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The benefits of carpet over wood flooring

With recent advances in manufacturing, the humble carpet is seeing a resurgance as the family flooring of choice, consigning wooden floorboards to the history books again.

Home design and makeover TV programmes have heavily featured the sanding down of old floor boards or laying of new laminate or real wood floors in recent years, but there is now a trend to return to the carpet as the flooring of choice. With wooden floors being noisy under the tramp of family footsteps, cold under bare feet, having no heat-retaining properties and requiring high maintenance to keep them looking good, the advantages of carpet are being re-discovered and wooden floors are disappearing beneath them.

Like so many other industries, carpet production has advanced dramatically, with stain-proofing treatments and methods to prevent compression of the pile due to frequent use being applied at the point of manufacture, and as such, carpet is rapidly becoming the flooring material of choice for many families. There is now a vast range of carpet suitable for every room to choose from in natural products from wool to vegetable fibres. These carpets are easy to keep clean and looking good; children can play on them more comfortably, babies can crawl on a warm surface and cold bare feet on the floor are a thing of the past as they help retain valuable heat during cold winter months.

Gone are the days of matted shag pile and dowdy floral – modern carpets are stylish, hard-wearing, heat retaining and very fashionable. There is every colour under the rainbow available, but it should always be kept in mind that this covering is going to be down on your floor for a long time and needs to blend in with your furnishings. A fairly neutral shade is probably the best choice for most areas.

One important factor to consider when choosing new carpet is which room it’s going to be in. Bedrooms can have slightly less hard-wearing grades than stairs or lounges where traffic is going to be higher. Good carpet suppliers will advise on the best quality available for your budget. They will also provide the consumer with samples to be viewed in the home and will measure up and advise on underlay, fitting and aftercare, explaining the warranty that comes with your chosen flooring. It is well worth having your new carpets fitted professionally to get a really great finish – nothing looks worse than badly fitted carpets.

If you don’t fancy wall-to-wall, another option is to keep your wooden floor but add a large carpet with a surround of wood still showing. There can be advantages to this choice in high traffic areas as the carpet can be turned to distribute the wear, preventing a worn patch on the areas which get the most use. This can prolong the life of the carpet and give you all the benefits of carpet plus the attractive appearance of the wood surround.

To maintain your carpet in peak condition, vacuum regularly, mop up spillages and shampoo occasionally in accordance with the manufacturers recommendation. With the right choices and aftercare, you can maintain a homely warm and functional environment for family living.


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