Flooring Magazine recently sat down with Allan Firth from the Carpet Institute of Australia Limited (CIAL) to discuss the benefits of using one of the most popular floor coving choices available today – carpet.
With virtually unlimited choice of colours and surface textures, carpet helps to make buildings more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environments.
Carpet improves the functionality of buildings by reducing noise reverberation and virtually eliminates floor impact sounds from footfalls and dropped objects that contribute greatly to ambient noise levels.
Carpet is the best flooring choice for reducing unwanted noise in the home, workplace, education and healthcare facilities.
Safe, non-slip surface
Carpet is an inherently non-slip and cushioning floor covering. Its use in the home and publicly accessible buildings helps to reduce the incidence of falls and the severity of injuries when falls occur.
The use of carpet as a cushioning floor covering is particularly important in aged care facilities due to the greater likelihood of the elderly falling and the increased injury consequences of such falls.
Cushioning and impact absorbing surfaces like carpet reduce leg fatigue which is important for workers who spend much of their time at work either standing or walking.
Indoor Air Quality
Carpet acts as a highly effective indoor air filter by trapping allergen bearing dust particles that settle out on the surface of the carpet until safely removed by regular vacuuming and periodic carpet cleaning. In contrast particulate matter on hard floors is readily re-circulated in the atmosphere by vibration or movement of the air.
In 2005, the German Asthma and Allergy Bund (Foundation) conducted a study of fine particle levels in more than 100 homes paying special attention to furnishings and the type of floor coverings. The study found that the average content of dust particles in the air over smooth floors was twice that of carpeted floors and exceeded the European safe limit standard.
The study commented that ‘above all for particularly sensitive persons already suffering from previous damage to airways, the selection of a flooring material binding dust and not emitting it to the air to be breathed, is an essential preventative aspect’.
A further benefit of carpet’s pile surface is that it absorbs common breathable VOCs such as formaldehyde emitted from a range of building products.
For all of these reasons, a well-maintained carpet makes a positive contribution to indoor air quality.
All in all, carpet makes buildings quieter, more comfortable and safer places for inhabitants and visitors. Carpet improves the liveability of the indoor environment.
Australian Carpet Classification Scheme
The ACCS labelling scheme classifies carpets according to their durability and appearance retention properties. The yellow and blue labels identify carpets that have been graded for residential use. The gold and labels identify carpets graded for contract or commercial use.
The ACCS Environmental Certification Scheme (ECS) label indicates that the graded carpets also satisfy a range of environmental performance criteria.
When buying carpet, choose products that have been independently tested and graded by the ACCS and ECS.