• What you should know about buying carpet

    Carpet sales man vs. carpet cleaner

    If you are shopping for new carpet, you might be surprised to know that an experienced carpet cleaner may not recommend the same kind of carpet as your carpet salesman. A salesman only knows what the manufacturer tells him about the carpet’s durability. However, a carpet cleaner knows how a carpet actually holds up, especially when he has been cleaning carpets for a couple of years. It may be a good idea to ask your sales rep if he has any experience cleaning carpets, and how long he cleaned carpets for. This will give you a good idea if he is going to recommend quality, based on actual experience.

    Ninety percent of all carpets are made of synthetic fibers. Some of them have great stain resistant qualities, are fade resistant, and are designed to withstand a lot of pressure. These are all great qualities, but you also want a carpet that won’t bloom, or fray easily.  A good way to assess a carpet is to remove a strand from your carpet and untwist one it.  The strand should spring back without fraying. If it doesn’t, how well do you think it will hold up against normal traffic?

    There are 5 standard materials that carpets are made of:

    Nylon is strong and resilient, resisting stains and compression.  It is the most widely used and comes in a wide range of colors.

    Wool is natural, and is both strong and resilient. It offers softness, and is fairly stain resistant.  However, many people with allergies are sensitive to the fibers.

    Acrylic is synthetic, moisture resistant, fade resistant, and is frequently blended with wool. If you have allergies to wool you should ask if it is blended to avoid potential allergic reactions.

    Polyester is able to retain vibrant colors, is often made from recycled fibers, soft and comfortable and is stain resistant.

    Polypropylene/Olefin  is moisture, stain, and fade resistant. It repels static electricity and is fairly colorfast.

    Which carpet is best for you?

    A family with pets and kids will do best with a fiber that resists stains and moisture. You will also want a stronger density carpet. The density of the carpet will help the carpet to hold its shape. Carpets that are dense and tightly tufted hold up better than less dense carpets.

    You may have heard that Berber carpet has fantastic carpet durability. In truth, the carpet will last a very long time, however it also has some large drawbacks. Berber is made of looped fibers. As normal day to day life occurs, dirt becomes trapped between the loops. Because dirt has half the cutting power of glass, it starts to cut away at the carpet fibers.  Once this happens, a darkening occurs, and even when cleaned properly, the darkening will not go away. Berber is not a carpet that we recommend for families with high traffic in their homes.

    As you look over the selection make sure you ask lots of question, check the fibers to see how they fare, when you do a simple untwisting action, and make sure you pick out a good pad as well.