Shopping For Carpet

The allure of carpet lays not only its soft and luxurious texture, but also in its ability to enhance and match any décor. It is suited to both formal and casual environments, while offering a palette of colors that cannot be found in any other flooring material.

The interior of your home should be designed as an interrelated unit. When choosing a color scheme, consider the walls, window treatments, carpet and other furnishings. It is always a good idea to bring paint and fabric swatches to the store when shopping for carpet.

The shade of carpet you choose can greatly enhance the other design aspects in the room, bringing continuity and overall balance. Lighter shades and colors will visually enhance the room and make it appear larger, however lighter colors show more tracking and dirt. Darker colors and multi colored patterns do not show as much dirt or wear and tear, but they do make rooms appear smaller.

When selecting carpet, one must consider many aesthetic as well as technical issues. Of all the factors, fiber selection is the most important. The most widely used fibers in the manufacture of carpet are: olefin, polyester and nylon. All three fibers display unique inherent characteristics that affect the way the carpet performs and making each fiber suitable to a different application.

Nylon fiber is the softest and most luxurious of all synthetic fibers. It is a highly resilient fiber and displays excellent resistance to matting and crushing, making it perfect for high traffic areas. It has good stain resistant properties, but can also fade when subjected to direct sunlight. The combination of its qualities makes nylon the best fiber for carpet construction.

Polyester fiber is not as soft as nylon; however it is more stain resistant and is available in a wider range of colors. Polyester is not very resilient and tends to show more matting and crushing than nylon, making it unsuitable for high traffic areas. The high sheen and elegant looks of polyester fibers are well suited to formal environments such as dining rooms, and the combination of a high level of stain resistance and affordable price make them the perfect choice for low traffic areas such a bedrooms.

Olefin fiber is the least expensive of all synthetic fibers used in the manufacture of carpet. Olefin is a solution died yarn, making it unique among the fibers in that it is the only fiber that can be cleaned utilizing a bleach water solution. Olefins are mold and mildew resistant, and will also not fade when subjected to direct sunlight, making this fiber perfect for indoor/outdoor areas. Olefin is however the least resilient of all fibers and should only be considered in the berber construction. Although not suitable for a plush, olefin berbers will stand up to the heaviest traffic without showing any wear and tear for years.

Pile height and density are also important factors that must be given consideration when shopping for carpet. Although soft to walk on, carpets with a high pile height do tend to matt and crush easily. When selecting a carpet with a high pile height, ensure that it is constructed from nylon fiber, as nylon has the best retention qualities and will resist matting and crushing. Denser carpets have more vertical support, resulting in better performance, less matting and crushing, and will hide track marks and foot prints.

The quality of pad you choose will have a direct impact on the performance of your carpet. There are many types, densities and thickness of pad available, each one purporting to have better qualities than the next. As a rule of thumb, the denser a pad, the better it will wear, and this will translate directly to improved performance from your carpet.

This flooring article was written by Barry H. Get more tips and techniques at: Carpet-flooring.

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