Carpeting - In or Out?

Wall to wall carpeting goes in and out of style like mini-skirts.  It’s tough to keep up with interior design trends, especially when it comes to flooring choices.  What’s the 4-1-1 on wall to wall carpeting for the 2010 decorating season?

It’s in!


What’s out in wall to wall carpet is the toxic finishing processes and the oh-so environmentally un-friendly adhesives.   But in its place we have more eco-friendly carpeting choices.   But like most of the going green choices, expect to pay more.  Wool in particular is making a huge comeback, and it’s unparalleled in the look for quality carpeting. 

An all-natural product, of course, wool is an environmentally-friendly flooring option, but make sure you take a look at the dye process, any stain resistant chemicals used and any adhesives used to install it.  Many of these products can give off 'volatile organic compounds' VOC's, which include  benzene, formaldehyde, styrene, acetone and a host of other chemicals, some of which have already made the EPA's list of hazardous substances.

One company that produces more healthy carpeting options is FLOR.  They offer carpet tiles that allow you to design your own rug or carpet of any size.   Not only can you go from a one-color to multi-color option or a plain-Jane to bold-Betty design, but you can replace individual carpet tiles as needed, saving you big bucks from having to replace an entire roomful of carpet for one little stain.  Perfect for apartments and dorm rooms, as you can pack the whole darn thing up and take it with you, leaving NO marks on the floor!

FLOR also takes their environmental responsibility one step further by urging those who are finished with their carpet tiles to donate them to a charity or return them for recycling. 


The neutral colors still reign supreme in wall-to-wall carpet.  While off white and beige were usually the color chosen, this year’s hot neutral color is gray.  The gray can range from an oyster to a charcoal, going from casual to elegant, cottage to modern and traditional to contemporary.

Consider bolder colors only if you don’t plan on selling your home anytime soon.  These colors can turn off prospective buyers faster than you can say cornflower blue.

Bottom Line

Commercial buildings have been at the mercy of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Rating System and that has caused them to clean up their act when it comes to products that are unhealthy for people and the environment.

"LEED," for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a system that recognizes the environmental performance of commercial buildings at four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.  While LEED credits have enticed industrial carpet companies to go green, turnover is taking longer in the residential market. However, there are some stylish eco-options for your home; just be forewarned that going green may give you a rug burn in the wallet.