Versatility. Patterns and colors range from contemporary to traditional, so there’s something for everyone.
8. Warmth. Stepping onto a chilly hardwood floor in the morning is no way to wake up. Carpeting always feels warm.
9. Softness. Face it: No kid wants to curl up on a hardwood floor to play with toys. Carpeting provides a cushioned surface so kids’ imaginations can run wild.
10. Expansiveness. Chopping a room up with hardwood and an area rug won’t give you that expanse of flooring that visually opens up a space, like wall-to-wall carpeting does.
11. Price. The entry-level price for carpeting, an underpad and installation is significantly less than hardwood floors. Of course, there are high-end prices for either group, but carpeting is still less expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of installation; hardwood is much more labor intensive.
If you’re not sold yet, consider a “nearly rug.”
If you still long for wood in your home but want some of the benefits of carpeting, try a “nearly rug”: Pick out an off-the-roll carpet, have it bound and voilà, you have an almost full-size rug. It will leave a border of hard flooring — hardwood, stone, ceramic. For this look I like to leave 12 to 18 inches of hard surface showing around the perimeter.