Carpet Buying Tips 101............


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Old 01-24-09, 06:09 PM
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Carpet Buying Tips 101............

Hey all,

I need new carpet, and I would love some "Carpet Buying" like what to look about for, what to avoid, what's more durable between nylon/wool.olefin/etc., good and affordable places to buy it even if its online.


Thanks a lot.
 
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Old 01-24-09, 07:29 PM
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Durability? This can be confusing for those shopping for carpet. The carpet manufacturers think they have made it easy for the consumer. Check the label. Different manufacturers have different rating systems.

According to the Carpet Rug Institute, some use numbers 1-5, some may use stars, or some other way to let you know that the higher the number, the more the stars, or whatever symbols, the greater the durability. A rating of 4 or 5 indicates the carpet is going to out perform lower rated carpets. A rating of 4 is outstanding, and this is what you want for high traffic areas like hallways and family rooms. 2.5 to 4 is just for normal traffic and, if properly maintained, can serve well in homes where there is not much traffic. Below 2.5 is recommended for light traffic. If you feel the light traffic carpet, you might get away with it in a guest bedroom where someone spends the night a couple times a year.

Just because the carpet is rated, does not mean that it won't get dirty and that it will not wear as rated if not properly maintained.

And, to further confuse consumers, some manufacturers also rate Texture Retention on a 5 to 1 scale with 5 being the best for the least surface change and 1 being the most surface change. Surface change is how well the fibers hold up.

Fibers & Durability?

Nylon still tops the list as the most durable fiber. There are two types of dying methods used in manufacturing. There is the solution dyed nylon where little beads of color are added to the molten nylon before it is spun into fibers. Then, there is the nylon carpet that they go ahead and manufacture and dip into a dye vat to color. Now, you may have the wear of the nylon fiber with this carpet, but the dye can fade from sun, carpet cleaners, bleach spots, etc. For the most part, nylon is fairly stain resistant.

Olefin aka polypropylene aka plastic is used in a lot of berbers. Now, this is important. "Berber" is a weave, not a carpet. Berber weave can be made from other fibers. If you like the berber weave and you like the durability of nylon, you may want to opt for a nylon berber weave carpet. Back to olefin carpet. Wears well. Easy to clean. Colorfast. But, consumers tend to report that it crushes. It's reported that it is made from recycled plastic bottles.

Polyester provides beautiful color options and is very soft. It is stain resistant, but it attracts oily soils. Some complain that it fuzzes.

Wool is a natural fiber. It is very beautiful and durable. It does, however, require special care and cleaning. And, it's pricey.

When shopping, go to a flooring center and determine what you like. Write the info down on the label--manufacturer, style name and number, color, rating info, etc. And, write down the price. Visit several stores looking for the same piece of carpet. Take notes. Chances are you will see it in more than one store, but it will have a different name. Manufacturer's may sell the same carpet to 3 out 5 retailers in town, but to make each look like they are offering a different product with a different name the thinking is that it helps with the competition.

After you have shopped, compared apples to apples, then you pick up a sample from one of the stores and start visiting the stores again to bargain. "XYZ store tells me that they will sell me this exact same carpet for $$, can you beat that?" Chances are you will get a better price for the carpet.

The problem with ordering carpet online is that even if the carrier brings it to the door, getting carpet off the truck and into the house in huge rolls is not a DIY job. Then, you are on your own to find installers. Buying carpet from a reputable carpet retailer, who has his own installers, is more convenient. If there is a problem, then the retailer is near your home.

If you want to read more about carpet, visit the Carpet Rug Institute's website. www.carpet-rug.org Do read the section on Carpet Cushion, because you will have to make a decision about that. Here's a link to the Carpet Cushion Council. Carpet Cushion Council Home Page
 
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Old 01-25-09, 10:08 AM
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Wow, this is a lot of info, good info. Thanks so much, twelvepole.

Yes, trying to figure out the ratings, density, stain-resistant rating was getting confusing. I will definitely read thoroughly thru your post and go from there.


Just because the carpet is rated, does not mean that it won't get dirty and that it will not wear as rated if not properly maintained.
Yep, I learned this the hard way.

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-26-09, 12:11 PM
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Tip Please

I am looking into reinstalling some carpet. I want a tight knit carpet that is professional in appearance and easy to vacuum. And white. Im not talking about corporate short carpet, but just...idk...weaved tightly so it isnt so hairy.

any suggestions?
 
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Old 01-26-09, 01:11 PM
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When you say 'tight knit,' do you mean dense? When you say 'professional,' is the setting to be a commercial office? Or, do you mean traditional?

A dense, cut pile nylon is still the most popular carpet. Solution-dyed nylon (color added while nylon was in molten state) is even better. A shorter and more dense cut pile with high yarn twist will wear better in high traffic areas.

There are the loop pile carpets available--level loop, patterned loop, cut and loop. And, simply the cut loop known as saxony.

Saxony is woven in loops, the top of the loops cut to produce a very dense and soft carpet. It feels plush under foot. Many prefer it for living and dining rooms in traditional settings because it is so formal. And, yes, it is so expensive.

Frieze is curly. Plush shows footprints. Textured plush does not.
 
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Old 01-26-09, 01:19 PM
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I also want to provide you with a good link a carpet backings, pile height and density, finishing, and stain treatments at Carpet Construction The bottom line is that short, tight, dense construction is best. Carpet is not for everyone's lifestyle.

More and more people are replacing carpet with hard surface floor coverings. Much has been reported lately about carpets and allergies. The advantages of not having to worry about carpet spotting and stains and professional cleaning is eliminated if one goes with solid hardwood, engineered wood, tile, etc.

If replacing carpet or if it's a new installation, you will want to keep in mind that with lighter color carpets the problem of soil filtration can be eliminated by sealing the gaps where the wall meets the floor. Silicone caulk is usually the best for this.

Soil filtration is where the air settles downward and through the gaps at floor perimeter. The carpet acts as an air filter and collects the dust and soil in the air. Thus, a soil filtration line appears around the perimeter of the carpet. This tends to be a problem with lighter color carpets. If contemplating white carpet, then this should be a concern.
 
 

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