Carpeting often gets a bad rap. Common complaints include cleaning, texture surface retention, rippling, fading, allergy aggravation and odour. It turns out most can be prevented with proper care and installation.

There are many benefits to a carpeted room. Curling up in front of a crackling fire isn’t quite as cozy on a hardwood floor as it is on a plush carpet. It’s safer for families with young children – carpet provides a much softer landing than ceramic tile or laminate floors. For households with elderly family members, carpets are much better for preventing slips and falls. If noise is a factor, carpeting acts as a sound barrier between rooms and levels. And, according to the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), carpet provides thermal resistance or “R” value, meaning that it retains warm air longer during the winter, helping you save on energy costs.

Allergy sufferers have long lamented that carpets lead to attacks. But according to a 15-year Swedish study, the link between carpets and allergy and asthma attacks was non-existent. The reason is that carpets act as a filter, trapping allergens and removing them from the air your family breathes in. With proper cleaning, the allergens are then removed from the carpet. The CRI recommends vacuuming once or twice per week with a HEPA filtered unit, being diligent about wiping dirty shoes before entering the home and giving carpets an annual deep cleaning by hot water extraction.

There are countless carpet styles available. Before you make a final decision, make sure you have considered the different types of carpet fibres and how well they clean and wear and which room they are best suited for. Your local carpet store can answer any questions or you can do some online research before shopping around.

When comparing prices remember to determine if the price includes the carpet padding, which is the most essential accessory in carpeting. Good padding will absorb the pressure of foot traffic, provide additional insulation and prevent buckling or wrinkling of the carpet (as will proper installation).