Building lobbies and hallways are high-traffic areas, prone to tracked-in dirt and street grime, scuffs from shoes, luggage, and equipment, slush and salt in the winter, and in dog-friendly buildings, the occasional indiscretion committed by a furry resident.
All of this takes a toll on flooring, whether it be marble, hardwood, rugs, or carpet - and that wear-and-tear can quickly erode the first impression your common areas make on residents and visitors alike. Knowing how to keep your floors and floor coverings looking sharp goes a long way toward maintaining curb appeal and ensuring that your building and its residents are putting their best foot forward.
“Carpet is always the biggest concern in terms of floor coverings,” says Marilyn Sygrove, president of Sygrove Design Associates, a New York-based interior design firm. “Long-term, the most important factor may be the designer specifying the right material for the space to begin with. Is that space vulnerable to pet stains and bleach marks? Pet urine and bleach will not come out easily. Once carpet is badly damaged, it has to be replaced.”
Sygrove explains that basically, “There are two types of carpets: yarn dyed and solution dyed. In yarn dyed carpets, the dye is applied to the yarn after the carpet is made. In solution dyed carpets, which are generally made of nylon, the color of the dye is through the yarn [before it’s woven]. That is one of the reasons why nylon carpets are our ‘go-to’ carpets. While we must use nylon, our preference is always for an 80%/20% wool nylon Axminster blend.” (Axminster is a type of weave originating in the English town of the same name, which has been known for carpet manufacturing since the mid-1700s.)
Sygrove cautions that urine and bleach can both take the color out of a yarn-dyed rug, though she does add that based on testing and experience, “Axminster weaves are impervious to both dog urine and bleach. Solution dyed nylon carpets are also urine- and bleach-resistant.”