Finding the right type of carpet is an important aspect of finishing your home. Carpet makes a room cozy and comfortable, and even subtle carpeting helps create a room's personality. Different types of carpet will serve different needs. This guide dives into all the factors you should consider when choosing carpet to fit your home. Carpet considerations
Within the common carpet tones and textures, certain colors have become prevalent favorites. Though trends may help you define your taste, the best carpet color for you will ultimately be one that matches your preferences, lifestyle and home. Lighting adds another layer of complexity to your carpet selection. To make sure your carpet selection looks stunning in all situations, it is crucial to see it in your home. Make sure you can see your carpet sample in the lighting you will use most to ensure it lives up to your expectations. See your carpet color in your home before you purchase.
- Carpet pile & face weight
When determining the quality and durability of carpet, start by finding out its pile height and face weight.
Low pile - carpet has short fibers that look and feel flat and dense. This type of carpet is easy to clean and durable; it doesn't catch much dirt or debris, and it can stand up to a lot of foot traffic without losing its initial appearance. Low pile carpet is the best carpet for high traffic areas and rooms where dirt, pet hair or other messes are a concern.
Medium pile carpet - offers a balance of ease and comfort. With fibers taller than those of low pile carpet, medium pile carpet is softer to the touch but still manages to hold up to moderate foot traffic and dirt, making it a popular choice for living rooms and bedrooms where you may want more comfort underfoot. Although more prone to catching pet hair and debris, this type of carpet can still be easily cleaned with a vacuum with a brush roller.
High pile carpet - has long fibers that create a plush and fluffy look and feel. High pile carpets add extra cushion underfoot but also more readily collect dust and debris, making it require more frequent maintenance. Additionally, high pile carpets are more prone to being crushed and holding impressions from furniture and foot traffic. This pile height is a good choice for areas where you want to add a touch of warmth and luxury or where you want to dampen noise.
Face weight - is a measure of how much yarn makes up the carpet pile. A higher face weight means more yarn and thus a denser, longer-lasting carpet. Face weight also tends to correlate with price, so carpet with a high face weight is usually more expensive than carpet with a low face weight. You can think of carpet face weight in the same terms as thread count for bedding—the higher, the better.
- Carpet fibers
Most carpet fibers are made of synthetic materials or blends of synthetic and natural materials, since synthetic materials are designed to resist stains, static electricity, fading and moisture. Of course, each type of carpet fiber has various pros and cons, even among synthetic options. There are five primary types of carpet fibers:
Nylon is the most popular carpet fiber, thanks to its strength and durability. It resists fading, mildew, staining and crushing.
Triexta has a similar appearance to nylon fibers but is significantly softer. It is naturally hydrophobic, so it repels stains and moisture damage well.
Polyester fibers, like triexta fibers, are hydrophobic and resist stains. Polyester also offers vibrant color options. However, polyester fibers can fade in the sun and are generally known to be less durable than nylon fibers.
Wool, a traditional and natural fiber, has a soft and luxurious feel. Wool is a strong material that can hold up to heavy foot-traffic and compaction from furniture, but it needs to be cleaned and maintained properly. Many stains as well as the chemicals in stain removers can damage wool carpet.
Olefin is another durable and colorfast fiber option that is suitable for high traffic areas. Olefin carpet tends to be less expensive than the previous four fibers.
- Carpet padding
Once you have determined the type and construction of your carpet, you can choose the underlying carpet pad.
Carpet padding is the cushioning layer underneath the carpet that not only makes walking on the carpet more comfortable, but also insulates the room, dampens noise and extends the life of the carpet. Many carpet pads also have a spill-safe moisture barrier. Thicker carpet pads are more comfortable and durable, but you may want thinner carpet padding in commercial settings or for those who need steadier footing. Thick carpet padding may not be ideal for all styles of carpet. For example, thick carpet pads have too much give for thin carpet styles like berber and can damage the carpet in the long term. Always check the carpet manufacturer's recommendations for the thickness of carpet padding.
Tip: If you are installing carpet tiles, there is no need for a carpet pad. The padding is already incorporated into the carpet tile.