Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Benefits of Going Carpet Free

We’ve been getting asked a lot lately why we chose to use hard surface flooring throughout our whole house. It seems lots of people think our home will look and feel cold without wall-to-wall carpeting. I’m here to tell you it won’t!

Here’s why we decided to forgo the fuzzy floors:

Off-gassing- There are a lot of chemicals that make up the face fibers, primary backing, and secondary backing of carpeting. These pollutants are off-gassed into the air for quite some time after the carpet is installed. Some of these gases are even considered toxic—to both the environment and homeowners themselves.

Allergens- Dust, pollen, pesticides and soil are tracked in and kept in wall-to-wall carpeting through the bottoms of shoes—and it’s next to impossible to eliminate these offenders. Inefficient vacuums even cause dust and allergens to become airborne.

To remind you, this is what we’ve chosen for our flooring as an alternative to wall-to-wall carpeting:

First floor living area, first floor bathroom and second floor bathroom: We’ll be installing Vermont slate in these areas as it's sourced locally, takes advantage of the passive solar design and incorporates additional thermal mass. Our radiant heating coupled with warmth from the sun means our floors should be nice and toasty!

First floor kitchen and guest bedroom: Cork flooring will go in these rooms. We chose cork as it’s natural, durable, anti-allergenic and thermally insulated. That’s right—cork will reduce heat loss in rooms and even body heat loss through your feet. It also naturally maintains a comfortable median temperature.

Second floor office, hallway and bedroom: We loved the look of hardwood, so opted for fast-growing bamboo rather than using wood from disappearing forests. It’s sustainable, durable and attractive. Radiant heating will keep these rooms from feeling frosty underfoot!

If you're still worried, don't be. The house will "feel" even warmer when we throw down some cheery area rugs!

P.S. You can see photos of our flooring choices in this previous post.

1 comment:

  1. I think it sounds lovely. I can just feel the sun-warmed slate under my feet (maybe one day?):-).