Carpet provides an added measure of warmth and insulation with its millions of fibers and places between them to hold warmth or to insulate against extreme heat or cold. It's warmer to sit on or work on, providing more stable temperatures for foot and leg comfort near the floor. In colder climates or seasons, it retains warm air longer, an important benefit in our energy-conscious world. In warm climates, it also insulates against invasive heat.
When the insulation value is important, the carpet's label may offer an "R-value," and a cushion label may offer one, as well. When the carpet R-value is not available, CRI suggests multiplying the total carpet thickness measured in inches by a factor of 2.6 to approximate the carpet's R-value. The R-values are additive for any combination of materials. For example, a combination of carpet with an R-value of 1.3 and a prime polyurethane cushion with an R-value of 1.6 will yield an overall R-value of 2.9.
Because carpet is a foundation of decorating, covering a large quantity of the surface of our living spaces, it is an important consideration in the overall scheme of color and texture. It can provide simplicity and casualness for softness and liveability; or it can provide pizzazz with vibrant color and heavier textures for making a decorating "statement." Carpet can be one of the easiest ways to personalize an environment - its color can be a neutral foundation "in the background," or it can be a vibrant focal point.
Especially for small children, seniors, and generally the entire family, safety in the home is a primary focus. We seek a stable, non-slick walking surface that prevents slips and falls and for the time when someone does trip, a surface that protects from bruises and other injuries. Carpet is great for cushioning our foot steps, minimizing slips and minimizing injuries from falls. It's hard to watch a toddler take his first steps on a cold hard floor. Carpet's softness and cushioning nature is ideal for family activity - whether it is the first steps of a toddler, the slow steps of the grandparent, or the fast action of the mother or teen-ager.
Carpet is as Easy on Your Ears as Your Feet
With the introduction of computers, speaker telephones, big screen TV's and video games, our homes have become a lot noisier. Fortunately, the solution to this problem of airborne sounds can be found right below our feet -- carpet.
Carpet not only serves as a beautiful floor covering, it also provides sound insulation. Additionally, carpet creates an aesthetic ambiance conducive to lowered voices and heightened privacy. The sound-reducing qualities of carpet include:
Carpet absorbs sound
Recently, home builders have moved towards reshaping the home by combining all of the living area rooms into one big, open space. This layout promotes the family togetherness, but also creates a noisy atmosphere. With the addition of carpet, sound is absorbed rather than bounced off the floor and back onto the walls and furniture. Results from tests show that there is a pronounced "hush" in carpeted rooms.
Carpet and cushion reduces noise better
Carpet serves as an effective noise-reducer because it absorbs the sound of foot traffic within the home. These results are even more pronounced with the addition of carpet cushion. Research shows that properly specified carpet and cushion combinations produce better noise-reduction than carpet alone. Carpet cushion also increases comfort and ergonomic qualities, adds insulation, and extends the life of your carpet by protecting it against wear and tear.
The CRI "Residential Carpet Installation Standard, CRI 105" calls for carpet cushion that is both firm and resilient and no more than 7/16 of an inch thick. Under the thinner carpet styles, such as some Berbers, use an even thinner cushion - maximum 3/8".
Carpet and cushion insulate between floors
Carpet works as a sound barrier between floors by helping to block sound transmission to rooms below. Carpet and carpet cushion are especially effective in masking the "hollow" sound from foot traffic often associated with staircases. Specific noise reduction data can be obtained from CRI.
Regular, but simple, care on carpet helps counter the abuse your carpet suffers and help it retain its beauty. What other home furnishing is walked all over? Vacuum every few days in high traffic areas, and once a week in less-used areas. Use a well-functioning vacuum cleaner, with an enclosed, efficient, dust-catching bag.
Most carpet today has been treated for stain resistance and soil retardance, but stain resistant does not necessarily mean "stain proof." Address spills quickly and remove them as soon as possible to afford the easiest spot removal. Act preventively and avoid contact with difficult spots that are hard to remove - makeup, pesticides, disinfectants, iodine, mustard, and plant food products. Have carpet cleaned on a regular schedule, before it begins to show soil - a schedule of every 12 to 18 months by a professional cleaning company is reasonable for more used areas of the home.
Well known for its ability to provide warmth and style to a room, absorb unwanted noise, and provide firm traction, carpet is continuing to gain a reputation as the floor covering of choice for senior adults and their families.
Safety Is Top
Safety is a top consideration for seniors, who seek a stable, non-slick walking surface that protects them from "slip and fall" accidents. Carpeted surfaces are significantly more effective at preventing slips and falls than hard, smooth surfaces.
Maintaining balance, a consideration for individuals who use braces, a cane or a walker, can be less difficult with low pile carpet combined with an extra firm cushion. CRI also recommends securely fastening carpet and rugs to provide firmer footing.
Carpet can also reduce or eliminate reflected glare, minimizing disorientation, and can reduce leg fatigue associated with walking or standing on hard surfaces.
Studies have shown that color has psychological affects on moods. With this in mind, blues, greens, teal, mauve, coral, peach and warm neutrals are often chosen for their soothing effects. Avoid "hot" tones such as red, which may raise blood pressures for some, and yellow, which may cause nausea and anxiety to someone that already is not feeling well.
Color also plays a significant role with Alzheimer's patients. According to the Alzheimer's Association, patients remember colors better than numbers; therefore, color in carpet can provide a memory link and better help to orient a person to a specific room or area.
Acoustics - It's quieter
Privacy and unwanted noise can sometimes challenge senior parents, who appreciate their independence and may not be used to the noise levels created by visiting family members.
Carpet's ability to absorb airborne sound, reduce surface noise ("footfall noises"), and block sound transmission from floor to floor is well known. Carpet with an attached or separate cushion is the most effective way to control noise and minimize sound indoors.
Comfort - Warm your ankles
Seniors whose feet and ankles are susceptible to temperature changes, will stay warmer on carpet due to its natural insulating properties. The surface temperature of carpet is substantially higher than that of hard surfaces due to its pile construction that acts as an efficient thermal insulator.
Carpet Information Provided by : The Carpet & Rug Institute