When selecting floors for the upstairs, you may wonder just how many freedoms you can take. Will it look strange to mix and match carpets, or should the landing carpet match the bedrooms' carpet? Both carpeting manufacturers and designers agree on one answer -and we've found it for you!
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Different areas of the home have different carpeting needs. While you can create a unified look and easily tie all of the rooms together using a matching carpet, it's not necessary. If the landing is a high traffic area and requires more durable carpeting or deserves to be its own focal point with unique flooring, feel free to use a coordinated, yet different type of carpet from that in the bedrooms.
So when should carpeting match, and when should it not? What's the best carpet for a high traffic area, or for the stairs? Do the bedroom carpets need to match? Keep reading to learn everything you need to consider when picking a new carpet for your home.
How Should I Pick Upstairs Carpeting?
The carpeting on the landing, stairs, and bedrooms does not all have to be the same. Some can match, or none can match. It's really a matter of personal preference. There are two styles for picking out carpeting -matching floors and coordinated floors. First, let's take a minute to understand those terms.
For matching floors, the flooring material is exactly the same, from one room to the other. This can make it a lot simpler to pick your flooring. After all, once you've picked the material for one room, you've picked them all. However, it doesn't offer a variety or the chance to customize rooms to their individual use.
When you use this style, it's crucial that you make an exact match. This can be difficult when you try to replace flooring several years later if the original style is no longer available. But, when it's clear that something is supposed to match exactly, it's visually disruptive and disorienting when you break that continuity. Something that is almost, but not quite, an exact match will stand out and potentially be an eyesore.
For this reason, take careful notes on your floorings. Use a sample or picture when you buy new flooring, and make sure what you purchase is, in fact, a match.
Coordinated floors offer the homeowner a lot more freedom. In this style, it's important to unify all of the flooring materials. This is done by finding and repeating similar elements. However, similar is nowhere near as strict as matching.
For example, you might choose tile for the kitchen floor. This tile could be a similar color to the carpet in the living room. The color is the same, but the material is not. The similar color offers consistency and unity between both floors, but you can pick different materials that suit each room.
In the laundry room, you might select tile as well. But, this tile is a few shades lighter than the tile in the kitchen. The color has changed. This lighter color is a better choice for the smaller room, but now the material is the same between both rooms.
In this method, think of the floors as being more like cousins than twins. However, one consideration is to switch between flooring materials at logical and natural breaking points in the home. For example, switch to your new floor at a door frame, rather than at the middle of a room. To help create an obvious break, consider using transition strips like these:
So, Should Carpeting Match Or Coordinate?
Ultimately, whichever style you decide to use is up to you. There's no right or wrong answer here. However, there are a couple of important points to consider.
In many homes, the stairs are set up as a focal point. In others, stairs open up onto a beautiful landing. A landing that may deserve its own attention. If you want to draw all eyes to a particular place in your design, you should select a unique carpet. Pick something that isn't already in use anywhere else in the house. That one of a kind floor will embellish the fact that this place is special.
High-traffic Areas vs. Low-traffic areas
As a general rule, carpeting on stairs wears out first and is the hardest hit. Landings are second. Bedrooms can make do with a much less durable carpet (and the carpet doesn't take as much of a beating).
Reflect on the traffic around your house. If your landing needs a heavy-duty carpet, and your bedrooms do not, it may not make sense to use the same type of carpet. You may spend more by using a tough carpet in areas where you don't need one. Conversely, you could end up with a carpet that is appropriate for bedroom use on the stairs and landing. Most likely, you will need to replace it prematurely.
Should All Bedroom Carpets Match?
For the same reasons, bedroom carpets do not have to match, either. Of course, in many houses, they do. It's easier, and most people don't need a different carpet in each bedroom. It can be a pain to pick out unique carpets for multiple rooms when one carpet would work for them all. The needs between bedrooms generally don't vary, so one carpet would be fine.
On the other hand, sometimes the needs between bedrooms do vary. In these cases, it's perfectly acceptable to coordinate flooring instead of match. For a child's room, you may want something more stain-resistant. A bedroom with an attached bathroom (and shower) may benefit from something else. Perhaps flooring that dries quickly and can stand up to wet feet. If you feel that each room needs (or would look better with) its own carpeting, there's absolutely no reason not to.
For more information, see "Can Bedrooms Have Different Flooring?"
Is Carpet Still Popular For Bedrooms?
Carpet is still the preferred choice in bedrooms, thanks to the warmth and comfort it can provide underfoot. However, material such as laminate is quickly increasing in popularity for homes with pets or allergy sufferers.
What Is The Best Carpet For Stairs?
- Avoid thick carpets. Thick carpets reduce the space available for feet, making trips more likely. Pick one with a pile of 3/4-inch or less.
- Stay away from polyester and other slippery carpets.
- Say no to looped styles of carpet, like Berber, and carpets with loose fibers. It is especially important to avoid these carpets if you have pets. Claws can get caught in the loops and cause a tumble down the stairs.
- Use a thin, firm carpet pad. Pads should not be more than 3/8-inch thick. This surface provides stability.
Stairs are usually a high-traffic area, which means you want something durable that will look good well into the future no matter how much abuse they take! Good selections for these needs are sisal (a more natural choice), polypropylene, or nylon carpet. And there's another good reason to pick a low pile carpet - they're the most hardwearing for a heavy-duty carpet choice.
To learn more about carpeting stairs, read "How Long Does Carpet Last on Stairs?"
Many areas in the home typically use the same carpeting throughout. However, this is a matter of convenience and not a necessity. Different carpeting can benefit different areas of the home. If you prefer, it's fine to use your creativity to coordinate multiple kinds of flooring. You can create a casual but defined style by repeating design elements. With coordinated, not matched, floors, each area of your home can have a unique and distinctive look.