Monday, March 23, 2009

The basics to buy carpet

So it's time to buy carpet? There are some basic things you will need to know. I'll touch on these things to get you started in the right direction. I'm not planning on making you an expert, but if I can get you thinking about more than just "is it the right color and how does it feel?" than we've accomplished something together!

First, before I jump into specific flooring information, think about your home and current situation. How long do you plan on staying at your current home? Why are you replacing the carpet? Or if you are a property manager, how long do you want the floor to last? If you're a builder, is this a spec home or higher end job? Try to get a feel for the performance that will be expected of the carpet. If you are only going to be in the home for 6 months, it may not make sense to get a higher end carpet style. Be sure to relay this type of information to your salesperson, whether over the phone, email or in person.

Once you have an idea of your need, then it's time to get into the nitty gritty. There are several different styles of carpet:
  • Plush/Saxony-Very formal and elegant but tends to show tracks. Comes in solid colors
  • Berber-can look casual or formal depending on decor, usually made out of olefin so it can mat down somewhat over time, also with Berber, the fewer the seams the better because it's a loop product and the fewer the seams, the fewer the loops that can become pulled at the edges. Comes in solid and flecked colors, hides surface dirt well if flecked colors
  • Semi trackless/textured plush-imagine a plush, but the fibers are slightly twisted to give a still somewhat formal look but shows less tracks than plush. Comes in solid colors but the appearance can change slightly depending on the light
  • Frieze- highly twisted, irregular fibers that resemble shag, but are thinner tighter fiber strands. Comes solid or flecked, and like Berber, can hide surface dirt well
  • Sculptured/cut loop/high-low- has a pattern with high and low loops or a mix of some loops that are cut and some are pulled tight against the backing. There is a high variation in these styles of color mixes, yarns, looks etc
  • Level loop-usually a commercial looking style with short, tight loops of carpet, made for high traffic, usually don't see in homes

There are also different types of yarn used in carpet. Nylon is king. It has a nice feel and has superior wear and "memory". Nylon also resists soil and stains well. Another yarn is Polyester. Polyester may have one of the best "feels" out of all of the yarns. It is also very stain resistant. Polyester may have more "fuzzing" than other yarns though. The third yarn is Olefin. Olefin is a polypropylene blended product. It is extremely stain resistant. It does wear well but can tend to mat down over time. Wool is another option, but very rarely used anymore. Lastly are the Eco yarns. The most popular is PET. PET stands for (polyethylene terephthalate). PET fiber is made out of recycled plastic bottles. It is also extremely stain resistant. DuPont has also introduced Sorona, which can be made into carpet yarn. Sorona is mainly produced from corn syrup.

Keep these various styles and yarns in mind when looking to buy carpet. Be sure to match the right style and yarn for your specific application and need. As always, when shopping for carpet prices, check or call 1-800-232-5537.

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