Choosing carpet is an important decision for homeowners. When selected with consideration to the unique needs of the household (or the particular room in which it will be installed), carpet complements décor, provides a comfortable walking, sitting, or playing surface, and offers insulation and subtle noise reduction.

Carpet has existed for several millennia, and over the course of those thousands of years, construction methods have expanded greatly. When faced with the numerous options available in a carpet showroom or catalog, shoppers can become overwhelmed and wonder which product is right for them. Fortunately, there are several factors they can measure to help them make the right choice.

Characteristics to Consider When Choosing a Carpet

A dizzying array of carpet options are available to homeowners, each of which meets a different need or aesthetic. As you explore samples, keep in mind such considerations as:

  • Materials. Most carpets consist of one of six materials: Nylon, acrylic, polyester, wool, polypropylene, or cotton. The vast majority of carpets are made from synthetic materials, as these can be more effectively manipulated to meet the rigorous household demands of modern homeowners. Each type of fiber offers its own benefits and drawbacks; consult a sales professional to learn which works best for your home.
  • Comfort. Depending on the room in which it will be installed, carpets may need to be soft to the touch or rougher and more utilitarian.
  • Style. The texture and color or pattern of a carpet contributes greatly to the ambiance of a room. Homeowners should choose designs that suit the existing or desired aesthetic of their homes. For instance, a shaggy or twisted texture can give a room a modern or laidback feel, while a shorter, smoother pile sets a more formal tone.
  • Cost. With prices ranging from $4 to $33 per square yard, cost is one of the most important considerations for many shoppers. While you want to find a carpet within your budget, avoid choosing a cheap variety that will require replacement rather quickly, costing you more in the long run.
  • Durability. The longest-lasting carpets are loop-pile varieties that resist shedding or pulling. Polyester and acrylic are the least durable carpet fibers, while Olefin (polypropylene), nylon, and wool stand up the best to wear and tear.

For added durability, homeowners may also add padding under their carpets to reduce friction with the hard flooring underneath.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Beyond the basic characteristics of the carpets themselves, keep the following questions in mind as you shop for new flooring:

  1. How do I use the rooms in which the carpet will be installed? Depending on whether each room will be used for living, working, playing, or a mix of two or more of these, you may need to choose different types of carpet for different rooms.
  2. How much foot traffic can I expect on carpeted areas? In higher-traffic areas like hallways and living rooms, you may wish to install more durable carpets to withstand the added wear and tear.
  3. How will new carpet affect my home’s resale value? If you are considering selling your home in the future, high-quality carpet is an effective way to drive up potential buyers’ interests. For the best results, choose carpet in neutral colors that will be easy for future owners to clean and maintain.

Several considerations go into choosing new carpets for your home. The right carpet should exemplify the style, functionality, and comfort you desire, while staying within your budget. By keeping these and the other above factors in mind, you will enjoy fabulous new flooring for years to come.