Carpet pearls of wisdom prior to purchasing
It stands to reason that the more knowledge you have about a product, the smarter your buying decision. Buying carpet is no exception. Knowledge about carpet details and tendencies, about little known quirks and traits can make or break the “success” of the product in your home.
It’s true. Selecting the smartest carpet is all about finding the right combination of aesthetics, durability, maintainability and price before you lay down you hard earned money. Example. Looped berbers and high twist friezes are excellent choices for high traffic areas but a plush saxony style carpet in the same location may show footprints and vacuuming trails.
The point is, we want you to be flooring smart and we’ve created this section, and all of our other sections, to that end. So please continue reading. Carefully consider the notes, tips and suggestions that follow and get the upper hand on the carpet that may soon be underfoot.
Understand the facts about seams
Carpet comes in 12’, 15’ and sometimes 13’ widths. Unless the area to be carpeted is less than these dimensions, carpet seams can’t be avoided.
In addition to visible seams, you may have peaked seams with looped or low profile patterned carpet. The extent of their visibility varies with texture, colour, lighting and furniture arrangement.
Be aware of carpet backing and loops
Please remember that, when carpet is bent over stairs, its backing may show, depending on the carpet’s texture, colour and density.
Also, looped carpet is susceptible to snagging, especially at a seam or where the carpet butts up against another type of flooring.
Help, however, is nearby. In the Carpet Maintenance section please find information on dealing with snags in looped carpet.
Know this about carpet nap
All carpet has a nap and it runs in one direction. Pile reversal, also called shading, is typical for many cut pile style carpets.
Pile reversal is very evident with plush style carpet. If this problem arises talk with us, we can suggest window treatments and furniture placement options that can lessen this problem.
No surprise here: quality equals durability
Carpet higher in quality will offer greater pile density and tighter twist construction. The result is better durability and longer wear ability.
Other things worth considering: carpet is easier to replace when updating a home’s décor, as opposed to replacing hard surface flooring. Carpet adds value to any home, it’s warm on stocking feet, plus it cuts down on noise.
Before you buy, be colour wise
Few things impact a room more than colour, and carpet covers a lot of square feet in any room. So mind these basic rules when choosing carpet colour.
Remember that once a carpet is laid it will look lighter than the swatch you looked at in the store. This is a natural optical effect.
colour also impacts the perceived room size. Lighter coloured carpet increases the room’s apparent size, darker colours seem to bring the walls closer in to establish a more intimate setting.
If you’re apt to change your décor regularly, or have a lot of furniture to deal with, go with a neutral-coloured carpet.
Neutral colours are also recommended at home resale time. It’s easier for prospects to imagine their furniture in a room with a neutral colour scheme.
Spills happen. So check the warranty.
Stain protection is a key element to know before buying any carpet. There are a variety of stain protection levels and, as the quality (and price) of the carpet increases, so should the stain protection and manufacturer’s warranty coverage. Know what is and isn’t covered prior to purchasing your carpet.
Take a hard look at the carpet cushion.
What you can’t see can impact life on your carpet. The carpet cushion, the layer of material hidden between the carpet and floor, determines how a carpet feels, not the carpet itself.
The right cushion can be the difference between a so-so feeling when walking across the carpet, and a great feeling, especially in stocking or bare feet.
But it’s not just about feel either. A quality carpet cushion maintains carpet appearance and can increase carpet longevity, delivering protection against heavy traffic and activity.
Finally, be aware that carpet cushion is sold by quality specifications, not colour specifications. Thus the cushion sample you saw in the store may not match the colour of the cushion installed in your home.
Label yourself a smart flooring shopper.
Read, understand or ask questions about the product specifications and warranty coverage on the back labels of the carpet you’re buying. It’s your investment; safeguard it with the facts, knowledge and clarity.
Get to the bottom of the bottom line.
The “cost per square foot” is only one part of your carpet project cost.
To eliminate surprises and make sure the carpet you purchase matches your overall project budget, ask us to figure what we call the “total cost of ownership.” Here’s a list of possible added expenses you may have:
Demolition/disposal of old floor covering. Depending on the existing floor covering, this can be an expensive item; also, be sure to include the cost to dispose of the old floor covering
Sub-floor preparation. Depending on the condition of the sub-floor, it may require additional work
Carpet installation. Determine the cost per square foot to install it
Materials required to complete the installation. Your new carpet may require additional materials to install it properly, like adhesives, moisture barriers, stairnosings, baseboards, etc.
You should also factor in the cost of annual cleanings to preserve the beauty and vitality of your carpet.
We’re here to help with answers and advice but you should also check the manufacturer’s warranty and care guide for details on carpet cleaning frequency and costs.
There’s much to know before purchasing your carpet and we hope this section has helped make you a little wiser and, in turn, helped you focus on the perfect carpet to beautify your home and home life.