There are drawbacks; perhaps most visible among them is the difficulty of keeping carpet clean. Every bit of food that is dropped and speck of dirt tracked into the house can get ground deep into the carpet if not immediately cleaned, and will prove reluctant to come back out. Pet stains can alter the colour and leave an odour that can linger for a long time. In recent years, a related problem has come to the forefront. The fact the carpets retain so much of the surrounding environment means that they also retain allergens and have been blamed for exacerbating allergy-related problems and asthma — not to mention their capacity to absorb water, harbouring and hiding mould. These problems can be mitigated by frequent steam cleaning, but this at least partially negates the initial savings in cost.


Linoleum is a hard, durable material that has also fallen out of favour in recent years, giving way to tile and hardwood. However, it is cheap ($2-$9/ft.), the colour goes all the way through (a nice attribute if you should drop a kitchen knife on it), and it can be cleaned or patched easily. It also lends itself to design creativity as it is easy to cut into unique shapes and styles. Linoleum can be a good way to create an eye-catching look for your kitchen or bathroom. However, that same design flexibility can lead homeowners to give in to the temptation of trends and wind up dating their floors out of the market. It also needs to be polished occasionally to continue looking good and will stain if you do not clean spills quickly enough.


Tile is one of the most durable options available. It will take a hit


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