Soil Hiding Considerations
Where is the Flooring Being Installed?
With the selection of floor covering soil hiding characteristics should be a major consideration. Selecting a floor for a building located in the country on a quiet road? Installed near a major highway requires different soil hiding characteristics than the selection for a manufacturing facility. A house in the country has soil hiding requirements differ than a floor covering for a penthouse apartment.
Consider location, where product will be installed, amount and type of traffic. All are important soil hiding considerations.
Perhaps you have a fully landscaped situation with grass and walks. You may have dirt and gravel around the structure, these require different soil hiding characteristics for your flooring. You may be in an area that is routinely exposed to rain and mud, still with different soil hiding needs. Maybe you’re on the beach or in the dessert and sand is a consideration.
Some offices, motels, and retail stores are exposed to tracking from asphalt parking lots. Maybe you have a restaurant that operates in part of the building, or a garage where your teenagers work on cars.
Selecting for the Area of Installation
Carefully think about the specific composition of soil so that the correct selection can be made. The type and color of soil will vary by geographic location running the gamut of light to dark and somewhere in-between. Whenever possible, soil hiding can start with color. Select a floor covering similar in tone to the soil the floor will be exposed to. Just like the snake in the photo is blending in with its environment.
A properly selected floor covering should have soil hiding characteristics that perform well at concealing soil. Cleaning needs to be another consideration. Choose a flooring product that can be easily cleaned and cared for. While it may be your first choice based on the aesthetics, it will probably be your wisest choice. Concealed soil that is not removed will damage any floor-covering product.
You need to understand that stain and soil resistance on carpet helps to repel spills and dirt. It does not eliminate maintenance.
Warning About Product Advertising
Advertising for carpet may lead one to believe that a carpet treated with a stain and soil resisting product will not get dirty. Understand that these products will not keep a carpet clean but allow for easier clean-up of common household spills. Stain and soil resist products are a good selection for any carpeted room regardless of its soil hiding abilities. These products will assist with maintenance in high traffic areas. Rooms such as hallways, stairs or any other room where activity is high and food or beverage is consumed.
Some advertising for laminated wood, sheet vinyl and other flooring products also give the impression that the floor is indestructible. Everything can be destroyed. You need to understand what you are buying and where you are going to use it. Soil hiding characteristics are important, so is good maintenance.