Shopping For Carpet? Here’s What You Need To Know!

When you are in the market for purchasing new carpet for your home, what you don’t know can definitely hurt you, when it comes to durability, stain resistance and resale value. Just because the carpet is the most expensive type on the market, does not mean that you are purchasing the best type for a specific area of your home. Carpet for your home is not something you usually deal with on a consistent basis so knowing what to look for, and most importantly what it means, is very important for your sanity as well as your pocket book.

Fiber Facts

Wool – is the luxury & performance benchmark when it comes to carpet. It offers a deep, rich look and feel with unbeatable resilience and durability. It is naturally stain resistant due to how tightly woven the fibers are. It is not cheap by any means and accounts for only about 3% off all carpet sales.

Nylon – is the most common carpet material used on the market and comes in at a close second to wool in terms of durability and feel, but the cost reflects a much more economical choice. It represents roughly 60% of carpet sales nationwide. It is soil and mildew resistant as well as non-allergenic. They can be prone to static, but some have carbon-composite nylon filaments woven in them to eliminate shocks.

Olefin – or polypropylene was originally for outdoor carpet & basements due to its resilience to moisture, mildew, water damage & staining. It is commonly used as indoor/outdoor carpet or in commercial settings.

Polyester – is not as stain-resistant as nylon, but offers a wide selection of textures and colors and is also non-allergenic. It also maintains good color retention and is easily cleaned.

Acrylic – is the closest to wool of any of the synthetics, at a lower price. It’s used primarily in commercial settings and has excellent clean-ability, soil & static resistant properties and is less likely to fade in bright sunlight.

Food for thought when buying carpet

  • If you are planning on selling your home anytime in the near future stick with neutral colors for better resale.
  • When carpet is installed it will often look lighter, than the sample you saw in the store, so keep this in mind when selecting light colors.
  • You can create an illusion by your carpet color choice. Lighter colors will often make your room feel larger, while darker colors tend to make your room feel smaller.

What do those carpet descriptions mean?

Face weight – is the number of ounces of fiber used in a square yard of carpet. The higher the weight, the more yarn that is used, and it theory the better the carpet is.

Twist – how many times a fiber stand is twisted together in a 1 inch length of carpet yarn. The higher the twist, the better performance and durability the carpet will have. The yarn twists vary from 2.5-6.0, with most carpets on the market today falling in the 3.5-5.0 range.

Density– how tight the yarn is packed together. The higher the density, the thicker the carpet will feel under your feet. You can really feel the difference of carpet density by running your hand across the surface.

*Good rule of thumb regarding these three carpet elements are having a carpet with a face weight between 35 to 40oz, a twist of 4.0 or greater and a density of 3,000-4,000 will provide a good valued nice carpet choice for your home.

Tips to get the most out of your carpet purchase

  • Carpets have a durability rating form one to five which measures the carpet’s surface appearance over time. If you have heavy traffic areas you will want a rating of 4-5 in this area.
  • Although thick, plush carpet feels luxurious to the touch it is best used in low-traffic areas, such as bedroom, to avoid premature deterioration.
  • Make sure to check that the carpet padding & installation costs are included in your carpet price otherwise you will be surprised when you get you final invoice.
  • Check to see if they charge additional fees for removing your old carpet, disposal etc. and try and do some of that work yourself to save some money.