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How to Buy Appliances

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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

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Divide and Conquer

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You Can Decorate with the Stars

Are Your Cleaning Products Making Your Family Ill?


Carpet Performance Ratings

What are they?

Understanding the Rating System
To find the best carpet for you.

There is a performance rating for carpets that you want to look at before buying. The rating system, called par, is a numerical system ranging from 1 to 5. The 5 rating is the top-of-the-line and extremely, extremely rare. You may run across a 4 now and then, but most brand-name carpets fall into the 3 to 3.75 range. If the carpet is rated a 1 or 2, don't expect to see that on the label. You will have to ask for the rating.

The par rating system is based on a number of factors, such as how well the yarn will resist fraying, how fade-resistant it is, whether it has stain-resistant features or not....basically, all the qualities you want in a carpet.

Two Main Grades
Beyond the performance rating.

There are basically two types of grades for carpeting (beyond the performance rating). They are: base grades and branded yarn.

  • Base Grade

    This is your builder carpet. It meets all the FHA and VA requirements and is generally a 25-1/2 ounce carpet. It costs around $10 per square yard retail. It is the cheapest carpet available. The yarn can come from a variety of mills and is unbranded. There is no consistency to the yarn which means you may have trouble matching the color and quality if you need to replace a section at a later date.

  • Branded Yarn

    This type of carpet is the exact opposite of the base grade. The yarn all comes from the same mill and is the same quality. There will be a trademarked term associated with it, like "wear-dated" to show that it is branded. It retails for approximately $25 per square yard.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

A look at some other basics....

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