Carpet and Area Rugs

Carpet and area rugs both offer several advantages and disadvantages in home décor.  It usually comes down to a preference of the homeowner.   

Carpet Advantages

Carpet is one of the most commonly used flooring types in homes. Its popularity comes and goes, but generally it's a flooring option that's here to stay.   

A home with wall-to-wall carpet creates a unified, inviting setting, and offers the following advantages:

  • It tends to soften the look and sounds in a room;
  • It's comfortable to bare feet -- especially in the winter;
  • It's affordable;
  • It's easy to find cheap carpet cleaning services so you can keep your carpet looking new
  • It creates a cushion and is more comfortable to walk on, sit on and especially fall on, which is important if you have toddlers; and 
  • It can work as another insulation in your home to reduce energy costs.

Carpet Disadvantages

On the other hand, carpet does have some drawbacks:

  • It can be difficult to clean, particularly around the edges near the wall;
  • it wears out within a few years and the whole room of carpet needs to be replaced, if not the whole house;
  • It needs to be professionally installed (or you need special tools if you are a brave DIYer);
  • It can also be a problem for allergy and asthma sufferers, as it tends to hold dust, mites, and other allergens; and
  • It stays when you go!.  You can't take it with you when you move.

Area Rugs Advantages

Other homeowners swear by area rugs, but they are the ones with hardwood floors to show off though.  Some of the reasons to choose area rugs for flooring instead of carpeting are:
  • They come in more designs and colors;
  • They're more versatile and can be moved from room to room;
  • They're easier to clean - you can clean them in place or send them out to a rug cleaner;
  • They're perfect for a renter, as you can take them with you when you move and they can cushion footsteps so you don't need to worry about the downstairs neighbors;
  • They tend to be less expensive than a room of wall-to-wall carpet;
  • You can use them as a design tool, either to pull a room together with colors or to set off a conversation or seating area; and
  • You don't need to hire someone to install them - just toss them down and Voila!

Area Rugs Disadvantages

Area rugs can have some drawbacks though.  Think of the following issues before you decide on an area rug over carpet:
  • They can slip and slide easily, you'll need a good rug pad or double stick tape to keep them in place;
  • They can be a tripping hazard - if one corner or edge gets out of line - bam, you can really do some damage when your foot catches it; and
  • They don't always completely cover the floor, just an area of it - hence the name.  So if you have a hideous floor underneath, it may not hide it completely.

Laying down the pros and cons of carpets and area rugs should help you decide which floor decoration suits your lifestyle, budget, home interior and personal style.