Friday, March 7, 2008

The Carpetology Guide to Buying Carpet: Step 2 - Options & Decisions

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

When last we met, you were in need of carpet. Now that you've done your research, you're a little more prepared, a little less apprehensive, and maybe even excited about this latest change in your home's decor.

Step two in the carpet buying process is The Big Decision. What kind of carpet is best for your home? As the Wear-Dated Web site says, this is the point where you must know your needs. You can find a visual reference for all of the following carpet types here at WearDated.com.


Image originally uploaded by CottageDaily.
Scenario A: Perhaps you have three children, a dog and a cat. The kids are frequently running in and out of the house, often bringing friends in and out with them. The dog especially likes carpet for naps and "burying" his toys. And the cat sheds. A lot. You need to replace the carpet in your family room, but this replacement requires something that will stand up to all that running, napping and shedding and will still look like you care about your home's decor.

If you're feeling trendy, you might want to try a frieze. Similar in appearance to the famous (infamous?) shag, the frieze consists of highly twisted yarns that look casually contemporary. Friezes don't show vacuum marks or footprints so they're ideal for high traffic areas. Plus, they're oh-so-cozy for spreading out and relaxing on family movie night.

If you're feeling confident, give level loop carpet a try. Many people think loop carpet is called berber, but in reality, berber refers to the speckled coloration of a carpet, not its style [as Christine cautions in The Latest in Carpet Style Trends, beware those looped berbers made of olefin]. Composed of a continuous surface of uncut fibers, loop carpet is incredibly durable, and will provide the resilience you need with all those feet and paws in your home. If you want more of a sophisticated look, try a cut and loop style with an interesting pattern or striation. More and more, you can easily find strong, lasting carpet in modern designs that enhance the home.

Color and Fiber Considerations: Web site ehow reminds us that lighter carpets show dirt, but darker carpets show lint and lighter specks. "Think about the lifestyle of your household. If you have four budding young athletes and three puddle-loving retrievers, you'll need a more forgiving color, pattern and fiber than the empty-nesters who live next door." The site also says that "stains and bits of litter will hide best on a carpet with multiple colors, such as a speckled or tweedy mix, or one with a texture that creates shadows." This WFCA video covers some key factors in carpet buying - it's worth a glance before you make any decisions.

Image originally found on BuehlerHome.com.
Scenario B: You and your significant other live on a lovely tree-lined street just inside the city limits. You enjoy the quiet and the solitude of your home, and you occasionally host dinner parties in your formal dining room. You decide that it's time for a change in flooring and want a carpet that will look and feel luxurious.

If you're feeling especially decadent, look first to
velvet carpet. Smooth and elegant, plush carpet connotes luxury, the ultimate in comfort, and a certain formality. You want your guests to have the ultimate in cushioning under their feet and without children or pets in the picture, you don't have to worry about excessive wear and tear. Velvet carpet shows every footprint, but since you can afford the luxury, why worry?

If you're feeling just as decadent but a little more cautious,
saxony carpet will suit your needs. Not quite as smooth as velvet, saxony is still deliciously soft but shows fewer footprints. "Saxony is less formal, with individual strands of yard twisted together and heat set," says Bob Vila. "Saxony's texture is varied and irregular, in contrast to plush's [velvet's] uniform appearance."

Color and Fiber Considerations: "An important consideration about carpet color is that once a carpet is installed in a new home, it will often look lighter than the sample you saw in the store. This is a natural optical effect and you should be aware of this when making a carpet color selection," says the WFCA. "Another thing to keep in mind is how the color of carpet affects the apparent size of the room. Lighter colored carpet will usually visually expand the room. Darker carpeting will seem to bring the walls closer together, and create a more intimate feeling." For a formal room, since there will be little traffic to track in dirt and dust, feel free to go with a carpet on either end of the color spectrum depending on the mood you want to set.

Image originally uploaded by Little Minx.
Scenario C: You and your family are moving into a new house. Each of the three bedrooms has hardwood flooring, but you’d like to carpet them to conserve heat in the winter. You don’t need anything fancy, just carpet that will last and look and feel comfortable.

First of all, check out cable carpet. When most people think carpet, they think cable. Characterized by fat, nubby yarns, cable carpet is comfortable and soft on the tootsies while still pleasing to the eyes. And it’s reasonably priced so you won’t break the bank while carpeting three rooms.

If you’re feeling a bit more luxurious, try a textured saxony. A step up in softness, textured saxony carpets are available in the widest range of colors and don’t show as many footprints or vacuum marks as true saxony carpets.

Color and Fiber Considerations: ehow suggests the following: "Consider the room's function: Carpet in a rough-and-tumble family room or frequently used dining area should probably be chosen for hard-wearing, soil-hiding and stain-resistant capabilities. In a bedroom or seldom-used formal living room, you can get away with a pale color and a fiber that needs more pampering. "

Last but not least, you'll need to consider the actual carpet fiber: wool? nylon? olefin? Look for a post from Christine soon on this topic.

So what are your needs? Are you looking for durability, luxury, or practicality? Regardless, there’s a carpet out there for you and your family – hopefully this helps you make your decision.

Join us for the next installment of
The Carpetology Guide to Buying Carpet when I take a trip to some local St. Louis carpet stores.

Happy shopping!


1 comment:

The Rug Factory . In said...

A carpet adds wholetogether another dimension to the room in which it is laid. It is a source of serenity if the carpet is finely woven and uses exuisite colors.

On can go on looking at the carpet for hours swimming in the beauty which this unique art form provides, just like one can get lost in the works of Mighael Angelo or Picasso

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