Indoor vs. Outdoor Carpet
Indoor carpet and outdoor carpet are actually very different materials, mostly due to their different responsibilities.. Indoor carpets designed for comfort, style, and to withstand typical indoor usage like constant foot traffic, pets, and other common indoor stresses. Outdoor carpet floors must be able to hold up to the wear and tear that only nature can provide: Sun beams, rain, extreme temperature changes, snow, ice, and sometimes even vehicle use.
Outdoor carpets tend to be cheaper and easier to maintain than indoor carpet, mostly due to the fact that outdoor carpets are usually made from synthetic materials which are much less expensive than the natural materials typically used for indoors carpet floors. Outdoor carpets have several advantages in terms of price, durability, available styles, easy installation, and they can be used indoors as well - creating maximal durability at minimal cost.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Carpet Materials: By definition, outdoor carpets will have to deal with more aggressive wear, causing the carpet to fade and show signs of wear. Consequently, carpet manufacturers use more durable synthetic materials like rubber, plastic, polypropylene or acrylic. Indoor carpets, on the other hand, are made from natural fibers like bamboo, sisal, lamb-wool, hemp, and others. Synthetic materials are UV stabilized to protect the floor from fading and losing structural strength. Additionally, materials used for outdoor carpeting undergo a process to make them as water resistant as possible. By picking outdoor carpet flooring, you guarantee long term durability at minimal cost. When it comes to the cost of your outdoor carpet, there is one more factor you should consider: Cost over twenty years. Although outdoor carpeting usually is more expensive up front than indoor carpet, it actually has more value over time. For example, if you spend $4,000.00 to have an outdoor carpet installed that only needs replacement every ten years, the 20 year cost of your carpet is $8,000.00. On the other hand, indoor carpeting that only costs $2,000.00 to install but needs to be replaced every other year will have a 20 year cost of $20,000.00. As you can see, it’s often better to spend a little more money when you install your carpet to ensure greater long term value.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Carpet Color: In general, both indoor and outdoor carpet flooring have many available colors. Generally speaking, it is much easier and cheaper to find colorful outdoor carpet flooring because coloring synthetic material is often less expensive and a much simpler process.. Vibrant, bold, colorful, fluorescent, glowing, loud, multicolored, pastel or even psychedelic - these are only few words that describe the color choices you have for outdoor carpets. Indoor carpet colors, on the other hand, tend to be more muted and natural. Colorful natural indoor rugs will cost a bit more due to the fact that the coloring process of for natural fabric which is more time consuming and expensive than coloring synthetic materials. (Consult your contractor for pricing)
Indoor vs. Outdoor Carpet Pattern: Similar to coloring, processing synthetic materials with sophisticated patterns for outdoor carpeting is an easier and cheaper task than with indoor floors. Grass like patterns, squares, circles, color mosaics, and other diverse patterns are all available for outdoor carpeting at an affordable price. If your priority is a cool pattern but your budget is limited, outdoor carpet floors will give you plenty of room for color creativity.
If you want indoor carpet flooring with sophisticated patterns, however, you’ll either have to pay more or search for some good deals around you. Note that patterned carpets need extra material to compensate on cuts, therefore, recommended that you consult with contractor about the specifics of your house/room shape and make sure your quote includes extra material and labor for pattern carpet floor installation.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Carpet Durability: As previously stated, outdoor carpet flooring made from synthetic materials are more durable compared to indoor natural carpets floors. However, if we take into consideration that outdoor carpet flooring experiences increased stress, both from nature and everyday use, the lifespan of indoor and outdoor carpets is about the same—15-25 years if properly maintained. The bottom line is that how much durability you need really depends on how you use your outdoor and indoor carpeting.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Carpet Sizing: Indoor and outdoor carpet flooring are offered both in standard and custom sizes. Outdoor carpet comes at standard widths of 15 ft., 12 ft., 10 ft., 7.5 ft., 6 ft., varying by your need. 12 is most common, the rest are special orders. The price is calculated by linear foot. For example, 15 ft. width carpet costs $36.00 per linear ft., resulting in a price of $2.40 per sq. ft. The variety in sizes will help you to choose the optimal width for your flooring project so you have minimal amount of waste. Indoor carpet flooring usually comes in rolls with a standard 12 ft. width, with custom motions also available. The pricing for indoor carpeting is calculated per sq. ft. When comparing the prices of indoor and outdoor carpeting, make sure that you use the same metric unit (linear feet or square feet).
Indoor vs. Outdoor Carpet Maintenance and Cleaning: Outdoor carpet floors are usually moisture resistant and, therefore, absorb less dirt and are easier to clean. Natural carpet floors require more detailed cleaning, and might need special chemical cleaners to clean and protect the indoor carpets. Depending on the specific type of outdoor carpet and the type of stain, you can spot-clean, shake, vacuum or wash the carpet floors with a hose and then hang to dry. Note that specific cleaning recommendations vary from one manufacturer to another. Here are the highlights you need to know about cleaning outdoor carpet:
- Clean your outdoor carpet flooring with a hose, scrub brush, and diluted home soap
- Clean both sides of the carpet, including the surface under the carpet
- After cleaning, dry your carpet completely, making sure that the floor under the carpet is dry
- The frequency of your cleaning can be monthly, seasonally, or as dictated by usage
- During winter or in cold climates you should store your outdoor carpet to offer additional protection
- Storing Tip #1: Always roll, never fold, your carpeting. Just like Apple Headphones
- Storing Tip #2: If you don't have anywhere to store your rug—such as in an indoors in a safe, dry place—then roll it up and cover it with plastic material, such as a tarp to protect from water and humidity
- To keep your outdoor carpeting looking fresh, make sure you periodically remove moss and algae. You can do so with soap and other cleaning supplements available at home.
Using Outdoor Carpeting Indoors: Outdoor carpet floors are usually installed at the deck, patio, swimming pool, porch, playground, or any other outdoor spaces. However, due to the available diversity of styles and great durability, outdoor carpeting can make a great solution for indoor use. Outdoor carpeting is perfectly suitable for kitchens, dining rooms, work rooms, or indoor areas which are exposed to frequent sunlight or extreme temperatures, as in indoor or multi-season porches. Any room that is subject to frequent usage is a great candidate for synthetic outdoor carpeting.
Using Indoor Carpeting Outdoors: It’s important to understand that indoor carpeting should never be used outdoors. Indoor carpet flooring is not made to sustain the outdoor elements and can suffer extreme fading if exposed to the sun’s ultra red and ultraviolet beams, often leading to the need for replacement much sooner than you would have anticipated. Additionally, rain and snow can cause watermarks and result in the disintegration of the natural fibers, loss of strength, and visible shrinking. It is imperative that you use your carpet floors wisely and save money.
Other Factors to Consider: Each carpet floor requires some sort of preparation prior to installation.. For example, indoor carpet flooring needs to be installed on a leveled sub-floor (elaboration at Carpet Floor Installation Labor Cost) and outdoor carpet flooring might need an underlying pad, water drainage solution, or other technical adaption to let air circulate under the carpet and to prevent it from rotting, decomposition, and overall degeneration.
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