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Selecting A Carpet That Suits Your Lifestyle

When selecting carpet, one must consider many aesthetic as well as technical issues; and with over one hundred thousand styles and colors released by manufacturers every year, selecting the carpet that matches your needs can be a daunting task. Carpet is available in a myriad of textures, constructions, colors and designs, opening the doors to countless interior design possibilities. The combination of color and texture, will compliment the décor of both casual and formal environments, while bringing continuity to the overall design of the rooms. The most important factor to consider when shopping for carpet is the amount of foot traffic prevalent in the area in which the carpet is to be installed as well as the areas intended use. Carpet construction and texture are the key aspects when selecting a carpet for a specified area and use. Polyester, nylon and olefin are the most widely used fibers in the manufacture of carpet, each displaying certain inherent characteristics which lend themselves well to distinct applications.

Although the most expensive of the fibers, nylon is the softest and most resilient, making it suitable for all rooms in your home, including high traffic areas. Polyester is less resilient than nylon, but is more cost effective and offers a higher level of stain resistance, making it an attractive option for areas such as bedrooms and dining rooms that are not subject to high foot traffic. Olefin fibers are solution dyed, resulting in a highly stain resistant carpet that can be cleaned using a bleach and water solution, without the loss of color. Unlike the other fibers, olefin is fade, mold and mildew resistant, resulting in a carpet that performs well in indoor/outdoor areas. Olefin is however not very resilient and therefore should only be considered in a berber construction.

Carpets are available in either a berber or plush construction. Berber carpets are constructed with a continuous level loop, while a plush carpet is constructed of loops that have been sheered, resulting in the strands standing upright. Berber carpets do not matt and crush, due to their level loop construction; however they are harder underfoot, uncomfortable to sit or lye on, and can be damaged by pets with long nails. Berbers are very well suited to high traffic areas such as walk ways, living rooms and entrance halls, however their hard texture makes them a less attractive option for bedrooms. Plush carpets are softer to walk on and offer better sound and thermal insulation, however they tend to matt and crush when subjected to heavy foot traffic. The use of a nylon fiber coupled with a tight low pile construction will limit the matting and crushing, due to the resiliency nature of the nylon fiber and the additional support gained from a tight construction. Carpet warranties range from 5 to 30 years, and as general rule, do not cover stairs and are not transferable. Most warranties require the installation of new carpet padding at the time of installation in order for the warranty to be valid. Following the manufacturers maintenance instructions and using only approved cleaning chemicals will ensure that your carpet will perform for years and years.


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