When selecting carpeting for your home you have many things to consider and many options to weigh. Carpets come in a vast array of colors and styles, textures and fibers and there are many different qualities of carpets to choose from.
One of the first things to consider when purchasing a carpet is how much traffic will it receive? If you have a high traffic area, then nylon would be a good choice due to it's durability. Nylon is also stain resistant and repels mildew. A carpet of Olefin would also be a good choice for heavy traffic areas as it is strong and easy to clean. Olefin is used in some artificial sports turf. Polyester is also excellent in high traffic areas as it is easy to clean and resists water based stains. Polyester has the look and feel of wool, which would be the finest quality fiber, but polyester is much less expensive than wool. There are also some blends of the above fibers available which are long lasting and durable. Some carpet manufacturers supply performance rating guidelines, ask to see these.
Another consideration would be the density of the carpet. You want a high number of fibers per square inch. A closely packed pile is an indication of a well made carpet. Check the carpet backing closely to make sure you don't see any bare areas.
The two most popular types of carpeting today are loop pile and cut pile. Loop pile has individual strands of yarn pulled through the carpet backing twice, creating a small loop. Cut pile has the loop cut at the top, leaving tufts of yarn that stand straight up. A cut pile carpet is generally more durable than a looped pile carpet. Cut pile carpets come in a variety of styles such as shag, textured, saxony and velvet or plush. Loop pile carpets would be a berber, cable or sisal. Loop pile carpets are a good choice for high traffic areas.
If you are looking to carpet a high traffic area, or have a limited budget, carpet tiles are another option. Carpet tiles can be purchased for around $1.00 per square foot. Carpet tiles usually come in 18 inch squares and are made of a tough nylon loop that will not unravel. They don't require padding as normal carpeting does, although some do come with a padded underside. Carpet tiles are an easy do-it-yourself project for any homeowner.
The next consideration would be color and/or pattern of carpeting. Light carpeting colors create a spacious effect, making a room seem larger. Light color carpets of course show soil much more easily than dark. However, most stain and soil treatments put on carpeting today do help to prevent this problem. Dark or dull carpet colors will absorb light giving the room what some call a "cozy" feeling. Rugs with patterns will make a space seem smaller. Your color choice could be based on the paint color used on your walls. It is suggested that if you do this, the color of the carpet be darker than the color on the walls. Also, when choosing your carpet remember that the carpet installed on your floor will appear darker than the small sample you see in the store. Ask to take carpet samples home so that you can see how they actually appear in daylight and at night.
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