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A bedroom is your sanctuary for resting after a long and tiring day—rest, reset, regenerate, and refresh. You should be able to do all these in a beautiful and inviting area. And flooring such as carpets and laminate can help make your bedroom a cozy space, but which is better?
A carpet is better for your bedroom as it absorbs sound, keeps your room comfortably warm, and gives you that relaxing, soft feel. However, there are many things to consider when you’re choosing between carpeting and laminate flooring for your bedroom.
Let’s delve into why bedroom carpets make sense for most people and why laminate flooring might be a worthy alternative, just in case you’re not sold on carpeting.
Bedroom Carpets: What You Need To Know
When it comes to flooring the bedroom, you can rely on carpets for that soft and cushiony feel for your floors. Beautiful carpets add to your bedroom’s décor with their patterns, pile heights, and colors. But appearances and style are not the only reasons that you should consider carpets for your bedroom.
Pros of Bedroom Carpet
Aside from looking good, bedroom carpets are also functional. They make floor activities more comfortable and enjoyable. They can feel luxurious to the feet when you take off your shoes or bedroom slippers, right before slipping under the covers. They also help you save money.
Here are the advantages of having a bedroom carpet:
Soft to the Touch
Most people choose carpets for their bedrooms because it’s soft. The cushiony feel of carpets helps you relax, and it is a lot better than having your feet touch the cold floor right after you have just woken up from a long deep sleep.
Bedroom carpets are made with fibers, which are made up of filaments. Fine filaments usually mean soft carpets. A typical carpet would have filaments the size of 20 to 24 denier, but super soft carpets usually have filaments ranging from 10 to 12 denier.
Carpets usually give you a cushioned feel, which is great if you walk around the bedroom with bare feet. They can help get you relaxed as you get ready for bed. Or to spend some time with the kids while playing comfortably on the floor.
Carpets Are Naturally Warm
Aside from the softness, carpets can also protect you from having to touch the cold floor when you get out of bed. But a well-made and well-fitted carpet can increase your bedroom’s energy efficiency.
Approximately 10 percent of the heat lost when you have smooth floors can easily be saved by carpets. As such, carpets can help you save on energy costs while also keeping you warmer when you need it. It can help you delay the time when you need to turn up the heater, which can help you save anywhere from four to six percent of your heating costs.
Carpets are natural insulators because they conduct very low heat. These can also protect you by acting as a heat barrier, keeping out the cold of a concrete floor or those that are prone to cold drafts.
Carpets Can Dampen Sound
Carpets are one of the easiest ways to soundproof a room. Did you know that hard floors such as concrete or wood can add to the noise inside the room because sound bounces right off them? That is especially true when it is impact noise, such as the sound of objects as they hit the floor, kids running around, or your own footsteps.
On the other hand, carpets have individual fibers, underlay, and piles of tufts, all of which absorb different frequencies of sound. According to the Carpet Institute of Australia, having a carpet and underlay can soften the harshest noise and give you a more peaceful bedroom. What’s more, carpets are better than acoustic ceiling tiles when reducing floor impact noise.
According to interior designer Rochelle Morris, carpets can not only eliminate the sound of something hitting the floors, but there is no reverberation off the ceiling and walls, so you have a quiet room without the echoing:
The Science Behind Carpets and Soundproofing
It is not just an observation as well. Several studies have found that carpets do help make your room quieter. It has been found that carpets can reduce floor impact noise by at least 20 decibels. That means that somebody would have to stomp very hard to wake you.
Another study also found that a broadloom carpet with a noise reduction coefficient will absorb more than a third of the sound that strikes it. What’s more, the thicker the carpet, the more sound it absorbs. Further, you can double your carpet’s soundproofing capacity if you put an underlay as well.
Carpets are pretty easy to maintain. You just have to remember to vacuum regularly. According to this page, you only need vacuum high traffic areas twice a week. Your bedroom carpet will probably need less frequent cleaning.
You should also use the right height for vacuuming the carpet. Raise the height to the highest setting, and then turn it on. Continue to lower the height setting until you feel the vacuum move forward.
For the best clean, vacuum slowly. Keep in mind that you should complete two slow passes for high traffic areas, while a quick pass would do for other sites.
Further, keep the filter or the bag clean, as these can help your vacuum clean better while ensuring that the dirt does not just go back into the air and fall back into the carpeting.
You Don’t Have to Pay Much to Have Wall-to-Wall Carpeting Installed
Carpets are also cheaper to install. According to Fixr, the typical homeowner will pay around $7 to $12 per square foot to install carpeting, or usually $980 to $1,600 to lay down a carpet in a 10 by 14 feet (3.05 to 4.27 meters) room.
