New Carpet Can Update, Refresh, and Revitalize Your Home

For comfortable living and beautiful décor, carpet is one of America's favorite choices. Whether you're looking to revitalize your living room, or you've just moved into a fixer-upper and need to replace all the carpets, carpeting is a great way to completely change the look and feel of a space. But with so many options in style, fiber, and color, it can seem impossible to know which is best for your home. Do not despair, though; a little research can go a long way toward helping you select the carpet of your dreams!

The first step is defining your needs. Think about what you want in a carpet, how the room will be used, and what your carpeting priorities are. Consider:

* Traffic: How much use does the room get? Who will be using it (including pets)? Do you mind if footprints and vacuum marks are obvious?

* Desired appearance: Do you want the carpet to look plush and luxurious? Is a homier appearance preferred?

* Color: With all of the options available, color will not limit your choice of fiber or style, but you will want to contemplate which hues will look best in your home.

* Allergies: Are family members sensitive to wool or other fibers? This should especially be taken into account if children will be playing on the carpet.

* Mobility: Do you have family members which mobility would be impeded by lush or thick carpet? Consider shuffling gaits, wheelchairs, and cane-usage.

Once you've decided what you want in a carpet, you're ready to evaluate options. Before you visit carpet stores, it's important to learn the lingo. Carpet can be divided on the basis of fiber and type.

Carpet Fibers

Wall-to-wall carpets are usually made out of one of five fibers: nylon, olefin, polyester, wool, or acrylic. In the past, most carpets were wool, but today the most popular carpets are made from nylon.

* Nylon is the most expensive synthetic carpet fiber, but it is also durable and resilient, so many homeowners consider it more than worth the price. Nylon carpet resists matting and stands up well to soiling and staining.

* Wool is considered the premier carpet fiber, but it also has a high price tag (as much as double the cost of nylon). If it fits in your budget, wool carpeting has beautiful colors, strong resiliency, and cleans fantastically.

* Polypropylene, also known as olefin, is extremely durable, colorfast, and stain-resistant. It is typically low-cost, but it can succumb to crushing and melts at a low temperature. Polypropyleneforms best in a high density loop carpet.

* Polyester has similar qualities to polypropylene: stain resistant and durable but vulnerable to crushing. The beautiful colors and recycled nature of some polyester carpets are attractive to many homeowners.

* Acrylic is used mainly in area rugs, but its popularity is increasing. It closely imitates the appearance of wool. Acrylic carpeting is also springy, stain resistant, and does not fade easily.

Carpet Types

There are two main types of carpets: cut pile and loop pile. Cut pile is often preferred for its plush feel and soft appearance. Loop pile is more durable than cut pile, but some say it does not have the same fluffy appeal.

* Textured plush carpet is a cut pile that provides causal beauty perfect for your whole home. Its surface hides footprints and vacuum marks, and soiling is not readily apparent.

* Cut-pile Saxony carpet offers a smooth, soft finish for an elegantly traditional look. However, this carpeting is recommended for low-traffic areas such as living rooms and dining rooms as it shows footprints and soiling.

* Berber carpet is a popular loop pile style featuring relatively tight loops: this increases durability and hides heavy use. Berbers are available in both subtle and evident patterns.

* Commercial carpet is a loop-style carpet specifically designed for durability, high traffic, and long life. It is made from short, densely packed loops.

Cut / loop pile carpeting combines both cut pile and loops for a unique look. It provides carved definition and frequently features accent colors. This carpet hides footprints and soiling well.

Now that you know what type of carpets you're interested in, it's time to visit your local carpet store []. You'll be able to touch samples, talk to sales staff, and learn more about the carpet installation process. Do not forget, once you've selected a carpet for your home, be sure to ask about special care techniques to keep your carpet looking fresh!