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Choosing the Right Carpet for Your Home or Office

Choosing a carpet for your home or office is much the same as choosing the right flooring discussed in part 1 of this series. In addition to the traffic pattern, traffic use, room size, age and lifestyle of occupants, ease of care and maintenance and budget, choosing a carpet has some additional things to think about before buying:

Will there be stairs?
How complex and expensive is the installation?

Are there thresholds to be worked with? (a threshold is the point where different types of flooring and carpet meet. Special consideration must be given as to the difference in height along the threshold to be sure installation is possible that will be able to give a finished look.)

Type of and cost of padding, including installation cost
Moving of furniture
Removal of old carpet and other types of flooring

Once you have answered all the questions regarding the how’s and why’s of carpeting for your home or office, and you have decided on your carpet budget, it is time to look at carpet styles, colors, and textures:

Style: For each style considered find out about:

  • Anti-static technology is necessary as without it you can short circuit an audio system or computer by merely walking on the carpet and then touching a device
  • How a carpet is rated from 1 to 5, 5 being the highest rating and the best rating for heavy traffic.
  • How stain and soil resistant is the carpet? Does it have a special protectant?
  • How easy is it to clean and maintain?
  • Will it repel mildew?
  • Learn about a carpet’s fiber content (wool is the finest but the costliest) and if man-made the technology behind its creation

There are basically two types of carpet, loop pile, and cut pile. DIY explains these two styles: “In the loop-style pile, each of the ends is connected into the backing, so there is a continuous loop. If you ran a pin underneath you would actually feel the loop. In the cut-style pile the loops are actually cut so there are individual ends sticking up through the backing. If you ran the same pin through there, the pin would lift right up.” The most popular carpet styles include plush, loop or Berber, Frieze, and Patterned.

Color: Choosing the right color is vitally important. You want a color you like but also a color that will complement the room you will be carpeting. Make sure you take a sample of wallpaper, paint chips, and a swatch of furniture and window coverings with you to the carpet store. As the lighting in the store will not be the same as in your home, it is best if you can take samples of your choices home to look at in your home or office’s light. Color affects a person’s mood. Warm colors such as yellows, reds, and beige inspire energy while cool colors such as brown, blue, and grey give a sense of calm. Too, darker colors will make a room feel more contained while lighter colors will make a room seem larger.

Textures are important because that is how a carpet will look and feel as you walk on them. In most cases the tighter the looping, the easier to clean and resist stain but may not be as soft on bare feet. A plush, very comfy carpet to walk on and beautiful to look at is also high maintenance when it comes to cleaning. Vacuum and footprint tracks stay visible on the plush. Each carpet style has a list of pros and cons when it comes to how the texture affects the use, wear, and maintenance of that style. Be sure to research all the details of the styles you like to understand how the texture will affect the long-range use and care of your carpet.

Choosing a carpet can be one of the most difficult and time-consuming parts of deciding the floor covering for your home or office. It is best to get input from professional carpet personnel before making a final decision. Once your carpet is installed you will likely be using it for a long time. You want your final choice to be the right one!

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