What is the Best Carpet for a Living Room?

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Your lifestyle and personal taste are key factors in choosing the best carpet for living rooms. In busy families with children and pets, the living room will get the most use. To be ready for staining, it is best to have a solution dyed or stain treated product with some type of odor treatment in these rooms. The weight of furniture is also a consideration.

Formal living rooms are well served by classic cut pile Saxony’s or a sophisticated cut and loop patterned carpets. A textured plush carpet will work well for a more casual lifestyle.

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What is the Best carpet for Family Rooms?

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Family rooms in active households with kids and possibly pets demand carpets that are stain and soil resistant and constructions that can stand up to a lot of traffic. Dense textures and loop pile products will handle the traffic.

Multi-colored, textured looped carpet styles are a great choice for active areas, such as family rooms, because they will be more forgiving of tracked in debris and everyday mess.

What is the Best Carpet for Dining Rooms?

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Triexta, P.E.T. polyester carpets with inherent stain resistance, solution dyed nylon carpets, or nylons with advanced stain resist properties are recommended for dining rooms. Products that feature anti-microbial and other topical treatments are also advised to protect against spills.

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What is the Best Carpet for Hallways & Stairs?

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Stairs and high traffic areas can be covered in a low, dense pile carpet. Because it is the most resilient fiber, nylon products are recommended in pulled down textures or level loop constructions. The bottom of the stairway and the top landing can be extremely tough on carpeting because that is where people usually turn their feet which causes additional stress on carpet. This is where a low profile, extremely densely packed carpet can really add to the life expectancy of the carpet.

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What is the Best Carpet for Basements?

Carpets made of polypropylene in a dense, multi-color loop or level loop constructions are a good choice for basements. It is also recommended to use a good quality carpet cushion underneath the loop pile carpet to help the overall life and performance of the carpeting.

Regardless of the carpeting you choose a quality carpet cushion will definitely add to the life of your carpet.

Common Carpet Fibers

Nylon 

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Nylon is the most commonly used carpet fiber in this country, highly desirable due to its exceptional durability, versatility, and reasonable pricing. Nylon was invented by Dupont in 1938 and has been commonly used in carpeting since the 1950’s. Nylon can be dyed in a wide array of colors. Nylon will wear better than any other carpet fiber because it is created from the most abrasion resistant yarn used in carpeting. Nylon can be engineered in a variety of ways from silky-soft to hard durable finishes.

Polyester – P.E.T

Used in residential and a few commercial applications, polyester has good color clarity, colorfastness, and resistance to water-soluble stains. All of Mohawk’s staple polyester yarn comes from our state-of-the-art plastic bottle recycling facility. This food-grade PET Polyester fiber might be considered to be better quality than carpet-grade polyester fiber.

*NEW*  Triexta – Smartstrand

SmartStrand carpet is made from DuPont Sorona renewable resourced polymer. This marks the first time that a luxuriously soft carpet offers durability and stain protection, while also making less of an environmental impact. The superior stain resistance of SmartStrand carpet is engineered into the fiber and will never wear or wash off.

Polypropylene

Also known as Olefin, this fiber resists fading, generates low levels of static electricity, is favorably priced, and can be engineered in outdoor applications. Due to its manufacturing process, polypropylene inherently resists stains. When used in specific carpet constructions, this yarn will perform as well as most resilient fibers.

Wool

Wool is the standard by which all other carpet fibers are measured. Wool ages gracefully and a well made wool carpet that has been properly maintained will last a long time. Wool is a natural fiber, it has great texture, excellent resilience and good abrasion resistance. The natural texture of wool builds in a resiliency and soil hiding potential. Wool has the best resistance to crushing. These properties make wool a leading performer in quality carpeting. Wool is the miracle fiber that we have used as floor covering for the last 6000 years. The most expensive of the fibers listed here.

Carpet Styles

The different carpet types can be confusing. Our staff is always happy to answer questions you may have and explain the differences between the various carpet styles and which areas of the home they are best suited for. We have also provided the following chart to assist you.

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What You Should Know Before You Buy Carpet

You’ve decided on buying new carpet, but you want to shop smart. You already know how carpet is made and the difference between carpet styles, but what else is there to know before you buy? Lots.

Here are some buying carpet tips to give you the upper hand on what will soon be under your feet!

 

Carpet Seams

Unless your room is narrower than 15 feet, you’re going to have seams. Most carpet comes in widths of 12 feet and 15 feet — and on occasion, 13 feet. The degree of visibility of your seams depends on the texture and color you choose, as well as the lighting and furniture placement in your room.

 

Bending

When you carpet your stairs, its backing may show on the bends. And if it’s a looped carpet, it can snag — especially at the seams or transitions.

 

Nap (Pile Shading)

A carpet’s nap runs in a single direction, making pile reversal or the shading you see from a vacuum trail, completely normal for most cut pile styles. If you’re not a fan of this, window treatments and furniture placement can minimize the effect.

