The flooring in your home is ready for a refresh and you are choosing carpet. Now what? You may have visited a few stores and been overwhelmed with the number of options. Maybe a pushy sales person tried to make your choices for you. Let’s review some of the details of choosing the right carpet. Hopefully it will help you make an informed choice that will serve your home for many years to come!

Your budget will need to include carpet material, carpet pad and installation. It can be tempting to skimp in one of these areas, but all three factors will have an impact the life of your carpet.

There are a few different fibers that most carpets are made of. Each material has pros and cons from price to longevity.

WOOL

Wool is a high performing, soft and environmentally friendly option that adds luxury to any home. However, it is the highest price point, often making it unobtainable for the average home.

NYLON

Nylon is considered to be the top choice fiber for durability, stain resistance and softness. While there are other fiber options on the market, nylon is the most widely used. There are many branded Nylons that have been around for decades, refining and perfecting their carpet product. When you look at carpet product, if it uses a superior nylon, it will state the brand. Lower quality products will simply say “100% Nylon”. If you are looking for the highest quality nylon, look for 6,6 nylon. Nylon is an excellent choice for high traffic homes, especially those with kids or pets.

TRIEXTA

Triexta was classified as a new carpet fiber in 2009 and has been shown to have superior stain resistance. Triexta supporters have made many claims on its resistance and durability. However, it is really too soon to tell if this new fiber will hold up well for 10 or more years.

POLYESTER

Polyester carpet is popular for its plush feeling and lower price. Unfortunately, polyester often sheds badly, crushes easily and is more difficult to clean. Polyester should only be used in low traffic areas or in homes without children or pets.

CHOOSING CARPET PAD

Last but certainly not least is your carpet pad. This unseen component can either add or detract years of wear from your carpet.  The padding protects your carpet from the subfloor which keeps the back of your carpet from pulling out. It also adds softness and helps deaden noises. When looking at a carpet pad, look at the density, not the thickness. A good carpet pad will have a density/weight rating of 6-8lbs. Purchasing a high quality carpet pad often is not a significant price increase but will help your carpet to perform at peak quality for the longest time possible.

INSTALLATION

Now that you know a little more about the material of your carpet an the importance of your carpet pad, let’s talk about installation. Picking a flooring company can be difficult but you need to get quotes from at least 3 different companies in your area and ask if they do the installation or if they hire subcontractors. Subcontractors are often not as highly skilled and detail oriented as working directly with a local company. Even if you purchase a high quality carpet, if it is installed poorly it will take years off the life of your carpet. Spending less on the installation might seem like a good idea at first but poor seaming and stretching is a product of an unskilled carpet layer and in one or two years your carpet will have bumps, rolls and edges pulling up.

Once you have your installer, are done choosing carpet material and carpet pad, it’s time for the fun part, colors and pattern!