How To Choose A Carpet Floor
- nothing looks like it, feels like it or performs like it. It enhances
the peace and quiet of your home by absorbing sound. It insulates
against the cold, cushions your feet with comfort, and adds safety-helping
to prevent slips and falls and protecting dropped objects from being
damaged. And because carpet is a key decorative element in the home
and a major purchase, you must keep several factors in mind during
your selection process.
Perhaps the most important things to consider are these: Does it
fit your taste, and does it match your lifestyle? This informative
section was created to help you make a selection that best suits
your home and your budget.
Before purchasing carpet, you need to answer the following questions:
How is the room going to be used? Will it have heavy or light traffic?
Will the room be the center of activity for family and entertaining?
Is there direct access from outside, or will the carpet be away
from entrances? Will the carpet receive
Where there is to be heavy traffic (usually the family room, hallways
and stairways), choose the best carpet you can afford. When shopping
for carpet, look for performance rating guidelines with various
brands of carpet. This rating system offers guidance on choosing
the carpet that will perform best for various traffic needs. Most
guidelines will be based on a 5-point scale, with the number 4 or
5 rating being best for the highest traffic areas. A 2 to 3 rating
is good for areas with less traffic.
Because it covers so much living space, carpet is the foundation
of your room's décor. It can be a neutral color, blending
in with fabrics and other surfaces; or it can be a vibrant focal
point of the room, making a statement that reflects your style.
The selection of carpet color is a very personal choice. Carpet
comes in almost every color, pattern, and texture you can imagine.
You will want to select a color that unites your decorative elements
and creates the atmosphere you desire.
Ever-popular beige carpet can make a room look spacious; but for
a bolder statement, look for a common color in your furniture and
draperies. Choose a carpet with a similar hue. Environmental colors,
like blues, deep greens, rosy quartz, and stony neutrals are becoming
colors can turn up the heat in a room that lacks light, while cool
greens and blues have a calming effect. Lighter colors make the
room seem larger; darker colors provide coziness. There are also
practical considerations in color selection. New stain and soil
resistant technology makes today's lighter color carpet much easier
to clean, allowing more decorating options. Medium and darker colors,
tweeds, and textures will help disguise common soil in your home's
high traffic areas.
Your budget and your needs are two key elements in selecting carpet
and rugs. There are a wide range of choices and costs from which
to make your selection. Ask yourself how long you expect to keep
your carpet before replacing it. A
better grade of carpet will give you a greater length of service
than one of lesser quality. Buy the best carpet you can afford for
the heavy traffic areas of your home- halls, stairs, and family
rooms. A medium grade will provide good service in rooms with less
traffic- bedrooms and guest rooms.
The cost of carpet is based on many factors, including fiber, construction,
quality, and design. The total project will include the cost of
cushion and installation. Be wary of the cheapest products or services.
Ask your retailer to give you a complete cost estimate- one that
includes cushion, installation, moving of furniture, hauling off
old flooring materials, and any special needs that you may have.
Remember- a high-quality, professional installation can extend the
life of your investment
Textures and Patterns:
Today’s carpet offers much more than a conventional
loop pile. To add to a room’s sophistication and interest,
consider choosing a textured pattern. New technology can produce
multilevel loop and cut/loop patterns. Choose diamonds, bows, pin
dots, or fleurs-de-lis designs that "pop out" in sculptured
effects. The texture, colors, and pattern of the carpet can be made
to complement or contrast with patterns of your furniture and window
treatments. Using a solid color, textured carpet is a great way
to provide interest and pizzazz, without going to a multicolor,
Textured styles also fit well with today’s active and casual
lifestyles. Textured carpet can be created through the use of several
construction techniques. Many of these styles are known for their
are cut, leaving individual yarn tufts. Still one of today's
most popular constructions, its durability is achieved with
factors including the type of fiber, density of tufts, and the
amount of twist in the yarn.
/ Velvet -- Smooth, level surfaces; formal atmosphere,
-- Smooth, level finish, but pile yarns have more twist
so that the yarn ends are visible and create a less formal
look. Minimizes foot prints.
