Choosing Carpet for the Home and carpet care takes some worth-while research to ensure you get exactly what you want.

Choosing carpet for the home can be a daunting experience with all the choices, colors and textures there are from which to choose. Once you are ready to purchase carpeting, go to a carpet store to see what is available. You can look online, but will not get the full advantage of touch and feel unless you see the carpet up close and personal. There are many things you need to know in order to choose carpeting. You need to know the styles of carpet and which ones work well for people that have kids or pets and what goes best in a high-traffic area. The fiber type is important so you know how it will feel underfoot and how it will hold up to everyday use. The color is important so that it fits in with your room. Padding is another consideration when purchasing carpeting that must be considered well for the best choice.

Styles

Carpet is made in several styles. The style is dictated by the type of surface it has.

  • Textured carpet comes from the fibers being cut at different heights to give it a sculptured look. The different levels reflect light differently and hide dirt and stains. Textured carpet is really good where it gets a great deal of use like from the front door, through the living room and on to the kitchen. It holds up when other carpets just seem to develop a trodden path.
  • Berber carpet has continuous loops of fiber and looks very flat and very dense. The loop can be left in the carpet so if you look at a fiber it will actually look like a loop, or they may cut the loop to make it look like a strand. Berber is probably the most durable style of carpet and it hides stains and dirt very well. It is good for places where you walk all the time and also good for those who have kids and pets.
  • Friezes are made up of twisted fibers that might look a little more sophisticated than a Berber or textured carpet. This carpet is very soft and fuzzy and it hides dirt and traffic well, although it might not be great in a high-traffic area. It tends to get pushed down and flattened a bit.
  • Plush carpet looks beautiful, but it is the type that takes the most maintenance. The fibers, or pile, are twisted very tight and packed close together. The loops can remain loops or be cut straight across. This type of carpet shows every foot step and if you don’t run the vacuum in the same direction, the color can be different in one area or another. It shows every track and piece of dirt in the house, but it really looks polished and elegant. A type of Plush carpet is Saxony carpet and it is a little less dense than the true plush. Keep this type away from high traffic areas and relinquish it to the bedroom. These carpets only have a life of about five years for the regular grade.

There are other types of carpet like wool that is extremely durable and expensive. If you have wool allergies, you can’t go around barefoot on this carpet, so it is not suitable for those with wool allergies. Kids sit on the floor and if they are allergic, it could cause some nasty contact dermatitis.

Fiber Composition

Something that you should consider when purchasing carpet is the fiber composition.

  • Polyester is a cheap fiber that is very soft. It takes to color well so you can depend on the color not fading and being true for a long time. It does, however, tend to shed a bit with age and is a bit hard to get clean if a stain happens. It should be placed in low traffic areas like bedrooms and it might not be the best choice for homes with kids and pets.
  • Triexta fibers have corn sugar in them. It is new and hard to determine the durability factor yet. One nice thing about Triexta is that it is hard to stain and most unwanted substances wipe right off. This might be an option for someone who has kids and pets and might want to try a brand new product.
  • Olefin carpet fibers do not fade and can most likely be found in Berbers that have that nubby looking weave. It hides stains, is anti-static and resists mildew. It is good in a high-traffic area with kids and pets.
  • Nylon is the most common fiber and it is very durable and is easy to maintain. It is the right type of fiber for people with kids and pets and might last more than a decade with proper care. It is very strong and soft and comes in a variety of price ranges.

Color

Color can greatly improve the look of a room and it can either hide or magnify dirt and stains. Give careful consideration to your lifestyle and the way the color of the carpet will impact maintenance. Dark carpet can hide stains, but it can also show light colored dirt well enough to have to vacuum every day. Textured carpet with a tweed look is great when trying to hide dirt and stains. They just don’t show up well in the pattern. Light colored carpets may show stains easily and need to be treated with a stain resistant substance first.

Padding

Padding is probably the most important thing when considering carpet. Thick, plush padding can make even the cheapest carpet look rich. Carpet placed in high traffic areas needs to be very firm and dense. The padding protects your carpet from wear and tear and insulates temperatures coming from the floor. If you live in a house without a basement, the padding will keep cold from entering through the floor in the winter.

Maintenance

The more you vacuum the carpet the cleaner it is going to stay. Not letting grime get ground in to the carpet will go a long way in keeping the shine of a new carpet. Two to three times a week is a reasonable amount of vacuuming. Those with loop piles should be vacuumed on the low level with just the suction head. Use a vacuum with a beater bar and brush on cut pile carpeting.

Spots and stains must be cleaned up immediately before it absorbs into the fiber. Those carpets treated with anti-stain substances can still become ruined if not cleaned up quickly because the wet stain can cause bacteria to grow. Blot up liquid using a clean, white cloth or paper towels. Never scrub a stain because you are just forcing it into the fibers and deeper into the carpet and this can damage the pile. Keep applying pressure to the cloth until the spot is dry. Check with your carpet distributor to see what the acceptable method of removing a stain is. If you can use stain cleaner, just dab a small amount into the carpet with a white cloth. Let it along for about a minute and start to blot from the edges to the center. This will prevent the spot from spreading. Rinse with cold water and blot again.

With a little bit of care and the right choice of carpet, you should keep your floors looking beautiful for many years. Choosing carpet for the home and carpet care isn’t so difficult after all. Just get all the information from your distributor and find out what kind of warranty you can get for the carpet you choose.  

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