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Courses in this Department

How to Buy Appliances

How to Save on Energy Bills

Remodeling Value

Woods and Islands in the Kitchen

All About Feng Shui

Ceiling Fan Facts and Fallacies

How to Select Carpet

Buy the Fireplace of the Future

How to Hire a Contractor

Get Wired with Smart Technology

Divide and Conquer

Secret Storage Spots

Redecorate Your Home on the Computer

You Can Decorate with the Stars

Are Your Cleaning Products Making Your Family Ill?


Selecting the Right Carpeting

What Goes Into the Selection Process?

You have to think about more than your decorating scheme when selecting the right carpeting for your home.

First Step
Look at location and use.

Where the carpet is going in your home has a lot to do with which one you should choose. Ask yourself some questions before you buy:

1. Is this a high or low traffic area? If the area is a high traffic area, you will want to choose a high quality carpet that will withstand the traffic demands. A denser carpet will suit your needs better. A lighter traffic flow gives you more flexibility.

2. Which room is the carpeting going in? If you are selecting carpet for a family room where lots of activities will occur, you will want to lean high-end. You need durability and stain-resistant features. Look for a performance rating of 4 or 5 (see the section on performance ratings at the end of this mini-course). If, however, you are planning this section of carpeting for a little used room (or one that won't see a lot of children or pets), you can be a little more flexible and consider color and texture a little more.

3. Will it be throughout the house and be a unifying element? If you are planning on using the same carpeting throughout the home, you have a harder job. You need to find a performance grade that will withstand various traffic levels and still fit into your entire decorating scheme. With this type of carpeting, you need to remember that your flooring will be a continuous theme throughout the home. It will serve as a transition from one room to another as the unifying element. Be sure to coordinate it with your walls, window treatments and furniture in each room.

4. Is there direct access outside? If there is, plan on lots of stain-resistant qualities. Access outside will mean moisture, mud, dirt, pollen, and a variety of other elements being tracked into your home and onto this section of your carpet. You need to be prepared to stop the stains.

5. Is there a lot of direct sunlight where it will be? Direct sunlight can fade many carpets. Be sure to look for one that can tolerate direct exposure. You may also want to stick to lighter colors that won't fade as much.

6. Do you have pets? In this case, you need to consider not only the color of your carpeting, but the color of your pet. Does he or she shed a lot? You may want to find a color and texture that will diminish the shaggy look of your carpeting between vacuum sessions. You also have to consider your pet's habits. If you have a cat that likes to claw, you may want to avoid anything that remotely looks like a scratching post (i.e. berber or large loop varieties).

7. How long will you be in the home? Are you planning to remodel anytime soon? As always, how long you plan on staying in the home should determine the quality. If you are not planning on moving, spend the extra money to get top-of-the-line carpet that will last 10 or more years. If you are re-carpeting for resale value, you can probably get by with a lesser carpet that will last 5 years.

Color Does Matter

It may not be your first concern, but it does play a significant role.

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