-- In this cut pile, the yarns are extremely twisted,
forming a "curly" textured surface. This
informal look also minimizes foot prints and vacuum marks.
are the same height, creating an informal look. It generally
lasts a long time in high-traffic areas. Many of today’s
popular Berber styles are level loop styles with flecks of a
darker color on a lighter background.
has two to three different loop heights to create pattern effects,
providing good durability and a more casual look.
and loop pile:
of cut and looped yarns. Provides variety of surface textures,
including sculptured effects of squares, chevrons, swirls, etc.
Perhaps you are ready to boldly express yourself with a floral,
fleur-de-lis, or multicolored carpet that will enhance plaids, stripes,
or solids furnishings. European, English, French Country, and Colonial
are some of the descriptive words used for the beautiful combinations
of patterned carpet used with patterned furnishings.
Fiber is carpet’s basic ingredient. The type of fiber used and
the way the carpet is constructed determine how well the carpet will
stand up to spills, pets, and daily traffic. Approximately 97 percent
of all carpet is produced using synthetic fibers that are designed
to feature style, easy maintenance, and outstanding value. There are
five basic types of carpet pile fibers.
It is the most popular and represents two-thirds of the pile
fibers used in the United States. Wear-resistant, resilient,
withstands the weight and movement of furniture, and provides
brilliant color. Ability to conceal and resist soils and stains.
Generally good for all traffic areas. Solution-dyed nylon is
colorfast because color is added in the fiber production.
resists wear and permanent stains, and is easily cleaned. Notably
colorfast because color is added during fiber production. Resists
static electricity and is often used in both indoor and outdoor
installations because of its resistance to moisture and mildew.
Used in synthetic turf for sports surfaces, and in the home
for patios and game rooms. Many Berbers are made of olefin.
for luxurious, soft "hand" when used in thick, cut-pile
textures. Has excellent color clarity and retention. Easily
cleaned, and resistant to water-soluble stains.
the appearance and feel of wool without the cost. Has low static
level and is moisture and mildew-resistant. Commonly used in
velvet and level-loop constructions, and often in bath and scatter
for its luxury and performance, wool is soft, has high bulk,
and is available in many colors. Generally, wool is somewhat
more expensive than synthetic fibers.
wool/nylon blend combines the superior look and comfort of wool
with the durability of nylon. Acrylic/olefin and nylon/olefin
are other popular blends, offering good characteristics of each
Measurement: square yard/ square foot comparison:
To determine the approximate quantity of carpet you will need, multiply
the length (feet) of the room by its width (feet) for the square
footage. To obtain the square yardage, divide that figure by 9.
Your retailer may figure the amount in square feet or square yards.
Add 10 percent to account for room irregularities and pattern match.
It is best to have your retailer or installer make final measurements
to ensure that you purchase the correct amount. As professionals,
they know how to include hallways and closets, match patterns, plan
seam placement, work with room irregularities, and account for rooms
with widths greater than 12 feet. (Most carpet is produced in 12-
and 15-foot widths.) Dealers may sell by the square foot or the
The type of fiber used and the way the carpet is constructed determines
the basic performance of the carpet. Quality can be enhanced by
the way the fibers, or yarns, are twisted and heat set, and by the
density of the tufts. Deep pile height that’s densely tufted,
has a luxurious feel; however, pile height is really a matter of
personal choice and does not, in itself, denote durability.
to the amount of pile yarn in the carpet and the closeness of
the tufts. The denser, the better.
winding of the yarn around itself. A tighter twist provides
process that sets the twist by heat or steam, enabling yarns
to hold their twist over time. Important in cut pile carpet.
Most nylon, olefin and polyester cut pile carpets are heat-set.
manufacturers have a rating scale for choosing carpet for various
traffic areas – high, moderate or low.
When it comes to durability, there is little difference between
bulked continuous filament (BCF) or staple (spun) fibers. The difference
lies in the length of the fibers in the yarn, with staple having
shorter lengths, giving the yarn more bulk (sometimes described
as being more like wool).
When carpet is manufactured with staple fiber, there will be initial
shedding of shorter fibers. It will soon stop, depending on the
amount of foot traffic and frequency of vacuuming. Wool is a naturally
staple fiber; nylon and polyester can be staple or continuous filament;
and olefin (polypropylene) is usually BCF.
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