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Knowing Carpet Inside Out

Sep 7, 2007
Before you can determine the best carpet for any specific situation, you must first have a basic understanding of the various types of carpet along with the benefits of each type. For instance, some types of carpets do better in high traffic areas than others. Some carpets have a more casual appearance while others look more formal.

Carpet is basically constructed in three types of piles: loop pile, cut pile and cut-n-loop. Cut-N-Loop, also known as patterned carpet, is a combination of both loop and cut yarns or variations of loops set to different pile heights.

Carpet manufacturers and fiber producers are combining softer fibers and better built-in stain resistance with special backings that block odors, spills and more! These types of features are built-in to many of the better quality carpets offered by the leading carpet manufacturers. Mohawk Carpets with SmartStrand and Shaw Carpets with SoftBac Platinum display some the major advancement in carpet construction technology.

Most carpet today is tufted, rather than woven. The tufting process is similar to using a large sewing machine that is about 13 feet wide with 100 of needles that sew the yarn into a synthetic backing. The majority of carpets sold today are made from nylon fibers twisted into yarns and then tufted into carpet.

How long a carpet will retain it is like new texture and appearance is based on the type of fiber, how tight the yarns are twisted and heat-set, and the pile density. Also, how tightly the tufts are packed together will also effect the long term durability of a carpet. Obviously, by not cleaning your carpets regularly, or by using improper cleaning methods will affect the appearance and life of your carpet as well.

Shown below is a description of how to choose the best carpet for your situation along with comparisons of different carpets plus the benefits of using carpet as compared to other flooring systems.

Carpeting Versus Hard Surfaces

* Carpet is available in many different styles, colors, and designs
* Carpet is an excellent acoustics and thermal insulator. It increases thermal comfort and at the same time decreases unwanted ambient noises.
* Carpet is certainly more comfortable to walk on, cushioning feet and reducing fatigue.

Things to Remember When Choosing Carpet

* The amount of traffic should determine the quality of carpet and padding you choose.
* Carpet in high traffic areas such as hallways and stairs will last longer with a textured high face weight cut pile with tightly twisted yarn or a high face weight loop pile.
* The quality of the padding is very important. Upgrade the padding to match the quality of the carpet being used. Do not fall for the free padding offer. UPGRADE!
* Less expensive carpet and padding can be used in areas where the traffic is less of a factor, such as bedrooms and closets.

Color and Pattern Considerations

* Color is typically the most difficult part of choosing carpet, there are many different colors to choose from.
* Lighter colors tend to brighten a room and make it appear to be larger. Darker colors tend to do the opposite.
* Patterns can also affect the apparent size of a room. Large patterns tend to make a room appear smaller while small patterns make a room appear larger.
* Patterns also help mask stains and wear.
* Always, take samples home to compare color and style to your room.

Types of Carpet

* There are three different methods for producing cut pile carpet-Wilton, Axminster, and tufted.
* Axminster is a weaving process where virtually any number of colors can be used. It is primarily used in high quality patterned wool carpet.
* Wilton is also a type of weave, usually containing up to five colors. The patterns are limited, but the Axminster process makes for a more durable carpet.
* Tufted is the most common type of carpet produced in the US today. Though relatively new, tufted carpet is simpler and less expensive to produce than Axminster and Wilton carpet.

Types of Yarn

* There are numerous types of yarn used today; some natural and some man made.
* Wool, nylon and polyester are the most popular.
* Each one offers different characteristics.

Carpet Styles

* There are three basic styles of carpet, Loop pile, Cut pile, and Cut-n-loop
* Loop pile carpet is continuously looped, and offers various textures.
* Cut pile carpet is made when the tops of the loops are sheered off.
* Cut-n- loop carpet is a combination of the two processes producing distinct patterns.

Now that you know what to look for in carpet, the next time you begin a flooring overhaul, you will be able to an educated selection instead of depending on the advice of a store clerk.

Important Tip :: When purchasing carpeting, you should buy the best-quality carpet you can afford, coupled with the highest quality padding. In fact, the padding that goes between the carpeting and the sub-flooring is as important as the choice of carpeting itself.
Padding provides softness and support, cuts down on noise and insulates the floor. Often referred to as "underlay" or "cushion," padding thickness depends on the pile of the carpet above it. Padding should be no thicker than 7/16 inch, even for a very deep pile carpet. Too much cushion can actually void a manufacturer's warranty; so, take the time to find the padding that is right for your new carpet.
About the Author
Shane Hester has been helping website owners increase online profits through exclusive webdesign and marketing services at WebFirstCreations.
See his companies latest creation: FloorsToGo Flooring Store or contact him directly at WebFirstCreations.com.
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