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January 5, 2018

How to Buy Carpet — Best Carpet Buying Guide for 2021

  • EuroMaids
  • Blog

Flooring has a massive impact on the look and feel of a home’s interior. There’s come a time when even the best carpet cleaning can’t renew worn fibers verging on shabby. If your original carpeting bears indelible stains, looks out of date, or is damaged, it’s probably best to update them.

If you’re wondering “what carpet should I buy?” then you’ve come to the right blog. Our carpet buying guide explores the pros and cons of different types of carpets and includes some of our best carpet buying tips.

What to Look For When Buying a Carpet

One of the best carpet buying tips is knowing what to consider when looking for new flooring. You should consider the following:

  • The carpet’s weave and its unique qualities
  • Fibers: The pros and cons of each material used
  • Density & Weight: The thickness and weight required for your application
  • Carpet Treatments: Products added during or after manufacturing for enhanced protection
  • Carpet Pads: Determining the thickness of the layer underneath that affects the carpet’s resilience

Different Types of Carpet You Can Have for Your Home

Carpets are made from fibers that are cut, looped, or cut and looped. There are many great subcategory carpet options that fall under these carpet styles, combining softness and durability. The more textured a carpet, the more forgiving it is to overall wear. And naturally, plush carpets will work effectively in areas with low traffic, like bedrooms. The best types of carpets can be obtained in these styles:

1. Berber Carpet

This loop pile carpet has a chunky weave that’s light with flecks of brown or gray. Inspired by the weaving style of Berber people of North Africa, Berber carpets are incredibly durable because their looped fiber tends to be stronger than cut fiber.

2. Low Pile Carpet

These are the best types of carpets if you suffer from allergies or respiratory issues, as they don’t absorb as much dirt and debris. Low pile carpets have tight loops of fabric and short flat and dense fibers, producing a smooth surface.

3. Plush Carpet

Plush carpets are easily recognizable by their smooth and dense weaves. Constructed from closely tufted strands, these carpets maintain a velvety appearance. Beautifully soft, they can be made from synthetic or wool fibers.

4. Level Loop Pile

Level pile carpets have a distinct texture with low and tight loops that are all the same length, producing a smooth and even surface when manufactured. These carpets don’t show footprints, are easy to maintain, and are great for high-traffic areas.

5. Cut & Loop Pile

Cut & Loop Pile carpets combine high-cut tufts and lower loops to produce sculptural patterns. They are versatile, durable, and retain an enduring visual appeal, frequently becoming a key accent in any given room. These carpets offer both level and multi-level constructions.

6. Textured Carpet

Created by swirling individual yarn strands into spirals and then pressing them with a heated steamer, gives these carpets a distinct appearance. They are the best carpets for the home because the cut pile process combines uneven, tightly twisted yarn, making it hard-wearing.

7. Cut Pile

Cut pile carpets are manufactured by cutting the yarn loops, which produces an upright pile that tends to be softer underfoot than loop pile carpets. These carpets come in a variety of colors and are typically made from nylon, polyester, or wool, with nylon being the most popular.

8. Twist Pile Carpet

These carpets are only available in cut pile carpets or carpets where there is a blend of cut and loop pile construction. The tight twisting of the cut fibers together increases the carpet strength, making them incredibly resilient.

9. Patterned Loop Pile

Pattern loop pile carpets are created using the same color fibers, unlike other carpets where patterns are created through different colors. Their unique designs are produced by the difference in texture between the cut end of fibers and looped pieces.

Different Types of Carpet Fibers

The types of fibers used to make your carpet determine how easy or challenging maintenance will be. Understanding the unique qualities of each carpet is vital, so you comprehend the pros and cons of each. Synthetic fibers are man-made from ​​chemical compounds and represent the most majority of carpets sold today.

Natural fibers are harvested from nature and make up a smaller percentage of broadloom available today. The best carpet material for you depends on its application, your lifestyle, and your budget. No carpet is flawless or stains-proof, and each possesses unique and attractive qualities.

1. Nylon

Nylon fibers comprise about 60% of available carpets. As a synthetic material, it’s incredibly durable and holds color well, long after manufacturers have dyed its fibers. Nylon comes in various colors and is one of the easiest carpet fibers to clean as it does not hold oily soils.

However, it does have a few downsides. Nylon stains easily without robust fabric protection, and if bleach or chlorine spills on it,  it may lose color. Generally, it is the best carpet material for high-traffic areas like living rooms, hallways, and stairs, except if there are excessive amounts of moisture.

2. Olefin

This synthetic fiber makes up about 30% of available carpets. It’s water and dye-resistant, retains its color for a long time, and has excellent chemical resistance too. The only downsides are it isn’t as durable as water and degrades faster than nylon. It also wicks up leftover dirt after water or cleaning solutions dry and tends to stick to oily soils.

However, it is an excellent choice for areas where moisture occurs, such as bathrooms or basements and swimming pool surrounds. Olefin carpets also work well anywhere where you need fade resistance to combat strong, direct sunlight.

