Is Wall-to-Wall Carpeting Making a Comeback? We Asked a Pro

Revisit the 1990s with this surprising flooring trend.

It may not be the 1990s anymore, but you wouldn’t guess it by looking at some homes. Home trends in recent years take one of two paths: Either they look very pared-down and futuristic, with clean lines and minimalist color palettes, or they look like trends of years past (with a few fresh twists, of course).

Don’t believe us? For one, just think about the resurgence of the appliance garage. On the other hand, the wall-to-wall carpeting trend comeback is pretty divisive, which makes sense since carpeting gets dirty fast. Is full-blown carpeting really going to overtake hardwood floors? We asked an expert for input.

Recent Flooring Trends

For years, flooring trends have been all about hardwood floors (or engineered wood flooring). Ripping up the carpet and replacing it with clean, bare wood floors—with plenty of area rugs on top—has been a common theme on renovation shows. In fact, data from the 2019 U.S. Houzz & Home Study of annual renovation trends shows that 43 percent of homeowners who renovated in 2018 purchased non-carpet flooring.

Carpet tends to be difficult to clean, and it’s a huge hassle to remove, so one could easily assume that carpeting is out for good. That’s not necessarily true, though—after all, we once said the same thing about wallpaper, and wallpaper designs have made a shockingly colossal comeback. So if wallpaper can do it, wall-to-wall carpeting can, too.

Wall-to-Wall Carpeting Benefits

The use of wall-to-wall carpeting has grown in the past decade partly because people are recognizing the limits of hardwood flooring more and more. Carpeting offers something softer that helps absorb sound, which is helpful in second-story rooms. In some cases, the pros of carpeting far outweigh the cons.

Carpeting adds subtle texture to a room.

Sure, carpeting is hard to clean and might not be ideal for allergy-prone family members (a quality carpet cleaning solution might help). However, once you decide that the wall-to-wall carpeting look isn’t as outdated as you may have thought, carpets actually have some real appeal. According to Beatrice de Jong, consumer trends expert at Opendoor, carpets can actually be stylish. “Carpet can bring a subtle texture or a bold pattern to a room in an unexpected way,” she says.

Carpeting is more suitable for kids.

Wall-to-wall carpets can be more family-friendly. It offers a softer surface for kids to play on and is easier on adult knees while they interact with low-to-the-ground kids or pets. It can even help soundproof rooms. “People are still opting for carpet floors in bedrooms, especially upstairs, to quiet the noise,” de Jong says.

The Bottom Line

Should you cover your floors in wall-to-wall carpeting? Maybe not—that would be an enormous cleaning hassle. But maybe you shouldn’t write off carpets completely, either. Opt for carpet in less-trafficked rooms such as bedrooms and offices. After all, no one likes waking up and rolling out of bed to an ice-cold wood floor, right?

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