Does the thought of choosing new carpeting for your home from make your head spin? Are there just too many decisions to make? With so many styles, colors, and fibers to choose from, it can be overwhelming.
Is it any surprise that the most popular carpeting choice among homeowners is cut pile in the color beige? Frankly, many people choose a basic beige carpet because they are afraid of making the “wrong” choice.
Choosing a Flooring Store with a Great Reputation
Yes, having carpeting installed in your home can be fun and In the long run, new carpeting it’s an excellent investment. By doing a bit of comparison shopping, some research, and choosing a carpet retailer with a good reputation, you’ll discover which carpet will fit your needs, is the highest quality you can afford and will look beautiful in your home. You’ll be able to make your purchase with complete confidence.
Additionally, when working with a reputable flooring retailer, remember that the salespeople are fully trained and knowledgeable regarding carpeting. Don’t hesitate to ask questions! They can be a good resource as well.
Wood, vinyl, and tile flooring are currently trendy; however, they can also be cold, hard, and noisy. A luxurious and cozy feeling under your feet can only be accomplished with carpet. A softer landing on carpeting can reduce the risk of injury during a fall and offer a safer and more comfortable surface for kids to play on. With its overall warmth, sound absorption, and comfort, there’s simply no substitute!
If you enjoy the look of wood or tile floors, consider adding a carpet in the bedrooms or a play area.
This article offers some basic information regarding carpet styles, types of fibers, how to recognize quality, deciding on a color and pattern, and more, to help you with your purchase. And don’t forget about choosing the correct padding underneath! What is the best carpet if you have children or pets? When selecting a floor covering, what should you keep in mind? What’s better – synthetic fibers or natural ones? What’s the difference between textured, Berber, loop, and cut pile? What are the benefits of each type of carpet?
You’ll be amazed at all the choices for you to pick from in a flooring store. Also, there is wall to wall carpet, carpet squares, and carpets that can be cut to size with bound edges to place over your wood floors. But don’t worry, you’ll be armed with great information, so you’ll know what to do!
Carpet Buying Tips
With so many designs, colors, and materials available, it can be challenging to make the best choice for your home’s flooring. Be aware that some colors and fibers may require more frequent cleaning and vacuuming that won’t fit into your busy work/life schedule. Others may be too expensive, and some may even affect your health with added chemicals. Choose the wrong carpet, and it may wear out too fast, the colors may fade, or quickly become stained even with your best efforts to keep it clean. With the following tips in mind, you can protect your investment and choose the best carpeting for your home and lifestyle.
Your First Considerations
Before you get to the “fun” aspect of choosing a carpet (color, pattern, style, etc.), there are a few essential points to consider. The first consideration is determining what kind of traffic you will have in the room. To know how much durability you’ll need in a carpet, you must answer these questions first: Do you have kids and pets? Are you looking to carpet a high traffic area such as a hallway, staircase, or an often-used family room? Or do you want something to dampen noise in a bedroom? Are you carpeting a spare or rarely used room? Will the carpet be surrounding a pool table on a lower level? Depending on your answers, you’ll need to choose carpeting that can stand up to how you live: durable, stain-resistant, allergy-resistant, etc.
Speaking of stain resistance, again, do you have animals or children? Do you entertain regularly? Is the carpet going to be installed in a dining room or somewhere there may be food or drink spills?
Be sure to ask the salesperson about the carpet’s rating. Usually rated on a scale of one to five, with five as the highest, purchase the highest number you can afford. For heavily trafficked areas of your home, a rating of four or five is highly recommended.
Carpet for Stairs
Since stairs get a lot of wear and tear, and because the carpeting bends around the edges of each step, it’s critical to select the most durable product you can afford. Consider a cut-pile over a looped pile. The spaces between the loops tend to open wherever the carpet curls over the stairs. This opening effect is called “grinning.” Also, especially at transition areas or seams, looped carpets tend to snag and pull. With the wrong choice, the staircase will need to be re-carpeted in a year or two.
Another factor is density. If the carpet isn’t thick enough, where it’s curved over each step, you’ll see the unsightly backing. One way to test the density of carpeting is to stick your fingers into the sample. It’s probably not the best choice for your stairs if you can separate the fibers easily and find the backing. Another test is to bend the carpet sample in half as if it’s curled around the stair step. Do the fibers separate? Can you see the backing? If so, it’s too thin and won’t last long.
