Most people don’t think to put carpet and technology in the same sentence, but flooring experts and carpet manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to meet consumer needs and improve their product. Today, carpet is defying all the old stereotypes of being dirt and germ collecting villains. Modern carpeting options can be hypoallergenic, stain resistant, waterproof and even eco-friendly. One of these solutions could make all the difference in your home.
Carpets are made of looped and woven fibers of many different kinds. But no matter the make or material, the fibers will catch and hold onto allergens in the air and brought in on clothes and pets. While this can be helpful, since the particles are not in the air, they can be released by normal foot traffic. We recommend that allergy sufferers vacuum often and shampoo or steam clean carpets when possible. Air filters can also help trap allergen particles and some vacuums even have them internally.
Carpet manufacturers have been working on synthetic blends to help the allergy sufferer. Polyester and nylon are constructed out of lab-developed fibers that repel allergens. Because these are not organic compounds, it is hard for bacteria and mold to grow on them. Pollen and dust will simply dry out instead of spreading or growing. Nylon is the most effective allergy-controlling carpet fiber. Carpets with short and tightly woven strands are the most hypoallergenic. Many carpets also have a marked VOC level. Volatile Organic Compounds are chemicals leftover from the binding process in carpet making. These compounds release as gas overtime (you know that new carpet smell). Don’t worry they won’t hurt you, but they can cause irritation and potential allergic reactions. Choose carpet with lower VOC levels if allergies are a concern.
People suffering from asthma should be most concerned with the presence of dust, or more precisely dust mites and their waste products. Contrary to popular belief, wool carpets can be enjoyed by asthma sufferers as wool is inhospitable to dust mites, and its long, course fibers cannot be inhaled. As with any carpet, regular and thorough cleaning is a must, and good ventilation and dry air will help prevent any issues for people with asthma.
Pet and Kid Friendly
We love our kids and our pets, but they can make the worst messes. From dragging in mud to splashing water on the floor, no carpet is safe. Because of this, pet owners and parents often stay away from carpet, but this is no longer necessary. Many carpets can now repel water and stains. Carpet is also a great choice for kid and pet friendly homes as it creates a non-slip surface and a softer fall for rambunctious kids. Carpet also naturally deadens noise, making your home a little quieter despite the extra pairs of feet. Below are two important attributes to consider for carpets when you’ve got pets and kids.
Most people assume the moisture absorption rate of carpet is just awful. How often do you see carpeted bathrooms and kitchens? Well that’s all changing as carpet manufacturers come up with water-repelling technology and stronger carpet backing for the busy household.
Carpets can now be made from polypropylene and other recycled plastics. This makes them repel water, giving you the time to clean up the spill before it becomes a bigger problem. And the moisture absorption rate is less than porcelain tile. The structure of the carpet, instead of being made from fibers that fray and wear down, makes it resistant to normal foot traffic, never shedding or fuzzing like other carpets. If the moisture is allowed to soak into the carpet, it will not make it past the plastic backed barrier to stain your subfloor. Often referred to as “lifeguard technology”, this waterproof solution means you can carpet any room and not worry about ruining your floors. Moisture will sit on top of the carpet, just waiting to be wiped up.
In a similar vein, stain resistance is critical in a kid and pet residence. The plastic based solutions discussed above are also usually stain resistant. Nylon is also a great option when it comes to stains. Nylon carpeting is almost always stain-resistant. Nylon fibers are often coated with chemicals which help it to repel stains and even odors. This is in part because of its short strands and closely bound structure. New puppy has an accident? Kids spill their juice in the living room? Not a problem. Most stains will lift with water and soap. It’s always best to clean up immediately before it dries. While the carpets we’ve discussed are water and stain resistant most of the time, it is still best to take care of the stain properly. Stay away from bleach as it can remove the protective chemicals from the carpet fibers, defeating the purpose and potentially making it worse.
Water and stain resistant carpets are becoming more prevalent as consumers demand them more and more. Many are labeled with “spill and soil shields” which tell you they will be easier to clean and lower maintenance than other carpeting options. These carpets are often cost effective and more durable. Also, the ability to repel stains and water means your carpets will look new and clean longer, putting off the signs of dinginess that can lead home owners to replace their carpets prematurely.
This day and age, carpets can be made from renewable resources, reclaimed, recycled and reused. These carpets can be made from biodegradable materials such fibers as sisal, seagrass, coir, organic cotton, jute, organic wool and bamboo. They are easily grown and do not have to simply be thrown away after use. Polyester is another fiber which is easily recyclable. Polyester can be manufactured to create all the pieces of a carpet (tufts to base) and then can be ripped up, sent back to the plant, torn up and created into a new carpet. Carpets can also be created from post-consumer products such as plastic.
A great way to combine many of these tips is through the use of carpet tiles. This trending option allows the carpet to be placed in pieces rather than one large roll. It is stylish and beautiful, creating multifaceted designs in any color scheme. But even if you choose something neutral and monochromatic, the tiles are easily replaceable, making a mess less of a disaster. Replace one tile instead of the entire room.
Talk to us about your carpeting options! We have the technology!
To schedule your free, in-home consultation with a Floor Coverings International Design Associate, call 803-661-8567 today!