Carpet in Schools

Step up to carpet

What really matters when it comes to our classrooms?  Health concerns, safety issues and costs are the obvious answers.  But despite these commitments, most classrooms don’t make the grade when it comes to these critical points.

Hard surface flooring is seen in the majority of classrooms, and yet there is significant data to show that these hard surfaces contribute to a number of slip/fall accidents, propagate allergens and dust in the air due to cleaning procedures, and have a significant cost of upkeep.

That’s why modern classrooms are carpeted.  Not only is carpet more attractive and comfortable, but it is also a much safer, healthier alternative to hard surface flooring.  Carpet prevents slipping accidents, reduces in-classroom noise, and inhibits the distribution of allergens into the breathing zone, thereby improving indoor air quality.

Comfort and safety aren’t the only arguments for carpet.  Over a 22-year period, the cost of maintaining carpet is significantly less than that of hard surface flooring - even when you consider replacement costs.  There’s no question that carpet is the informed choice for schools. 

Step into the modern classroom and learn more about what these facts mean for you.

A sound choice for classroom flooring…

The reason that carpet is ideal for music rooms is the same reason that it is a perfect fit for all modern classrooms.  Carpet absorbs and reduces noise and creates rooms that are far more conducive to learning. That means a better learning and work environment for everyone.

An educated financial decision

As budgets get tighter, making positive changes becomes more difficult.  Thankfully, the decision to switch to carpeted classrooms makes real financial sense.  The cost of maintaining carpet over the course of a year is significantly less than the cost of maintaining hard surface flooring.  Studies have shown that on an annual basis, hard surface floors require two and one-half times more cleaning time than carpet.  In addition, cleaning supplies are almost seven times more expensive for vinyl floors than for carpet.

Over the long term, these costs add up.  Even when you consider the cost of replacing carpet every 11 years, the cost of hard surface flooring is still more than 30% higher.

Cost of Carpet in the School

School Schedule – 36 weeks – Labour $9.76/hr* (16.3¢ per minute)

Heavy Traffic - Examples: corridors, student break areas, classrooms, wipe-off regions,
cafeterias, congested channels, principal passage routes

  Frequency / School Year Minutes / 1000 Sq. Ft. School Year Total Minutes Per 1000 Sq. Ft. Cost Per School Year $/Sq. Ft.
*Labour rate of $9.76 derived from Cleaning Management Magazine May’01 industry survey
** (Ref. notes under moderate soil schedule above) Realistically most vacuuming will be concentrated in entry and channelized traffic flow areas. Time is largely dependent on the amount of furniture present and the width of the vacuuming head.
***Although the frequency of cleaning remains the same as for light-to-medium traffic areas, time spent cleaning is increased by 25%
Vacuuming 180 (daily) 10** 1800 $0.2934
Spot Removal 180 (daily) 8 1440 $0.2347
Rinse Cleaning 2 (Oct., May) 60 120 $0.0196
Deep Cleaning*** 3 (Aug., Dec, Mar.) 120 360 $0.0584
Chemical Costs       $0.0040
TOTAL 3720 $0.6104
  Frequency / School Year Minutes / 1000 Sq. Ft. School Year Total Minutes Per 1000 Sq. Ft. Cost Per School Year $/Sq. Ft.
*Quick response to spills on hard surfaces is essential because they don’t absorb moisture like carpet. In addition to spreading the residue there are safety (slip-fall) issues to consider.
**Although the number of wet moppings is the same as light-to-moderate traffic, time has been increased form 30 to 45 minutes. Otherwise, we just move the dirt around, which increases the need for “Scrub and Recoat” or even refinishing.
***Spray buffing is not a cleaning procedure. In the absence of the scrub/recoat procedure that follows, floors gradually turn brown as soil particles are fused with finish.
Dust Mopping 180 (daily) 8 1440 $0.2347
Spot Mopping 180 (2x per wk+)* 8 1440 $0.2347
Wet Mopping 108 (3x per wk) 45** 4860 $0.7922
Spray Buffing*** 36 (1x per wk) 48 1728 $0.2817
Scrub/Recoat 5 (Sp/Fb/Ap) 120 600 $0.0978
Strip/Finish 1 (July) 300 300 $0.0489
Chemical Costs       $0.0340
TOTAL 10,368 $1.724

“A Life-Cycle Cost Analysis For Floor Coverings In School Facilities”
Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), March 2002.

These results have been confirmed by another study (General Cost Evaluation: VCT vs. Carpet) undertaken by the Custodial Services Coordinator of the District School Board of Pasco County, in Florida.

Safety and comfort

Ensuring the health and well-being of students and teachers is more than a responsibility – it’s your prime directive.  From preventing slips and falls to reducing back pain, carpet is safer and more comfortable than any flooring alternative.  

When winter boots turn hard surfaces into a treacherous, slippery hazard, carpet keeps feet planted firmly on the ground.  And for the teachers, whose feet are on the ground for several hours a day, carpet provides just enough give to avoid repetitive stress injuries that can result in lower back pain.

Breathe easy with carpet

With instances of asthma and allergies on the rise, indoor air quality is an ongoing concern for schools, and carpet is your latest solution.  Because allergens and dust particles are trapped in the fibres of carpet, they are not redistributed into the air during cleaning, as they are with dry mopping on hard floors.  Instead, these particles end up in the vacuum cleaner where they belong.

Carpet that is vacuumed regularly and steam-cleaned once every three months is one of the healthiest choices you can make for the students, staff and teachers in your schools.

Providing a safe and learning-friendly environment is a priority for school boards.  Carpeted classrooms are safer, cleaner, and quieter than hard surface flooring.  They are also less expensive over the long run to maintain – even with periodic replacement.

The benefits of carpet belong to everyone.  Teachers, students, and staff all reap the rewards of carpet in the classroom. 

Step up to carpet.  Step into the modern classroom.

Click here for the PDF version of this document.

Studies on carpet in schools

“Listen To The Teacher”
“A Life-Cycle Cost Analysis For Floor Coverings In School Facilities”
“General Cost Evaluation: VCT vs. Carpet”
“Carpet and High Performance Schools”
“Healthy School Environment And Enhanced Educational Performance - The Case Of Charles Young Elementary School, Washington, DC”
“Classroom Acoustics: A Resource For Creating Learning Environments With Desirable Listening Conditions”
“Relationship Of Reported Allergy Symptoms, Relative Humidity And Airborne Biologicals In Thirteen Florida Classrooms”
“Healthy Schools Are Clean, Dry And Productive”
“National Survey of Public School Teachers’
“Mold Remediation In Schools And Commercial Buildings”
“Perceptions of Middle School Principals regarding Carpet’s Function In The School’s Physical Environment And A Comparison Of Middle School Students’ Performance With Sound Intensity Levels In The Classroom”
“The Importance of Interior Design Elements As They Relate To Student Outcomes”
“Carpets In Schools Don’t Compromise Indoor Air Quality’