How To choose carpets

Carpet is by far the most popular of all floor coverings. This is attributable to its warmth, softness and sound absorption. It is also easy to maintain, long lasting and available in a variety of colours, patterns and textures. It is sold by the yard in either broadloom or body carpet form. Broadloom is 6’ and broader and used in wall-to-wall applications. Body carpet is narrower at between 27” to 35” and proper for use on stairs and hallways. Installation of broadloom is difficult and requires a professional.

When selecting carpet, choose the best quality available within your budget. High grades, which are a lot more expensive, are not needed for low traffic areas like a bedroom. but you may want to consider a better carpet for high traffic areas such as halls and main living areas.

Practicality must also guide your selection. Carpet is best suited to bedrooms, halls, family rooms, and living and dining areas. Wall-to-wall is not recommended for areas that will be in constant contact with moisture like kitchens and bathrooms, considering that cleaning can be problematic and carpet does not resist the build-up of mold and mildew like other materials.

Maintenance is quite easy if you spot clean and remove stains immediately. weekly vacuuming and a shampoo once or twice a year will keep carpet in terrific shape. any loose tufts must be clipped, not pulled.

Consider these aspects when selecting carpet:

Carpet styles

The texture of a carpet depends on its pile. pile is the top surface of the carpet and it varies in height and density. The tighter the weave and the a lot more stitches or tufts per square inch, the a lot more long lasting the carpet will be.

Looped pile

made of yarn that is looped at the same height and left uncut

most common type of carpet

available in a variety of heights from short to shaggy

very long lasting under heavy use

easy to clean

soil and spills remain on surface

Cut pile

made by shearing off the tops of level-looped pile

cleaner, a lot more refined appearance than looped pile

choice of amount of twist in yarn

Random or idea sheared

made of a combination of looped and cut pile

brings together sophistication of cut pile and practicality of looped pile


refers to velvet loom on which it is woven

direction of the pile makes surface appear as either highlight or shade; this is because cut pile threads will change direction

depending on pressure on surface, footprints may show up when walked on

Sculptured or curved pile

variety of designs possible with two or a lot more levels

can combine looped or cut pile

dirt can get trapped in grooves

Shag or short shag

woven or tufted carpet with yarn that is not securely twisted

long pile that is either looped or cut pile

will show dirt faster than shorter pile

requires frequent vacuuming


a heavy cut pile

pile is deep and securely woven

may show footprints when walked on


most popular type of carpet

only available in cut pile

a moderate to tight twist of yarn

Carpet fibres

The fibres of the yarn used to make the carpet is another crucial consideration, as this will affect both price and lifespan. natural and synthetic materials are used, either on their own or in combination with one another. the most frequently used fibres are:


most frequently used natural material

deep and warm material, well suited for carpets

wears well, resilient, retains original texture

flameproof, abrasion resistant

easily cleaned (but not as easily as synthetics) and maintained

price depends on quality and ranges from low-cost to expensive


wears well with low static generation

easily cleaned

the synthetic option that a lot of resembles wool

resists moths, mildew, sun-fading, soil stains

available in lots of colours


longest enduring of all synthetic fibres

exceptional colour and texture retention

easily cleaned, although will show soil a lot more than other fabrics



similar to acrylic but a lot more costly

usually blended with other acrylic fibres

resistant to moths, mildew and abrasion

easily cleaned and maintained

colours are limited

Olefin (polypropylene)

mainly used for indoor/outdoor carpet

very durable, proper for heavy traffic areas

resistant to moisture, mildew, abrasion, piling and shedding


easily cleaned, a lot of stain resistant of all fibres

resilience is low

least attractive of all synthetic fibres


used generally in shag or semi-shag carpets

wide colour selection

good colour retention

appropriate for any area indoors

easily cleaned, resistant to a lot of soiling

highly durable, little piling or shedding

resistant to mildew, abrasion, moisture

not as warm as other fibres

Sisal and other grasses


cool to the touch

available in natural colours

weaving patterns are normally understated

Carpet padding

Padding is placed between the subfloor and carpet above it. It enhances the performance of the carpet by supplying additional acoustical value, thermal insulation, comfort and prolongs the life of the carpet. Carpet is available with or without attached padding. The following are the most frequently used:


made of 100% animal hair or a blend of animal hair and other fibres

provides good insulation and is long lasting

can be expensive

Sponge rubber

suitable for high traffic areas

appropriate for wall-to-wall installations

flat or waffled finish, waffled is softer but not as long lasting as flat finish

gives a soft, resilient feel

Foam rubber

medium-weight cushion

durable and less expensive than other padding

flat or waffled finish

Urethane foam

available in three types: bonded (firmest), densified prime (plush), prime (soft and resilient)

