How to choose the right carpet

“You did what?”

My sweet clients usually calm voice sounded less than enthused on a call with her husband.

“I just went ahead and ordered some carpet for the kids bedrooms. They all looked the same to me, so I just chose a shaggy looking gray one. It was really soft!”

She and I exchanged a knowing look and grabbed our keys to head uptown to the flooring showroom.

We had to “edit” his choice just a bit. But I love that he tried! Carpet selection can be overwhelming for sure.

Before you get lost in the abyss of nylon, cut loop, and more, it’s important to have a bit of background knowledge.

Today we’re breaking down all of your need-to-know carpet info:

1. Pile: Loop Pile, Cut Pile, and Cut Loop

Loop: Commonly referred to as Berber.Fibers are formed into loops.Great for hiding dirt & super durable.

Cut: No loops here.Just frayed fibers, giving them that more “shaggy” look.Super soft and more plush than other styles.

Cut/Loop: A combination of the two, giving you the best of both worlds.

2. Materials:

Nylon: By far the most popular synthetic carpet material because of its durability and versatility. The flexibility of nylon allows the material to be used in a variety of different carpet patterns and styles.

Acrylic: Originally used as a wool substitute, acrylic gives the look of wool for a lower cost. Stain, fade & water resistant and easy to clean. Acrylic, however, is less durable than wool.

Polyester: A winner in terms of stain and fade resistant. As a bonus, it’s less expensive than other synthetic carpet types.

Opt for a well-constructed option, with a higher weight and density to insure that it holds up over time.

Olefin: Olefin, also known as polypropylene, is made through a process in which the color is actually built into the fibers, making it fully resistant to fading or discoloration. Olefin is a good option for low-traffic areas, as it is less resilient than other materials.

Wool: Wool is the most commonly used natural carpet material. Completely natural, super soft, flame resistant, and perfect for hiding dirt. High-quality wool is also very durable, making it ideal for high-traffic areas.

3. Construction:

After style and material, you’ll want to consider the weight and density of your carpet selection.

As a rule, the higher the weight, the more fiber per square foot, the more dense and durable the carpet.

Twist: Many carpets are made with a “twist” technique, in which the fibers are twisted to increase durability and structure. Carpets with a higher twist per inch (TPI) will stand up to matting or flattening, making them more durable.

More than you ever wanted to know about carpet, right? We get it.

So here’s your cliff-notes version before you head out the door to make your selections:

For that pretty textured look: Ask for a Medium density & weight, cut-loop or cut pile, wool.

For durability: You’ll want the highest density and weight, loop pile, nylon.

For fade resistance: Olefin, acrylic, polyester.

For a luxe look: High density & weight, twist style construction, loop pile

For softness: Medium density & weight, cut pile, wool.

{via White Lane Decor}

Needless to say, we left the showroom that day with a much different carpet selection, a masters degree in pile, & a super grateful heart for a well-intentioned husband trying to take the overwhelm out of new home selections for his wife.

If you’re feeling frustrated, lost in a sea of selections and screens full of Pinterest images, we’d love to help.

Get in touch HERE and we’ll guide you all the way from contract to closing.