Carpet Before You Buy

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Things to Know Before Deciding to Purchase Carpet

A display of different carpet designs and styles

Many varieties of carpet designs and styles are available.

It just makes sense that the more you understand something, the better able you are to make a smarter purchase decision.

That goes for buying carpet. Knowledge about carpet construction, various unique characteristics, and about traits and subtle differences, can be invaluable.

It’s a fact. Choosing carpet is certainly about knowing the right combination of aesthetics, performance, characteristics, and budget to best meet the needs of your lifestyle.

For example, looped Berbers and high twist friezes perform perfectly in high traffic areas in your home, but an elegant Saxony in the same area may show footprints. Isn’t that good to know?

What You Need To Do Before Buying Carpet

We want you to know all of the significant carpet facts, and we’ve created this section specifically for that purpose.

Our goal is to help you be properly informed before your carpet is laid down — and long before you lay down your money.

So, we invite you to read on, check out these tips, notes and considerations, and get the upper hand on the flooring that may soon be underfoot.

Understand this About Seams

Carpet is available in 12’ and sometimes 13’ and 15′ widths.

Unless the room to be carpeted is narrower than these widths, the carpet will be seamed.

With looped or low-profile patterned carpets, you may have visible or peaked seams.

The degree of visibility depends on color, lighting, texture, and furniture placement.

A Note on Backing and Loops

Be aware that, as carpet bends over stairs, its backing may show depending on color, texture, and density.

Plus, you should know that looped carpet can snag, especially at a seam or at a carpet transition.

But never fear, in the Carpet Floor Care section, we provide more information on how to properly care for looped carpet.

Every Carpet Has a Chosen Course

The nap of all carpets runs in one direction. Pile reversal, or shading, is a typical characteristic of many cut pile style carpets. This can be chiefly apparent with plush carpet.

If this becomes an issue, consider furniture placement and window treatments as a way to minimize this effect.

Durability is a Function of Quality

Higher quality carpets typically will have tighter twist construction and greater pile density, which will result in better durability. Another consideration is that it’s easier to replace or renovate a home’s décor with carpet compared to other hard surface products. Dollar for dollar, carpet offers significant styling benefits and adds value to any home. Carpets also feel warm underfoot and reduce household noise.

Color Rules: You Should Know These

Color has a big impact on any room’s appeal. Carpet covers a large area of any room, so it’s important to keep some rudimentary rules in mind when selecting your carpeting.

An essential consideration of carpet color is that once a carpet is installed in a new home, it will often look slightly lighter than the sample you saw in the store. This is a natural optical or visual effect, and you should be aware of this when making a carpet color selection.

Another thing to remember is how the color of the carpet affects the apparent size of the room. Lighter colored carpet will visually increase the size of the room. Darker carpeting will seem to bring the walls closer together and create a more intimate feeling.

Neutral colors are the best choice if you expect to regularly change the decorating scheme, or if you’re trying to incorporate a lot of existing furniture. Using a neutral colored, good quality carpet is a great idea if the home will be resold any time soon. It’s easier for prospective buyers to imagine their furniture in a room that is decorated with neutral colors.

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    Check Your Warranty for Stains

    A coffee stain on a carpet

    Does your carpet manufacturer offer stain warranty?

    Stain protection is a vital consideration in any carpet purchase. Carpets come with varying stain protection levels and warranties that help guard your carpet against stains.

    As you increase the quality of carpet, stain protection also subsequently increases, as does the manufacturer’s warranty coverage.

    With this in mind, it is important to understand exactly what is covered by the warranty of your exact carpet as warranties do vary.

    Understand What’s Beneath It All

    One of the most important considerations in choosing the right carpet for your home has to do with where you can’t see – beneath the surface of the carpet.

    Carpet pad, the layer of material that lies between the carpet and floor, can make the difference between a good feeling carpet and a great one.

    It’s carpet pad, not the carpet itself that determines how a carpet feels beneath your feet.

    However, carpet padding isn’t just about to feel.

    A quality carpet pad helps preserve the look of the carpet, and can even extend the life and comfort of a carpet, providing it with tougher protection against wear and tear.

    Also, understand that carpet pad is sold using quality specifications, not color specifications. The color of the sample you see in the store may not be the same color as the carpet pad installed in your home.

    The label makes for valuable reading. Be sure to become familiar with all of the product specifications and warranty coverage on the back labels of the carpeting you’re purchasing. Doing so will protect your investment today and tomorrow.

    Get on Top of the Bottom Line. Know the Entire Cost of Ownership

    The “cost per square yard” of your carpet is just one component of the entire project cost. To ensure there are no surprises, and the carpeting you select fits within your overall project budget, be sure to ask us to calculate the total cost of your floor covering project. Here’s a list of potential additional expenses you may incur:

    1. Furniture removal/replacement.

    2. Demolition/disposal of the old floor covering. Depending on the existing floor covering, this can be an expensive item; also, be sure to include the cost to dispose of the old floor covering.

    3. Sub-floor preparation. Depending on the condition of the sub-floor, it may require additional work.

    4. Product delivery.

    5. Carpet installation. Determine the cost per square foot to install it.

    6. Materials required to complete the installation. Your new carpet may require additional materials to install it properly, like adhesives, moisture barriers, stair nosings, baseboards, etc.

    In addition to the total project cost, you should also know the cost of annual cleanings to maintain the beauty and life of your new carpet. We can help you answer those questions, but be sure to also consult the manufacturer’s warranty and care guide for directions on how frequently the carpet should be cleaned and the cost to clean it.

    There’s a lot to know and keep in mind before you buy your carpet, but it’s well worth the effort. If you’re a smart and knowledgeable carpet shopper, it will pay off in many ways, the best of which will be carpeting you’re pleased to come home to.

    Carpet’s Advantages

    • Carpet adds warmth and is soft under feet and easier on children’s knees.
    • Carpet is much quieter than hard surface floors.
    • Carpet comes in a wide variety of colors, tones and hues.
    • Carpet is easy to decorate with and offers many patterns and textures, allowing it to be the focus of the room or the perfect foundation for your furniture and accessories.
    • Carpet can be installed in any room in your home, and requires little or no subfloor prep, unlike many hard surface installations.
    • Carpet is an excellent value.

    References and Resources

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