Comparing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Synthetic Rugs

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Apartment dwellers looking for natural or synthetic rugs for their interior spaces have a lot of options to choose from. Finding that perfect area rug can be quite difficult. Knowing more about the various types of rugs available will help individuals and families make the right decisions for their living spaces.

Different types of synthetic rugs provide options for decorating a room or space. Here are some of the pros and cons of these new types of floor coverings.

Pros

  • Low-cost Floor Covering Options – Some households who can’t afford carpeting or more expensive natural fiber rugs can find synthetic rugs options they can use as temporary or permanent floor coverings, to protect hardwood floors or to cover existing cosmetic damage.
  • Stain Resistant Qualities – Many of the synthetic rugs available on the market are more stain resistant than yesterday’s natural fiber options. Making stain resistant floor coverings is part of what drives the synthetic drug industry, and new plastic-based fibers offer more for keeping a space relatively clean.

Cons

  • Durability – Lots of the synthetic rug options that consumers see on the market may not be as high quality as natural fiber floor coverings. Some of these cheaper rugs tend to break down relatively quickly.
  • Allergies – The risks of increasing allergens with rugs or carpeting applies to both natural and synthetic options, but some individuals have specific allergies that make synthetic rugs a bad choice. In general, those with allergies should look for hardwood flooring when available, and thin carpets or rugs when hardwood floors are not an option. Thicker carpeting and floor coverings trap more dander and allergens, causing more respiratory conditions and other allergic reactions for inhabitants.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds – Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are elements that regulatory agencies have found to be damaging to environmental and/or human health. Synthetic rugs often contain VOCs or similar elements. A lot of these chemical compounds have an intense temporary effect that decreases over time. In these cases, airing out synthetic rugs for 2 to 3 weeks prior to installation can greatly decrease human exposure to these somewhat toxic products.
  • Environmental Impact – Some rug buyers want to consider the source material aspects of their purchases. Synthetic rugs made from polypropylene or olefin fibers are petroleum-based products, where some buyers will prefer organic materials like wool, bamboo or cotton.

In addition to the above aspects of buying synthetic, buyers can also make choices about rugs based on use, with heavier, sturdier rugs or mats for high-traffic areas. Natural fibers like bamboo can provide thinner, less allergen-trapping floor covering for those with specific allergies.

Think about all of the above aspects of area rugs when it’s time to purchase floor coverings for an apartment. Learning more about what goes into these kinds of protective and decorative furnishings can help consumers make decisions that they can stand behind, and ones that will contribute to their overall health and the air quality in their homes.

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