Carpets vs HardflooringThe debate over which is better, carpet or hardflooring, hardflooring or carpet remains a highly sensitive, yet very topical, subject for both commercial and residential markets alike.
Articles in early 2004 appeared in four leading UK national newspapers headlining accidents on hardflooring have increased by over 300% in the last five years (research carried out by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents – RoSPA – February 2004). This may have focused attention on one aspect of choosing floorcovering but there are many other benefits when specifying carpet over hard floor covering.
The Benefits of Choosing CarpetThe benefits derived from selecting good quality carpets in any type of application are manifold: what other type of floorcovering will provide sound insulation, energy savings, underfoot comfort, a safe, non-slip floor, and be easy to clean and install, with good wear and non-allergenic properties, while still providing the consumer with the flexibility for individual creative design?
Sound InsulationNoise pollution in houses can have a serious effect on the wellbeing of all its users and in this respect a fitted carpet plays an important role virtually eliminating impact noise through sound absorption.
Therefore the use of carpet enhances sound absorption, and the conduction of impact noise can be reduced by up to 30dB, as opposed to comparative values for smooth floorcoverings which lay between 5-15dB.
For example, the benefits of noise reduction can be felt throughout the house. In particular, in flats and on first/second floors when noise of hard flooring can be heard most by people on lower floors.
Energy SavingCarpets can make a measurable contribution to retaining the warmth in a room and therefore saving energy. Carpets have low heat conduction and are natural thermal insulators creating a heat barrier.
As a result, as much as 10% of the heat in a room which would be dissipated with smooth floorcovering is retained in the room by the carpet.
This, combined with the outstanding underfoot comfort of a carpet, can result in a considerable reduction in the use of heating in the transition from a warm to a cold season. It has been estimated that up to 30 days heating can be saved, resulting in an energy saving of around 4-6% and a consequent reduction in heating bills.
SafetySafety covers two aspects – reduced slippage, especially when wet, and a decrease in stress on joints The soft resilient fibres of a carpet provide a cushioning effect and excellent orthopedic properties.
The underfoot safety of carpets is an important feature, both in the home and the workplace. Infants and the elderly in particular benefit from the non-slip aspects of carpets and, in the event of a fall, the soft resilience of the carpet lowers the risk of injury.
HealthWith their superb dust-trapping properties, carpets are conducive to a healthy living environment. Dust settles quickly and is then securely held by the pile fibres of the carpet until it is vacuumed again.
The dust is not disturbed by incoming air draughts, and this means that the dust content of the indoor air is kept low. This is particularly important since dust particles also act as carriers for germs, allergens and other air contaminants.
Allergies due to carpeting are unknown. The myth that carpets promote dust-mite allergies is untrue, because these are attributable to the faeces of the house-dust mite – the actual allergen itself. Bedding and bed linen contain up to 70% more house-mites than carpets. Regular vacuuming and cleaning, together with adequately ventilated and dry rooms, means that it is virtually impossible for a carpet to contain, entrap or transmit allergens.
GeneralCarpets are quick and easy to install allowing the consumer considerable scope for fashionable creativity – whether they are used in a wall-to-wall design or in combination with other flooring surfaces.
Most quality carpets have excellent wear properties, which means that many years of comfortable service can be expected if the right carpet is selected in the first instance.