Shopping for new carpet can be overwhelming. Get the facts on everything from carpet types to carpet fiber and choose the best carpet for your home.
Before you shop for new carpet, create a set of expectations for yourself to ease the buying process.
Cut pile fiber ends are cut evenly. There are several types of cut pile:
Loop pile yarns are looped and fastened to the backing. These are very durable carpets and usually a good choice for high-traffic areas. There are two types of loop pile carpeting:
Cut and Loop or Pattern offers a combination of the above, allowing more options of textures and patterns. Cut and loop achieves a sculptured pattern with varied levels of uncut low loops and sheared top loops. The pattern looks as if it's been cut into the carpet and usually features several tones from the same color family. The change in color helps disguise wear and soiling. Cut and loop doesn't necessarily hold up as well as loop pile, but is considerably softer.
When using weight to compare carpets, make sure you're comparing similar materials, like nylon to nylon, not nylon to polyester.
Carpet fibers are made from either natural materials, like wool, or synthetic materials, like nylon, olefin, acrylic and polyester. Each material brings unique characteristics to carpet.
Carpet is available with stain-resistant fibers and finishes that are ideal for high-traffic homes and pet owners. Treatments are supplemental to the natural resistance of your carpet fibers. The most effective treatments are integrated as part of the manufacturing process.
Although it's not visible, carpet padding - or the cushioning layer - is critical to carpet installation. The proper backing cushions the foot, insulates from cold and noise and increases the life of the carpet. However, thicker is not always better. A less cushiony floor may be preferable to those whose steps may be a bit unstable at times. When foot testing a carpet, test it with a padding sample underneath.
Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for which padding to choose, as different kinds of carpet require different padding.
Glue-down or peel-and-stick carpet tiles are a good do-it-yourself flooring option. The adhesive system keeps the carpet in place and eliminates curling. And, since the tiles are all-in-one, a separate carpet padding purchase isn't necessary.
Proper care extends the life of every carpet. Vacuum often, rearrange furniture regularly to avoid traffic paths and close curtains / blinds during peak daylight hours to avoid exposure to direct sunlight.
Yearly professional cleaning is recommended - even if you clean the carpet yourself in between.