Cons of Bedroom Carpet
Admittedly, carpets are far from perfect. Here are the things that you should be aware of if you’re considering carpets for your bedroom floor.
A Carpet Will Eventually Need to be Replaced
Bedroom carpets generally last longer than those you use in the living room or other areas that receive a lot of foot traffic. However, they will still need to be replaced if they start to show signs of wear and tear.
Damage, Wear and Tear
A carpet can be damaged, or it may be worn out. You can probably repair small tears in your carpet, but larger ones will likely mean that it needs to be replaced.
Another sign that you would probably need to replace your bedroom carpet is when it looks dirty, even after cleaning it. Or when the color has faded and become dull.
You should also consider replacing your carpet when it has become matted. Matting can cause your carpet to look flatter than when you first bought it.
Allergies and Other Health Issues
Even the best carpets can start holding in mildew, mold, and dirt, no matter how well you clean it. These particles can often cause allergies, so if you notice an increase in the frequency that family members are exhibiting allergic reactions such as having a stuffy nose, coughing, or sneezing, your carpet might be the culprit.
Respiratory problems are also an issue with older carpets, including runny nose, colds, and coughs.
Smells and Stains
Your bedroom carpet is not safe from spills and can often fall victim to messy accidents. That is especially true when you have pets or kids who are always running around spilling stuff.
The good news is that there are stains that quickly come out, or you can always hide them under furniture. But others might leave a permanent mark on your carpet. You can also consider having your bedroom carpet professionally cleaned to deal with the smells and the stains, but that may not work all the time.
The thing is, some stains can give rise to a lingering odor, and they are more challenging to deal with when the spill has seeped into the carpet cushion or carpet fibers.
Bugs, Dirt, and Dust: What Your Carpet Might Be Hiding
As your bedroom carpet gets older, you can expect it to become dirtier. Sometimes, the dust, dirt, or debris can come out when you vacuum regularly. But there are quite a number of things that you might be surprised to find lurking within the carpet fibers.
This study published in Scientific Reports found that the carpeted room had more arthropods. It does not matter if you were tidy, have pets, or used pesticides. You will always have more insects, spiders, silverfish, booklice, and other similar small animals if you have carpeted rooms.
Bedroom carpets are often infested with carpet beetles, ants, cobweb spiders, fungus gnats, booklice, gall midges, mosquitoes, silverfish, and cockroaches.
Sometimes, you spill water and other liquids onto your carpet, and these soak your carpet every before you can get paper towels to blot them dry. The extra moisture can quickly become homes for a wide variety of mold.
Mold under the carpet can mean odors and stains that grow in size over time. And mold often releases spores into the air and causes allergies.
According to this International Association of Certified Home Inspectors article, carpets are high-risk areas for growing molds. Damp and moist carpets that have some dust in them can be very conducive to mold. As a mold spore, which is common in the air we breathe, lands on a moist part of a carpet, it can quickly grow.
How to Know if Your Carpets Have Mold
You probably think that your carpet is spotless and free from mold, just because you cannot see them. But in reality, mold growth is not always readily visible. Sometimes, the mold grows underneath the carpet instead of above it. In this case, it is not always readily seen.
Carpets might also emit an odor or exhibit some discoloration when it is growing molds. Others may even mistake it as mildew.
Remember that carpets that have been damaged by water, such as those that are flooded over, will need to be immediately replaced unless you can remove, clean, and dry the carpet anywhere from 24 to 48 hours after it has been wet. The same is true is the carpet padding gets wet.
Bacteria and Germs
According to immunologist and microbiologist Dr. Philip Tierno, you might find around 200,000 bacteria in every square inch of your carpet.
But that is not the end of it. When you walk on or roll around on carpets, you are agitating the bacteria, which causes some of them to surface. Your shoes alone can bring in a lot of bacteria onto your carpet, including those that can cause infections to several organs, including the lungs, the eyes, the urinary tract, and blood.
Other Things That You Might Find in Your Bedroom Carpet
Aside from these, your carpet might just be harboring the following:
- Dead skin: People typically lose around 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells every minute. If you want to picture just how many skin cells that is, it is equivalent to about nine pounds (four kilograms) if you collect all those flaked-off skin for a year.
- Dust mites: All those dead skin cells might be icky enough, but it gets dangerous when it attracts dust mites, which consider it as food. Dust mites are invisible to and undetectable by the human eye, but these microscopic insects can often trigger allergic reactions in some people.
