Carpet buying tips


Everything you need to know on how to buy carpet that fits your need.


Longevity and lasting appeal

The best measure of a carpet's performance is how well and how long it can retain the rich depth and clarity of its color and the degree to which it can resist crushing, matting and the loss of its textural appeal.

Carpet yarn is typically formed by twisting two or more yarns together before tufting. The Carpet Buying Guide knows that the tighter the twist, the better a cut pile carpet will perform, thereby retaining its appearance.

Beware of bargains

The Carpet Buying Guides advice is to buy the highest quality you can afford. Don't skimp on quality for high-traffic, heavy-use floors. Stairs, hallways, family rooms and other busy areas call for high performance and the best quality you can afford.

Beware of "bargain" or cheap carpets. So-called bargain carpets are not even worth their cheap price. The most luxurious carpet, in the long run, can also be the most economical choice. A lower cost carpet that must be replaced in just a few years can actually be more expensive on a per-month or per-year basis than one that retains its beauty far longer.

The three C's of the carpet buying


Carpet color

Selecting the correct color carpet is the first and, perhaps, the most important consideration. Color beauty is a matter of personal preference, but color can also serve other, more practical purposes. Light-colored carpets make smaller rooms seem larger, especially if the walls are white or a lighter tint of the carpet color. Rich, deep colored carpets can make large rooms intimate and cozy. Warm reds and oranges create an active atmosphere, great for family rooms. Cooler blues and greens give you a tranquil setting for bedrooms and other quiet areas of your home. To help pick the perfect color, bring pillows or swatches of fabric from your furniture such as an arm rest cover.

Carpet textures

Color is only part of carpet beauty. Texture adds yet another dimension. From the smooth, sweeping elegance of velvet to the distinctive appeal of a pebbly frieze, the texture of carpet brings interest, excitement and drama to your décor. There are a variety of carpet textures to choose from. Use this carpet texture guide to help you select your carpet.

Saxony: Versatile beauty in cut pile. Not as formal as a velvet but easier to live with. The degree to which each individual tuft is visible in the pile creates a wide range of subtly different effects.

Velvet: The ultimate in elegance, cut pile carpets have all the pile fibers blending together to give you an ultra-smooth sweep of rich, luxurious color.

Berber: Varying the height of the loops creates a wide range of styles. Textures will range from traditional rows to rich multi-levels.

The most rugged of cut pile carpets. Tightly twisted yarns curl back onto themselves, creating a distinctive nubby look or pebbled texture overall.

Carpet padding

The purpose of carpet pad is to support and protect the carpet and to provide a cushion of comfort when walked on. A quality pad is crucial to the best possible performance of the carpet. Remember, the most expensive pad you can buy is a cheap pad that causes your carpet to wear faster than it should.
Types of Carpet Pad

This is the most commonly used type of pad. It is made from scraps of foam used in the furniture industry and from previously used carpet pad. Generally rebond pad gives a firmer walk and is suitable for a wide range of carpet types. (Recent technological breakthroughs have made possible "engineered pads" that are vastly superior to the basic rebond pad. Contact us for more information.

Fiber: Fiber padding is made from either natural or synthetic fibers. This type of pad is also referred to as felt. This type of pad is used to limit the up and down movement of a carpet and provides a very firm walk. It is extremely durable and very appropriate for woven carpets.

Made from various types of urethane foam and available in a wide range of thicknesses and densities. New technologies are rapidly changing this type of padding and the best can provide many years of performance as well as an amazingly soft feel under the carpet. Used properly, they can provide an incredible "wow" feeling to a new carpet.

How much carpet do I need?

To know how much carpet you need, measure the room or area extending into the doorways. It is usually easier to "round up" inches to the next foot. If the area is irregular, divide it into squares or rectangles and measure each area and then add all of your squares together for your total. See our Carpet Buying Guide's carpet estimator diagram below for calculation instructions.

To estimate stairs: (1) count the number of steps (2) measure the step width and since most steps are 1'6" (tread and riser), multiply the width of the step by 1.5 to get the square feet per step (3) multiply the number of steps by the square feet per step.

After you total your square footage, be sure to add 10% to your total for "waste". See the carpet estimator diagram below for calculation instructions.

To estimate the total cost for your carpet, multiply the total number of sq. ft. (remember to add the 10% for waste) by the carpet price per square foot. Note that padding and installation are added on top of your carpet's per square foot price.

Carpet estimator

Use this worksheet to help determine how much carpet you need. This will speed up the process of ordering your new carpet!

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