For many home owners, choosing a new carpet is one of the hardest parts of a home construction project. There are so many different carpet manufacturers out there, and a thousand or more styles, textures, and grades. No wonder it’s so difficult to make a decision.
Whether building a new house or remodeling an old home, general contractors always assign what is called a “carpet allowance” for the project. This is the cost of a basic carpet package that falls within the budget set for the construction or remodel. For most entry level builders, it is quite typical to figure in a “low end” carpet allowance which keeps costs competitive with other builders.
Just because a builder factors in a low end carpet allowance, doesn’t necessarily means you should put low end carpeting through out your entire home. These budget brands of carpet have a very short life span, and for active families with pets, low quality carpet begins to deteriorate in as quickly as two to three years. Inferior grades of carpet are quick to unravel, and soon develop pathways and traffic patterns that can no longer be vacuumed out. Upgrading to a higher quality carpet in the more busier areas of the house will cost less money than you may think, and save money in the long run.
How does one choose a quality carpet? Carpet quality is determined by with the quality of the fiber itself, and the density, finish, and twist of the carpet fibers. Increased soil and stain resistance are also the hallmarks of a quality carpet
Fiber density is what distinguishes high grades of carpeting from the lower grades, and refers to the amount of yarn used in the manufacturing the carpet. Carpet with higher density uses more yarn in the tufts, with tufts placed closer apart. Lower quality carpets are less dense. It’s difficult to tell the density of the carpet by merely looking at it; to check fiber density, simply fold back a sample of the carpet and examine the area between the tufts. The less backing material that is visible between the tufts, the higher the quality of the carpet. Density is what gives strength to the carpet.
The wear rating is also a point to consider. Certain carpet types perform better in high traffic areas than others, and those designated “high wear” are best for staircases, entry rooms, family rooms and other heavily trafficked areas of the house. “Medium wear” and “low wear” are the other two wear ratings which are more suitable for living rooms and bedrooms. High wear carpets are more expensive, but have the strength to hold up to heavy traffic.
For a busy family with lots of pets and children, the degree of carpet soil and stain resistance is also important. Carpet pretreated with soil and stain resistance products clean much easier, which also helps extend the life of the carpet. Many manufacturers also offer stain amp; soil warranties which certainly indicates they stand behind their product. You can also seek help from a pet odor treatment carpet service.
With every home building and remodeling project, there always comes a point where the project goes over budget and shortcuts need to be made. While your budget might not allow high quality carpet through the entire house, don’t cut corners and compromise carpet quality in high trafficked areas. By placing a higher density, higher wear carpet in the busiest areas of your home, you can be assured that your carpeting will continue to look good for many years to come.