Tackling Allergies: Is Hardwood Flooring or Carpet Better for Me?

dust and allergens swept from hardwood flooring

During the allergy season, it can be miserable to step outside. Pollen can fill the air and it can become hard to breathe without coughing or sneezing. Although allergy medicine can help reduce the complications that arise when you step outside the door, it is also important to consider indoor allergies when you are ready to change the current flooring. Identifying the best floors to help alleviate your allergy symptoms can help you avoid any unnecessary hassles.

Carpet Vs. Hardwood

As a general rule, you should opt for hardwood flooring rather than carpet when you are ready to make a change. The reason is simple: carpets can hold onto the allergens that are causing your symptoms. Materials that get into the carpets can burrow deep into the carpet so that vacuuming is not enough to pull out all of the allergens.

Carpet is also a habitat for dust mites, which can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Whether you are allergic to animal dander, dust, mold or pollen, it is likely that your carpet will hold onto the materials and cause symptoms within your house.

However, you’ll need to sweep daily when you have hardwood floors, to keep pet dander and dust from redispersing into the air that you breathe. If you do not have the time for regular maintenance, carpeting could be a better option depending on the type of allergies that trigger your reaction.

Selecting Appropriate Hardwood Floors

Since hardwood flooring is most often preferred over carpet when you suffer from allergies, it is important to select the right type of flooring material.

The type of wood that is best for your situation, budget and concerns can vary. If you have a limited budget, then you may want to opt for laminate floors rather than real wood floors. The benefits of laminate floors include:

  • Reasonable costs if you are replacing the floor
  • Attractive design options
  • Variety
  • Low likelihood of causing allergies

The Allergy Store suggests that you focus on finding an option that has low VOCs if you determine that laminate is what you want. Since certain materials are treated with VOCs, a type of chemical treatment, it is best to look for options that have a lower content to prevent irritation of sensitive passageways.

If you determine that real wood is the most appropriate option, then select your floors based on your personal preferences for color, feel and style. Most hardwood won’t harbor allergens. You will want to make sure the wood is treated against stains, spills, and damage in case liquids are spilled on the floors because moisture can allow mold growth.

Bamboo flooring is a growing choice for its sustainability features and when dust mites are a concern. The insects will not be able to hide and the material is resistant to mold or mildew. You can also opt for cork flooring, which has similar properties. Other woods may need appropriate treatments to resist mold and mildew, but generally wood will not provide a safe place for dust mites or allergens as long as it is cleaned regularly and dust is not allowed to gather.

Comparing your flooring options is essential when you suffer from allergies. You want to select a material that is easy to keep clean and that does not harbor allergens in your home. Hardwood, laminate, and bamboo or cork flooring are typically better than carpet when you are looking for options that will not cause allergic reactions. To learn more about your flooring options, contact Contract Carpet today.

If you do decide on carpet, there are a few methods to keep allergens at bay from the beginning. Read more to learn how new carpeting can ease allergies.

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