How to Choose Carpet
Shopping for carpet is a lot like shopping
for a car. It involves a huge financial investment; all the different types of
carpet, styles, colors and brands can make your head spin; and you often end up
dealing with high-pressure salespeople. The experience can be so overwhelming
that it’s tempting to shop with only a basic color and style in mind and rely
on salespeople for recommendations.
Carpeting is one of the largest investments
you’ll make in your home. By doing some basic homework, comparison shopping and
working with a reputable retailer, you’ll be able to understand the types of
carpet that will work best for your home and buy carpeting that fits your
needs—and gives you confidence that you’re getting a quality product for a good
Nylon outperforms all other fibers in
durability, resilience and easy maintenance. This is a good choice if you want
your carpet to last a decade or longer, for high-traffic areas, and in homes
with kids and pets (Photo 1). Higher quality nylon fibers are “branded,” and
the carpet label will use terms like “100% Mohawk Nylon” or “100% Stainmaster
Tactesse.” Lower-quality, “unbranded” nylon fibers are listed simply as “100%
nylon.” The strongest and softest type (and most expensive) is 6.6 nylon. Nylon
carpet cost is $10 to $45 per sq. yd.
Triexta (brands include Smart-Strand and
Sorona) is a newly classified fiber derived partly from corn sugar (Photo 2).
It has excellent, permanent anti-stain properties (nylon must be treated with
stain protectors over its life span). It also has good resilience, but it’s too
soon to tell whether it will match the durability of nylon in high-traffic
areas. Because of its superior stain resistance, this is a good choice if you
have young kids or pets. Triexta carpet cost is $20 to $45 per sq. yd.
Polyester (also called PET) is stain
resistant, very soft and luxurious underfoot, and is available in deep and
vibrant colors (Photo 3). However it’s harder to clean, tends to shed and isn’t
as durable as nylon. It’s best used in low-traffic areas (like bedrooms) and in
households without kids or pets. A nice, cushy choice if you like to exercise
on the carpet. Polyester carpet cost is $8 to $18 per sq. yd
How to Select the Perfect Carpet
Though numerous carpet options are
available, there are basically only two styles of carpet — loop pile and cut
pile. In the loop-style pile each of the ends is connected into the backing so
there’s a continuous loop. If you actually ran a pin underneath, you would feel
In the cut-style pile, the loops are
actually cut so that there are individual ends sticking up through the backing.
If you ran the same pin through there the pin would lift right up. It is like a
sheer cut pile.
Cut pile carpet can go throughout the house.
It is comfortable underfoot and makes for a very attractive floor. Loop pile
styles are used in heavy traffic areas. Areas where children are or where there
is a lot of activity. It will perform and last for a long time.
When it comes to easy-to-clean carpet,
olefin is a product that is naturally stain resistant. It will take most
household food stains and you will be able to clean it. Polyester is naturally
stain resistant because it doesn’t accept those kinds of dyes either. It is a
critical product in applications where staining will be an issue. Nylon is
treated for stain resistance — there is an over treatment that you put in that
will allow you to take stains out. Wool takes more care and cleaning to get
Pricing changes from one carpet to another
because of the various weights and structures. The very low end of the scale in
most cases is olefin. Polypropylene is the cheapest product, polyester is the
second and nylon is the highest quality of the synthetics. Wool is considerably
more expensive than the others.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing a Carpet
Buying new carpet can feel overwhelming
because there are so many choices and decisions to be made. Taking your time,
doing the proper research, and finding the right retailer will make the job
manageable and enable you to select a carpet you’ll be happy to live with for
years to come.
Understanding Fibers and Warranties
Do learn about the fiber types and figure
out which one would work best for you. Not all carpet fibers are created equal;
for example, there are natural fibers, such as wool, and synthetic fibers,
which are more commonly used in wall-to-wall carpet. Understand the
characteristics of each fiber type so that when you go shopping, you can almost
immediately narrow down your selection.
Don’t assume that one fiber is always
better than another. Each fiber type has its strengths, but the other
components of the carpet have an equally big impact on how the carpet will
Do learn about the manufacturer’s ratings
and warranties. Carpet is typically a big investment for most people, so make
sure that you’re buying a product that is covered for your particular
situation. For example, many warranties don’t cover stairs, so if you are
buying carpeting for your stairs, look for a warranty that includes stairs.
Even if you never plan to use them, the warranties demonstrate the faith that
the manufacturer has in its product. If a warranty doesn’t provide long or
comprehensive coverage, then that is a good indication the manufacturer doesn’t
expect the carpet to stand up well for a long period of time.
Do learn how to tell the quality of a
carpet. You don’t have to become an expert on the subject, but if you have an
overall sense of the various factors that contribute to a carpet’s quality and
how well it will perform, then you can avoid choosing the wrong carpet.
How To Choose The Right Carpet Type For
Carpet types may look very similar, but
understanding the differences will help you make the right choice for your
home. To make your selection process a little easier, we’ve put together our
ultimate guide to carpet types.
Nylon is the most popular carpet in
Australian homes. Ultra soft, durable and stain resistant, it’s ideal for high-traffic
areas, families or pets. It’s also a cheaper alternative to traditional wool.
Solution Dyed Nylon (SDN) is the next
generation of nylon carpet. It has colour added to the fibre during the
production process, rather than applied to the surface afterwards, making it
colourfast against cleaning and sunlight.
Polypropylene is a synthetic fibre that is
a great option if you’re working to a budget. Anti-static plus fade and stain
resistant, it is often used in rental properties, garages and playrooms.
Polyester is widely liked for it’s lustrous
appearance and beautiful colours, high level of stain resistance and the fact
it is one of the most eco-friendly synthetic fibres you can get your mitts on.
Relative to nylon, polyester carries a lower cost, making it a great option for
How to Choose a Carpet that is Beautiful
Flooring can add beauty and style to your
home. From beautiful, natural hardwood to soft luxurious carpet, a floor
provides the backdrop for the rest of your room. You floor also gets a lot of
wear and tear. Pets, guests, family, kids – your carpet literally gets walked
all over every day. Choosing a floor that can take the abuse is important in
having the beautiful backdrop that lets your home shine. When you’re choosing a
floor, arm yourself with this information and you won’t be disappointed with
the beautiful floors you’ll have for many years to come.
In our first installment of Beautiful &
Durable, we’ll take a look at carpet. Carpet accounts for the majority of
flooring purchased and is a great option for almost any space. But, please
don’t choose carpet for your bathroom!
Durable, versatile, wear-resistant and easy
to clean, nylon is a great fiber choice for all areas of the home. Nylon is
also soft to the touch and some new nylon yarns can be exceptionally soft.
Nylon is not inherently stain-resistant, however, most nylon carpets are
treated to protect against spills and stains.
Exceptionally soft, polyester also has
natural stain resistant qualities. Polyester is not as resilient as nylon but
thanks to advancements in yarn processing, polyester carpets now perform much
better than older polyester carpets
Polypropylene, while not as resilient as
nylon or polyester will not absorb water making it more stain and fade
resistant. Polypropylene is usually found in loop pile carpets where the lack
of resiliency is not an issue.