One long-lasting trend in modern homes is to have hardwood or tile covering the majority of the floors. However, there are still some rooms, such as bedrooms, which typically work best with carpet, and carpet is the most budget-friendly option for some areas. If you’re looking at carpet options for your house, however, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the choices. It isn’t just a matter of picking your favorite color. Here’s how to choose the perfect carpet for your home:
Step One: Determine the traffic you’ll expect in each area of your house.
Some carpets, although more expensive, are also less durable. The next time you’re in a public place, for example, take notice of the carpet they use—it is likely very short and durable to stand up to seeing hundreds of feet every day. Of course, it isn’t likely that your own carpet has to be that durable, but your carpet will look newer longer if you choose more durable versions for high-traffic areas, like hallways, and save the fancier types of carpet for places with less traffic, like a guest bedroom.
Before you ever start looking at carpet samples, set your budget for carpet. You can do this by room or set the budget by your entire house. Either way, you’ll need to break down that budget into “per square foot,” since that’s how flooring is priced. If you go into the carpet-choosing process without a set budget, you’ll likely overspend, which will leave you with less money to spend on other home projects.
Step Three: Choose your color palette.
You don’t have to start carpet shopping with an exact shade in mind, but you should know your color palette for each room from the start. There are great carpets in neutrals that will work well throughout your home, but if you’re planning for an odd color for your flooring, you carpet options could be limited. Remember, in some areas, the carpet may be next to tile or hardwood, so if you’ve chosen these floors already, take samples shopping with you so you know how they’ll look together.
Step Four: Think about your cleaning habits.
Some types of carpet will simply have to be cleaned more often than others. Color makes a difference of course—we all know how easily white or light-colored carpet looks dirty, while darker carpet hides the dirt. However, the type of carpet you choose also makes a difference. For example, cut and loop pile carpet of level loop pile carpet both hide dirt well and are easy to clean, while multi-level loop pile carpet is a bit harder to clean, since dirt can more easily hide in the smaller loops. Even if you vacuum regularly, hard to clean carpet might not make sense if you have allergies or pets. Some carpets will hold on to dander and other allergens more readily.
Step Five: Match the type of carpet to the type of room.
Overall, the type of carpet needs to make sense in the room. For example, if you plan a casual kids’ playroom and want to carpet the floor, a shimmering, expensive velvet carpet might not make much sense. On the other hand, using a very inexpensive cut pile carpet is probably not the best choice for a luxury master suite. The type of carpet has to match the type of room.
Step Six: Think about the installation process.
In many cases, carpets are installed in the same way, no matter what type you order. However, this isn’t always true. For example, some kinds of carpets can be ordered in large squares, while serve kind of like carpet tiles. For this kind of product, the installation process will be different. You may also spend more on installation for special carpets that are printed with a design of some type, since the installers will have to take extra care that seams match and the design is straight with the walls. If you want to save money on installation, the type of carpet you choose is extremely important.
Step Seven: See a sample of any carpet you consider.
When choosing a carpet, the store where you make your purchase will likely have a number of samples that you can touch and examine up close in order to make your decision. However, few stores have samples of every carpet in ever color. That doesn’t mean they can’t order them. You’ll pay for carpet samples in most cases (though some stores do it on the house), but you need to see the color and type you’re choose before you make a large purchase. Many times, carpet can’t be returned, or you’ll pay the cost of shipping, which can be hundreds of dollars. Don’t rely on pictures—make sure you see your exact carpet before making a final decision.
Key Hiring Tips
From large to small projects, before you select any contractor be sure to take the time to properly screen them. The time it takes now to screen a contractor will help ensure success for your home improvement project and avoid problems down the road.