- Pollen: If you leave a bedroom window open, pollen can quickly come and settle on your carpet. Pollen can trigger asthma attacks or cause hay fever.
- Dog poop and cat litter: If you don’t take off your shoes and leave them at the front door, chances are you are taking dog poop inside the house and into your bedroom. And if you own a cat, they may track kitty litter onto your carpets.
Laminate Floor: An Overview
Laminate floors are inexpensive flooring options that you can consider if you like the look of hardwood floors without spending too much on it. Laminate flooring these days is no longer a cheap-looking plasticky affair. They look a lot better and are more durable than most other flooring materials.
This flooring type is often seen in median value homes, with high-end properties often sporting luxury vinyl plank, stone tiles, or hardwood. However, there are instances that you can get away with installing well-made laminate flooring without it looking tacky.
Laminate Flooring: What Is It Made Of?
A lot of people mistakenly think that laminate flooring is made with plastic. It used to be, but most laminates now have four different layers:
- The wear layer is the topmost layer. This transparent protective layer, created by using aluminum oxide, guards your laminates against surface burns, stains, and fading.
- The design layer is actually a high-resolution image that gives laminate flooring its wood-like appearance. It is just under the transparent wear layer.
- The core layer is made up of a high-density and durable fiberboard that is moisture- and dent-resistant.
- The back layer is at the bottommost, and it helps to protect your laminate from moisture. It is also a foam padding that allows you to have a flat and balanced floor.
Pros of Laminate Flooring
Why should you choose laminate flooring? Here are the benefits of having laminate floors:
Easy to DIY
Laminate flooring is effortless to install. You lay down the foam or plastic underlying and then connect the planks. Most of the work will be on ensuring that the planks fit.
Here’s a video that shows you just how to install laminate flooring properly:
Laminate flooring is affordable. According to Fixr, the average homeowner will probably spend around $1,500 to $5,000 to cover 200 square feet (18.58 square meters). The average cost will set you back more than $2,000.
Think of it this way. You will only spend $7.50 to $25 per square foot to install laminate flooring. That is much more affordable than the cost of laying down hardwood floors, which according to Fixr, will cost you an average of $2,800 to $6,400 to cover the same area or roughly $14 to $32 per square foot.
Further, because it is easy to install, you save even more money when you Do-It-Yourself.
No Sweat Care
Hardwood floors may look lovely and immaculate, but do you really need the hassle of having to keep it clean and undamaged all the time? If you have kids or pets, having a hardwood floor just might add stress to your life, trying to keep them from tracking in dirt. Or worse, waiting for your kids to come home from soccer practice and making sure they don’t wear their cleats, which can ruin your hardwood floors.
Plus, it is much easier to clean laminate floors. You just need to make sure that you keep it dry at all times, clean up spills as they happen, and use a microfiber mop once in a while to keep it immaculate.
What is more, there is no need to guess how to clean your floors as most manufacturers will have specific instructions on how to clean laminate flooring on their websites. And because laminate floors are easy to clean, there is no chance for flaked skin, dirt, and dust to accumulate. There are also no fibers where they can hide.
It looks Like Real Wood
If you have liked hardwood floors, but for some reason, can’t have them at your home, then you can get laminate flooring instead.
Laminate floors look just like hardwood floors. You can also have other designs, including distressed wood and stone. It will be difficult to tell if the floor is laminate or the real thing just by looking at it.
One of the draws of laminate flooring is they look like the real thing, and it helps you get the design that you want without the attendant cost. For instance, there are different types of slate, and the one you want might not be available where you are. You can just have laminate flooring that looks like the exact type of slate that you want.
What is more, laminate flooring has some sort of uniformity, which you cannot get from natural wood or stone.
Cons of Laminate Flooring
No flooring material is perfect. Here are the reasons why people stay away from laminate flooring:
Has a Reputation for Being Cheap
Because big-box retailers commoditized laminate flooring, most people hold on to the notion that these are cheap alternatives: inexpensive products that do not adequately replace hardwood or stone floors. It is not so much of a problem when you plan to live in your house with laminate flooring, but there are times when your home value might be affected by the fact that you have this kind of coverage rather than hardwood or premium vinyl.
Even retailers are pushing hard to sell laminates. They often educate customers on its many benefits, such as how durable and stain resistant it is.
Produces a Hollow Sound
While laminate floors are an easy DIY project, it does not always produce great results. Some people who have installed laminates often find themselves hating the hollow sound it makes when you step on it.
