Soft. Comfortable. Carpet.
- Carpet vs. engineered hardwood: (From 3 to 7 times the R–value.)
- Carpet vs. laminate: (From 4 to 8 times the R–value.)
- Carpet vs. ceramic tile: (From 8 to 17 times the R–value.)
Carpet with cushion represents a clear advantage in insulation capability over hard surface flooring. Of course‚ potential energy cost savings by using carpet and cushion in lieu of hard surfaces will vary widely. The type of floor construction, local energy costs‚ climate‚ and carpet/cushion type all affect how significant these savings could be. Obviously‚ savings would be greater in colder regions of the country.
Dr. Alan Hedge‚ professor of Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University‚ also cites thermal comfort as another of carpet’s advantages. “Carpet feels warmer to the touch than other floor coverings because the air at room temperature is trapped by the carpet fibers which acts as an insulator‚ and carpet has a low thermal diffusivity compared to other floor materials that have higher thermal diffusivities and that conduct heat away from the body more rapidly‚ resulting in a lower skin temperature‚ cooler sensation‚ and greater thermal discomfort‚” Hedge reports.