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Have you ever wondered about how carpet is constructed? Essentially, carpet is made
from yarn and the yarn is made from fiber. This fiber can be either a natural or "staple" material, like
wool, or a synthetic material, like nylon. Both the cut of the yarn and the composition of
the fiber create the different choices of textures and styles available for carpet.
As you read this guide and learn more about the various types of fibers and styles, you will often come across the
following carpeting terms:
Carpet is an excellent flooring choice for many people because it's comfortable and
affordable. In order to determine whether or not carpeting is right for your home, consider two factors:
foot traffic and sunlight.
Walking from your living room to your upstairs bedroom contributes to the wear and tear on your carpet with each and
every step. In order to determine what carpet to select, it's important to consider how much traffic each area of your home
Recommendation: Choose a dense carpet construction with a low pile height. This carpet
won't easily fray or show wear and will have the most durability for heavy household traffic. Consider carpet styles with
loop construction as the ends of the yarn are not exposed, and traffic wears on the tougher edges of the yarn instead of the
Just like sunlight will burn or tan skin, most carpet fibers and dyes are also susceptible to sunlight. Overexposure to
sunlight can fade carpet over time. When planning your carpet project, take sun
exposure into consideration. While it would seem only darker carpets may be susceptible to fading, lighter colors can
actually fade more rapidly than darker carpeting because less dye has gone into the color.
Recommendation: Consider purchasing window coverings or a coating treatment for the windows
to block out the sun's UV rays.
While carpeting is a personal choice in every home, consider a few recommendations for installing different carpet
styles in specific rooms.
The living room or family room is often the central gathering place of the home, so be sure to choose a carpet that can
stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Stain resistance is also important, since people may eat and drink in these rooms. For
dining rooms, stain resistance is very important.
Recommendation: A loop style carpet with dense construction will hold up to traffic, and a
stain resistant fiber type can provide added protection against spills and stains. In the dining room, add an area rug or
large plastic mat under the dining table for the likelihood of more frequent spills.
Carpet is ideal for bedrooms. You may choose more a comfortable plush carpet for the bedrooms in your home if there is
less possibility of excessive wear and tear.
Recommendation: In bedrooms that don't have a lot of foot traffic, a plush carpet style is
ideal for extra comfort and luxury on bare feet. In spare bedrooms that see little use, maybe consider installing less
expensive, lower–density carpets.
Carpets in these high–traffic spaces must be able to handle a lot of wear and tear, and high durability is vital
to maintaining a clean appearance.
Recommendation: Carpeting with tight construction or loops works especially well for these
spaces. Denser carpets will absorb noise, and sheared carpets will be less likely to show wear and tear from high traffic.
Also, consider using hallway rugs to lessen the affects of frequent foot traffic.
Carpeting is not generally recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas prone to spills or excess water. For
outdoor entertaining spaces, carpet made up of moisture/ mildew–resistant fiber (like polypropylene) can be used.
Once you've assessed the foot traffic in your home, consider the additional needs of any pets, young children and
individuals using mobility aids in selecting the ideal carpet for your lifestyle.
Contrary to popular belief, carpet can actually be a good choice for those with allergies and asthma. When dust mites,
pet dander, and other allergens settle in carpet fibers, they are likely to stay put until they are vacuumed up. As long as
you vacuum your carpets thoroughly with a HEPA filter vacuum, you can remove the majority of these allergens before they
circulate in the air and into your lungs. With hard surface flooring, these allergens are much easier to stir into the air
and can cause symptoms to worsen.
Recommendation: For allergy friendly carpet, choose carpet that is certified by the Carpet and
Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus to promote a healthy Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and carpet that is mold and mildew
Pets can generate traffic in your home just like people. They can add to natural wear and tear just living in the home.
Sharp claws and dirty paws can create additional damage, and any accidents in the home may lead to serious stains and odors.
Recommendation: Your pet's nails should be trimmed regularly, and accidents need to be
treated immediately. Also consider placing rugs in high–traffic pet areas and using protective mats under food and
water dishes or choosing dishes with a wide base to prevent spilling. It is best to avoid loop constructed carpets when you
have pets. Their nails can snag on the loops and pull carpet fibers out which causes fraying.
Carpet can be an ideal choice for homes with children because of the cushioning, durability, and natural noise
insulation it has over hard floor surfaces. Keep in mind that children are more likely to cause stains and contribute to
daily wear and tear.
Recommendation: When buying carpet for a home with children, focus on
stain–resistant, dense carpets that won't show footprints or markings as easily. Area rugs throughout your home can
provide added protection.
For people in your home who may require the use of a mobility aid, it is important to consider the firmness factors of
the carpet padding, as well as pile height.
Recommendation: Look for carpeting with a lower pile height and firmer cushion; these
considerations can provide additional stability for the use of walkers, canes, crutches, etc. Lower pile carpeting is also
easier for wheelchair mobility.
Before purchasing and installing carpet, knowing what is required to maintain its appearance and quality is an important
factor to consider. We all know that vacuuming your carpet regularly is the most important thing you can do to keep it
looking clean. There are also other basic care suggestions for your new carpet flooring project.
Vacuuming is one of the most important things you can do to keep your carpet clean by removing dirt and debris before it
settles and is forced deeper by foot traffic. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter not only cleans carpet fibers, but removes
dust mites and other allergens before they become trapped in the carpet’s pile.
Recommendation: A good, high–quality vacuum can be a smart investment. Vacuums can
offer great additional cleaning perks like attachments to clean stairs and tight areas, chamber receptacles instead of bags,
and built–in filters that can help remove dust and allergens from the air while you vacuum.
For occasional deep cleaning or to remove set–in stains, steam cleaning or shampooing your carpeting can provide a
thorough cleanse to the carpet fibers and bring new life back to a tired looking carpet. Vacuum–sized steam cleaners
are available for household purchase, and professional cleaning services are also available. Many people hire professional
carpet cleaners for their ability to move necessary furniture, provide a thorough cleaning with their machines, and even
pre–treat spots and heavily soiled areas.
NOTE: Please keep in mind that excessive deep cleaning will remove the stain resistance chemicals from your
Accidents happen, but don't let them ruin your carpet. Avoid serious, set–in stains by treating any spills and
accidents immediately. Here are some quick tips:
Dirt tracked in from outdoors will immediately transfer to your carpeting, whether visible or not. Place mats at
entrances and encourage family and guests to wipe their feet before entering.
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