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Carpet Shopping: 7 Important Things to Keep in Mind

By , On , In Care & Maintenance, Flooring, flooring for pets, Renovations

Shopping around and selecting the perfect carpet for your needs is not a simple task. For one, there are tons of options, many of which look and feel the same. Unfortunately, this is just not the case, which is why we are sharing these 7 important things to keep in mind when making your next carpet purchase.

 Just Because They Look the Same Doesn’t Mean They Are

When you are shopping around and comparing different products from different retailers make sure you compare apples to apples. Just because two different carpets look and feel the same, does not mean they will perform and hold up the same.

So how do you compare apples to apples in the world of carpet?

  • Look at the fibre the carpets are made of (find out more about fiber types here). The type of fiber used determines the basic performance and appearance of the carpet. Fiber types are:
    • Nylon
    • Polyester (PET)
    • Polypropylene (Olefin)
    • PTT (Triexta Polyester)
    • Wool
  • Pay attention to the weight (the heavier the weight, the higher the quality). Face weight makes a difference, but only when comparing similar products (fibres). As an example, within one product line the “good-level” carpet has a face weight of 40 oz.; the “best-level” weighs in at 60 oz.
  • Consider the stain treatment of the carpet and if comparing carpet products, ensure you know what the stain protection covers.
  • Additionally, it is very important to closely compare the warranties of each manufacturer. You will know you aren’t dealing with the same type of quality if one carpet has a 10-year warranty and the other 20-years.
Incorrectly Calculating Your Square Footage

It is never discouraged to take some of your own measurements before you start to shop around. This will give you a starting point and a general idea of what products are within your budget. However, because calculating the correct square footage is much more complicated than just adding up the total footage, we suggest you hand your measurements over to your salesperson. They will be able to correctly calculate the square footage and labour by accounting for things such as the width of the carpet roll, the direction of the carpet pile, as well as include the additional costs for closets, railing posts, stairs, etc. Bear in mind, the quote you receive is only as good as the information you provide. If you leave out important details or measured incorrectly you may be in for a surprise when the true cost of the project is determined.  An in-home measure is usually required to provide an estimate and is provided at no charge when shopping at Nufloors.

Assuming Weight Indicates Quality

The face weight of carpet is misunderstood because as humans it is easy for us to wrap our heads around the concept of a numerical value indicating quality. So naturally, we assume a carpet with a higher face weight is of higher quality compared to a carpet with a lower face weight. Unfortunately, it is not that simple, especially when it comes to carpet and the number of other factors that determine its quality, for instance: twist, density, fibre, etc. For example, an olefin sample may weigh more than a nylon, but it has entirely different performance qualities.

Buying into a Promotion

Who doesn’t love a good deal? Especially on an investment like carpet. Unfortunately, buyer beware because many sales are simply too good to be true. Most often than not, you will see the cost of the “free” or “discounted” product and services built in elsewhere. For instance, a company offering free underpad with the purchase of carpet will recuperate the cost of the underpad by charging for every staple, tack strip and every inch of seaming tape. Some charge for an in-home measure/estimate.  These costs are called hidden charges and can drastically increase the cost of your project.

Choosing the Wrong Carpet for Your Lifestyle
Source: mohawkflooring.com

Do you have pets, children, or none of the above? Well, these are important factors to consider when making your decision. For example, a large family will require a carpet that can hold up to high traffic and has a higher stain resistance as opposed to someone living alone. Similarly, someone with pets may want to select a carpet that is close in colour to their pet’s fur colour so less pet hair shows. Also consider looking at a carpet with “pet protection” stain treatments and warranties, there are several available on the market today.

Remember to be realistic when shopping around for carpet. Unfortunately, much of the time the carpet we need and is best suited for your lifestyle is not always the carpet you want. So, before you go out and buy that luxurious and beautiful white carpet, consider your lifestyle and whether or not the carpet of your dreams will last for years to come.

Replace Your Underpad

We know it can be hard to justify spending the extra money on something that goes under your carpet and that you will never see but we promise, it is worth spending a little less on your carpet and a bit more on a quality underpad. In fact, a lower quality carpet will perform, look and feel better with a high-quality underpad than a high-quality carpet with a low-quality pad would.

So, why is this the case? Well, the underpad absorbs the impact of foot traffic and typical wear and tear so your carpet doesn’t have to. It ensures your carpet will last for a longer period of time while still looking and feeling great.

And yes, you almost always must replace the underpad when installing new carpet.

Unprofessional Installation

Unfortunately, carpet installation is not the cheapest. However, it can cost you much more if done incorrectly in the first place. Carpet that is poorly installed will not only look bad, but will also not perform properly and will require replacement sooner than it should. Carpet installers are called professionals for a reason, they are trained and do it everyday so they have the experience and tools needed to install your carpet properly.  We highly recommend spending the little extra to ensure your carpet looks great and lasts for years to come. The final reason it is important to hire a professional installer is that many warranties stipulate that the carpet must be installed by a professional in order to be valid.

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