 

Quality

Let’s face it. You get what you pay for. If you want your carpet to have a great pile density and tighter twist construction (which leads to improved durability), then you’re going to want to go with a higher quality (and more expensive) product. New carpet adds value to any home, so it’s an investment worth making.

 

Color

Carpet covers a large part of any room, so it’s vital that you consider some basic rules when selecting its color. First off, know that once your carpet is installed, it’s going to look lighter in color than the sample you saw in the store. Don’t ask us why, that’s just the way it is — kinda like losing a sock in the dryer.

 

Next, recognize that color can affect the apparent size of a room. Call it a visual illusion or a trick of the light, but lighter carpet makes a room look larger and darker colors make a room look smaller and more intimate.

 

If you like to redecorate often or plan to move soon, go neutral. It’s much easier to imagine furniture in a room that is decorated with neutral colors.

 

Stains

It’s going to happen, no matter how long you hold out from sipping wine or munching on chips and salsa in your freshly carpeted room. Stain protection is an important consideration when buying carpet. Products come with various levels of protection and warranties. As the quality of a carpet increases, so does its stain protection level and warranty coverage.

 

Padding/Cushion

Padding or cushion is the layer of spongy material between carpet and floor. It’s the padding — not the carpet — that determines whether the carpet feels good or great under your feet.

 

A quality padding can help preserve a carpet’s look and can extend its life and comfort by providing tougher protection against wear and tear.

 

Padding is sold using quality specifications, not color specifications. The color of the sample you see in the store may not be the same color as what’s installed in your home. But as long as it feels good, who cares?!

 

Warranty

It’s a good idea to read the product specs and warranty coverage on the back labels of your carpet prior to purchasing. Doing so will give you the information you need to protect your investment — and eliminate any surprises down the road.

 

Cost

“Cost per square foot” is just one component of the overall price tag for new carpet. Ask your retailer to calculate the total cost of your floor covering project. Here’s what he or she may include beyond the cost of the carpet, itself:

  • Furniture removal/replacement
    Some retailers or installers may charge to remove (and then replace) furniture in the room to be carpeted.
  • Demolition/disposal of old floor covering
    Unless your home is brand new, there’s probably an old floor covering that is going to need to be removed and properly disposed of.
  • Sub-floor preparation
    Depending on its condition (after removal of the old floor covering), your sub-floor may need to be prepped for carpet installation.
  • Product delivery
    Delivering your carpet and padding may not be included in the “cost per square foot” price.
  • Installation
    There will most likely be a “cost per square foot” or “square yard” to install your new carpet and padding.
  • Materials required to complete the installation
    Additional materials, like adhesives, moisture barriers, stair nosings and baseboards may be required to properly install your carpet.
  • Financing
    Many retailers offer financing as an option of payment. Be sure to check the interest rate, minimum payment due and any finance charges if you choose to pay your purchase off over time.

In addition to your total project cost, annual cleanings are also recommended to maintain the beauty and life of your new carpet. Ask your retailer and/or consult the manufacturer’s warranty and care guide for directions on cleaning and maintenance.

Carpet Padding (Carpet Cushion)

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Question: Does carpet padding really make a difference?

Answer: Yes, it does!

Why Carpet Pad?

It determines how your carpet feels when you walk on it

Helps your carpet maintain its original appearance over time

Absorbs the impact of foot traffic

Different carpet cushion types are needed for each type of carpeting

The Carpet Cushion Council recommends a carpet cushion of at least 5lbs and 3/8″ thickness for light traffic areas, and 6.5 lbs. and 3/8″ for heavy traffic areas. Many carpet manufacturers recommend a minimum of 8 pounds per cubic foot.

Thicker carpet like Saxony – recommended 1/2″

Berber or low profile – recommended no more than 3/8″

Some manufacturers have specifics cushions designed for certain types of carpet such as Berbers

Purchasing the best carpet with an inferior pad will result in premature packing of the carpet, premature crushing of the carpet and a reduction in overall comfort.

Resource: World Floor Covering Association

Wholesale Flooring Services has highly a trained staff that have the experience and industry knowledge to help you select the best carpet padding for your specific situation.

Carpet Terms

Backing/Primary Backing- Typically manufactured from woven polypropylene, a carpets backing provides a base cloth to hold the yarn in place while tufting occurs.

Berber- This looped-style carpet features bulky yarns with characteristic color flecks, produced in a level or multi-level loop construction. Most Berbers are manufactured from olefin (polypropylene) fiber, but some are made from nylon or a blend.

Cable- This cut pile-style carpet is made of thicker and longer yarn and is suggested for low traffic spaces. Heavy foot traffic can cause matting and crushing, so it’s not the ideal choice for hallways or stairways.

Carpet Cushion- Also referred to as “Padding,” this is the cushion that lies between the carpet and the floor or foundation. The choice of padding determines how thick and soft a carpet feels underfoot. A quality cushion can preserve the carpet and provide it with improved protection against wear and tear.

Carpet Dying (Continuous Dyeing)- The process in which color is applied to the carpet face by spraying or printing. Often used to create multicolor or pattern effects.

