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Everything You Need To Know In 4 Simple Acts.
You’ve made the decision to replace your existing flooring and after some debating carpet came out the winner. Congratulations – carpet is a dazzling choice! It’s warm, soft, classic and comfortable and adds a decadent element of chic elegance to any room.
Nowadays, with so many modern and stylish options available, you may get bogged down determining the right product for your lifestyle, budget and area. Because, like your favourite armchair or that ugly lamp from your college days, not every style will jibe with every room.
Here we’ll go through some information regarding fiber and construction because what carpet is made from and the way the strands are designed will go some way in deciding which style can go in which areas. We’ll talk a bit about pricing because we know that you want the best quality product for your budget. Finally we’ll consider installation methods because sometimes you just can’t glue carpet directly to the floor. Most importantly, in the middle of all of that, we’ll explain why frieze (read: shag) is still immensely popular and should honestly be considered as an awesome flooring option.
ACT I: FIBER
It’s like sleeping on a cloud of carpet.
You see this dog? We want you to be just as comfortable on your carpet as this dog clearly is on his. This is where fiber is important because, much like difference between cotton and potato sack canvas, the material your flooring is constructed from will determine the overall foot feel.
Say 'foot feel' three times fast...
Soft, durable and super stain resistant, nylon is, perhaps, the most popular choice in carpet fiber. It’s texture retention is top notch and, if you do experience some crushing, your flooring can be happily revived by a professional steam cleaning. It’s also an incredibly flexible product which can be used to construct all manner of styles – meaning you can get anything from a luxurious nylon plush to a sturdy and reliable nylon berber.
Polyester is really popular for it’s ability to hold bright, vibrant colours and because it’s hypoallergenic. Constructed from recycled plastic, polyester is lauded for being a green flooring product. Additionally, polyester is incredibly stain-resistant and has excellent retention. The primary drawback for this fiber is that its likely to flatten under foot weight which makes it a poor choice for high traffic areas.
Often used as a synthetic wool substitute, polypropylene is almost as soft as nylon and twice as stain-resistant. Polypropylene is popular for low profile loop and multi-level loop carpets which adds extra stability to the fiber. One disadvantage is that polypropylene holds onto oils which, in turn, collect dirt.
Foot feel 5 stars plus 100 extra stars. Wool wins all the foot feel awards while being a natural product that is also super long lasting. Bonus: Wool acts as a natural dehumidifier by absorbing up to 30% of it’s weight in moisture without feeling damp. It is a little high-maintenance, unfortunately, with its need to be professionally steam cleaned and it can be prone to shedding.
ACT II: STRAND CONSTRUCTION
Without delving into all the details, having a surface understanding of the manner in which carpet is constructed is pretty important when you’re looking to get the best possible outcome from your purchase. While you don’t want to sacrifice comfort for function, it’s necessary to keep in mind that the construction of the strand will have an impact in it’s overall performance.
A really popular carpet construction, a cut pile attains its durable nature due to the density and amount of twist in the yarn. A high twist carpet will hold it's original shape longer which makes it a smart choice for high traffic rooms. Its pile is less constrained than a loop pile giving it a softer, cozier feel.
IDEAL FOR: Bedrooms, living rooms
Loop piles come in a standard loop, multi-level loop and a cut-loop pile. Traditionally considered 'berbers', loop pile carpets made up of low looped strands which add stability to the fiber. This makes a loop carpet an ideal option for high traffic areas.
IDEAL FOR: Basements, dens, dining rooms
Shag! Well, sort of. Constructed the exact same way as a cut pile, frieze carpet has a pile that is looser and twistier than your standard cut pile. It also has a longer, thinner strand than it's 1970's cousin that most know as shag which makes frieze easier to keep clean.
IDEAL FOR: Bedrooms, living rooms, basements.
ACT III: PRICE
So, we’ve looked at fiber and construction and now you want to know how having carpet installed will affect your budget. Price is obviously an important factor in deciding what style of carpet to purchase but also, the auxiliary costs associated with your purchase.
Essentially, when purchasing carpet, you’ll usually need to consider the three components that generally make up a carpet purchase.
Obviously, right? Unfortunately, we can’t give you a hard and fast answer on this one. Carpet prices can range from $0.79 sq. ft to $27.00 sq. ft depending on style and quality. Generally you’ll be looking around $3.99 sq. ft.
Underpad is incredibly important. It can boost the foot feel and longevity of your carpet. Underpad can range from approximately $0.39 sq. ft to $0.89 sq. ft.
ACT IIII: INSTALLATION
The final consideration in your purchasing journey is installation. Just like everything else we already discussed, the method of installation will depend on the area that your carpet is being installed.
Stretch-in installation is the most widely used method of installation. For this, tack strip is adhered around the perimeter of the room and underpad is laid down. Your carpet is then affixed to the tack strip and stretched-in on top of the underpad.
Mainly used for commercial installations, carpet is glued directly to the floor. This works best with low level piles and is a good method if buckling or peaking is a concern.
Here, carpet is cut to size and loosely laid on the floor without being attached to the floor. This method of installation cannot be guaranteed and is usually only performed in areas where it may be necessary to easily and frequently move the carpet.
EXIT STAGE RIGHT
So there it is. Our vast knowledge of carpet condensed into something short and sweet and easy to digest. And keep in mind when the time for shopping arrives that, even though some styles are specific to certain areas, we’re positive that if you want it, we can find it. Particularly shag. Always shag. If you have any questions about carpet or flooring, we encourage you to reach out to us or schedule your free in-home estimate.
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