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This article comes from The Spruce.
Pros and Cons of 5 Popular Bedroom Flooring Materials
Every flooring material has both advantages and disadvantages, including the five most popular options for bedroom 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Next to carpeting, hardwood flooring is the most popular choice for bedroom flooring. Among real estate professionals, genuine hardwood is usually regarded as one of the best flooring materials. Not only is it beautiful and hard-wearing, but it’s also relatively warm and durable. Even better, it’s environmentally friendly.
- Attractive surface: Hardwood extends a warm, natural beauty to a bedroom. The look will vary depending on wood species and finish, but wood almost always lends a feeling of primal beauty to a room.
- Warmer and more resilient than tile and stone: While it’s obviously not as soft as its carpeting, hardwood planks do have some yield and are softer and warmer underfoot than most tile and stone alternatives. Hardwood can be combined with throw rugs and area rugs to make the floor even more amenable.
- Improves real estate value: While it wasn’t always the case, in today’s real estate market, hardwood flooring is a much sought-after flooring, and homes with hardwood tend to sell faster and for a slightly higher selling price.
- Maintenance is tricky: Hardwood flooring is fairly resistant to stains and damage, but when damage does occur, it can be hard to repair. And hardwood needs to be sealed occasionally and eventually will need to be stripped and refinished.
- Relatively expensive: Quality solid hardwood is one of the pricier flooring choices. Materials plus installation costs range from $6 to $25 per square foot, depending on the type of wood selected.
- No thermal or sound insulation value: Hardwood floors offer no insulation value, and they are noisy, with no sound absorption or dampening effect.
Although it is still a relatively unusual flooring material, natural cork flooring is becoming more popular in bedrooms, where it has many virtues. Among its most important features is its ability to insulate between floors. This can help provide soundproofing while also helping keep heat and air conditioning where it belongs.
- Spongy and soft underfoot: Cork is a yielding surface that is extremely comfortable on the feet. Next to carpeting, this is one of the most forgiving floors when a person falls.
- Warm underfoot: This material is warmer than hardwood, though not as cozy as carpeting.
- Insulation value: Cork is filled with millions of tiny air bubbles, which serve to offer both thermal and sound insulation value.
- Easily scratched: The big problem with cork flooring is that it is a relatively soft material and will easily scratch from pet claws, furniture legs, and high heels.
- Shorter lifespan than hardwood: Cork will have to be replaced periodically,, although some products can be refinished a few times between installations. Well cared for, however, a cork floor can still last 25 years.
- Relatively expensive: Cork is nearly as expensive as hardwood, with thicker, higher quality, longer-lasting cork floors costing as much as many hardwood options.
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