Where Wood Flooring Beats Carpet
From lowering your carbon footprint, adding character to your indoor decor, to increasing the resale value of the property, hardwood floors come with their benefits to residential and commercial establishments alike. Sure, carpets have their appeal too and are establishments core to the flooring industry. With the cosy feel underfoot, muffling of footsteps as you walk over the lush fibres, the numerous styles and patterns available for you to spruce up your interior decor – they all come into play. In fact, global sales are expected to surge to over $73 billion by 2026. On the other hand, global wood flooring already clocked $73.4 billion as of 2018, and is expected to have a CAGR of about 6% right through to 2027. Each flooring type has its merits and demerits – and you can even place a carpet over your hardwood floor. However, here we will be focusing on areas that wood floors outdo carpeted floors, and what it means to your interior space.
The carpet absorbs it all. Pet messes, wine spills, kids’ accidents, to the allergens that wind up in the lush fibres – they are all held by the carpet. In fact, keeping it clean needs you to religiously vacuum it, and the absorbent nature of the material comes with issues of liquids seeping down right to the padding.
On the plus side, carpets do filter out the allergens from the air space, improving on the indoor air quality – though this is not perpetual. As the contents within the carpet increase, the particles will be easily dislodged and released back into the air – only this time around there will be a much higher concentration, putting the household members at risk. This then leads to increased allergic reactions and respiratory issues like asthma being aggravated. Routine deep carpet cleaning is required – and unless you get the professionals to do it, there is always the risk of damaging the carpet due to the application of wrong cleaning agents and processes, adding to the concerns.
When it comes to wood floors, they are much easier to maintain. The dirt particles are not absorbed into the material, and they are easily seen. With just a simple broom and a damp mop, you will be able to clean your floor. Finish treatments are also applied to prevent liquids from being soaked up by the wood. A floor sanding is carried out to open up the pores, and the finish products – from water-based to oil-based formulations, applied to bond with the structure. This prevents the spills from being absorbed by the wood quickly, thus buying you more time to clean up the spill.
From the synthetic carpets that wind up in landfills, to carpet cleaning products that come with harsh chemicals that pose risks to the surrounding biodiversity – the impact on the environment cannot be denied. This is why it is imperative that you get quality carpets from renowned brands that will have a long lifespan, and ensure that you have a proper maintenance program in place including professional carpet care that uses safe formulations, in order to reduce your carbon footprint.
When it comes to wood floors, they are typically sourced from plantations that have been specifically set up for growth of the trees that will be used. Wood harvesting is sustainably done with more trees being planted by the firms in the business compared to those that are being felled, in certified tree plantations. Sure, it can take hardwood trees around 40-60 years to mature, but the wood flooring that has been installed can last for decades when properly cared for. Reclaimed wood also weighs in, with sources ranging from military structures, old warehouses and boxcars, to dismantled houses. Even logs that were headed to mills but ended up sinking to river bottoms can be used. Wood has also been classified as a carbon neutral product, since it continues storing the carbon within it while in the manufactured end-product form – which also applies to the furniture, picture frames and cabinets. Far fewer raw materials are required to have wood as a flooring choice compared to alternatives, and there are lots of environmentally-friendly ways of disposing the wood once the installation reaches the end of its service life, especially by recycling the wood into different materials. Even if wood was to end up it a landfill, its biodegradable tissue structure means it will naturally decompose, ultimately contributing to a reduction of the volume of landfill waste.
Wood floor takes the cake here as well. Carpets get worn out faster especially in high traffic zones. What’s more, whenever there is a rip in the material, or a permanent stain in the middle of the carpet, it is essentially done for. It is also really difficult to restore it to its original state, with the inevitable wrinkling, staining and rips that occur over time – thus the need of over sticking to a strict maintenance program. Carpets will also need to be replaced more often – usually after around 12-15 years.
On the other hand, with proper care, the hardwood floor can last as long as the house. In fact, there are buildings where it has endured for over a century. Need a brand-new look for your installation? Have the floor sanding carried out to remove the existing treatment and worn out surface, and have fresh new finish coats applied. You don’t need to haul out the entire installation. A quality floor sanding and restoration will revitalise even the old floors. In addition, wood has the admirable trait of growing in beauty and developing more character over time, as long as it is properly taken care of.
With wood floors, you don’t have to worry about the installation getting outdated. While carpets trends and colourations vary with the seasons, the wood floor installed in the home will retain its style through the decades. Whether it’s installed when you’re beginning to raise your kids, or you’re selling the home to move to a new location and enjoy your retirement after your kids, now fully grown, have started households of their own, the wood floor will still be stylish.