Which Shall We Choose?

What will it be: wall-to-wall carpeting or an area rug? The choices are myriad so the decision may well involve taking a good look at your particular needs in terms of space, family and activities. By prioritizing, you can come to a better conclusion, but don't rush. The more time you spend evaluating and considering, the happier you will be with your decision.

Things to think about when deciding whether to install wall-to-wall carpeting or area rugs include usage patterns, floor plan, decor and of course, budget. Remember that wall-to-wall carpeting is permanent while area rugs can be picked up and moved almost at whim. Each option has its pros and cons, so it is wise to be educated about each option.

Wall-To-Wall Carpeting

Wall-to-wall carpeting has come a long way from the old days when it was only available in "background" colors such as beige, grey and brown. Today you can purchase wall-to-wall carpeting with exciting detail work and pile structures that are not only attractive, but resilient and easy to maintain. Wall-to-wall carpeting is able to handle the rough stuff of growing kids and pets because it is often treated with stain guards and dirt resistant coatings. If you have a basement floor to cover or need to mask some uneven flooring, wall-to-wall can be the best option. It can also be a real plus when it comes time for resale of the house.

Yet, for all its benefits, wall-to-wall carpeting has some disadvantages. If allergies are a family problem, then wall-to-wall carpeting may not be the best choice for your home since it tends to harbor allergens. It can be vacuumed and chemically cleaned periodically, but this type of flooring provides a great breeding ground for dust mites when pet dander and hair get under the carpet. Also, if you have the misfortune of experiencing a burn or a stain that just won't come out, matching the carpet with a new piece can be an obvious repair job.

Area Rugs

Area rugs, on the other hand, can give you a sudden splash of color without a commitment to having that color all over the floor. They are available in a huge variety of sizes and in almost every color and design you can conceive. Area rugs are great for changing a room seasonally, allowing for decor change without having to think about staying within a definite color palette. Rugs also make the transition from room to room without a lot of difficulty.

Those gorgeous hardwood floors or hand-laid tiles can be complimented with the right Oriental rug, and even though you don't want to cover up the planks or tiles, an area rug helps to soften sound and creates a special feeling. Area rugs can be used to delineate a space as well. Think about a braided rug under the oval table in the kitchen bringing a feeling of rural America to the room.

There are no consistent budgetary differences between rugs and carpeting. Consider your space and the type of flooring that you have. Some types of area rugs are incredibly expensive-especially if they are made of hand-dyed threads and are specially woven. Conversely, woolen Berber carpeting is equally expensive. Another thought-don't limit yourself. You may be able to use both types of floor coverings and enjoy the benefits of wall-to-wall carpeting and area rugs at the same time.