How to choose, purchase the right carpet for your home

  • By Angie Hicks
  • Tuesday, May 6, 2014 3:23pm
  • Life

If professional cleaning can’t revive your carpet, it’s probably time to replace it.

Manufacturers say carpet should last about 10 years. With regular vacuuming, prompt attention to spills and periodic cleaning, it could last longer. But sooner or later, carpet must be replaced.

Before you visit showrooms or invite a salesperson to your home, get comfy with carpet terms and tips, compiled by our team and based on multiple interviews with top-rated carpet experts:

Pile is a carpet’s visible surface, also called the nap or face. It comes in two styles: loop pile, where both ends of each yarn piece are anchored to the carpet back to form a loop, and cut pile, where only one end of yarn is anchored.

Other styles are variations of the cut and loop. Pile can vary greatly. A soft, velvety pile looks luxurious, but shows every footprint, and is best suited to formal rooms.

A shorter, more tightly woven carpet works well in a high-traffic hallway or entryway.

Tufting is the most common method of carpet manufacturing, in which yarn ends are pushed through backing to create the pile surface.

Density is the amount of yarn and closeness of the tufts. Check density by bending a carpet corner backward, toward the backing. If you can see very little backing through the tufts, the carpeting has a high density.

Materials for carpet yarn include:

Wool, which hides dirt well and provides a soft look and rich feel, tends to be a luxury option, at $30 to $75 per square yard.

Polyester, strong and relatively inexpensive at an average cost of $13 a square yard.

Because polyester is prone to matting and tangling, it’s a poor choice for high-traffic areas.

Nylon, a popular choice because it’s soft and durable; resists stains, matting and abrasion; and is easy to clean. Costs range between $10 and $40 a square yard.

Be aware that while most nylon has an antistatic coating, it can build a static charge that is uncomfortable and could harm electronic gear.

When choosing carpet, aim for the best quality you can afford. Consider professional installation; professionals know how to deal with seams and handle stretching.

Work with a carpet company that has good reviews on a trusted online site, and take a few steps to avoid possible scams:

Confirm that the carpet and padding you picked is what you actually get. Scammers will install a lower grade and hope you don’t notice.

Measure the room yourself. Some companies will quote what seems a great price, per square foot, but sell you more carpet than you need.

Unless you want high-end and unique carpet, don’t believe a contractor who claims no other company carries a carpet type or color. The same carpet is often rebranded, sometimes by suppliers.

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care.

© 2014 Angie’s List, www.angieslist.com

More in Life

Co-owner Jason Parzyk carries two growlers to fill as he serves up beer at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. The first brewery in the city is celebrating one-year anniversary this weekend. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Beer of the Week: Lake Stevens Brewing Co.’s Sour Imperial

The beer has a depth and a complex flavor profile that goes beyond just another barrel-aged stout.

Legendary bluesman Curtis Salgado to play Arlington show

The Northwest blues-soul-funk-R&B living legend performs with Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons Nov. 18.

This year’s Snohomish Blues Invasion has an all-star lineup

Proceeds send the CD Woodbury Trio and the Benton-Townsend Duo to the International Blues Challenge.

Schack holiday show features Northwest watercolor artists

The free exhibit also will have three-dimensional works, such as jewelry, glass, ceramic and wood.

‘Three Billboards’ rooted in Frances McDormand’s rigid role

The actress of “Fargo” fame gives an Oscar-worthy performance in this black comedy on human nature.

‘The Hate U Give’ shows the burden of being black in America

Angie Thomas’ story of a teen girl covers the challenging experience of African Americans.

A merry Christmas concert with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

The Christian music stars will perform at Xfinity Arena with Jordan Smith of “The Voice” on Nov. 18.

‘Veep’ production postponed during Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ treatment

The 56-year-old star has been documenting her breast cancer fight on social media.

The Rucker Hill house is featured in the Twin Peaks series in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Living happily ever after in the ‘Twin Peaks’ house

Everett homeowners snagged a role in the recent reboot of the 1990s cult classic show.

Most Read