Helpful tips when buying a carpet

June 30, 2015

There's an enormous selection of carpets out there. To make the right choice, decide how the carpet is going to be used, how the room is furnished, what the floor currently looks like and how much you're willing to pay for the carpet.

Helpful tips when buying a carpet

Carpets are good for decorating floors, keeping your feet warm and reducing noise. Depending on where in the house a carpet or runner will lie, it may be subject to a lot of wear and tear, so it's best to consider the demands a carpet has to meet before selecting one for your home.

Types of carpets

Just as not all carpet shapes and colours go with every decor, not all carpet types are created equal; you wouldn't want a luscious, deep-pile carpet in your mud room any more than you'd put AstroTurf in your living room. Here are some things to bear in mind when choosing a carpet for your home.

  • Sturdy carpets have short, tough fibres. They are often made wholly or at least largely from synthetic fibres.
  • Carpets of higher quality are usually made from natural fibres with deep pile. They're softer, but also get dirty more easily and require more maintenance.
  • With loop-pile carpets, the threads of the pile, whether they are made of wool, synthetics or mixed fibres, are sewn into the basic weave. Since loop-pile carpets are relatively impervious to stains, they're a good choice for rooms with more traffic.
  • Velour or plush carpets are cut-pile carpets in which the loop pile is sheared off for a softer texture. Because of its velvety surface, this type of carpet works well for bedrooms or living rooms. A plush carpet in which the threads have been twisted double under heat is particularly sturdy.
  • Needlefelt carpets are high-tech and durable. They're produced by electrostatic attraction of individual fibres, which results in a highly-resistant carpet. Hotels and businesses often have needlefelt carpet installed but, for most homeowners, this ultra-sturdy carpet is overkill.

The right choice

  • On wood, laminate or stone floors, a rug's primary function is to create an accent, so the design is extremely important.
  • A rug in the kids' room should be easy to clean and care for. Choose one that hides stains or makes it easy to remove them.
  • In an office area with rolling desk chairs, carpets have to be durable.
  • Different kinds of certificates provide helpful information when purchasing a carpet. The GoodWeave program, for example, fights illegal child labour in the carpet industries of India, Pakistan and Nepal. A regular component of their program is on-the-spot surprise inspections of workshops.

Tip: The main indicators of carpet quality are its density (how closely the individual strands are packed together), its twist (how many times the carpet's fibres have been spun) and its pile height (how far the fibres extend from the backing). To check a carpet's quality, bend it backward. The less backing you can see, the higher the density and the better the carpet. Look for individual carpet fibres that are tight and neat; loose or flared strands indicate substandard quality. And finally, as a rule of thumb, the higher the pile, the better the carpet will wear.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu