Wool is a natural material that is most commonly associated with blankets, sweaters and other similar items. The majority of carpeting options on the market today are made out of synthetic fibers, such as nylon. Because of the prevalence of synthetic materials, many people do not realize that natural wool carpet is also available or understand its features. Before you invest in new flooring for your home, take time to learn about what wool carpeting offers.
The Cost of Wool Carpet
One of the most important factors that homeowners pay attention to when selecting flooring is the cost. The cost of carpet ranges dramatically based on numerous factors, and wool carpet is usually on the high end of this range. Consider that you can purchase entry-level or rental-grade synthetic carpet for approximately $1 per square foot in some instances. Entry-level wool carpeting costs approximately $4 to $7 per square foot, and high-quality wool carpeting may range between $10 to $15 per square foot. While the cost of this material may initially deter you from seriously considering it, a closer look may reveal that its benefits are well worth paying for.
Wool Carpet Resilience and Durability
One of the most significant complaints that homeowners have about their carpeting is that it looks worn in high-traffic areas. This may be particularly problematic if your home currently has low-quality nylon carpet. Some synthetic fibers will become crushed easily and lack the resilience to return to their original shape. On the other hand, wool fibers are strong and resilient. They will hold their shape for a lengthy period of time, which helps you to maximize the life of your carpeting. When wool fiber carpet is properly cared for, you may expect it to have a significantly longer life than alternative types of carpeting.
Unless someone in your family has a specific allergy to wool, this type of carpeting may improve air quality in your home and help everyone to breathe easier. Synthetic carpeting is highly-processed with strong chemicals, and it may release fumes into the home that negatively impact indoor air quality. As a strong, natural fiber, wool does not need to be processed or treated with chemicals. Some types of wool carpet do not have dyes as well. Because of these factors, wool carpeting may be a healthier flooring option than some of the alternatives.
Wool Carpet Natural Insulation
Your home’s indoor climate is affected by temperature as well as humidity, and wool carpet offers benefits in both of these areas. The indoor temperature can be significantly impacted by transference through the floor. Regardless of the type of foundation that your home sits on, you may notice that the floor is chilly in the winter and warm in the summer despite adjustments to the thermostat setting. This impacts your comfort as well as your energy costs. Wool carpet has excellent insulative properties that can help you to maintain a desirable home climate.
Running your HVAC system regularly is one way to keep indoor humidity at bay, but it is not the only method. If you install wool carpet, the fibers in your flooring may naturally absorb some of the moisture in the air to improve the environment. Keep in mind that the absorbent nature of wool carpet may work against you as well. Spills can quickly be absorbed by the fibers, and this type of carpet may take longer to dry out than other types of carpet. All spills on wool carpeting should be thoroughly dried as soon as possible. Furthermore, if you live in an area with constantly high levels of humidity, you may need to install a home dehumidifier to prevent mildew growth.
Resistant to Soiling
While liquid spills could lead to staining if they are not addressed promptly, wool carpet is more resistant to soiling than many other carpet textures and styles. When viewed under a microscope, small scales are visible on wool fibers. These scales prevent dust, dirt and other elements from becoming embedded in the fibers. Embedded dirt and debris is problematic with other types of carpet because the synthetic fibers are absorbent and because regular vacuuming cannot remove all of the filth. While some debris will work through the scales on wool carpet fibers, their mild reflective property makes the dirt less visible. These properties may enable you to extend the time between deep cleaning sessions. However, all carpeting will need to be steam cleaned periodically. Because of wool’s absorbent nature, professional cleaning services should be used for wool carpet.
Wool fiber carpet should be vacuumed regularly with the same frequency as you may vacuum other types carpet. It does require special care to protect it from water-related damage in high-humidity environments and from wet spills. Another important aspect of wool carpet care is related to fading prevention. Generally, wool carpeting can fade when exposed to a significant amount of direct sunlight regularly. Because of this, it is not practical for use in rooms that receive direct sunlight or in rooms where you prefer to leave the blinds open throughout most of the day.
You can see that wool carpet offers significant benefits that make it a great investment for some homeowners. However, it has a few downsides that you should keep in mind when deciding if this flooring is practical for use in your home. Now is a great time to explore the many styles and types of carpeting available in greater detail as you prepare for your flooring replacement project.