Caring for Your Carpet
Selecting carpeting from carpet stores Milwaukee, you can maintain easily is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll continue to be happy with your choice. You may want to avoid hard-to-clean high-end or deep shag carpet if you are a homeowner with cats, dogs, or young children. Pet hair, dander, and small toys like Legos may get lost in the deep pile until a barefoot finds them! Eliminate pain, frustration, and cut down your cleaning time by selecting stain-resistant carpets and a flatter pile.
Before making your final purchase, be sure to ask your salesperson about cleaning and maintenance requirements. Ask what products or special equipment the manufacturer recommends and how often you’ll need to have it cleaned. Unless you have the time or help to do these tasks, skip carpets with extensive – and expensive – maintenance requirements.
Just like the carpet, padding comes in a variety of prices, thicknesses, and values. However, don’t try to save a few dollars by skimping on cheap materials! Carpeting needs a layer underneath for strength, extra cushioning, and support – just as a building needs a solid foundation to stand. No one sees the padding, but if you choose thin or cheap materials, you will quickly notice the traffic patterns on your new carpet.
Why do you need padding under the carpet? Padding will improve the appearance of the finished product by concealing subfloor imperfections. Because it is made from rubber or foam pieces, it also absorbs sound to eliminate noise and acts as insulation to help with the temperature of your home. But most importantly, over time, padding helps to prevent fibers and carpet backing from coming apart and supports your carpet through years of wear and tear to last much longer. The proper carpet pad can add years to your carpet and eliminate the need for replacement.
Don’t Be Fooled by Low Prices
Carpet can be expensive, but you don’t have to buy the same carpeting for every room in your home. Select similar styles to blend from room to room but choose the best carpet for each one. For example, a guest room can be beautiful with a more affordable, low-traffic carpet. Save your money in that room and splurge on the more durable, stain-resistant product for your busy, high traffic family room.
However, you don’t have to spend a fortune on even the most luxurious carpet. Find a floor covering that fits your budget and lifestyle by shopping around. Shop sales, ask salespeople about financing and compare products. To truly compare carpeting prices between different suppliers, always request separate pricing for materials and installation. For example, some stores may have a lower carpet cost upfront yet make up the difference with a higher price for the installation. Don’t be fooled by low prices until you see what the entire cost will be.
Time is Money, Too
Do you have guests coming for dinner next week and need your home to look great – and fast? Or do you have no specific timeline to get the work done? Know your schedule because your answer can affect the price and type of carpet you choose. Make sure to ask how long the entire process will take so there won’t be any surprises!
Some carpeting suppliers have a long timeline and need several months for the entire process – from you choosing the carpet to them installing the product. First, they’ll make an appointment to come in and measure the area of your home you want to be carpeted (which they may not be able to do for a few weeks). Then they’ll order the carpet. Once the product arrives (anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks), they will set up an appointment for installation – which may be yet another few weeks.
Some retailers have the same process, but with faster turnaround time.
Other suppliers can come to your home with a book of their samples (which may be limited to specific colors and styles) and install it as quickly as the next day. Be aware, however, that the faster the installation, it may be more expensive overall to purchase. Be sure to compare pricing.
Types of Carpet Fibers
As already discussed, selecting new carpeting is more than just choosing your favorite color. It is also essential to know how your lifestyle will affect your carpet and how long you want the flooring to last.
Understanding how different types of fiber will impact the overall feel and look of your carpet is very important. How your carpet will perform in your home from day to day is the fibers’ most important role. They can come from natural materials or synthetic and man-made. Each type of fiber has different properties, benefits, and costs.
NYLON – The most common and most popular fiber for carpets is nylon. Nylon’s benefits include long-lasting looks and top-quality durability and performance. Nylon fibers need to be chemically treated to be stain-resistant. While most of the time, this is done during manufacturing, carpeting can also be coated once it’s installed and after professional cleaning. For high traffic areas, nylon is the perfect choice because of the strength and resilience of the fiber. Also, nylon repels mildew, making it the best choice for basements.
TRIEXTA – A relatively new type of man-made fiber, Triexta is inherently stain resistant. It doesn’t need to be chemically treated to be stain-resistant, unlike nylon fibers. Manufacturers claim its durability compares to that of nylon – but be sure to ask the salesperson about it.