3. Polyester

Polyester is another synthetic fiber that isn’t as common as Nylon or Olefin and comprises about 10% of available carpets. It retains its color, is semi-resistant to bleaching, and its natural stain resistance outperforms nylon and wool. Not to mention, it’s very soft and yields less static electricity.

The downsides to polyester are its attraction to oily soils, wicking after cleaning, and lower resilience. It’s a good option for rooms that experience low traffic, like bedrooms, as well as spaces where stains can be problematic, such as playrooms.

4. Wool

Wool is a luxurious natural fiber that makes up one percent of available carpets. It’s expensive and not easy to find but is possibly the best carpet material due to its longevity and versatility. Wool can be dyed virtually any color, adds warmth to a room, is fire resistant, repels moisture, and hides soils.

Its disadvantages include dissolution in bleach, cleaning difficulty, and potential loss of color when strong cleaning detergents are used. While wool can be placed in just about any room, the price often makes this carpet a less likely choice for an entire home.

5. Cotton

Cotton is also a natural material and usually the softest of all fibers. It’s strong, holds dyes effectively, and is straightforward to clean, making it a suitable option for almost any area in the house, especially play areas, where kids spend lots of time on the floor.

This fiber has a high absorbency rate, meaning it stains easily and tends to brown or yellow over time due to the degradation of its cellulose cells. However, unlike synthetic fibers, it is heat and static resistant. Additionally, cotton can also help alleviate allergic reactions from wool or synthetic materials.

6. Sisal

Derived from cacti, Sisal has an earthy and rough texture like jute. Its distinctive tan, beige, and creamy white color come from the plant’s natural fibers. Because it is a natural material, it is non-toxic and good for people with asthma. It’s also low maintenance, as well as static and flame resistant.

It’s perfect for rugs and outdoor applications. Disadvantageously, it is prone to stains and cannot be wet shampooed or steam cleaned. If softness is a priority, it may not be the most suitable material, although its durability fares well in high-traffic areas.

Density & Weight

Carpet density and weight measurements range from 20 to 50 ounces per square yard, which affects the feel and durability of its fibers. Heavier carpets have more yarn strands per square and are of higher quality because they perform better under pressure. The proximity and thickness of fibers will affect the longevity of carpets. The placement of your carpet and foot traffic determines the density you need.

Carpet Treatments

Specific carpet brands and types may come with treatments to make maintenance easier. Depending on the product, they can help resist stains, block liquid absorption, avoid collecting dust, and release pet hair and dander.

The product treatments applied during the manufacturing process produce more durable carpeting. The type of treatment applied determines the frequency of carpet cleaning needed. Professional carpet cleaners may use the following cleaning processes: dry powder cleaning, encapsulation cleaning, bonnet cleaning, hot water extraction, and professional steam cleaning.

Carpet Padding

Once you have selected your desired carpet, you will need to choose the underlying padding. Carpet padding is the cushioning layer beneath the carpet that insulates the room, dampens noise, and prolongs the carpet’s longevity. Thicker pads are more durable but not always conducive for all carpets.

Most residential carpet applications have cushions no more than 7/16 inches thick and no less than ¼ inches with six pounds per cubic feet density. If the carpet is low profile or Berber, a cushion no more than ⅜ inches thick with an eight-pound density will suffice. If you are installing carpet tiles, you won’t need padding as it’s already incorporated into the tile.

Consider the Room

The purpose of the room should guide what to look for when buying a carpet. Foot-traffic considerations, who will be using the room, and your interior design choices will influence the type of carpet you buy. For example, a family room carpet will require a more durable fiber than a bedroom, which isn’t used as much during the day.

Room size is another factor when it comes to carpet recommendations. Not all carpet sizes are an economical choice for large rooms. A large area rug may be a better choice if you have decent hardwood flooring, for example. Lastly, if you want to carpet stairs, select a fiber that resists snagging, abrasion and dirt.

Buying New Carpet Tips

  • Place rugs and runners over carpets in high-traffic areas to prolong signs of wear and tear.
  • Vacuum your carpet regularly to remove damaging particles that dull new fibers.
  • Don’t use carpet powders. While they keep rooms smelling fresh, they can produce a sticky film when the carpet gets wet or deep cleaned.
  • Don’t rub your carpet when trying to remove stains or wet marks. Solid residue should be gently removed by scraping with a knife, and greasy residue can be treated with appropriate removers sprayed onto an absorbent cloth. As for liquid spills, these should be blotted with a clean, white cloth or absorbent tissue.
  • Make it a habit to ditch shoes when inside or wear house slippers. This eliminates the amount of dirt and mess dragged across your carpets.

Conclusion

There are so many different types of carpets to choose from, which can elevate the look and feel of your home. No matter which one you finally decide on, you’ll want to take care of it to ensure it lasts for many years to come. Regular carpet cleaning in Naperville is the best way to keep your carpet looking like it’s fresh off the showroom floor. Contact Euro Maids today to find out more about our carpet cleaning services.

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