Why Put Carpeting in Cars?

Spend enough time in your car, and you’ll eventually begin to consider the seeming absurdity of the vehicle’s carpeted floor. Carpet is, of course, notoriously difficult to keep clean, yet it’s been installed in a place prone to food and drink spills, mud, dirt, snow, and other gunk. Most people put down floor mats to protect the carpet from damage, but what’s the point of a floor surface that needs another layer? Why not just make the entire thing out of rubber or another easy-to-clean material? Why install something that will eventually be hit with a Slurpee-related disaster? The main reason isn’t for aesthetic purposes. It’s mostly because carpet is an effective sound dampener. Carpeting helps absorb road noise by as much as 40% before it reaches the cabin. Another reason is heat retention. Rather than lose heat through a bare metal floor, carpet acts as insulation and helps keep the car warm when the heater is on. Finally, having a soda or coffee detonate on carpeting is preferable to having to cope with a spill on a bare surface, where it could lead to rust or other damage. For manufacturers, carpet is cheap, beneficial, and hides a lot of the dirt and grime that would otherwise be visible.