Get the Most From Your Carpeting Investment

Few things can make a house feel more inviting or add a dramatic flair to a room than carefully chosen rug cleaning. Today it’s something most of us take for granted, but that hasn’t always been so. Before the 1950s, wall to wall carpet was considered an expensive luxury reserved for the wealthy. That all changed with the post-war building boon in the middle of the 20th century. With new advancements in carpet fibers, manufacturing methods, and an expanding market, wall to wall carpeting was suddenly within reach of a growing middle class.

Sixty years ago, fiber, texture, pattern, and color were limited, and vacuum cleaner technology was in its early stages. As a result, carpet life was short. Today, choices are nearly unlimited. A wide range of price points and carpet exist for nearly every room and application. Even moderately priced carpet can bring years of enjoyment to your home.

In spite of these advancements, carpet for a household can represent a significant investment. If you are planning to stay in your home for years to come, having carpet installed that will be durable and stand up to years of use in an important consideration. To achieve that, there are some steps to take that will ensure you get the best value for your investment. Here are some factors to consider.

Padding: Keeping carpet looking its best for many years begins even before you look at the first carpet sample. It all begins with the carpet padding. When it comes to carpet padding, it may be tempting to go with the least expensive option since it’s one of those “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” materials. The reality is quite different. Carpet padding is the first line of defense in extending the life of carpet. Of course it gives carpet that nice spring and cushion under your feet, but it’s primary function is to reduce the friction generated by foot steps between a carpet’s backing and the hard flooring material over which it’s installed. Without proper padding, years on constant grinding and carpet squirm will take years off the life of a carpet. Consult a carpet professional to be sure you select the pad best suited to your application.

Use: When you begin looking at carpet samples, be clear on where and how the carpet will be used. Not all styles, fibers or weaves are well suited to every room. When you begin to shop for carpet, bring a detailed description of the room where it will be installed. How much foot traffic will there be? Are there outdoor entry points? Does the room get direct sunlight? Do you have pets? Will this room be used regularly by children? Knowing these answers will make it easier to work with a carpet professional to be sure you purchase carpeting that is best suited to your needs.

Color: The color of the carpeting can really set the mood for a room; from elegant to cozy, and even dramatic. Lighter, neutral colors give a feeling of openness and space and work well with bold colored furnishings, walls and accessories. For a warm cozy feel, more color in the carpet may be something to consider. In casual spaces like family rooms, play rooms, and children’s bedrooms, today’s carpets offer a variety of textures, styles, and patterns that range from fun to funky to practical. When selecting carpet, bring as large a sample as possible home so you can see what the color will look like in the lighting and surroundings where it will be installed. A little patience and care can prevent some serious buyer’s remorse after the carpeting is installed.

Budget: When shopping for carpet, a big consideration for buyers is cost. As with most purchases, you tend to get what you pay for. However, depending on where and how carpet will be used, it may not always be budget-wise to buy the most expensive option. Think about how much traffic the carpet will get. Areas like bedrooms receive much less foot traffic, so carpeting designed to stand up to extreme use may not be necessary. Determining cost vs. value can be a bit of a balancing act. Understanding use and traffic may also keep you from buying budget priced carpet that, over time, will be disappointing. Short-term savings may result in greater long term cost.

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