There is a reason why squares and tiles are popular choices for carpet. Flemington homeowners do not want to deal with the mess of replacing an entire room’s worth of carpet every year or hiding stains under a giant area rug, which can be an accident hazard especially for young children and the elderly, who may trip. With carpet squares, all that is needed to pry out the stained square and drop a new one in its place. Often, padding is not needed and installation is a breeze. But most carpeting is made of synthetic materials. What if homeowners are looking for natural alternatives but with the ease of carpet squares? There is one, and it is called sisal.
Sisal has been used as a carpeting material for thousands of years and is thought to have originated in the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. Sisal is a type of plant that has long, spiky and extremely sharp leaves. Workers harvest these leaves and process them so that the leaves are transformed into easily weaveable fibers. Sisal’s main advantage is that it is naturally stain, wear, and static electricity resistant. A few drawbacks to using sisal are that the carpets are extremely expensive due to natural sisal’s relative rarity, and sisal is not water or liquid resistant. Any liquid dropped onto a sisal rug will damage it right away, requiring replacement. Sisal carpet is also traditionally backed by latex, which helps to keep the rug from curling into itself over time, but can be problematic for people with latex allergies. An alternative to using natural sisal is synthetic sisal, which can be cheaper, but can be more difficult to find a reliable buyer. Still another alternative is a sisal area rug, which gives the look of sisal but can be less expensive. These rugs come with padding, as any latex backed rug can be slippery on wood floors.
Sisal is extremely easy to care for. All it requires is an occasional vacuuming to remove dirt and dust. What if the inevitable happens and the sisal rug becomes stained or has water or liquid dropped on it? Cornstarch or baking soda can absorb liquid quickly and easily. Baking soda has the advantage of being both a deodorizer and absorber of oily liquid, such as salad dressing. Blot the stain on the carpet with a clean, dry cloth as quickly as possible, soaking up the spill. Then sprinkle on the cornstarch or baking soda and leave it for several hours so it can absorb the liquid. Vacuum as normal. Depending on the extensiveness of the spill, the carpet may or may not need to be replaced.
Keep in mind that sisal carpet is still a relatively new carpeting material to most Americans so its availability may be limited. Sisal is extremely durable, making it an excellent choice for families with small children. The easiest way to install sisal carpeting is using tiles, which can be pried out and replaced. As more people begin to recognize this extraordinary natural fiber’s value, it will become easier to find sisal carpet in Flemington and elsewhere.