Which Carpet Should You Buy? Here's Our Top Tips

So your old carpet has finally become an eyesore and you can no longer take it for granted, but you're dreading the process of replacing it. A lot has probably changed since you had your last installation, or you've never bought carpet and you have no idea what the difference is between a Berber or a Frisée.

Carpet is better than its ever been. There have been leaps in fiber technology over the last ten years. Lifetime stain warranties are not unheard of anymore. With abundant choices it can be confusing at the onset. 

So where to start? 

You might presume that if someone asks me to show them our "best quality" carpet, that I take them to the most expensive rack in the store. The overriding question to ask is "What is the best carpet for me?". 

Are you a bachelor in a condo or a family of five in a busy household?

Perceived quality can be subjective and what is important to one customer may be meaningless to another. The one thing that will unify them, in either case, is value.

The pattern and color is a matter of preference but you can simplify the equation by narrowing it down to two values - construction and fiber type. 

These two criteria are what will drive a knowledgeable professional to aim you in the right direction. Whether your primary objective is stain resistance or durability. 

Construction refers to how well a carpet is assembled. 

  • How densely packed are the fibers? 
  • How robust is the backing? 
  • How deep is the pile? 

The answers to these questions will determine how well a carpet performs over time regardless of fiber type. 

Fiber type refers to what material the part that you see and touch is made of. Nylon wears better than Olefin and polyester is more inherently stain resistant than either. These generalizations don't always hold true and, more often than not, the attributes of two carpets of different types are so similar that the only option is to choose the more affordable one.

Whatever your choice, the one thing that will have the most impact on your carpet's performance and feel is the pad. 

A rep from one of our underlayment  manufacturers, who had the slogan "Pushin' for Cushion" printed on his business card, had this saying: 

You can always make up for bad carpet with good pad, but you can never make up for bad pad with good carpet.

While he may have been promoting his own agenda, this statement is true. 

The one thing that could help make any carpet last for a very long time is frequent vacuuming. Not only does it remove dirt, it maintains the texture or your carpet. But live your life. Who wants to vacuum all the time? This is why, sometimes, you have to compromise and give up that super plush for a more resilient pile which is more low maintenance. 

When you're ready to start browsing, we will help guide you to the right options for YOU so you don't have to look at every sample in the store. Spending more does not always mean getting more. Once we know what your needs are we can make replacing your old carpet simple and painless.

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About the Author

JP Meyer is a founding staff member and director of marketing for Carpet & Vacuum Expo.