There is probably no other city that celebrates, maintains, and embraces its weirdness more than Portland, OR. One of the facets of this weirdness manifests in a widespread and deep love for the carpeting at Portland International Airport, PDX. The problem is that the carpet is being replaced.
The carpeting, which has a design inspired by the layout of the airport’s runways, has become a social media signal for Portlanders that they have arrived home. Many a filtered photo featuring shoe-clad feet atop this carpet have graced the feeds of Facebook and Instagram.
“Yes, other airports have carpets, but right now people seem to think we have a masterpiece of a welcome mat,” PDX spokesperson Kama Simonds told USA Today.
Unfortunately, the carpet has become worn and need of replacement — since it has served PDX and Portlanders well since its installation in the late 1980s.
Though the carpeting is beloved by many, it is simply too worn (and probably too dirty) not to replace. A carpet can accumulate several pounds of dirt and dust per year, which is especially true for carpets like the one at PDX which experiences such a high volume of foot traffic.
“Replacement definitely depends on the amount of foot traffic it has, it sounds that after 30 years this carpet was ready for replacement,” says Brian Ferrentino of Windy City Carpet Cleaning. “Carpet replacement always depends on the quality of the carpet and the padding, high quality household carpet with regular cleanings could last 20 years plus.”
Experts recommend that carpets should be professionally cleaned every year to year and a half, and that a protectant can prolong their life, but eventually they will need to be replaced.
The Oregonian reports that the 13 acres of carpet is expected to cost around $13 million to replace. The project should take around seven months to complete.