However, a top-of-the-line laminate flooring that is installed by a professional will reduce this problem. That is especially true if you use quality underlayment for it.
You might also want to reconsider if you’re using laminate floors for the upstairs bedroom because the noise it produces can easily be transmitted to the room below.
Laminate Flooring Can Be Hard
If you are going to put in laminate flooring in a kid’s bedroom or in a room where the elderly are, you should know that these offer no protection from falling. Laminate floors are hard, and they do not cushion you when you trip or fall and then land on them.
Laminate tiles can be unforgiving and therefore not suitable for the elderly. But you can put an area rug over them, which will help cushion anybody falling.
Laminate Flooring Needs to Be Dry
Even when people recommend mopping laminate floors, you should still ensure that the mop is not dripping wet. Plus, it makes sense to wipe the area down with a dry cloth after mopping.
The reason for this is because laminate flooring hates moisture and can warp if you let water seep into the seams. If your bedroom has an adjoining bathroom, you should always be ready with something to mop up any water that ends up on your floor.
Sunlight Can Damage Laminate Flooring
If you’re the type who wants to wake up to the sun touching your face, laminate flooring might not be for you. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage laminate floors and cause the design to fade.
If you have laminate floors, you can block out excessive sunlight using curtains, shades, or blinds.
Bedroom Carpet or Laminate Floor
It is a tie between bedroom carpets and laminate flooring when it comes to how good it looks. It is all a matter of taste. Are you hankering for hardwood floors all your life? A carpet cannot give you that illusion at all, while a top-quality laminate floor can fool even contractors into thinking that it is hardwood.
If you’re looking for a flooring material that can last a long time, so you don’t have to replace it in just a few years, you can consider getting nylon, olefin, or polyester carpets, which are the most durable materials for carpets.
However, a good quality laminate flooring with a top-notch wear layer can be exceedingly durable. Top-quality wear layers can protect your laminate flooring from dents, dings, chips, and even UV and some amount of water damage. You can even find waterproof laminate floors.
What To Choose for Your Bedroom
If you currently don’t have a specific preference for how your bedroom should look and the cost is not a problem, then carpets make more sense. Not only does it keep your room warm, but it also protects you from having to touch cold floors with your feet. It also helps you have a quieter room.
It is also ideal for the elderly who might have accidents. More than that, it is easier to maintain with just regular vacuuming.
However, if you are prone to develop allergies, then a laminate floor might be better for you. You can avoid having dust, debris, dust mites, and bacteria from taking up residence on your floor while also helping you save on outright costs.
DIY? Go with a laminate floor! Carpets usually require professional installation, while laminate flooring can quickly become your next DIY project.
Choosing carpets or laminate flooring for your bedroom is mostly a matter of taste. There are inherent pros and cons for each, so choose one that is best suited for your needs. With their soundproofing and ability to retain warmth, Carpets might be a better option for some, but others would find laminate flooring perfect.
- Allergy Consumer Review: What’s Lurking in Your Carpet?
- American Lung Association: Dust Mites
- Architectural Digest: How to Clean Laminate Floors
- Carpet Institute of Australia: Acoustic Benefits of Carpet
- Carpet One: The Science of Soft Carpet
- Carpet One: When to Replace Carpet
- Complete Carpet: Can Carpet Lower Your Heating Costs?
- Family Handyman: Carpet Care Tips to Make Your Carpet Last
- Fixr: How Much Does It Cost to Install Hardwood Flooring?
- Fixr: How Much Does It Cost to Install Laminate Flooring?
- Fixr: How Much Does It Cost to Install New Carpeting?
- Floor Daily: Laminate 2013 – Aug/Sep 2013
- Flooring America: What is Laminate Made Of?
- Flooring Stores: Carpet vs. Laminate: The *Real* Pros & Cons
- Home Light: 7 Amazing Flooring Types to Boost the Value of Your House Upon Move-In
- Houzz: Would laminate flooring put you off buying a house?
- International Association of Certified Home Inspectors: Carpet Mold: Identification, Prevention, and Removal
- Kids’ Health: Your Skin
- Scientific Reports: The Habitats Humans Provide: Factors affecting the diversity and composition of arthropods in houses
- Soundproof Living: 10 Ideas on How to Soundproof a Room Cheaply — Even for Free!
- YouTube: How to Install Laminate Flooring
- YouTube: Make your home a place of tranquility with the Aus Carpet Guide
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Giovanni Valle is an architect, designer, internet entrepreneur, and the managing editor of various digital publications including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place. He is the founder of BuilderSpace LLC.