Carpeting carries an immense number of possible warranties, such as 5 or 10 years, matting and crushing warranties, and guarantees against stains, wear and even overall appearance. In general, the better quality the carpet, the more coverage you’re offered when it comes to their warranties, stain protection and the like. However, never purchase a particular carpet solely because the warranty seems amazing, because usually the warranties have loopholes. The old adage, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.
The most common warranty, for example, is a “wear” warranty. Manufacturers offering these typically define “wear” as a bald spot, while many homeowners consider a carpet to be worn as soon as it loses its original appearance. Similarly, a crushing warranty may state that if the pile height can be restored to a certain degree, there’s no issue.
The most common carpet complaints are for improper installation. These complaints should generally be taken to the retailer; before you purchase a carpet, ask what recourse you have if you’re unhappy with the installation.
With so many colors and designs available, choosing the right finish just might be the most difficult part of your purchase decision. Narrow your search by choosing shades that match the overall mood or tone you want to set for each room. Try cool blues or greens to create a calm, peaceful setting, and warm reds or golden shades to make a large space feel cozier. Light colors can make small rooms feel larger and more open, so try cream or tan if you’re feeling claustrophobic.
Before settling on a neutral shade, decide whether you want your carpet to serve as a focal point or fade into the background. Only go neutral if your walls, furnishings or artwork serve as focal points.
Dark shades or patterns can hide stains. To make patterned rugs work with other patterns in a room, stick to designs within the same color family. Always ask for carpet samples of each color you’re considering. Try to get the biggest samples available, and take them home to examine them in natural light before you buy. Keep in mind that sun exposure can fade colored carpeting, so choose fade-resistant products if your carpet will be in direct sunlight.
It’s critical to select the right carpeting for your stairs, since stairs get a lot of wear, plus the carpeting has to be bent over the edges of each step. A cut-pile carpet is a better choice than a looped pile, as the spaces between the loops will tend to open up where the carpet curls over the stairs. Looped carpets can also snag, especially at any seams or transition areas.
Density is important, because if the carpet isn’t that thick, you may end up seeing the unsightly backing when the carpet is curved over the steps. One test of the density is to stick your fingers deeply into a carpet sample. If you can easily separate the fibers and feel the backing, it’s probably not the best choice for your stairs.
Area rugs are a popular flooring choice because they come in a larger variety of colors and designs, can be switched among rooms and are quite affordable. It’s also easier to make a statement with a fun or colorful area rug than it is with wall-to-wall carpeting, and you can take your rug with you every time you move. The main drawback to an area rug is that it requires you to have reasonably nice flooring underneath it, since some of your floor will almost certainly show.