Carpeting has really gone out of style for most inhabitants of homes and apartments, at least in the west.
However, some form of carpeting can still be found in most apartments. There is almost always some rug lying around somewhere or a carpet on the floor of a bedroom.
While many people don’t want carpets in their apartments, there is a pretty simple reason why carpets still persist.
Why Do Most Apartments Have Carpets?
Properties are required to change the flooring when a new tenant moves in, in certain states. Hence, they choose a carpet because it’s extremely easy to install and replace.
Hence, rental properties, which have a lot of apartments that need to be prepared and furnished, usually get carpets installed.
This is both economical and efficient.
While hardwood flooring is quite a bit more aesthetically pleasing and also easier to clean, it’s much more expensive.
It’s nearly three times more expensive to purchase and install. The per-unit cost of the entire installation would raise the costs of furnishing and preparing new apartments dramatically.
Also, this is considering you’re opting for medium grade carpeting and wood.
For a 1000 square foot apartment, it may cost about $3000 to replace a carpet. However, it may cost nearly twice as much or more to replace the wood flooring.
Rental property owners don’t care about being up to date. Unless they need to cater to a specific section of society, they’re not going to massively change anything about their properties.
Basically, the cheaper a fix can be, the better.
If you’re in a wealthy neighborhood, you’ll find a nice, modern apartment with hardwood flooring. You’ll even find vaulted ceilings and open floor plans.
However, if you’re looking for something in an average priced neighborhood or apartment building, you’ll find carpeting.
You’d be hard-pressed to find that type of property in an apartment community at a low-income city location.
If you want to make money in any type of rental property business, you’ll have to save on renovation costs.
If you don’t have enough time to update your property for a modern look, you’ll go for the easiest available option.
Laws About Carpeting
There is no actual law about carpeting in housing regulations for any American state.
However, there is a widespread carpeting practice in metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and San Francisco. The requirement there is sometimes raised to 85% carpeting.
In these areas, carpeting is part of house rules and is included in lease provisions. The overcrowded urban areas in Los Angeles and other cities struggle with the problem of ambient sound.
Background noise is also a problem in those areas. This not only influences public health and comfort but also safety and convenience.
Hence, carpeting is the perfect way to stop noise pollution.
Also read: How to Tell If an Apartment is Soundproof?
Again, these conditions aren’t part of municipal or state laws. They are enforceable by condo and co-op boards only.
Violation of the terms is, however, punishable by the termination of a lease or even eviction. Certain landlords have established the 80/20 rule for their tenants.
This avoids potential conflicts in neighborhoods. It is considered the duty and responsibility of a tenant to frequently cover the floors of their apartment.
Reasons for Carpeting Apartments
There are several reasons that people carpet their apartments.
The first is, it’s an effective tool to abate noise. Your tenants may have different walking habits like shuffling and stomping.
The presence of little kids that tend to run around or play around the house causes a lot of noise.
The same can be said of pets which can also aggravate noise. Adopting the 80% requirement of carpeting can effectively mitigate the risks of neighborhood complaints.
Requirements for carpeting aren’t legally binding of course. However, noise standards are. This makes the choice to carpet apartments a very easy one.
Noise pollution is regulated by legal frameworks in the Environmental Protection Agency’s laws.
Federal regulation is in place to curb noise including the Noise Control Act of 1972. The aforementioned laws have been adopted to curb noise from construction equipment mainly.
However, they set a legal precedent for noise complaints. In fact, courts can order you to reduce the level of noise in your home.
Getting Landlords to Clean or Replace Your Carpeting
The only time that you should talk to your landlord about replacing carpets is at the beginning of a lease.
This is because it can be a bargaining chip that you can fully exploit. This is the only time that he/she will have to comply with your request.
Another great workaround is to ask the landlord to have the carpets professionally cleaned.
Professional carpet cleaners can make them as good as new. Your landlord may have one that is on call. They probably have them on speed dial every time a family moves out.
