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Your Guide to Buying CarpetOctober 28th, 2019 by
Tired of the weird carpet that your home’s previous owners installed? What color was it originally, anyways? Sounds like it’s time to get something new.
Installing new carpet will update the look and feel of your living room, bedroom, or whatever room you’re refreshing with new flooring. Choosing something lower maintenance can make your life easier, and picking out a color that matches your style better will make the house feel more like home.
Shopping for carpet can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Picking from seemingly endless options and then navigating the installation process can be a challenge, but once it’s done, your space will look like new. Our guide to buying carpet can help you choose the best carpet for your space and get it installed smoothly.
When you start looking into buying new carpet, you may be overwhelmed by the choices available to you. Before you sift through all the options, lay out the basics of your project:
- Estimate the size of the area your new carpet will cover. This is only a rough estimate; a professional should come out and make the official measurements.
- Make a list of all the ways you use the area or areas where the carpet is going.
- Estimate a budget you’d like to stick to for your project; be sure to incorporate installation into your plan.
Now it’s time to look at your different carpet options. It’s good to get a sense of what you want before you go to a showroom and take home samples, so you’re not intimidated when presented with all the options in front of you.
Components of Carpet
There are lots of different types of carpet out there. Here’s a breakdown of the basics:
Nylon, a synthetic fiber, is the most common carpet martial.
- Feel: soft
- Durability: great; it is the most durable synthetic carpet fiber
- Resistance: resistant to stains, soil, and mildew
- Resiliency: great; good choice for high-traffic areas
Polypropylene is a synthetic fiber also known as olefin.
- Feel: soft, similar to wool
- Durability: good
- Resistance: resistant to water, mildew, and stains; holds onto oils and attracts dirt
- Resiliency: less resilient than nylon
Polyester is a synthetic fiber.
- Feel: soft
- Durability: good
- Resistance: soil resistant
- Resiliency: low; easily flattened by furniture
Triexta is a newer type of synthetic carpet fiber.
- Feel: soft
- Durability: good
- Resistance: colorfast, fade-resistant, and resists stains
- Resiliency: good
Wool carpet is a natural fiber.
- Feel: softest of the fiber types
- Durability: very good
- Resistance: low stain resistance, good soil resistance
- Resiliency: very good
Carpet pile types
Carpet is made when yarn is looped through a backing material. The carpet pile type refers to whether the loops that make up the carpet are cut or not; the carpet pile is either cut pile or loop pile (also called uncut pile).
Cut pile carpet is created when the carpet yarn loops are cut. The exposed yarn ends create a soft feel underfoot. Vacuum lines and footprints are easier to see on this type of carpet.
Types of cut pile carpet include:
Loop pile carpet, also known as uncut pile, is highly durable because the yarn is looped (not cut) and the yarn ends are not exposed.
Loop pile carpet can come in level or multi-level loop pile varieties. Level loop carpets have the same height all the way across, where multi-level loop pile carpets have varying heights of loops, creating interesting patterns or textures.
Other Carpet Features to Consider
Face weight is the weight of a square yard of carpet pile. The face weight is measured in ounces. This number has been emphasized as a way to determine how durable the carpet will be, but density and twist are also important factors in durability.
Density refers to how closely the carpet fibers are to each other. Denser carpet is sturdier.
Twist is the number of times the strands of carpet fiber are twisted together. This is measured as turns per inch. Twist factors greatly in carpet durability and quality.
How to Choose Carpet
Now that you know more about your project and about different types of carpet, it’s time to go out and look at samples. Look at samples of a couple different colors and different pile and fiber types to get a good idea of what you prefer.
Here are some factors to consider while making your selection, aside from fiber type, pile, weight, density, and twist:
- Think back to the list you made about the way your space is used.
- Think about your maintenance preferences. Is this area going to see a lot of dirt and debris? How often do you want to vacuum?
- What do you want to get for your price? Is the appearance and feel of your carpet more important, or the longevity?
- What kind of warranty is available for the carpet?
Don’t forget the underpad
Be sure to get a good carpet padding, or underpad. The underpad absorbs impact, making carpet last longer. It also makes the carpet feel better under your feet, deadens noise, and helps insulate the floor from the cold.
Shelling out for a better underpad will be worth it, even if you get a less expensive carpet to balance the budget. Carpet manufacturers provide guidance how thick your carpet padding should be according to the carpet type you’ve selected.
You can do these things to prepare for carpet installation:
- Move small items that rest on top of your furniture, such as lamps and televisions. Your installer may be able to move the furniture for you; go over whether that is included in the process and what this service costs. You may prefer to do it yourself or hire a third party to handle it before the installers arrive.
- Determine who is responsible for disposing of the old carpet and underpad. If the installer will provide this service, what is the cost? If you will do this yourself, figure out where you will take it before it is removed.
- Make sure pets and children will not be underfoot during the installation process. Board the dogs and send the kids to grandma’s for the day.
- Ensure that there is a clear path from the door to the room being recarpeted. Remove any bulky furniture or breakable heirlooms from this route.
- Vacuuming the carpet that will be removed helps minimize the amount of dirt and dust that gets stirred up during installation.
3 basic steps of professional carpet installation
- The old carpet and underpad are removed.
- The room and subfloor are prepped for the installation. Moulding, trim, and doors are removed, if necessary. If the subfloor is in bad condition, this must be addressed before the new carpet is installed.
- The new carpet padding is installed, followed by the new carpet.
Installing carpet is tricky, especially if you have other types of flooring adjacent to your carpet, stairs to be carpeted, or oddly shaped corners. Professional carpet installers have the tools and expertise to navigate any carpeting situation.
Professional installation will ensure that your floor will look great and last for years to come, and you won’t have to deal with measuring, cutting, matching up seams, and making sure the carpet is properly stretched across the floor.
Once the installation is over, the installers will clean up. They’ll leave larger pieces of carpeting behind for you and take smaller scraps away when they go. When they’re gone, you’re ready to enjoy your new floor!
Protect your new floor by cleaning stains as soon as possible, vacuuming regularly, and getting it professionally cleaned at least once a year.
The Bottom Line
Carpet is a great flooring material for many different rooms, and with the wide range of varieties out there, there is one that is perfect for your project. Selecting new carpet can be daunting, but getting a professional’s guidance and installation services will ensure a smooth process. Contact a Best Pick flooring contractor today to get started.