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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?


Color, Texture, Construction

Other important factors in the selection process.

Bring on the Color

You don't have to be conservative!

This is a highly personal choice. It depends on your decorating scheme and the effect you are trying to create.

Color choice will change the appearance and feel of a room. A lighter color will make a room appear larger, while a darker color will make a large space feel more cozy and intimate.

The big thing to remember when selecting a color is the size of the room. A small room with a rich color may be overpowering. To be safe, take a large sample of the carpet color and lay it on the floor for several days. Live with it in natural light and at night under a few lamps. The color will change depending on light.

If at all possible, check the color against the furniture, drapes and wall covering you intend to use in the finished room. This will help you determine the right choice.

Feel the Texture
You can see it too!

Texture in any room (in any element) will add both tactile and visual depth to a room. There are several types of textures available in carpet construction:

  • Cut Pile

    Cut pile carpet is made of loops that are attached to a backing. The loops are cut to show the fiber ends. There are several types of cut pile carpets:


    This type features a smooth and level finish with a twist. The pile yarns are actually twisted for a less formal look.

    Velvet or Plush

    This is the formal carpet we have all seen with a cut loop that is smoothly finished and level. The pile yarns are straight and soft. They also come in various lengths for a greater degree of softness and smoothness. This is a formal look.


    This is also a cut pile look, but it is far from being straight. The yarns are severely twisted to the point of being curly. This is an informal look that hides foot traffic and other soil.

  • Level Loops

    These textures are the same as the cut pile...only they aren't cut. The loops stay intact for a more durable finish. This is definitely a more informal look than cut pile. The loops come in either the same height or a multiple height configuration for a patterned effect.

  • Combination Platter

    There is also the combination of the two. You can find carpet that has both loops and cut pile together for a richer textured effect.

A Note About Fibers
They do matter.

Nearly all (97%) of carpets are made from synthetic fibers for durability. You can choose from:

  • Nylon

    The most popular choice in the U.S. Nylon is highly resistant to stains and wear, and is colorfast.

  • Polypropylene

    Also called Olefin, this carpet fiber is also extremely durable and colorfast. It is used in both inside and outside installation because of its durability.

  • Acrylic

    This feels more like wool than the others, but it doesn't come with the hefty price tag.

  • Polyester

    Can be extremely soft, but still durable. It is easily cleaned and stain resistant.

  • Wool

    The best of the best...and with a price tag to match. Wool is soft and durable. It is also available in a wide variety of colors.

  • Blends

    As always, there are ways to get the best of two worlds. You can find a host of synthetic/natural or synthetic/synthetic blends on the market to suit your particular needs.

It's Not All on the Surface

Let's take a quick look at the padding issue.

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