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The Bedroom Floors: Pros and Cons of Carpeting Flooring

Carpet is the most popular choice for a bedroom flooring surface in North America and many other western nations, largely because it is soft and warm on the feet—an obvious advantage in a room where you are often bare-footed. That tactile comfort helps to create a sense of lush luxury in the room while also protecting you from cold toes on chilly winter mornings. But there are other reasons that carpet is popular, as well as some reasons you might not want to use it.

Pros

Thermal insulation: Carpeting, combined with a good-quality pad, can insulate a floor against heat loss, ensuring that the bedroom will remain toasty warm.

Sound-dampening: In a room where you sleep, carpeting can absorb outside noises and keep a bedroom quieter. Carpeting is the very best flooring for this.

Economical: Price is another factor that makes carpeting in the bedroom so popular. In recent decades, the manufacturing process has gotten so efficient that the cost for low-end materials can be as low as $2 to $3 per square foot installed, considerably cheaper than most other options. Keep in mind, though, that the price for higher-end specialty materials, such as wool carpeting, can be quite a bit higher. And carpeting has a shorter lifespan than some alternatives, such as hardwood.

Cushioned surface: This can be a matter of safety in bedrooms used by children or older adults since a fall on carpeting is unlikely to cause injury the way that a hardwood floor or other rigid surface can do. A good-quality pad beneath the carpet can increase the cushion.

Cons

Difficult to keep clean: Liquid stains can seep deep into the padding and remain permanently. And carpeting tends to attract both dust and small microscopic organisms, which can compromise to the air quality of the bedroom.

Traps allergens: Carpeting can trap pollen and other allergy-causing particles. No amount of deep vacuuming can completely remove allergens that become trapped deep in the backing and padding of a carpet. Carpeting is not a good choice for the bedrooms of allergy sufferers.

May off-gas chemicals: Although carpeting manufacturing processes are much better than they once were, some carpeting can still off-gas chemicals such as formaldehyde, especially when the carpeting is new. For people with chemical sensitivities, this can be a serious health concern.

Usually not recyclable: Although some installers will haul away old carpet when they install new flooring, this carpeting—and the synthetic materials used in its manufacture—are usually destined for landfills.

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