Shopping for carpet is a lot like shopping for a car. Choosing between all of the different styles, colors, and brands can easily make your head spin. But do not fear. Here are a few tips to help make the decision process a little bit easier on you. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the new look and feel of your brand new flooring.
Let’s start with some basic questions to consider:
- How is the room going to be used?
- Is there light or heavy traffic in the room?
- Is the room the center of activity for family or entertaining?
- Is there direct access from the outside?
Get detailed. What are the real expectations for this new carpet?
Is it important that the carpet stand up to pets, running children, and bustling activity? Or are you mainly concerned about how it will look and feel in a formal living room that doesn’t get a lot of use?
The answers to these questions will help determine the grade and style of carpet best suited for your home.
Color and Style
Contrary to popular belief, one style/color of carpet for a room does not fit all. The right color of carpet effects the mood of each person who enters. Warmer colors often have an energizing effect while cooler tones provide a sense of calm.
Let’s take a look at a few quick questions and tips to help ease the color selection process.
- Smaller rooms can be made to feel larger by selecting a lighter colored carpet while larger rooms can be made to feel cozier by using a mid-to-darker colored carpet.
- For high-traffic areas, white or light-colored carpets may not be ideal. Take all foot traffic, pets, and children playing in these areas into consideration.
- Rooms with plenty of natural light will show the true color of the carpet while rooms on the north side of a house may need a lighter shade of carpet to keep them from feeling darker than they really are.
- Your carpet highlights and/or hides other colors throughout the room. Make sure your carpet coordinates with everything else in and around the room. This will help you create a visual treat for yourself and any visitors.
Always remember to bring swatches of fabric from drapes and furniture, wallpaper samples, and paint chips when you are selecting carpet. Selecting a carpet color is so much easier when you have these with you. Do not make the mistake of thinking you can just remember what the colors in your home look like as you shop for carpet.
Where will the new carpeting be installed? Keep in mind that you’ll need a durable type of carpet in rooms that see a lot of activity and high-traffic; especially family rooms, hallways and game rooms.
Do you have children and/or pets? If you have a flock of little ones or any furry four-legged family members, you’ll need carpet with a high stain and soil resistance. Furthermore, carpets require regular vacuuming and occasional deep cleaning—these styles simplify that process.
Carpet Types & Fibers
Carpet fibers are the specific type of material that comprise carpet. Because different fibers react to wear and tear in varying degrees, it is important to understand each type of fiber and what they offer in terms of durability, stain resistance, and fading.
There are five primary carpet fibers that comprise most carpet types:
- Nylon: The most popular fiber and also the strongest and most durable
- Polyester: Offers superior stain and fade resistance while delivering vibrant colors
- Triexta: Comprised of 39 percent corn sugar resulting in extreme softness
- Olefin: Least expensive carpet fiber that repels UV rays
- Wool: The premier carpet fiber with excellent durability and a soft, luxurious feel
Keep in mind that whatever type you choose, it will become a focal point for the room where you install it. You can choose to have your carpet accent your décor, or provide contrast, depending on your personal taste.
There are four main carpet types to choose from:
- Texture (Saxony/Cut Pile): Offers a smooth surface and traditional look. Great for high traffic areas such as living rooms or hallways.
- Twist (Frieze): Delivers a modern, casual, and stylish look with great durability. Recommended for bedrooms, sitting rooms, and media rooms.
- Loop (Berber): Provides maximum durability for active family rooms and high-traffic areas such as recreation rooms, basements, and workout rooms.
- Pattern (Cut & Loop/Sculptured): Offers distinctive looks with patterns for a stunning visual impact. Recommended for formal rooms, dining rooms, and basements.
So remember, buying carpet is an investment that requires research, asking questions and making a plan. By doing these things, you’ll eliminate the need to make a rushed decision and feeling overwhelmed.