Floor coverings have come a long way in the past decade. Where once wall-to-wall carpeting was bland and there were few options to choose from, now there are a multitude of colors and designs to select from, and one of the best ways to dress up a bare, cold-looking hallway or lobby is by installing a well-placed rug or carpet. Rugs and carpets muffle noise, reduce wear-and-tear on underlying flooring materials, and add visual interest at relatively little expense.
In hallways of co-ops and condos, it is not unusual to see commercial-grade wall-to-wall carpeting occupying much of the floor's space. This is the most recommended floor treatment by designers for boards because of the amount of foot traffic they get in a given day.
"In public spaces such as corridors, it is best to use wall-to-wall carpet where the original floor isn't valuable," says David Kaplan of David Kaplan Interior Design LLC in Manhattan. "It reduces noise levels, it's more comfortable than the hard surface, and it just looks better in most instances."
"Carpeting wall-to-wall makes the area look more expansive," says Lauri Wood, a redecorating expert and president of Use What You Have Interiors and Redecorate.com, both on Manhattan's Upper East Side. "Plus, since sound bounces like crazy on a floor, it's just great for soundproofing which residents really appreciate. And it looks good."
It's important to know what type of carpeting you are installing. Unless you get a reasonably strong, flat-weave commercial carpeting, you may be looking at full replacement every five years or so because of heavy traffic, but with so many choices nowadays, it's easy to get something that is practical while still looking good.