Cut Pile – A versatile tufted carpet that features clipped yarn loops. This type of carpet is soft and dense with well-defined individual tuft tips. Many dealers call their smoother finished carpets “plushes.” New generation cut pile carpets resist stains and are less susceptible to traffic wear. It is the most widely used type of residential carpet.

Density- The measure of how tightly yarn is stitched into a carpet’s primary backing. Higher density carpet will normally wear better than lower density carpet.

Face Weight- A measurement in ounces determined by the amount of fiber per square yard. For example, a standard carpet may have a face weight of 35 to 45 ounces.

Fiber- The basic material that carpet is manufactured from. Over 90% of all carpet made today is manufactured from synthetic fiber, predominantly nylon, but also olefin (polypropylene), polyester or proprietary fibers. The rest is natural fiber, most commonly wool, silk and bamboo.

Frieze- A cut pile-style of carpet that has a very high twist level, meaning that each strand of yarn is twisted so tightly that it actually curl over at its end. The result is a textured surface with a nubby appearance and a highly durable product.

Loop Pile- A carpet style that has a pile surface consisting of uncut loops. May be woven or tufted. Also called “round wire” in woven carpet terminology. Great for high traffic areas.

Matte/Crush- The entanglement of fibers and tufts that results from weight and high traffic.

Nap- A carpet or rug’s pile surface.

Nylon- Nearly 75% of today’s carpet is manufactured from this synthetic polyamide, which is considered the leader in appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance and both color and styling.

Olefin- See Polypropylene.

Pile- The visible wear surface of carpet consisting of yarn tufts in loop and/or cut configuration. Sometimes called “face” or “nap.”

Pile Height- Measured from the surface of the back to the top of a carpet’s pile, not including the thickness of the back.

Plush- A single level, cut pile surface. See Saxony.

Polyester- A fiber-forming, thermoplastic synthetic polymer, often chosen for its bulkiness, color clarity and resistance to stains and fading. Not as resilient as nylon, but a great performer.

Polypropylene- Synthetic, thermoplastic polymer used for molded items, sheets, films and fibers. Federal Trade Commission classification is olefin. Today it represents more over 35% of the total fibers used in carpet manufacturing. While not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon, it is naturally stain and fade resistant. Most often used in loop pile constructions.

Saxony- A dense cut pile, usually made of plied and heat set yarns, so that each tuft end has a distinguished appearance. The result is a smooth, velvety, “traditional” look with a luxurious feel. Prone to vacuum trails and footprints.

Screen Printing- A common method of carpet coloring, where color is applied from one to as many as eight silk-screens. Carpeting with photographs and custom artwork can now be achieved through this process.

Shearing- The manufacturing process in which carpet is drawn under revolving cutting blades, in order to produce a smooth face on the fabric.

Shedding- A natural part of any new carpet in which individual fibers come loose from the base. Frequent vacuuming for the first few days will eliminate the problem.

Sprouting- The protrusion of individual tuft or yarn ends above the pile surface. May be clipped with scissors.

Stitch Rate- A measurement in penetrations or tufts in a given length of carpet (usually an inch) that describes the density of yarn. Controlled by how fast carpet is moved through the tufting machine. Seven to eight tufts per inch is a quality measurement, while three or four per inch is fairly poor.

Synthetic- A man-made product that uses chemical compounds in its creation versus natural materials. Over 90% of carpet today is made of synthetic fiber – typically nylon, polypropylene or polyester. All three are manufactured from a similar chemical processes that uses oil and natural gas.

Textured- A popular cut pile carpet with alternating crimp, loops or other modifications of yarn that results in a two-tone appearance. Textured yarns have increased cover, resiliency, abrasion resistance, and insulation.

Transition- The spot where two different floor coverings meet — i.e. carpet and hardwood floor. Professional installers attempt to match surface heights to create a seamless passage from one to the other.

Tuft/Tufting- The cut or uncut loop of pile fabric and the first step in the manufacturing of carpet. The tufting process begins with the weaving synthetic or staple fiber into a primary backing material.

Twist- The number of turns per inch and the direction of turning of the pile fibers or ply or yarn strands placed together. Twist direction may be either right (Z-twist) or left (S-twist). Most carpets range between 2.5 and 6.0 turns per inch (TPI). The approximate twist level must match the yarn size and the textural effect desired. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to determine the twist level.

Wool- The coat of a sheep and the original staple fiber used in the manufacture of carpet. Since wool is a natural fiber, it ranges in color from off-white to black, with a number of earthen tones between. Although wool doesn’t stand up to abrasion and moisture as well as synthetics, it cleans well and is known to age gracefully. Wool is the most expensive carpet fiber and represents less than one percent of today’s U.S. market.

Yarn Dyeing- Yarn that is dyed before being fabricated into carpet. Also known as “Pre-Dyeing.”

Yarn Dyeing-Beck- An alternative dyeing method used in the manufacturing of carpet that involves the application of color to yarn after the carpet has been tufted.