Carpet - Before You Buy

Things to know before laying down money or carpet.

It just makes sense that, the more you know about something, the better able you are to make a smarter purchase decision.

That goes in spades for buying carpet. Information about the construction of carpet is good, but knowledge about carpet specifics and characteristics, about its traits and subtle differences, can be invaluable.

It’s a fact. Choosing the best carpet is really about knowing the right combination of characteristics, aesthetics, performance and budget to best meet the needs of your lifestyle.

For example, looped Berbers and high twist friezes perform wonderfully in high traffic areas in your home, but an elegant Saxony in the same area may show footprints. Isn’t that good to know?

We want you to know all of the important carpet facts and we’ve created this section specifically for that purpose.

Our goal is to help you get smart before your carpet is laid down -- and long before you lay down your money.

So, we invite you to read on, check out these notes, tips and considerations and get the upper hand on the flooring that may soon be underfoot.

It just makes sense that, the more you know about something, the better able you are to make a smarter purchase decision.


Understand this about seams.

Carpet is available in 12’, 15’ and sometimes 13’ widths.

Unless the room to be carpeted is narrower than these widths, the carpet will be seamed.

With looped or low-profile patterned carpet you may have visible or peaked seams.

The degree of their visibility depends on texture, color, lighting and furniture placement.

A note on backing and loops.

Be aware that, as carpet bends over stairs, its backing may show depending on texture, color and density.

Plus, you should know that looped carpet can snag, particularly at a seam or at a carpet transition.

But never fear, in the Carpet Floor Care section we provide information on how to properly care for looped carpet.

Every carpet has a chosen course.

The nap of all carpets run in one direction.

Pile reversal, or shading, is a normal characteristic of many cut pile style carpets.

This can be particularly apparent with plush carpet.

If this becomes an issue, consider window treatments and furniture placement as a way to minimize this affect.

Durability is a function of quality.

Higher quality carpet will typically have greater pile density, and tighter twist construction, which will result in better durability. Another consideration is that it’s easier to replace or update a home’s décor with carpet compared to other hard surface products. Dollar for dollar carpet offers significant styling advantages, and adds value to any home. Carpet also feels warm underfoot and reduces household noise.

Color rules. You should know these.

Color has a big impact on any room in the home. Carpet covers a large area of any room, so it’s important to keep some basic rules in mind when selecting your carpeting.

An important consideration about carpet color is that once a carpet is installed in a new home, it will often look lighter than the sample you saw in the store. This is a natural optical effect and you should be aware of this when making a carpet color selection.

Another thing to keep in mind is how the color of carpet affects the apparent size of the room. Lighter colored carpet will visually expand the size of the room. Darker carpeting will seem to bring the walls closer together, and create a more intimate feeling.

Neutral colors are the best choice if you expect to frequently change the decorating scheme, or if you’re trying to incorporate a lot of existing furniture. Using a neutral colored, good quality carpet is a good idea if the
home will be resold any time soon. It’s easier for a prospective buyer to imagine their furniture in a room that is decorated with neutral colors.

Check your warranty for stains.

Stain protection is an important consideration in any carpet purchase.

Carpet products come with different stain protection levels and warranties that help guard your carpet against stains.

As you increase the quality of carpet, stain protection also typically increases, as does the manufacturers warranty coverage.

With this in mind, it is important to understand exactly what is covered by the warranty of your specific carpet as warranties do vary.

Understand what’s beneath it all.