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7 Things to Consider When Selecting Carpeting

Carpeting is an important consideration when building a new home. It not only affects the aesthetics of your home but also your general comfort. After all, you’ll be walking on it each and every day.

So what are some things you should look for to select the right carpet?


Selecting Carpeting

When selecting carpeting, make sure the color choice complements the room.


    1. Density - In general, the denser the carpet (the closer the fibers are), the longer the fibers will look good and stay upright, improving the carpet’s durability. However, it can also make the fiber feel less soft, so it’s important to consider that as well.

    2. Fiber – Fiber material also plays a key role in durability. The three main fiber choices are:

      • Wool – Eco-friendly, incredibly durable, and very soft – but at two or three times the cost of most other fibers, it’s out of the price range for most homeowners.

      • Nylon – Soft, available in a wide variety of colors, and widely considered the most durable fiber, but can be prone to stains.

      • Polyester – A lower cost alternative to nylon, this fiber is often made from recycled materials and is stain resistant.

    3. Stain Resistance - Durability is great, but what happens if you spill on that beautiful carpet on the very first day it’s installed? Many fibers, such as Solution Dyed Polyester or Continuous Filament Polyester, have inherent stain resistance, because they don’t absorb liquids easily. You can also choose a fabric with a stain treatment. Whole fiber system stain treatment protects the entire fiber and the backing, while topical stain treatment will only protect the tips of the fiber and is less effective.

    4. Carpet Type – Beyond the selecting of the fiber, you’ll have to select the style of carpet you want as well. Here are a few of the most common types:

      • Plush –
      Thick and soft but it shows footprints and vacuum tracks.

      • Berber – Flat and dense, the fibers are looped and usually multi-colored. It’s durable, but not suitable for houses with pets since their claws can cause runs in the carpet.

      • Level Cut Loop – In between a Berber and Plush carpet, some fibers stand straight, and some are looped, creating a pattern.

      • Frieze – A furry carpet made from slightly twisted fibers that feels soft on your feet and can hide dirt well.

    5. Carpet Pad – It may not be as exciting to select as the carpeting itself, but the pad is crucial to the support, longevity, and general feel of your carpet. Don’t make the mistake of buying nice carpeting and then using a cheap foam pad which will deteriorate quickly. Invest in firm, dense padding, particularly for areas that will feel a lot of floor traffic. A 6-lb pad is the minimum you want, but an 8-lb pad will last longer and feel better under your feet, for not much more cost. Your carpet pad can also include a spill trap, antimicrobial to prevent mold and mildew, or even memory foam.

    6. Color – The hue of your carpet will affect everything else in the room from your furniture to window treatments, so it’s an important decision. A few things to consider:

      • Lighter-colored carpets can help small rooms feel larger.

      • Darker-colored carpets can help make large rooms feel cozier.

      • Carpeting in rooms without much natural light may appear darker than they actually are.

      • Lighter, solid colors tend to show dirt easier, which is particularly important to consider if you have kids or pets.

      • Lighter colors tend to show wear fasters, so they may not be as well suited for high traffic areas.

      • The lighting at the showroom isn’t the same as in your home. Use a lighting box or bring a sample to your property.

      • Sun exposure can fade colors over time.

    7. Warranties – Be aware that many wear warranties only cover bald spots, not the normal “wear-and-tear” that most homeowners may assume would be covered, and crushing warranties usually say that if the pile height can be restored (even if only temporarily), then it isn’t covered.  So while these warranties are fine, what you should really focus on is the warranty offered for the installation. If your carpet isn’t installed properly, what recourse do you have?

Not all rooms in a home have the same needs. Floor traffic and usage play key roles in determining what kind of carpet is the right investment for each area of your home. At Sea Island Builders, we take the time to understand our clients’ individuals needs and tastes to guide them to the right carpeting solutions, whether that means keeping your home as pet-proof as possible or creating a specific aesthetic.


Infographic: Luxury Bathroom Trends of 2015