CarpetWhere else in the world would you see as many carpets as in the UK? Now, I don’t mean smart hand woven rugs from Persia. I mean nasty grey or blue acrylic carpets that seem to be found everywhere in British public buildings, and horrible patterned fitted carpets in homes – like the one pictured. So why this obsession?

You can’t fail to notice the carpets all over the place in the UK. From the passport check area at Heathrow airport, to the floors of government buildings… Brits tend to also put fitted wall-to-wall carpets in all of their houses, sometimes even in the bathroom!

This strikes me as a very unhealthy obsession indeed. Carpets are harder to clean than solid floors, although they do not show the dirt so easily. So are all these carpets just intended to cover up the dirt?

1 square metre of carpet contains 100000 dust mites according to this article from the BBC, and many are starting to link carpets to the high rates of asthma in the UK – we have more sufferers per head of population than any other European country.

Or does the issue come back once more to the inherently bad design of British buildings? For more on that, see this post. If I was to even contemplate tearing up the carpets in my flat in South London, I very much doubt whether the floor board to be found underneath would be even close to adequate as a basis for a solid floor.

So the next time you feel that squeak of the acrylic carpet under your feet, ask yourself: do we really need that?

4 Comments

  1. You forgot carpets are even in trains (although are being replaced), bathroom (!!!)

  2. Leszek

    It makes sense, as it isolates noise and provides a better learning environment in universities, libraries and so on. Something you never miss until you notice the difference.

  3. Angelo Olmetto

    As a foreign and hygiene-obsessed person, I can’t help hating carpets. I do acknowledge its fluffiness and the warm feeling under your feet but, as you said, it covers the dirt and it’s a nightmare to clean, not to mention when you find it in the bathroom (XO). I even thought that British houses were floored with carpets by law! Lol
    I guess carpets are another adorable weird British thing I’ll have to deal with in this lovely country.

  4. Niklas Henricson

    LOL I so agree with you man… It is completely an obsession with that! And so ugly too! I mean I understand official buildings to save money. It is cheaper replacing a carpet than polish a wooden or tiled floor or put plastic floor that over the years people move and drag furniture on, but we count that as a natural cost when repairing a house as much as re-painting it or redo electrics!

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