There are so many carpet choices nowadays. Which one is right for you? Thankfully, since there are so many options, there’s bound to be at least one that will fit the needs for each room in your house.
You should consider these factors before getting started:
- What’s the use of the room?
- Will the room have heavy or light traffic?
- Does the room have direct access from outside or is it away from entrances?
- Does the room get direct sunlight?
Once you’ve determined how the room (and carpet) will be used, you’re ready to pick the carpet that will be best for your home and lifestyle.
Room traffic – High or low?
Homeowners should choose a carpet based on whether the room is formal or casual. This gives you an idea of how much traffic it will endure, which coincides with whether you want a smooth or textured pile.
What’s the difference between a smooth or think pile? If you want a carpet that’s more durable and provides more cushion, choose a thick pile. While a thinker pile is more costly, these carpets are worth the investment as they’ll last longer in high-traffic areas.
Cut pile is the most popular type of carpet used today. Each style has its own set of unique characteristics, determined by the type of fiber used, the density of the tufts, and the amount of twist in the tufts. Cut-pile carpets come in many styles:
- Textured carpets have fibers cut at various lengths. Textured carpets are decoratively versatile and a great carpet choice for the whole house because they bear high traffic areas well.
- Saxony or Plush carpets are denser carpets with an even pile height. These carpets are best for formal living and dining rooms or master bedrooms – places with lower foot traffic.
- Frieze carpets form a curly textured surface because the yarns are extremely twisted, giving the carpet a more informal look and feel.
Loop pile carpets come in level and multi-level. Level carpets mean the loops in the carpet are all the same height, making the carpet durable and long-lasting. Multi-level loop pile carpets include loops of two or three different heights to create a pattern.
The Cut-Loop pile carpet combines cut and looped fibers. The variation of surface textures in a cut and loop style creates a variety of pattern effects that can go in any room of the house.
Quality of fiber
Carpet fiber changes from selection to selection. The twist and heat set of the fibers can greatly affect quality, as well as the density of the tufts. Short, tight, dense tufts lead to a better carpet construction.
Nowadays, nylon has taken over the market. It’s the leader in appearance, fade and heat resistance and soil and stain resistance. It also has the most variety in color and styling options. You can also find other synthetic options including olefin, polypropylene (most often used in loop pile construction), and polyester (luxurious, soft texture).
If you’re looking for a luxurious option for a low-traffic area, you might look into wool. This option is super soft and high in density, but won’t stand up to abrasion and moisture as well as synthetics.
Before purchasing a new carpet, make sure to get a sample and check the density. If you dig your fingers into the pile and they reach the backing too quickly, it isn’t packed densely enough with fibers. Look for tight tuft twists. Lower-priced carpets have issues like loose tufts as well.
Also, comparison shop at multiple locations to ensure that you’re getting the best price. Look at the costs of the carpet, pad and installation. Some companies are willing to negotiate to get your business, so don’t hesitate to ask for a certain price or discount.
And remember that buying better quality will pay off in the long run. Cheap carpet can wear out quickly, while a good carpet can last upwards of 20 years.
Care for your carpet
A few more considerations to think about before choosing a carpet include the care your carpet will need to ensure a long life.
First, think about carpet pads. Pads are the foundation for your carpet and help to increase comfort and extend the life of your carpet. Most manufacturers will list the requirements for the thickness and density of the carpet pad.
Then make sure to consider the routine care that your carpets will need depending on their placement within the home. In addition to vacuuming periodically and cleaning spots quickly, most manufactures suggest getting carpets professionally cleaned every 12-18 months. For carpets in high traffic areas or those with direct access from outside, make sure to choose a durable carpet that will clean easily and hold up to the environment. You can also use washable rugs or mats to extend the life of your carpet at these vulnerable areas.
Ready to purchase
Once you have determined the purpose, traffic patterns, and performance expectations of the carpet, it’s time to go shopping! Most major carpet manufacturers offer performance ratings on their products that you can use as an extra guideline for choosing the right carpet. Armed with this information and the convenience of these ratings, you will be sure to choose the perfect carpet for your home.