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Carpet Buying Questions & Answers
By Alan Fletcher - 30-Year Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate
Q. I have a question regarding
carpet for my indoor stairs (steps). How will I go about completing this job?
Q. I was wondering how well does Berber withstand high traffic areas. I am going crazy trying to decide if I want a plush carpet or Berber. I have a newborn son and know I will soon have lots of messes to clean up!
A. Berber is a nice looking carpet, and can be quite reasonably priced. However, it is not the best choice for folks with kids or pets. A good quality Nylon plush would clean easily, wear better, and retain its new appearance much longer than would an olefin Berber. If you must buy a Berber be sure to select one with small loops, the big loops fall over quickly and look bad sooner. Read about Carpet Styles and Selection
Q. I just purchased some nylon Berber carpet. However, what happens when the carpets comes in and it does not appear to be the same weave, or loop. Can you help?
A. If you have ordered carpet from a carpet retailer and the carpet does not match the carpet sample, you have every right to refuse the carpet. Minor variations are acceptable but overall, you should get what you ordered. Contact the retailer and ask them to take look into it. If there is a noticeable difference they should reorder the carpet and there should not be any additional cost to you.
Q. I am looking for a good quality carpet that can withstand kids, cats, dogs and traffic. I have a somewhat formal living room that you land in upon entering my house. To get to any other part of the house at that point, one needs to walk through that living room. My biggest problem is the traffic marks from the front door, across the living room and down the hallway to the bedrooms. This gets dirty fast.
A. A nylon textured plush style will hide the footprints and show dirt the least, depending on the color you select. It must have anti stain treatment. You will need to vacuum regularly at least every other day, and have the carpet cleaned when it gets dirty, once or twice a year. You might want to consider laying down a plastic runner in the heavy traffic areas.
Q. I have read that the new PET fiber is even more stain resistant than nylon. Your web site indicated PET is the worst. Can you refer me to any other authorities?
A. Whether or not it is more stain resistant than Nylon is not the issue, it is that P.E.T Polyester carpets mat down quickly and have poor resiliency. That means that Polyester carpet will not retain a new appearance very long. Clean it all you like, it will still be matted down. Nylon has excellent resiliency and will look new longer and it cleans well too.
Q. I want to replace my family room carpet with a different color, but not the bedroom. What do you do where the two carpets meet?
A. A carpet layer would seam the two carpets together at the doorway between the two rooms. Even if the two carpet colors are very different it doesn't usually look bad, it is very common to have different colors of carpet throughout the house.
Q. I am thinking of purchasing a Mohawk carpet, the heavier weight one that is made out of the recycled plastics. I have been told that this is easy to clean, but I thought that nylon was the easiest to spot clean? I have an older dog that does have urine accidents and this is what I am faced with. What is the best type of carpet you recommend for this situation?
A. The recycled plastic carpet you mentioned is made of PET Polyester and is the worst fiber to make carpet from because it mats down in a hurry, especially in medium to heavy foot traffic applications. It might be a good choice for you if you plan on replacing your carpet more frequently, like every five years or so. I wouldn't spend a lot on the carpets where your dog will have a lot of wet accidents, because if your dog has a lot of accidents your carpet and padding will not survive very long. If your pet has frequent (allowed to soak in) urine accidents, the urine odor can never be completely removed from the carpet, regardless of what carpet cleaning business might claim, and regardless of what any carpet manufacturer might claim. Sure they can try to over-power the odor with fragrances, but soaked in urine spreads out far and wide under the carpet and across the surface of the pad, eventually finding a way under the pad and into your subfloor. No Carpet Cleaning service can go that deep! If this is your situation, I suggest buying a cheapo apartment-grade carpet and padding and plan on replacing your carpet much more often. If you can limit your dog to certain areas then you can put in a better grade of carpet in areas where your older dog is not allowed. Makes sense to me!
Q. Is there a difference in the materials that carpet is made of? Like some are 100% polyester and some 100% nylon? Does it all wear the same, is one better than the other?
A. Yes there is a big difference between fibers. Selecting the right Carpet Fiber is one of the most important aspects in selecting the right carpet for your home. Read about Carpet Fibers
Q. We just began shopping for new carpet for our den and hallways. We have 4 kids, 2 2 and under and the salesman tried to sell us wool. is nylon better for a high traffic area for a large family?
A. Any salesperson trying to sell you wool carpet when you have young children is not looking out for your best interests. Wool makes a good carpet but it doesn't clean easily and doesn't tolerate a lot of abrasion. Nylon sounds like a better option for you. And it will be less expensive too!
Q. Thanks for the information, I'm looking at carpeting for my family room. I'm the only one to use the room, no pets or kids, so although durability is important, cost and appearance is also very important. I am thinking of Berber for this room.
A. Berber would be a good choice since you have no kids or pets. You would be wise to select a Berber with smaller loops, not large loops. Large loops tend to fall over and collapse more quickly. Berber will cost a little extra to install, usually a dollar or two more per square yard than other types of carpeting. Nylon Berbers are more expensive than Olefin Berbers but will last much longer and be easier to clean.
Q. Carpet in my house is Nylon BCF tufted textured Saxony that was damaged by water flooding.
My insurance will pay for a replacement of my damaged carpet. I would like to replace my carpet with identical quality carpet. Please tell my what type or brand of carpet I would like to buy. I would like also to ask you if I can still use the carpet that was wet or under water for over 48 hrs that was dried out. I am telling my insurance adjuster that I don't want to use it because it was wet for over 48 hrs and it was not disinfected. I am afraid that it will cause us problem in the future if we have to use it because of bacterial, fungi and mold growths. Please help.
A. Carpet is not designed to withstand a thorough soaking from water. The construction of your carpet has been compromised and it should not be reused. Be sure to replace the pad with a quality pad, and if your flooring has been exposed to raw sewage (toilet or drainage sources) be sure to use a disinfectant on all exposed floors prior to reinstalling your new carpet.
Q. Which carpet company makes the best carpet?
A. There are three main carpet manufacturers. They all make various grades of carpet for all applications. The key is to buy a carpet that will tolerate the amount of traffic you have in your home.
Homeowners need to be very careful who they buy carpet from these days. Check out my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory to locate a reputable carpet retailer near you.