Carpet Buyers Guide
When you sink your feet into the perfect carpet, you just know. It’s kind of like trying on the perfect wedding dress or test driving that new car. But getting to that point can be stressful. There are so many styles, colors and stores that sell carpet to choose from. But, armed with the right information, coming to a decision can be less panic-inducing.
Before You Make a Purchase
Browse through some home design magazines or websites to get an idea of what kind of carpet you are in the market for. There are many types of textures, materials, and colors to choose from. Sorting out your likes and dislikes ahead of time will make paring down the list easier.
What to Keep in Mind
Pile: It might seem like a weird thing to think about, but the degree of pile you choose can make or break your vacuum. High pile carpet, like shag, might clog up your vacuum, making it close to impossible to keep your carpet clean. There are certain types of vacuums that can handle this, like some canister models and upright versions that allow you to switch off the rotating brushes to avoid overheating. If you’re willing to purchase a new vacuum, make sure to include the price in your budget.
Materials used: Not all fibers are made the same. Some are softer, some are more stain resistant, and some are more durable to help you avoid those tell-tale high traffic signs. For example, polyester is often used on more inexpensive options, but there are drawbacks. Those furniture indentations will never return to their like-new state, and white polyester carpets tend to yellow into a more cream color with age, and no amount of cleaning can make them bright again.
Location matters: Colors look completely different in stores, under fluorescent lighting, than they do in the home. Before making a purchase, bring home samples to ensure the coloring and style matches your décor with your natural lighting.
Warranty: All warranties are not made the same. Many carpets come with different types of warranties. The most common are lifetime installation warranties and lifetime stain warranties. These plans are usually very specific in what they cover, so it would behoove the purchaser to read them in detail, especially if the store doesn’t provide the protections for free.
Installation: Installing a carpet is harder than it looks. While many homeowners will be capable tackling the project themselves to save on the cost of installation, it is not a job that should be taken on lightly. Getting a carpet professionally installed is the safest bet for most people. Most large carpet dealers work with independent contractors to provide these services. That means that quality of workmanship, and the professionalism of the contractor themselves will vary tremendously. Thus, the perk of getting a lifetime installation warranty with your purchase. Be sure to ask for one, and see what other guarantees the store can make, like if they can guarantee the installation will take place before a certain date, or if they can guarantee their appointment window.
Some Last Minute Tips
You’re going to walk across it nearly every day, until it’s time to buy another one. Purchasing a carpet that can handle that kind of traffic is the key to being happy with your new carpet. Read reviews for the specific brand and style you wish to have in your home before you commit. Reviewer comments can help you determine the pros and cons of various styles, and you can decide if any cons are worth living with when the pros are too tempting to ignore.