While there’s been a lot of talk about hardwood floors being the preferred flooring for most homeowners, carpet has been making a comeback in recent years.
Even many hardcore hardwood enthusiasts eventually come around to the idea that having carpet in certain rooms is a practical choice that adds comfort, traction and warmth for family living.
Here’s one telling example: realtors interviewed by Apartment Therapy revealed that roughly half of buyers prefer homes with carpet in the bedroom.
Other popular areas for carpet include family rooms, living rooms and even basements.
Tips for Picking Out the Best Type of Carpet for Your Home
This resurgence in interest for carpet coincides with an explosion in the styles and types of carpet available, along with new innovations in stain-resistance, wear resistance, dyeing techniques and durability.
You can now also find many eco-friendly carpet choices as well as low-VOC and allergy-friendly options.
Of course, this increase in new carpet flooring choices can pose a dilemma for anyone considering buying new carpet.
So, you may be wondering: How do I choose the best carpet for my home and my family?
Factors to Consider When Buying Carpet
1. Where the carpet will be located
This has implications for the style you choose as well as the type of carpet materials you should consider. A luxury thick-pile plush carpet may work better in a bedroom or cozy den than in a high-traffic area. Choose low-pile carpet styles like berber to lend a cleaner, more modern look to living and dining room areas.
Consider a durable material like nylon for carpet in heavy traffic locations, or pick polyester carpet fiber for added stain resistance. You can even find carpets that resist moisture and soil if you’re carpeting a challenging area like a hallway, stairs or basement.
Your home’s location may also be an important factor to consider. If you live in a rainy, muddy area or a bustling city locale, extra stain resistance may be a priority.
2. How much use the carpet will get
If you have a small family, only rarely entertain, and take off your shoes every time you come through the door, you can probably just choose the carpet you like the looks and feel of the best, without worrying too much about other details.
The majority of us, however, need to choose carpeting with durability, soil and stain resistance in mind. Consider just how much wear your carpet will have to handle and how many spills and soils it will need to regularly repel.
The carpet color you want will play a role here, too, since lighter carpeting will usually need more robust soil and stain resistance.
3. Who will be using it
Families with children will need to weigh function versus fashion when choosing carpet for their homes. Likewise, people with pets need to consider their furry family members’ habits when picking out carpet.
Stain-resistance and a strong stain warranty are essential for families with pets and kids. Those with pets may need carpeting that offers added durability and wear, and they should also avoid looped carpet styles, which can snag or sustain damage from claws.
Small children and older family members who are prone to falls may also benefit from thicker carpets and cushioning carpet padding underneath. These challenges are a common reason families choose carpeting in the first place, so make sure to find the right type for these specific needs.
Of course, we all want the most beautiful, soft, durable, and wear-resistant carpet we can find. But when you’re carpeting a large area, the price per square foot can really add up.
Weigh aesthetics and function appropriately when choosing wall-to-wall carpet. Prices start at just over $2 per sq. ft. for stain-resistant polyester types, $6 per sq. ft. for nylon, and can reach upwards of $40 a square foot for natural fibers like wool or high-end synthetic fiber products.
Installation and the type of carpet padding you get underneath add to your cost, as well, so be sure to take that into account.
Before You Shop for Carpet: Know Your Way Around Common Carpet Terms
Now that you have a sense of what you’re looking for, you probably feel ready to step into a store and look at some carpet. That’s terrific – but you should probably take a second to learn some of the most common industry terms.
Fiber: This refers to the materials the carpet is made of. Fiber types include nylon (highly durable), polyester (stain-resistant, budget-friendly), triexta (great durability and stain-resistance), olefin/polypropylene (resists moisture) and natural fibers like wool.
Pile: The pile is the height of the carpet fibers, and it affects how the carpet looks and feels as well as how easy it is to clean.
Texture: This is the shape or of the fibers and can include looped, twisted and cut-and-loop styles. See below for common carpet texture styles.
Face Weight: The weight of the carpet fibers (not including the backing) per square yard. This is measured in ounces, and face weights can be useful when comparing carpets of a similar style. Higher face weights generally signal greater durability, but the metric is not as helpful when comparing different styles.
Density: Refers to how densely the fibers are woven. Higher density means there are more carpet strands packed into the weave. This makes the carpet more durable and affects how sturdy it feels underfoot.
Warranty: How long the manufacturer guarantees the product. Many carpets carry warranties for stain and soil resistance as well as warranties against wear.
A Primer on Popular Carpet Styles
Saxony: The traditional style of wall-to-wall carpet, this is also known as plush carpet.
Pros: Feels soft underfoot, comes in a wide range of colors, goes with a range of home styles.
Cons: Show vacuum marks and footprints, some types can look dated.
Berber: A looped carpet favored for its elegant appearance.
Pros: Can be used in homes of all styles, is great for stairs and hallways, plus it is highly durable, easy to keep clean, and won’t flatten over time.
Cons: Pet claws can snag on the loops and unravel it; can be harder to install and cut due to the loops.
Frieze: A lower-pile version of shag carpeting, these twisted fiber carpets add visual interest and texture to any room.
Pros: The thick, long fibers add cushioned comfort and hide dirt, seams, vacuum marks and footprints.
Cons: Longer fibers make it more difficult to clean; considered a casual choice, so not appropriate for formal rooms.
Cut and Loop: Also known as sculpted carpet, this is made by mixing cut fibers and looped ones to create a textured pattern.
Pros: Comes in a variety of interesting patterns and textures, including geometric patterns that complement modern décor.
Cons: Can show wear more quickly as fibers bend; recommended mainly for use in lower traffic areas.
Carpet Tiles: Carpet that comes in tiles instead of rolls, this versatile choice is widely used for commercial properties, offices, and government buildings as well as residential homes.
Pros: Easy to install, with a wide variety of styles to choose from – including patterns you can customize. Tiles are also easy to replace if they sustain damage, staining or wear.
Cons: Some types may have visible seams that show more with time and wear.
Ready to Shop for Carpet for Your Home?
Our associates would love to help you choose. Flack’s offers everything from plush nylon to sturdy commercial carpet tiles in a wide range of colors, textures and styles.
Visit our carpet showroom in Cumming or make an appointment to come in and talk to a carpet expert today.
Our team can handle everything from ordering to installation and even help you set up financing for your purchase. Call us today at 770-889-9753!