Fashion trends come and go and the same can be said of the way we decorate and furnish our homes. Various fads have come along through the years from textured ceilings and heavily pattered carpets in the 60's and 70s to shall we say "interesting" wallpapers in the 80's. Now of course we have the laminate flooring boom of recent years. Carpets however have always featured heavily in our homes and this is unlikey to change anytime soon.
But what are the benefits of carpets over hard floors? Or perhaps hard floors hold the benefits over carpets? Or is this just a matter of personal taste?
In recent years hard flooring has become very popular with it being seen by many as the modern option. This trend however is now beginning to reverse once again as the benefits that carpet holds over solid flooring are becoming more apparent.
So let's first look at the benefits of hard flooring. It is argued that hard flooring offers easy cleaning, longevity and a modern look. And who wouldn't want that?
But when we look at this in detail, is mopping or dusting a hard floor really any easier that running the vacuum cleaner over it? And does a modern look equate to a cold, somewhat non cosy environment? Ultimately this is of course a matter of personal preference and I do understand why some people prefer hard flooring.
The other side of the coin is what benefits do carpets offer us over hard floors?
Firstly carpets act as insulators helping to retain heat in the room by forming an insulating barrier between the floor surface and our feet. I'm sure we have all walked bare foot across a hard floor on a cold morning and know the difference a carpet can make.
The second benefit carpets have to offer is comfort under foot. Springy underlay and a good deep pile carpet is surely more appealing than a cold solid surface?
So what can be done to increase the chance of removing a stain before it sets and permanently damages your carpet?
However the biggest benefit of carpets in my opinion is without doubt the health advantages they bring over hard floors
A number of years back now, as laminate flooring was first becoming popular I remember hearing that hard floors are better for asthma and allergy sufferers than carpets. At the time like many others I believed this, really without questioning the logic.
As an asthma sufferer myself I wanted to find out more. Let's examine the facts. A carpet sits across our floors and over time collects dust and dirt (or as we call it in the trade "Soil").
This is made up of everything from house dust, to particles brought in from the outside world. From traffic exhaust particles and pollen coming in through our windows to our own shed skin cells and hair. Lots of various microscopic particles. These particles become trapped in our carpets working their way deep in to the pile.
Now, imagine the same scenario with a hard floor. The same particles cannot get trapped in a hard floor, so every time you open a door or walk through a room these particles are swept around and up into our breathing zone!
Our carpets act like air filters. They trap soil which would otherwise be floating around in the air we breathe. Take a look at the video on the gallery page called "why should I have my carpets cleaned" and you will see a Microbiologist who explains this in more detail.
As with all filters they need regular cleaning. Professional couples (who are generally out a lot) should look to have their carpets deep cleaned once every 18 months. Retired couples who spend more time at home and families may wish to have theirs cleaned every 12 months and families with young children every 6 months or so.
We will of course continue to make this personal statement of taste in our own homes to suit our own individual needs. This is however food for thought.