Landlord's Guide to Replacing Carpet & Flooring
7 Carpet Buying Secrets Revealed!
Shopping for the RIGHT grade of carpet is not an easy task. There are many factors to consider. In fact, it is very common for consumers to select the WRONG carpet and to spend WAY more than is really necessary.
Consumers planning to buy carpet for their home should take the time to learn about the various types of carpet and padding and educate themselves about the basic CARPET BUYING PROCESS prior to beginning their carpet-shopping quest.
Here are seven CRITICAL, money-saving, carpet buying recommendations, revealed by carpet expert Alan J. Fletcher, a 30+ year veteran of the carpet business, that will give homeowners a valuable head start in making sure they make wise and informed choices selecting new carpet for their home.
1. Consider Buying Nylon Carpet
If you want to buy a carpet that will tolerate the most abuse and still look like-new longer than any other carpet fiber, then seriously consider buying a carpet made of Nylon.
Nylon is the strongest synthetic fiber used to make about 70% of the world’s carpet today. Nylon is also the most RESILIENT fiber available today. Resiliency is the most important factor to be considered when buying new carpet. Do you want your carpet to mat down? Do you want your carpet pile to crush?
Some carpet fibers used to make carpet today are not RESILIENT at all and if you buy a carpet made from one of these fibers you will NOT be happy...
Carpets made of Nylon are easy to clean, and is the most resilient carpet fiber available today. That means it will look like-new longer! Because Nylon is so resilient, it resists matting and crushing. Unlike other less-popular fibers, it has the unique ability to "remember" the way it was made and return to its original appearance & shape after being repeatedly walked upon.
Nylon carpets, well maintained and cared for, will easily regain their original like-new appearance after a thorough and professional cleaning, for many years.
Nylon is much more expensive to manufacture than Olefin or Polyester, that's why it costs more. But the extra cost is well worth the additional expense if you want your carpet to look like new for the longest period of time. Carpeting made from Nylon will typically outperform carpets made from all other types of fibers. The key is how well you care for it and maintain it.
2. Buy a carpet with sufficient Twist and Density
There are many factors to consider when attempting to determine the quality of a carpet. The fiber used, the number of twists and the density are three important factors you need to consider.
Twist: When plush carpets are manufactured, fibers are grouped together into tufts and twisted while heated. The more twists each tuft has per inch, the better. Most carpet samples will list the twist rating on the back of the sample. If not, you will have to take a look for yourself.
Density: The more tufts there are in each square inch of the carpet, the more dense the carpet pile will be. When inspecting a carpet sample, use your fingers to separate the tufts. Notice how far apart each tuft is spaced from one another. It is harder to see the carpet backing if the tufts are tightly packed together.
If you can easily see the carpet backing through the pile, the carpet is not very dense. What do the pile density numbers mean....
Obviously, the thicker and more dense the carpet pile is, the more expensive the carpet will be. To get the most value for your money, select a dense, plush style carpet with a pile height that does not exceed...
3. Comparison-shop to find your best deal!
Carpet is a major purchase for most consumers. Be patient and spend sufficient time shopping for the right carpet that will meet your needs and lifestyle. At each store you shop, keep good notes of what carpets you liked, how much they cost and who your salesperson was.
Always "check-out" the samples from one store and take them with you into other carpet stores in order to compare prices and styles. You should visit a minimum of three stores before you make your final carpet selection.
4. Be sure to choose the correct Carpet Padding
Installing the wrong padding can cause your carpet to wear out or develop wrinkles prematurely. Often, consumers who hope to obtain a cushy feel will confuse padding thickness with padding density. Thickness and density are two different aspects of padding.
For the best longevity, you want a dense padding, not a thick padding. Rebond padding is a good choice for homeowners and is the most common padding used today. It is made from recycled materials and is reasonably priced. It does a very good job at supporting your carpet properly.
With plush styles of carpet, I suggest you use a maximum padding thickness of 7/16" with a density rating of 6 to 8 pounds. 8-pound density is better. Berber and commercial carpet styles may require ¼" inches thick, and a high-density fiber or rubber type padding. Berbers often require an 8-pound density or higher, perhaps a 10-pound density on stairs and down hallways.
In commercial applications most looped Berbers and cut-pile styles of carpet or other common low-profile carpets are usually glued down without any padding at all.
This is a common practice in offices, banks, airports and other applications where longevity is the most important consideration. When a commercial grade carpet is glued down without any padding, it increases the lifespan of the carpet. Why?
The main reason is that the carpet does not react to the sponginess of the padding and therefore does not stretch out the carpet backing as people walk across the carpet.
This limits the wear and tear on the the carpet backing. Thus reducing the possible effect of carpet wrinkles over time.
The end result is having a more durable carpet that is more resistant to wear and tear over a longer period of time. To make it clear, if you glue your carpet down without a pad, it will last years longer.
Best Carpet and Flooring For older folks with mobility issues
Anyone who has mobility issues will benefit from having a carpet installed without padding. However it will not be very soft underfoot. A non-padding option is very desirable for older folks who have need to use a cane, a wheeled walker or use a mobile battery-operated wheelchair.
The wheels from electric wheelchairs are very hard and damaging to carpets, especially if there is a padding under the carpet. The damage is greatly lessened if the carpet is glued down without using any padding underneath.
Check the manufacturer’s requirements to be sure you use the correct padding to prevent voiding your new carpet warranty, if you plan on using any padding at all.
5. Ask an experienced carpet installer for advice
A 20+year experienced carpet installer can provide you with a wealth of information including: Where to find a great deal, What would be a good carpet or pad selection for you, How to overcome problems, and they may also know which carpet retailers in your area are fair and those who are not.
Check local service directories; ask friends, relatives and co-workers if they know an experienced carpet installer.
Often, a local carpet installer will be willing offer his insight and "hands-on" wisdom that could help save you a significant amount of time and money.
6. Have a professional measure your needs.
Some Carpet salespeople are really good at measuring. Most are not. It is difficult to know who's measurements are the most accurate. If you get three bids, I guarantee the measurements will all be different. In most cases, they won't even tell you their measurement totals, they will just give you the total cost for materials and labor. So how can you compare?
Never measure your carpet or flooring needs yourself unless you know what you are doing. I suggest having an experienced carpet installer measure for you. The savings for you can be quite substantial and the cost is reasonable. This is especially true if you have a large area or if you have a difficult layout with crazy room sizes and/or pie-shaped stairs. An expert can make the best use of material leftovers from one area and apply it to another area to help save you a ton of money on materials and labor.
There may be a small fee for the expert measuring service but many installers will waive the fee if you hire them to do the installation. Your best bet is to get several estimates and measure and compare. Many consumers place their trust in inexperienced salespeople and often end up being charged for more materials and labor than necessary.
Measuring for carpet is not as simple as it seems and an experienced measurer can save you plenty. If you were to be over-charged by just 10 yards of carpet, you stand to lose $500 or more.
Under measuring can be a problem too, especially when there is not enough carpet to finish the job:
7. Only use carpet installers with a minimum of 10 years experience
You must have your carpet installed correctly if you want it to last. Improperly installed carpeting may develop wrinkles and lose as much as half of its life expectancy. Insist that your carpet installer...
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All content is the opinion of the author.