After years of seemingly losing popularity to wooden or laminated flooring, carpets appear to be making a comeback. Why this should be deserves investigating and we will do just that. We will look at the benefits carpet offers over hard flooring. We will examine the best way to choose a carpet and offer some tips on how to keep your carpet in pristine condition.
Firstly, as an aside, we will take a look at a piece of public art in Newcastle over which a discussion has been initiated by the region’s
Member of European Parliament who wishes to get rid of the “Blue Carpet” installation outside the city’s Laing Art Gallery. Martin Callanan the MEP claimed that the piece was not well designed or thought out and that the council should cut their losses. Mr Callanan was expressing his frustration that the Blue Carpet, a set of paving slabs, made from crushed blue glass and resin composite, was reportedly costing the council between three and five thousand pounds a year in maintenance fees. The Blue Carpet was installed in 2001. Where it skirts buildings the paving skin rises up to give the effect of carpets. Newcastle City Council has confirmed that there are no plans to remove or redesign the artwork.
Advantages of carpets
So, back to the point in hand, why are carpets back in fashion? What advantages do carpets have over wooden flooring?
Comfort, warmth underfoot, sound and heat insulation which can lead to lower energy costs all contribute to the argument of carpet versus hard flooring.
The non slip protection that carpets offer, as against shiny surfaces, makes for a safer environment.
Cost is also a major factor in deciding between carpets and wooden flooring. Carpets tend to be cheaper, in addition to lower installation and maintenance costs.
The long held myth that carpets lead to dust allergies can here be well and truly debunked. Such allergies are caused by the faeces of the dust mite which is generally found in the warmth of bedding.
Carpets actually give better protection against dust than wooden floors. The dust is captured within the pile of the carpet until removed by regular use of the vacuum cleaner. On the other hand, germ-carrying dust will be borne along the shiny surface of hard flooring by draughts and is more likely to cause lung irritations.
How one chooses a carpet is very much down to personal choice, but there a few points to take into consideration. Although a living room carpet will most probably be chosen for its thick pile and comfort, it also needs to be hard wearing; likewise for hall and stair carpets.
It can be tempting to have a nice warm carpet in the bathroom but one needs consider how splashed water and drips will affect the material within the carpet.
Once you have chosen and laid your carpet, how do you keep it looking clean and fresh?
Probably, the preferred option would be to employ the services of a professional carpet cleaner. The next best thing would be to hire, or buy, a steam cleaner.
If you choose to clean the carpet yourself, always test the cleaning solution on a small part of the carpet first. In order to clean areas where there may have been oil or grease spillages, it is advised to leave some sodium bicarbonate on the affected areas overnight and vacuum in the morning.
Recent flooding, particular in the northeast of England, has led to many insurance claims. Make sure your home insurance covers replacement of carpets and that the total value of all your furnishings are sufficiently covered.