When choosing wall-to-wall carpeting, it is important to consider many factors before making your purchase. Consider its location and the amount of traffic it receives. Price should not be the primary consideration. Naturally, if you have children or pets in your home, they should influence your choices. The room you plan to carpet will provide some initial parameters in terms of some of the following attributes: durability, stain resistance, moisture resistance and ease of care. |
Choosing Carpet Material
Wool has always been the industry benchmark. It doesn't crush or fade, it's naturally fire-retardant, hypoallergenic, discourages the growth of bacteria and even regulates the room's humidity. But, because it tends to cost more than other fibers, wool accounts for a relatively small share of the market.
Synthetic yarns, advanced dyeing techniques and new manufacturing processes now produce carpet with more texture, color, durability and stain resistance than ever before. In fact, two-thirds of all carpeting purchased in the United States is made of nylon because of its colorfastness, resilience, and easy maintenance. Olefin (also called polypropylene) is another durable, colorfast and reasonably priced synthetic. Often used for level-loop and Berber carpet, olefin resists static, moisture and mildew better than other fibers and can even be used outdoors. Polyester is not as resilient as other fibers, but it's soft to the touch and easily cleaned. Acrylic is most often used in velvet and level-loop constructions; it looks and feels like wool and gives you the most bang for your buck.
Tips for Purchasing Wall-to-Wall Carpeting
Choose one-color rather than patterned carpeting. In order to match a pattern, more carpeting may have to be purchased than will actually be used. Synthetics cost less and may require less investment in care. Consider carpet tiles (also known as modular tile or carpet squares). This is particularly true in children's rooms. You may save money on installation and gain a longer carpet life, because the tiles are designed to be interchanged from low to high traffic areas so they wear more evenly. In addition, a serious stain or other damage to an area can be dealt with by replacing only those tiles affected. Pile weight and style contribute to cost. Check carpet discount stores. Also look for closeouts. Carpet is priced by the square yard, so it is easy to compare the cost of different options once you know the amount of carpet you need for your room. If you plan to do any careful color coordinating, take along samples of fabric (upholstery, drapes, table linens; or comforter, sheets, pillow shams) and wallpaper or paint when you shop. If shopping online, order samples rather than relying on the color on your monitor. Always check on the experience of the installer and what recourse you have if the job is not done properly. Get all warranties in writing!
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