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Why Hardwood Flooring is Often a Better Choice Than Carpet



Hardwood flooring is very easy to clean and maintain. It is tough and strong, and will not easily discolour or stain.

The disadvantages of carpet

1) According to John Bower, studies have shown that there are over 10 million organisms living in one square foot of carpet. These organisms include over 200,000 bacteria, and many varieties of mold, which can cause allergic reactions or illnesses in susceptible people. Carpets have been found to be host to several different strains of E. coli, which can cause everything from pneumonia, diarrhea, and UTI’s to respiratory illnesses. They can also harbor Staph and Salmonella, which offer illnesses ranging from pimples and boils to abdominal problems and pneumonia.

2) Carpets are also home to many allergens. Allergies have been increasing exponentially at an alarming rate in the population over the past few years. Dust mites and mold are a couple of major allergy triggers that are found in carpets. They can cause sniffling, sneezing, and cold-like symptoms in susceptible people. They can also trigger asthma attacks.

3) According to the EPA, there are a vast number of volatile organic chemicals (VOC’s) emitted from carpet. These are chemicals that are used in the manufacture of the carpet or its padding underlayment. There are often many adverse reactions to new carpet installation such as asthmatic reactions, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches and nausea. Some people even have long term reactions to being around new carpet installation. These may include a wide variety of illnesses that stem from the modification or destruction of a person’s detoxification pathways such that the chemicals are allowed to cross the blood brain barrier and/or get lodged in a person’s body fat.

4) Carpets also release small particles from their fibers for the entire life of the carpet, with increasingly more particulate matter being released as carpets age. These particles can be toxic if they contain any of the manufacturing chemicals, and when they become airborne, can be the source of systemic illnesses.

5) Many carpet cleaning solutions incorporate chemicals that can be quite destructive to one’s health. Perchloroethylene, naphthalene, and butyloxy ethanol are chemicals that are commonly used for carpet cleaning. These are chemicals which have been known to cause central nervous system damage, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, kidney damage, and liver damage.

The advantages of hardwood flooring

1) It is easy to mop up microbes from hardwood flooring. Frequent cleaning of your hardwood flooring gets rid of bacteria, mold, and other organisms.

2) With hardwood floors you have the option to heat up your home by installing an electric or hydronic radiant floor systems. A radiant heat system remains hidden out-of-site and can open up a plethora of options for your interior design plans.

3) Allergens which are tracked into the house can be swept right out of the house, along with dust, dust mites, and mold spores.

4) With green hardwood flooring, there are few VOC’s to cause respiratory or other problems. The low VOC’s in hardwood installations outgas fast when the rooms are properly ventilated.

5) Hardwood flooring does not release particulate matter into the air.

6) No toxic chemicals are required for cleaning and maintenance of hardwood flooring.

Although green carpets are available, they still have a few of the problems in the above list. Incorporate hardwood flooring into your green home design for a healthier home.

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