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10 Tips for Choosing Carpet

Carpeting vs. Area Rugs

It's possible you'd be better served with an area rug and not wall-to-wall carpeting. How do you know? Consider the two. Carpeting's main advantages are that it's soft and warm underfoot, muffles sound and provides cushioning if you fall. It's also affordable. However, carpet holds dust, mites and other allergens, so if members of your household have allergies or asthma, it can be a problem. Carpet can also be difficult to clean, holds odors like pet urine and typically wears out within about 10 years, so you'll need to re-carpet -- and sometimes not just the one room with the really worn carpet, but the entire house, depending on where the carpet runs.

Area rugs are a popular flooring choice because they come in a larger variety of colors and designs, can be switched among rooms and are quite affordable. It’s also easier to make a statement with a fun or colorful area rug than it is with wall-to-wall carpeting, and you can take your rug with you every time you move. The main drawback to an area rug is that it requires you to have reasonably nice flooring underneath it, since some of your floor will almost certainly show. If you’ve got a beautiful hardwood floor, perfect. If you don’t, you’ll at least need a floor that’s in reasonably good shape. The other negatives to area rugs are that they can slip and/or be a tripping hazard if you stumble on an edge. But you can often remedy those issues with a rug pad or double-sided tape.