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Is Indoor/Outdoor Carpet Right for Your Home? Yes! Here's Why

Posted on July 23, 2014

There are many different kinds of flooring on the market today. With so many options tile, laminate, hardwood, and carpet available, you may have no idea what kind of flooring will work in your house. You may not know whether you should choose a fluffy carpet or something more durable.

If you need to add a new floor to a high-traffic area, you should consider a heavy-duty option like indoor/outdoor carpet.

What Is Indoor/Outdoor Carpet?

Indoor/outdoor carpet—or I/O carpet—is used in areas that are going to experience more wear and tear. These carpets are made from material that can withstand heavy traffic. Rubber, plastic, and synthetic fibers are common in indoor/outdoor carpets and can be woven into an aesthetically pleasing material.

Originally, I/O carpets were similar to Astroturf in look and feel. Astroturf is a synthetic replacement for grass that is used in many stadiums. Most early I/O carpets were made to look and feel like grass.

In recent years, I/O carpets have grown in popularity. Modern styles now incorporate additional colors, not just green. However, the colors of these carpets tend to blend with nature, relying on shades of green, gray, blue, and red.

How Does It Differ from Indoor Carpet?

Strictly indoor carpet and I/O carpet look and feel differently.

Indoor carpets are made with a number of different materials. These materials can be woven together or tufted to create the look of the carpet. Tufted carpets wear down more easily than other carpets, and you’ll have a harder time cleaning them.

However, tufted carpets provide a softer, more comfortable feel, which makes them great for indoor carpeting.

Woven carpets are created on a loom and offer a greater degree of protection. Crafted with tightly drawn material, this type of construction creates a carpet that is easier to clean and take care of.

Indoor carpets often have a soft, luxurious feel to them. This softness comes from the pad that sits under the carpet, acting as a cushion between the subfloor and the carpet itself. This helps to soften foot falls and reduce noise, and it provides better insulation.  

I/O carpets don’t require a carpet pad. Companies affix these carpets directly to a subfloor or a solid surface, so don’t expect them to feel as soft or cushioned.

Where Do You Install It?

You primarily use indoor/outdoor carpet outside, but many parts of the house can benefit from this carpet’s versatility. You should put it in the following locations:

  • Around pools: Pool areas can be slippery. Placing I/O carpet around a pool decreases the risk of slipping and falling.
  • Sun rooms: These are great places to let sun enter your home, but too much sun can actually damage your carpet. I/O carpet is made of material that resists fading.
  • Playrooms: Spilled juice or paint can destroy carpet. Indoor/outdoor carpets are stain resistant, dry quickly, and provide a safe place for kids to grow.
  • Porches and Decks: Want to spend a summer evening sitting on your home’s porch or barbequing on the deck? Placing indoor/outdoor carpet in these areas can provide you with the comfort of the indoors, but it lets you enjoy activities outside at the same time.

How Do You Care for It?

You need to maintain your indoor/outdoor carpet just like your other carpets. Due to the nature of these carpets, they are easy to clean as long as you do so regularly. Here are some tips on maintaining your carpet:

Fight Mildew: If your carpet is in a location with sunlight, you’ll have a much easier time fighting mildew. Mildew grows in damp, dark places. Sunlight helps keep that growth in check.

If you have a moveable carpet, rotate the carpet so the sun can kill all growth equally.

If you have a carpet in a location with constant moisture, make sure that it has a marine backing. Manufacturers use marine backing on carpets in boats to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Finally, you can use a bleach mixture to kill mold and mildew growth. Make sure to begin using this sparingly and in an unseen area as it may change the color of the carpet.

Vacuum Regularly: Most indoor/outdoor carpets are stain proof, but that doesn’t mean they are dirt proof. An I/O carpet can look dingy and filthy just as easily as an indoor carpet can. Make sure to regularly vacuum these carpets.

Stain Fighting: As previously mentioned, indoor/outdoor carpets are often made with stain resistant material. However if you do get a stain in your carpet, try using dish soap to remove it. Most stain problems on these carpets come from grease and grime. Dish soap can have a potent effect on stains of these natures.

Indoor/outdoor carpets have a versatility that doesn’t exist in many other flooring alternatives. Use it to make your home more durable today! 

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