You should also be willing to pay more in rent if you want to get your carpet replaced. If it’s not in the budget for the landlord, then they probably won’t go the extra mile.
Advantages of Carpeting Apartments
Let’s have a look at some of the having carpets in your apartments.
The appearance of carpets adds patterns, color, and ambiance to your home.
It can also create the image that you want in your home or business.
Carpets are a sign of wealth. They have been ever since kings used them to decorate palaces and fortresses.
Hundreds of patterns, cuts, colors, etc. can be made and fulfill any style.
Carpets can help save a lot of energy since it’s an important contributor to the insulation of the indoor environment.
Carpets insulate floors and provide a feeling of warmth.
If you curl up in front of the fireplace on a carpet, it feels much better than on a hardwood floor.
It also gives a softer feel to the home.
Carpets can cost less over time and in the short term to maintain and install.
This is in contrast to the maintenance and installation cost of surface flooring.
The cleaning supplies you need to clean the hard floor is a lot more than what you would spend on cleaning a carpet.
Slip and fall incidents are much less likely to occur with carpets than with hardwood floors.
However, carpets can also harbor shattered glass and other sharp objects.
Ease of Maintenance
Carpeting requires less labor to install and even less to maintain than other alternatives.
Hard surface flooring or marble tiles are much harder to clean and maintain than carpets.
New tech has been introduced which allows for carpets to be recycled into new carpets or other products.
According to a manufacturer study, 85% of 121 million pounds of used carpet collected was made into a new carpet. This eliminates the need for acquiring new raw materials.
Drawbacks of Carpeting
The one major drawback of carpeting is that it may cause health issues.
Carpets are known to absorb allergens, dust, pollutants, etc. This can over time help to foster a lot of germs and diseases.
These carpets can thus become health hazards and be the cause of illnesses in the house. Regular vacuuming and cleaning are required to maintain carpets.
Alternatives to Carpets
If want to replace the carpet with something else, here are some alternatives.
Hardqood floors are the most common, and most modern alternative to carpeting. They’re preferred by millennials and Gen Z as clean, minimalist alternatives to carpets.
Wood floors neutral shades, natural look, and clean aesthetic are preferred over luxurious and opulent carpets.
Hardwood floors also attract significantly less dirt and pollutants than carpets do. They’re much easier to clean and much easier to preserve.
Sweeping or mopping is much easier on hardwood floors. For carpets, any dust or pollutants trapped inside require vacuuming or washing to get rid of.
There are also no carpet dents with hardwood floors.
If you like to move furniture around, you won’t have to deal with carpets that have formed specific dents. Hence, there won’t be a very easily noticeable dent in the flooring.
However, hardwood floors also have their faults. For example, they have to be replaced if they get wet.
Hardwood can also rot and warp if water spills on it and isn’t immediately cleaned. Hardwood floors are also very hard. Hence, they’re not friendly to feet, knees or ankles.
It’s much easier to hurt yourself if you’re running on hardwood floors. They’re also much slipperier than carpets are.
Finally, hardwood floors don’t provide the same level of noise isolation or reduction as compared to hardwood floors.
Foam Floor Tiles
If you’re thinking of gyms and baby rooms when you think of foam floor tiles, you’re right.
However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not a good fit for your bedroom or living room.
In reality, these cushy squares lock in to place without adhesives or glue.
Click-in Faux Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring has a lot of potentials. It’s very easy to install and it gives the flooring a very realistic look. It also gives you quality at a great price.
You can basically source it from any hardware store and it comes in a variety of finishes.
A good coat of paint can actually give an apartment a facelift. It’s worth it to splurge on a can of paint if you want the finish to look lustrous.
You’ll also want to check with your landlord before panting the wood floors of course. Since they won’t be removable per se.
However, if existing floors aren’t in the best of conditions, and your landlord isn’t ready to renovate, painting is perfect.
If you’re looking to carpet your apartment, you may want to look into all these options.
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