The soft feel of carpet makes it everyone’s favorite spot. This quality can be a double-edged sword, however, particularly when it comes to when carpet is installed in a high traffic area. In many homes, the living room is the area of the highest traffic. In other homes, the game room or entertainment room wins the award for the most stepped on surfaces. Regardless of which room earns the most foot imprints in your home, you will need to select the right type of carpeting in order to make sure your flooring solution is as long lasting as it is comfortable.
Can Shag Carpeting Work?
Not really. If your “high traffic” area is trafficked by just you and your spouse, then perhaps that will do. The consistency of the steps (i.e. no running and sliding and clawing and scraping) can make it so shag can hold up fairly well. However, if you have pets, kids, or are thinking of having some in the future, you will want to go with a Berber carpet solution
Why Berber Is Better
Berber’s primary qualification for the high traffic job is its nice, low pile. A lower pile requires less maintenance, and it also is easier to clean. When the pile is low, it is less likely to snag on something and get torn up. It is easier to clean because it’s more shallow, thus allowing less dirt to fall in between the fibers and get stored there.
The density of the weave of the fibers is also greater in a Berber carpet. This makes it so dirt and debris can’t penetrate as easily into the spaces between the fibers. Getting the dirt out when it comes time to clean will therefore be much easier.
Choosing the Right Color Carpet
The color of your carpet should complement other features of the room. However, in a high traffic area, you will be limited to only choosing actual colors and not whites or greys. This is because the stains will stand out like sore thumbs on a very light carpet. A carpet consisting of a mix of light and darker browns can be a good solution because the variety of shades creates what amounts to a camouflage effect for the dirt. It will blend in until it’s time to vacuum or deep clean it up.
Using a Runner
Making use of a runner is almost like an easy shortcut to the high traffic problem. The trick is how to choose your runner. If you just slap any old thing down, it will likely clash with the look the existing carpeting or other flooring was trying to establish. But the right runner can be a cool accessory that ties in other elements of the room.
Regardless of the style of carpet you choose, you will want to go with nylon as the material. Nylon is tough and resilient and fairly easy to clean. The ideal solution would therefore be a nylon Berber carpet. This will keep the area both soft and relatively easy to maintain.