If you don’t know flooring, know your flooring dealer!
The Seven Carpet Truths
- There is no such thing as free labor.
- There is no such thing as an invisible seam.
- There is no stain proof carpet.
- There is no miracle fiber.
- There is no such thing as a real 70% off.
- The life of the carpet depends on your lifestyle.
- Installation is everything!
Don’t Make a Padding Mistake
Today's carpets require special padding unlike the carpets of ten years ago. If you do not follow the manufacturer's padding guidelines, you will void your carpet warranty. It is up to the professional carpet dealer to inform you of the correct padding for each particular carpet. Remember, the most expensive pad you will ever get is the FREE PAD offered by many floor-covering stores.
Quantity: To determine the approximate square footage of carpet you will need, multiply the length (feet) of the room by its width (feet). Add 10 percent to account for room irregularities and pattern match. It is best to have your retailer or installer make final measurements to ensure that you purchase the correct amount. As professionals, they know how to include hallways and closets, match patterns, plan seam placement, work with room irregularities, and account for rooms with widths greater than 12 feet. (Most carpet is produced in 12 foot widths.)
Cost: Your budget and your needs are two key elements in selecting carpet and rugs. There is a wide range of choices and costs from which to make your selection. Ask yourself how long you expect to keep your carpet before replacing it. A better grade of carpet will give you a greater length of service than one of lesser quality. Buy the best carpet you can afford for the heavy traffic areas of your home – halls, stairs, family rooms; a medium grade will provide good service in rooms with less traffic – bedrooms and guest rooms. Ask your retailer to give you a complete cost estimate – one that includes cushion, installation, moving of furniture, and any special needs that you may have. Keep in mind that a high-quality, professional installation can extend the life of your purchase.
Color: The selection of carpet color is a very personal choice. You will want to select a color that unites your decorative elements and creates the atmosphere you desire. Lighter colors make the room seem larger; darker colors provide coziness. There are also practical considerations in color selection. New stain and soil resistant technology makes today's lighter color carpet much easier to clean, allowing more decorating options. Medium and darker colors, tweeds, and textures will help disguise common soil in your home's high traffic areas.
Textures: Carpet construction (how the yarn is "tufted" or locked into a backing) affects its texture and ultimately, the long-term durability and appearance of the carpet.
Level loop pile: Loops of equal height. Generally offers long-lasting wear for high-traffic areas. Many of today’s popular Berbers are level loop.
Multi-level loop pile: Usually have two to three different loop heights to create pattern effects. Provides good durability.
Cut pile: Loops are cut, leaving individual yarn tufts. Still one of today's most popular constructions, its durability is achieved with factors including the type of fiber, density of tufts, and the amount of twist in the yarn.
Velvets – Smooth, level surfaces; formal atmosphere.
Saxonies – Various surface finishes; versatile performance and appearance.
Textures – Informal atmosphere; suitable for whole house application. Minimizes footprints.
Cut and loop pile – Combination of cut and looped yarns. Provides variety of surface textures, including sculptured effects.
Friezes - Frieze carpet is a twisted cut carpet best used in high traffic areas. Frieze carpet has very short fibers that curl in different directions at the surface to hide markings such as footprints and vacuum marks. If the yarns are twisted tightly, the tufts become more distinct and bend in many different directions. Rather than standing tightly to form a smother surface, each individual tuft remains its own. This is the secret to the clustered look of frieze carpets. You can choose from a variety of densities when it comes to frieze carpet. Highly resilient, it's truly a solid surface that needs little, easy maintenance. Good quality frieze styled carpet is one of the most durable styles available to you. With its heavy texturing, great durability, and long lasting design, you should look into frieze carpet.
Quality: The type of fiber used and the way the carpet is constructed (loop, cut, etc.) determines the basic performance of the carpet. Quality can be enhanced by the way the fibers or yarns are twisted and heat set, and by the density of the tufts.
Density: Refers to the amount of pile yarn in the carpet and the closeness of the tufts. The denser, the better.
Twist: The winding of the yarn around itself. Should be neat and well defined. A tighter twist provides enhanced durability.
Heat-setting: The process that sets the twist by heat or steam, enabling yarns to hold their twist over time. Important in cut pile carpet. Most nylon, olefin and polyester cut pile carpets are heat-set.
Area Rugs: Area rugs accent a room's color palette or wall design, or even set the entire mood, character, or period of the room. Area rugs can be made of tufted or woven construction with any of the fibers available. Cut pile carpet can be cut and bound into area rug size and then carved to add dimension and interest.
Carpet Cushion: A firm and resilient carpet cushion is necessary to form a good foundation for your carpet, increasing its comfort and extending its life, by absorbing the impact of foot traffic. Choose cushion no more than 1/2" thick. Cushion also adds insulation and reduces noise.
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