POLYESTER – Less expensive than nylon, new technology is helping to make polyester more like it with durability and a longer-lasting lifespan. Polyester is also available in the same colors and styles to match with nylon so that it can be used in less heavily trafficked rooms for a lower cost. Polyester carpeting repels water-based stains and is easy to clean, perfect for kid’s bedrooms.
OLEFIN – Olefin/polypropylene fibers can create amazing designs and patterns. However, olefin fiber carpeting should only be installed in low traffic areas, such as dining rooms and formal living rooms, because of its low durability. Olefin is less expensive than most other man-made fibers but does not stand up to heavy wear. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a carpet that has an eye-catching design or pattern, consider one with olefin fibers.
WOOL – The highest quality, but the most expensive carpet you can buy, is made of wool. Wool is eco-friendly, sustainable, and natural fiber. It resists staining and soiling, is hypoallergenic and will out-perform any other man-made fiber carpeting. It can be dyed any color and will not quickly fade. It can regulate the temperature of a room, making your home more energy-efficient. Wool carpet is so good that you may never have to replace it.
SISAL, JUTE, and COIR – These natural fibers are usually woven into area rugs, not used for wall to wall carpeting. Very casual, these rugs are great for sunrooms, patios, and other indoor/outdoor spaces. Durable and inexpensive, these rugs can last quite a while with a bit of care.
Styles of Carpet
Now that you know what kinds of fibers make carpeting, here is some information about the way these fibers are used as yarns. The three types of carpet are loop pile, cut pile, and combination pile, with several sub-styles of each.
CUT PILE: The most popular carpet for homes is cut pile, which is made from yarn woven into the backing. Then the loops are cut to make each thread straight. There are five significant styles created from the cut pile:
- Shag – Very popular in the 60s and 70s, the yarns on this style of carpet are very long. However, this style mats and crushes easily and needs to be raked and vacuumed regularly.
- Velvet – This carpet style is very touchably soft, like the fabric. The untwisted non-heat set yarn is kept short, giving it a velvety appearance. Perfect for a very formal room.
- Saxony – Because of a heat set, this style possesses a tufted appearance and is quite durable.
- Cable – If you want a more informal feel, this style is ideal. The thick yarns create a relaxed look.
- Frieze – Due to the highly twisted tufts and surface curl, this carpet style is mat resistant. Great for a high traffic area.
LOOP PILE: Loop pile is made the same way as the cut pile. But after the yarn is woven, the loops are not clipped. Loop pile is very durable and robust, but the downside of a loop pile is its tendency to pull and fray. Because it is one continuous yarn, if a loop is snagged, it can ultimately run the entire length of the carpet. However, if you are looking for carpeting to cover a heavily trafficked room or area, take a good look at the loop pile carpet. There are only two styles of loop pile:
- Level loop – As the name indicates, all the loops on this carpet are the same height and level. Depending on their size and height, these carpets are also known as Berber, ribbed, indoor/outdoor, etc. This carpeting has a smooth and even finish.
- Multi-loop pile – different heights of loops create an effect, whether a random design or a specific pattern.
COMBINATION PILE: This type of carpet is considered the best of both worlds. It has the benefits and features of both cut pile and loop pile carpets in three styles.
- Level and Cut Loop Pile – The style of this carpet has both cut and loop piles of the same height. It offers a different texture than one or the other but the durability of both.
- Random Shear – This style has a luxurious, thick, and very noticeable texture due to the cut and uncut loops in different heights. This style is also often used in patterned carpets.
- Tip Shear – Like the random shear, but the texture is less noticeable.
Carpet Colors and Patterns
You’ve decided on the best fiber, then you’ve chosen whether you want cut pile, loop, or a combination pile carpet style. Now, finally comes the fun part – you get to pick a color and pattern.
But before selecting a beige shade like everyone else, decide whether you want your carpet to fade in the background or become a décor focal point. Stick with a neutral color if your furniture, artwork, or walls are the real focal points. However, avoid a monotone look by choosing a color, texture, or design for your floor if everything else in the room is neutral.
This step may be the most challenging part of your decision, with so many colors and designs available, but don’t get discouraged! One way to narrow your search is by choosing a shade that will reflect the overall tone or mood you want. How do you want your room to feel? Light and airy or dark and cozy? Full of energy or calm and peaceful? The right carpet color can help to set the stage.
First, decide whether you want something light or dark in color. Though sometimes showing stains more easily, light-colored carpets create an effect of a larger space by reflecting light. If you’re fee