We live in an old workers cottage, so our entire home is original floorboards, but five years ago my husband and I had the carpet vs floorboards argument. I was all for having floorboards in the bedrooms, yet my husband wouldn’t budge and wanted carpets in the bedrooms. We ended up going with carpets.
Now, that decision was purely based on aesthetics, not once was anything to do with mental health considered.
Mental health? I hear you ask. Well, I never thought about it much until now, and it makes a whole lot of sense.
Carpet or Floorboards. Which is better for stress and anxiety?
When I bought our carpet, I remember the salesman saying, ‘Oh, your favourite carpet is our most expensive one.’ I remember cringing, ‘Why do I always pick the most expensive things?’ But, I bought that carpet. It’s beautiful, plush and yes, it does ease tension when I walk on it. The way it made me feel probably has a lot to do with why I bought but I didn’t think about it at the time. Although the carpet is now five years old, its stress reducing properties and fluffiness come back to life after getting in cleaned properly.
Anxiety alleviating carpet
There’s a particularly special anxiety alleviating carpet, designed by Charlotte Jonchkheer, it’s made of horsehair, wool, cotton and chenille. The different textures and sensations created by the carpet are supposed to distract the mind from stress and anxiety, like a mindfulness practice. Some of the carpet has high piles like your typical shag carpet, and other fibres are shorter. The horsehair is coarse and the chenille feels like velvet. So, depending on the kinds of textures you prefer underfoot may determine which kind of carpet you select.
It seems airports are in on the secret too. Have you ever wondered why vast areas of airports are carpet? Thesun.co.au reports that it’s because it gives passengers the soft, cosy like feeling like they’d find in their own home.
Of course, walking on carpet isn’t going to have the same effect as taking your medication or removing yourself from the stressful situation, but, a study published by the Iranian Journal of Public Health has found that walking on carpet does induce less stress than walking on wood flooring. Who would have thought!
It’s noisy in here!
It’s not just the soft textures and sensations to consider when considering carpet vs floorboards; consider the noise. Although we carpeted our bedrooms and the home office, the rest of the house is floorboards, and with two young children, my anxiety levels can go through the roof with the pounding noise of them running up and down, the noise of chairs being pushed across the floor and the thump of toys. I’m often left worrying about the neighbours and what they can hear, too. Noise also seems to travel a lot quicker on floorboards; there’s nothing to absorb the sound.
A lot of the time I’ve felt as though I’m completely irrational when I get frustrated with the noise, however, it does make me feel better to know that noise annoyance is associated with depression and anxiety. Noise is an environmental stressor and as it increases, so does depression and anxiety, according to this study. Why introduce noise if you don’t need to?
Carpets vs floorboards, it’s a tough decision. Aesthetics tend to play a big part but if you’re easily stressed or have anxiety as I do, perhaps carpets, if only in certain rooms, may be a better choice. Right now I’m just going to resort to earbuds and my favourite music when the noise and anxiety gets too much.
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