Stone tiles vs. carpet: The age-old question
When it comes to flooring, there are two go-to options one might consider. You could go for carpet, whether in the form of tiles or all over. Or you might choose to go the natural stone route, covering your floor in marble tiles, or perhaps ones made from travertine.
While you could technically have both, combining the two in the same space can create a mismatched aesthetic, and undermine the overall look of your property. In this case, it's better to choose one.
But which one? Deciding between carpet and stone for your floor isn't like choosing between a cappuccino and latte – it's a decision that should be weighed carefully. After all, this is the comfort and visual appeal of your home we're talking about.
Here are some of the costs and benefits of each material, which should hopefully help you sort out this dilemma.
The pros and cons of carpet
We're not going to pretend that there aren't some advantages to using carpet. According to the Carpet Institute of Australia, carpet acts as natural insulation thanks to its low heat conduction, and the ability of its fibers to trap air. Carpet that is around one-third of an inch thick has a higher insulation value than plywood and concrete of the same thickness.
So not only can you stay warmer during the winter months, you may also save on heating costs.
Carpets can also be a good option for homes with children or the elderly around. Whether a senior takes a tumble or one of the little rascals is running around like a madman through the house, these two age groups are particularly prone to falls. Carpet is a softer surface on which to fall than a floor made of terracotta.
However, carpet also has some noted disadvantages. As a 2001 Greenpeace report pointed out, most industrially produced carpets have a variety of chemical additives. This can expose you and your loved ones to unwanted, hazardous chemicals.
Not only that, but as the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states, carpets are a bigger source of allergies than air, partly due to the dust mites that can hide deep inside them. You're therefore potentially exposing your family to double the health hazards.
The strengths of stone
While stone is naturally porous, and so is vulnerable to stains, doing some basic surface protection with a Dry-Treat sealer can prevent such vulnerabilities. Sealers like META CRÈME™ and STAIN-PROOF Original™ can protect tiles from damage by water, oil and other liquids.
Carpet, on the other hand, has no such protection, despite the fact that it tends to stain rather easily. And while you can simply use a product like HANAFINN Rejuvenata ACTIVE™ to remove any stains on tiles, cleaning carpet can often be a frustrating experience, with stains liable to sink even deeper into the surface. Not only that, but carpets take a relatively high degree of maintenance in order to keep them looking clean and new, which can be costly.
There's also the issue of longevity. If properly sealed and protected, stone can last centuries – just look at some of the most famous stone monuments out there that are still standing. According to findings from the Natural Stone Council, stone flooring can last around a century without proper maintenance. Add to that its durability, with stone's toughness protecting it from run-of-the-mill damage such as cracks and chips, and it's a great long-term choice.
By contrast, carpet is typically estimated to last only 15 years at the most.
Finally, there's the aesthetic element. It's not as if carpet is not visually appealing. But stone comes in so many different types and varieties that it makes it easy to match with the wider design and style of a home, whether a country house or an inner-city apartment. Stone also adds a natural elegance to any home, which carpet can't quite match.