The health benefits of hard flooring

If you’re wondering which the healthiest flooring choice for homes is, then a hard floor is definitely a winner in my eyes.  I am a big fan of hard flooring for so many reasons, including its health benefits, and we have it throughout our home.

Upon moving in to our fixer upper six years ago, there were different coloured carpets in almost every room which were old, tired and dirty.  I didn’t even want to step on them.  The thought of decades worth of dust and grime from strangers…!

It wasn’t long before we ripped them up and began replacing every room with high hard flooring that looks like beautiful solid oak flooring.  It looks natural, is surprisingly cosy and is so easy to take care of.

We even completed our staircase recently, so we are officially a carpet-free home.  You can see our staircase update here and how great it looks.  You can also see a snippet of our hard floor in the photo which we have throughout the entire downstairs of our home, on the landing and in each bedroom.  The only room it’s not in currently is the bathroom!

Personally I love hard flooring as not only does it look great, but it’s so much easier to clean.  I even and like the feel of a hard floor under my feet!  Many people would prefer soft carpet to touch, but I can’t help but think of all the dust that is trapped in carpets.

When we had a carpet in our old property, we were amazed (and disgusted) by the amount of dirt that was extracted when we used a carpet cleaner.  It was quite a realisation.  It has always stuck with me and made me think about how much dirt carpets retain; dust that is just sitting there for years in a carpet.  Surely that can’t be very healthy?

Your health and hard flooring

If you are a health conscious person then you need to seriously consider a hard floor.  Not only is it durable and easy to mop up spillages, but it can be more beneficial to your health too.

Here’s why.

Easier to prevent allergens

Carpets are a magnet for pet hair, pollen and dust which are easily trapped in the carpet fibres and sometimes difficult to clean.  Microorganisms, dust mites, mould and animal dander also gets trapped in carpets.  These sorts of carpet trappings can cause allergies to surface in sufferers and even persist.  Whilst you can’t always see what is trapped in a carpet, you can see it on the surface of a hard floor which makes cleaning so much easier.  Allergens have nowhere to get trapped on a hard floor and are less likely to gather and stay.

Safer to clean

If you spill something on a hard floor then you are usually able to mop it up and no one would be any wiser.  Unfortunately with carpet a spillage can quickly soak in a stain, leaving an eyesore of a mark.  To maintain a carpet you’ll more than likely need to do a professional carpet clean a few times a year using toxic chemicals.  This can pollute the air in your home which you of course breathe in.  Residue from the chemical solution will also stay in your carpet and the fibres for who knows how long, further causing damage to your health.

Less germs and bacteria

Food and spills can easily sit in carpets, sinking to the lower fibres, getting trapped, soaking in and not even being noticed.  This creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and germs to thrive.  Yuck!  On a hard floor you will notice crumbs of food and small spills on the surface much easier and be able to wipe them away.  Food and liquid left on carpets can cause mould to grow which is also toxic to health.

Quick to disinfect

If you need to disinfect your floor then it’s a lot easier to quickly mop a hard floor with an antibacterial cleaner than a carpet!  You can even quickly wipe it and it’s disinfected easily.  It’s trickier to disinfect a carpet thoroughly.

Real wood is natural and renewable

Real hardwood floors are obviously made from wood.  That’s it.  Even some other types of hard flooring like engineered wood floor can be made from natural materials only and responsibly sourced materials.  It’s worth checking a product’s credentials before committing to a purchase. On the other hand, a carpet might be made of synthetic materials whose manufacturing process requires the use of chemicals and the end products is non-recyclable or biodegradable.  Carpets might also contain wool which is not vegan and could involve animal cruelty. Vinyl flooring might contain harmful chemicals.

Hard flooring can improve air quality

Because there’s no carpet fibres to trap dust, pollen and spores, the air quality inside can be greatly improved.  There’s also less chance of bad odours as nothing is getting trapped in fabric like mud or faeces bought in from pets, bits of food that start rotting or spills that soak into carpets and continue to smell.

Healthy for our planet too

As mentioned above, many synthetic carpets cause a lot of pollution to manufacture and they are not easily recycled or naturally biodegradable after use.  Hard floors can be a more sustainable flooring option.  Wood floors are a natural material that can be responsibly sourced and even reclaimed wooden floors can be used.  Good quality hard floors can last much longer than carpet which is better for our planet.  Once they need replacing, wooden floors can be disposed of responsibly as a natural material.

There are so many benefits that choosing hard flooring can have for our health. Being able to reduce dust, dirt, allergens and mould is definitely a great reason to invest.

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The health benefits of hard flooring

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