Buying Guide to Carpeting Buying Guide to Carpeting

There's nothing like waking up on a cold frosty morning, getting out of bed to find yourself shocked into big-eyed wakefulness when your feet touch the cold floor. It may be time to purchase carpeting for the bedroom floor. If you're wondering where to begin, start by learning about the styles, fibers, and what you need to know before venturing off to search for carpet.


Carpet style is purely personal preference. Knowing what's out there in the world of carpet will give you a head's up to discovering your style preference.
  • Plush is just what it sounds like: plush with the pile being the same height. It's usually a solid color as well. If the plush carpet you find is nylon, you can count on easy maintenance and expect it to be durable. A minimal downside to plush is that it shows vacuum tracks and footprints.
  • Textured plush, often made with more than one color of yarn, doesn't show footprints and vacuum tracks as readily. The varying tuft heights mask the tracks.
  • A style of carpet with tufts coiled taut is called frieze. A great choice for heavy traffic areas due to its durability and beauty, frieze doesn't show footprints and marks, but it comes at a higher price.
  • Sculptured carpets have high and low tufts, one looped the other straight, which creates a rich, luxurious look.
  • Saxony sports very dense tufts with individual definition, giving the carpet an irregular appearance.
  • The looped carpets that are very much in vogue are the berbers. The looped tufts stand in rows that give a consistent look. Although it may look lovely, beware if you have pets or children as the loops can become hooked and pull, making it look worn long before it should. Repairing pulled loops is not an easy task.
  • Cut pile berber is simply flecked and multi-colored plush carpeting with loops.
  • Commercial carpeting, the heavy-duty choice of public buildings, offices and commercial buildings, stands the test of time and wear, and is usually made of nylon or olefin.


There are four carpet fibers to choose from, each with its own characteristics.
  • Nylon may be the best buy because of its easy maintenance, durability, and cost. It comes in a wide array of colors and styles giving the buyer a lot of choice.
  • A synthetic fiber, olefin looks good while being tough and comes with the added bonus of being inexpensive. Olefin is often used in making berber carpets, but with difficulty cleaning you may want to stick with nylon.
  • A lower priced carpet fiber, polyester lacks the resilience of nylon. If you're pressured by a sales person to go with polyester, politely but firmly decline.
  • Wool, a natural fiber, lands at the top of heap price wise. As beautiful as wool carpeting is, it comes with a hefty price for installing and maintaining. Unless money is no object, consider putting your hard earned dollar into a different fiber.

What You Need to Know

Any time you're considering redecorating your home, or in this case, purchasing carpeting for your home, you need to answer a few questions before you begin shopping.
  1. What room will the carpet go in?
  2. How many people live in your home?
  3. Do you have children?
  4. Do you have pets?
  5. What is the room used for that needs new carpeting?
  6. Do you have a budget?
  7. What are the goals concerning your future flooring needs?

A good sales person will ask you these questions before recommending carpeting, so you should be prepared to give answers that will aid the sales person in guiding you to the carpet best suited for the needs of the room and the lifestyle you lead. Once you've answered the questions, ask the sales person questions and keep asking until you get the answers you need to make a wise buying decision.

You might want to jot down the following tips to keep in mind while you shop around for carpet:
  1. Choose carpeting that best suits your family needs.
  2. You'll be happiest with a carpet that reflects you and your family's lifestyle
  3. Insist on professionals measuring your room and then have the carpet professionally installed.
  4. Make sure you choose the correct padding for the carpet you're buying.
  5. The proper upkeep of the carpet according to the manufacturer's suggestions lengthens the life of the carpeting.

Purchasing carpet is a big ticket item. Getting the carpeting you want at a fair price and not an inflated one means doing research. Do not purchase at the first store you visit: shop around, compare prices, and quality. Have a clear idea of what you want and need before you ever walk into a store or talk with a sales person. Follow the basic guidelines presented and you'll be assured of making a satisfying purchase that you feel as good about years to come as you do today.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!