Manufacturing techniques

Carpet is made by one of three methods: weaving, tufting or bonding.


traditional method of making carpet

uses a loom to weave pile yarns and backing yarns in one step

produces long lasting and attractive carpets

most expensive manufacturing method


90% of all carpet made uses this method

25 times faster than weaving, as a result more affordable than weaving

uses needles instead of weaving

pile yarn is stitched into a pre-fabricated backing with a row of needles

capable of producing a lot more styles than weaving

Fusion bonding

manufactured by heat fusing face yarn to backing

not lots of carpets are made this way

carpets are flat with few textural variations possible

Quality factors

Generally, short pile height, dense carpets with closely packed surface yarns and closely woven backing are the most long lasting and expensive. Carpet must be examined based on the following factors. All this information may not be available from a retailer, but they are a good indication of what to look for.

Face weight

amount of yarn on face of carpet

the a lot more yarn per square yard, the a lot more durable

Pile height

height of yarn between top of pile and backing

the shorter, the a lot more durable


how securely the yarn is woven or tufted into carpet

the a lot more strands per square yard, the a lot more durable

Carpet tiles

Carpet tiles are small squares of carpet measuring about 18” square with self-adhesive backs that are laid to create a carpet look. Carpet tiles offer the advantage of replacing pieces that are damaged without having to remove the entire carpet. It’s more affordable than standard broadloom and easy to install for the amateur. If visibility of seams is an issue, choose tiles with a higher pile to conceal the seams better than lower piles. Carpet tiles are best suited to wall-to-wall applications and do not require padding underneath.

Area rugs

Similar to carpet, but not as permanent, rugs can vary in size from nearly any room size to a narrow runner (see choosing An area Rug for a lot more info). They are used over hard-surface floors to define an area, secure the surface below or to add warmth to a space. Their mobility makes them easy to clean and swiftly adaptable. Rugs are proper for a lot of spaces in the home and are available in an limitless variety of patterns, colours and designs. conventional sizes are 4’ by 6’, 4’ by 9’, 9’ by 12’. For a lot more information on area rug sizes and decorating with area rugs, check out Cameron MacNeil’s video. below are some common types.

Carved rugs

made from broadloom carpet with pattern carved into surface

ends normally bordered by fringe

those with thick and dense pile are best wearing

Natural fibre rugs

imported from India and China

woven lawn or straw

colours are derived from natural colouring of material, from light tan to dark brown

less long lasting than other rugs, but will stand up to normal use

require little maintenance


a deep, shaggy rug from Greece

fluffy texture is derived from hand woven wool that has been hand-twisted

once woven, rug is placed underneath a waterfall to soften wool

available generally in white, off-white, grey, less frequently in bright colours


shaggy, rough wool rug from Scandinavia

woven fringes of knotted pile

available in lots of bright colours

Oriental rugs

traditional rugs of Iran, Turkey, China, Pakistan and India, each with their own regional designs

usually rectangular in shape with a central area surrounded by patterned borders, also available in runner size

the royalty of area rugs, antique oriental rugs can cost thousands of dollars

real oriental rugs will be one-of-a-kind and handwoven, wither knotted or flat-woven

if the rug is handmade, hand knots will be visible at pile base

the best will have hundreds of knots per square inch, this is needed to create complex patterns

colours range from pastels of Chinese rugs to bright reds of Persian rugs

popular for use in formal areas with low traffic

a lower price alternative are machine-made oriental rugs


flat-woven rough wool rug that has no pileresembles a tapestry

made by weaving coloured wefts

cheaper than hand-knotted rugs

available in bright colours and patterns


less formal than oriental rugs


traditional flat-woven Indian rug similar to kilim

available in wool or cotton

large variety of colours and designs



Mexican hand-woven rug made of wool

coarse with fringed ends


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