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Tips on Choosing Home Carpeting

Wall-to-wall carpet is back in a big way and is the choice of conscious design aficianados to add warmth to stone and wood floors. There are a dizzying array of styles, patterns, fibers, textures and colors to choose from. Casual textures are hot, as are stripes and striations, patterns and combinations of cut and uncut fibers. Natural looks go great with natural stone.

Choosing the carpet should take priority over all other decisions. It contributes significantly to the home's color, textures and patterns, as well as providing hard-working surfaces that provide warmth. So select one that suits your lifestyle and meets all of your preferences. Do your homework. It will pay off for you in the end to be as informed as possible. When you find what you want, before you place an order, get a swatch showing the density and color you have chosen.

WOVEN - Woven carpets are typically the strongest and most expensive. Fibers are woven into the backing and this is what form a strong, dense pile.

TUFTED - In a tufted carpet, the yarn is inserted into the backing material, monded into place with latex and then backed again with foam or fabric for extra strength. The loops can then be either cut or left uncut or you can have a combination of cut and loop in the same carpet.

NATURAL FIBERS - Your natural fibers are wool, cotton, sisal or other plant fibers. Wool is the ideal carpet fiber (you must not be allergic to it, however). It is naturally worm, soft and resilient. You want a carpet that springs back after being crushed (crimp). You want a carpet that easy to keep clean, that is fire-retardant and that dyes reasily. Cotton is hardwearing but it lacks the resilience of wool and tends to flatten. However, small rugs are washable. Sisal and other Plant Fibers can be woven into many styles (jacquard, flat weave, boucle). It asorbs noise and is static-free, but can be scratchy and does not wear as well.

MANMADE FIBERS - Nylon is one of the toughest manmade fibers and the most popular. It can be treated with stain-blocking systems to prevent liquid penetration. This makes it easier to clean up spills. Acrylic fibers can feel and look like wool. They usually have anti-soiling and anti-static features. Polyester is waterproof, easy to clean and soft, but it doesn't perform as well than the other fibers.

COMPARING QUALITIES - The texture and quality of a carpet are determined by its construction and the finish applied to the pile. Before you buy carpeting, test the density by bending the carpet sample back with the pile side towards you. How much of the backing you're able to see will tell you whether it is dense or not. The less of the backing that you can see, the better the quality of the carpet. If you get a sample of what you are ordering on the front end, you'll be able to compare the quality of the carpet that gets delivered to you to make sure you are getting the quality you ordered. Some carpet companies sell you the better grade but deliver a cheaper grade. Don't get scammed. Before the carpet is off the truck, make sure it matches your sample.

April's Quick Tips Links


Barbara Jennings is one of the foremost authorities on interior redesign, home staging and art consulting. She trains entrepreneurs from all over the world through her online tutorials and books. Author of 9 books for the decorating and design field, she is widely respected for her expertise and affordable training programs.



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