How To Buy Carpet and Flooring Wisely
Common Carpet Questions & Answers 3
I just discovered your website, Alan (what did we EVER do
without Google!) and I will be forever in your debt! I have ordered your
book and my question may or may not be covered in it so, I am taking a chance
and sending this email.
Carpet and Pet hair allergies
Q. My fiancé has allergies pretty bad. We have one cat and one dog and their hair seems to be the majority of the problem. We would like to have carpet in the bedrooms and hallway (the rest of the house is hardwood). What carpet would you recommend that is easy (or easier) to remove pet hair from? I know it has a lot to do with the vacuum you use, but besides that factor, which type would you suggest? I'm leaning towards frieze, but I really have no idea.
A frieze is a great carpet but not really an easy carpet to
get hair off of. You are right, the vacuum is the main key. We have a Dyson,
and boy does it do a good job. Lots of suction. We have 2 cats and it is
amazing how much pet hair we vacuum up. Our carpet is a textured plush, which
has a fairly level carpet pile, The surface of the carpet is all about the
same height, it makes it easy for the vacuum to remove pet hair as well as
remove other dirt and grit. A frieze does not have a level surface, so dirt
and hair can travel deeper into the pile making it harder to vacuum up.
So, knowing all this I suggest a denser carpet, with a
fairly level surface. Like a textured plush. The carpet fibers do not have to
be tall, but medium would do fine, say 1/2 inch tall. Too tall and they may
fall over to easily and too short a tuft and you have a carpet that feels too
hard to walk on, just like a commercial carpet.
Padding makes a difference too.
If the pad is not dense enough the carpet will
have too much spring to it, each footstep you take will completely flatten out
the pad and the carpet will absorb the most abrasion. This grinds the dirt
into the carpet backing and causes premature matting and
I suggest at least 6 pound density pad
type) or 8 pound density would be even better. Also, be aware that padding
thickness is different than padding density. The maximum thickness allowed is
7/16". This thickness would be fine for you if you choose frieze or a
plush style. Padding costs have been on the rise but $3 to $4 per yard is
customary for this type of pad.
Carpet dealers also do the bait and switch with carpet padding
too. They call it a 6 pound 7/16" pad, but they send out a 5 pound
3/8" pad instead and most consumers never know the difference. But if it
saves the retailer fifty-cents a yard and you are ordering 100 yards, they end
up making another $50 on the deal. Sneaky? Yes, but a common occurrence. You
are smart to do your homework now, before you buy a carpet that may not serve
you well. Your choices can make the difference of your carpet lasting 5 years
or 15 years, and saving hundreds
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!
More Q & A: