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Carpet vs Timber Flooring for Allergies

18 September 2018 | Helpful Tips and Hints

Timber flooring in home office and carpeted living room

It’s a frequently asked question: is carpet or timber flooring better for people with allergies? If you’re an allergy-sufferer looking to update your flooring, you should know that there are pros and cons for both timber and carpeted floors.

Carpet is perceived by some people as an unsuitable option for allergy sufferers because of two reasons: concerns about the chemicals used in its production and the way carpet traps dirt and allergens. However, modern carpet manufacturing methods ensure the majority of volatile chemicals used in the process are eliminated, leaving only a low level of VOC (volatile organic compound) content. VOCs are found in countless consumer products, but for carpet, approximately 90% of VOCs dissipate within a few days of installation. Simply allowing for the recommended air times for the product before use will get rid of most VOCs.

Another common misconception is that carpet harbours dust and particulates which trigger allergies. Although some people view trapping these particulates as a bad thing, there is no evidence that having carpet in the home actually increases exposure to these allergens. Trapping these particulates prevents them from becoming airborne until it comes time to vacuum them up from your floors altogether.

Hardwood or timber flooring is often touted as being easier to clean than carpet, and allergen-causing particulates are not trapped in the flooring. Unfortunately, the dust and dirt have to go somewhere, and in the case of hard flooring, it stays on the surface and if left for too long, collects into dust bunnies, allowing the particles to become airborne and you to be exposed to allergy triggers.

The decision, when it comes down to it, really depends on your personal preference in style and underfoot feel, since the most important aspect of getting allergy-friendly flooring is maintaining a good cleaning regimen. For carpets and hardwood flooring, invest in a good quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to contain these allergy-triggering particulates and stop them from becoming airborne. For carpets in particular, you need a vacuum with strong suction power and a beater bar to loosen and pull trapped dust and dirt. As long as you regularly clean your floors, there’s no reason why you can’t have either flooring type.

Get flooring that suits your lifestyle by talking to the experts at Andersens. See us in-store or give us a call on 1800 016 016.

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