Choosing Carpet

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Choosing Carpet
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

Deciding to install new carpet can alter the entire look and feel of your home. It is an investment that will most likely be with you for years to come. For this reason, it is important to consider the defining aspects of carpet before purchasing. Aspects include what the carpet is made from, what will affect its life service, and additional features which add to its comfort and longevity.

Carpet consists of soft synthetic or natural fibers held together with a latex adhesive and attached to a mesh backing and carpet cushion. Several different fibers are used including polyester, wool, acrylic, olefin, and nylon. Nylon offers the best in durability, and resistance to color fading, stains and soils. Two-thirds of today's carpet uses nylon.

Carpet is made with a mechanical "looper" that catches the fiber and creates loops. This is referred to as a "loop-pile" carpet. To make a "cut-pile" carpet, blades are used to cut off the loops. “Cut pile” carpets can e divided into three textures which include plush, Saxony, and frieze. A "cut-and-loop" carpet has a combination of both whole and cut loops. Each one of these techniques offers its own unique texture, appeal, and feel.

Aside from the pile, carpet is also judged by its density. A carpets density refers to the size of the yarn and the closeness of fibers. The denser the carpet is the more durable and long lasting the carpet will be. A dense carpet will provide a resilient underfoot and it will resist wear and matting. Of course this will be a reflection of cost as well.

The cost of carpet will vary depending on what brand is being used, the level of density, the pile cut, and any stains and water resistance features. Also, additional costs will be added for installation and padding. Generally, carpet will range anywhere from $8 per square foot and higher, depending on additionally features.

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