Nothing feels quite as good as the plush softness of carpet on bare feet, especially after a long, hard day. It may be slightly more costly and a bit harder to maintain than vinyl or tile, but carpeting is definitely worth the added expense and effort. Take our quiz and get some great tips on making on making your carpet purchase a good investment.
Carpet padding gives carpet strength, support and extra cushioning. It is usually made from rubber or foam.
Carpet padding prevents your carpet from coming apart over time. Therefore, high traffic areas in your home need firm, dense padding.
If your carpet is cut pile or cut loop, the Carpet and Rug Institute recommends a 7/16 inch (11 millimeters) padding for six pounds (2.7 kilograms) of density per cubic foot. For Berber or thin loop carpets, the recommendation is 3/8 inch (9.5 millimeters) pad for 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) per cubic foot.
You should specify that you would like a separate quote for the materials and installation. This way, you will be able to shop around and compare prices.
Carpet prices are measured in square feet, so the cost may be lower than you initially thought.
Carpet tile is a great choice if you have kids or pets, as you can replace individual tiles if they become very stained, instead of needing to replace the whole carpet.
Wool is considered to the best material for a carpet in terms of comfort, warmth and durability, but it does come with the highest price tag. Nylon can feel similar to wool and is a cheaper alternative.
Olefin or polyester is best for moisture prone basements and stairwells, as they stand up the best to mold and mildew.
Saxony, level loop and high density loop resist staining the best. Cut pile and multi-level loop trap dirt and do not come up clean even after shampooing.
To prevent vacuum cleaner tracks, go for carpet with a textured surface. This will prevent footprints as well.
Find out how often you will need to steam clean the carpet; this will significantly affect maintenance costs. Also ask if there are specific cleaning products for the carpet.
To make a large room look cozy, go for reds or golden shades. If you feel claustrophobic in your small room, opt for light or neutral shades.
Blue or green creates a feeling of peacefulness and calm. Go for a neutral shade only if you want to make your walls or furniture the focal point of the room, otherwise it will be too monotone.
Dark shades are best to hide stains. Patterns, tweeds or textures can also do that job.
"New carpet smell" comes from formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds used to make carpets. Choose carpets made from organic materials, such as wool, to avoid that noxious odor.