When it comes to floor coverings, high-traffic areas can present special challenges. Flooring for hallways, stairs, family rooms and other busy areas should be carefully chosen. These areas show evidence of traffic-related wear and tear sooner than other parts of the home.
There are many flooring options available for high foot traffic areas. Your decorating style, household situation, budget and personal tastes should all play a part in your decision.
The Appeal of Softness Underfoot
Carpeting can provide a noise-reducing, cost-effective and comfortable solution for many high-traffic areas, but before you make your product selection, examine the characteristics that make some carpets more traffic-friendly than others. To find the best fit for your home, consider the pros and cons of each type.
Compare Cut and Loop Styles
Each style of carpeting has its own traffic-resistant benefits to offer. Cut pile tends to be more crush-resistant than other loose fiber piles. A short, tight freize cut does not show footprints or vacuum trails as easily as high-pile cuts. Tight loop styles keep dirt on the surface; this makes cleaning easier.
Multi-level loop styles offer a more dimensional look. Berber is made with thicker fibers for increased durability. All are suitable for high traffic. The preferences of the homeowner and the conditions the area will be subjected to help determine the best choice.
Determining Carpet Durability Requirements
Every home has areas that are exposed to extra traffic, but the level of durability you need from your floor cover depends on your home’s daily environment. Larger families will naturally produce signs of wear and tear sooner.
If you have small children, your floors must withstand frequent running, tracked-in dirt, spilled food and drinks and misadventures involving permanent markers, finger paints or modeling clay.
A soft, plush surface may seem like a great way to reduce the impact of falls and make sitting on the floor more pleasant, but the long fibers may be flattened out quickly in high-traffic areas, and they can also be more difficult to clean. If you have pets, there are additional considerations.
House training accidents, vomit, tracked-in mud and impacted pet hair are more difficult to clean from loop pile or berber styles. Cats have a particular fondness for scratching berber.
More Factors that Affect Wear and Appearance
The overall appearance of wear is determined by many factors besides cut and pile types. The color you choose determines how visible potential stains will be. If you select lighter colors, prepare to steam clean frequently to keep them looking their best, and choose stain-guarded brands or apply protectant products regularly.
Even your geographical location can affect appearance. Soil types like red clay are more likely to stain lighter colors. In colder climates, high-traffic areas are exposed to heavy footwear more often.
No Long Term Commitment Necessary
Practicality is not everyone’s goal. You can still have luxurious, plush, high pile softness in your busy hallways if you don’t mind compromising on the product’s lifespan.
In general, carpeting tends to cost less than other types of flooring, so frequent replacement may be something your budget can withstand. This option also gives you the freedom to change your décor more often and to experiment with bolder colors.
Don’t Forget the Important Part to Carpeting
There are many variables to consider when choosing flooring for your busiest rooms. It can be a fun and interesting adventure. Your ultimate decision will depend on your priorities, but be sure that your choice is just as appealing to you as it is practical.
Whichever product wins your approval, treat it with care to keep it looking great despite the many burdens it must bear.