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Selecting Carpet

In the old days, choosing carpet was a simple process. You had your choice of about three styles, four colors, and that was it. Todays world of carpet is loaded with wonderful choices to suit everyones needs. If you want to update a room in your home, having new, carpet installed will make all the difference in the world. To help you get started, it is important to understand carpet since not all carpet styles work in every room of the house.

When you start shopping around for carpeting, you need to consider the following factors when making your final decision:
  • Density This is the amount of fiber tufts per square inch. The weight of carpet is measured on an ounce per square yard basis. Therefore, when comparing carpets, be sure you are comparing the weight of the same type of material since there will be a difference. In other words, you should not measure the weight of nylon carpet versus wool carpet. Instead, measure nylon to nylon and wool to wool.

  • Fiber This material is what carpet is made from. You will hear words such as two-ply, three-ply, or four-ply. To accomplish the multiple ply carpet, single fibers are spun together and then attached to the woven backing.

  • Pile This is a reference to the fiber height.

  • Texture The texture is the style of the carpet. This would include fibers that are cut, looped, or twisted.
Along with the styles of carpet, it is important to understand how each of the various fibers compares with each other:
  • Acrylic Very similar to wool, this type of carpet is used primarily for commercial use but many contemporary homes are enjoying the benefits. Since this type of carpet is soil resistant, easy to clean, and comes in agreat selection of colors, you should not overlook it as a possibility.

  • Nylon Of all carpet material, nylon is the most popular. Nylon is very strong and durable, easy to clean, and an excellent choice for high-traffic areas. Nylon carpeting is also mildew and soil resistant and non-allergenic. The only downfall to nylon is that it will pile and it can be prone to static.

  • Olefin This type of carpet is also referred to as Polypropylene. Although it was initially designed to be used outdoors because of its high level of resistance to water damage, mildew, piling, staining, static, and shedding, but now, people have found that this same durability makes it an excellent option for indoor use. Just keep in mind that if the Olefin carpet is in direct sunlight, it can fade.

  • Polyester Although not as durable as what you would find with nylon, polyester is great because it is wear resistant. With polyester carpet, you will find the largest selection of colors and texture, making this a top choice. The two drawbacks are the polyester does pile and sheds. However, this type of fiber is moth and mildew resistant and non-allergenic.

  • Wool This type of carpet offers a luxurious look and feel that is durable and strong. The nice thing about wool carpeting is that it is naturally stain resistant but it does need a lot of maintenance such as mothproofing.
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