Allergen-Friendly Flooring: Carpet Vs Hardwood
Creating a healthy home environment for ourselves and our loved ones is at the top of everyone’s list of priorities. For the one in five people in the U.S. who suffer from allergies or asthma symptoms, achieving that goal can pose some challenges. One of those challenges is finding a floor covering that can be kept as free of potential allergens as possible. The good news is that the floor covering industry has responded to the health concerns of the 55% of people who have tested positive for at least one allergen by participating in stringent certification programs for their products.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), hardwood floors are an ideal choice for those who suffer from allergies. Dust and other potential allergens can be easily seen and cleaned, rather than becoming trapped in carpet fibers. Wood flooring provides the added benefits of both long-lasting beauty and increased marketability. 99% of real estate agents report that homes with hardwood floors are easier to sell. Less expensive alternatives that offer resistance to mold and mildew are bamboo and wood laminate flooring. Experts advise choosing a wood laminate low in VOCs, which are the chemicals used in the manufacturing process.
While wood flooring is an ideal choice for reducing allergens, it does require frequent cleaning to remove dust and keep it from circulating. That’s one of the reasons that many people prefer replacing their old carpets with new ones made of natural wool or hypoallergenic synthetic fibers that resist dirt, moisture and mildew. Carpets with tightly woven fibers provide less space for potential allergens to become trapped. An added benefit is that dust, pet dander, and other irritants are more likely to settle, and remain, on the carpet until it can be vacuumed.
Whether you choose wood flooring or new carpeting to reduce allergens in your primary living areas, it’s important to consider other alternatives for areas prone to moisture, such as kitchens, bathrooms and basements. Ceramic tile and stamped concrete are popular choices because they combine beauty with practicality. Long-lasting, low maintenance and water-resistant, they can also add a dash of personal style to your décor. The immense variety of colors, styles, textures and materials now available in floor coverings ensures that, whatever your style or budget, you can reduce allergens and increase the beauty and environmental health of your home.
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