Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

Carpet Buying Checklist

Shopping for Carpet

Before rushing to the nearest carpet retailer to purchase flooring for your home, it is important to take time to consider which kind of carpet is best for your home and room situation. There are several different things to consider, including: style, color, carpet fiber, the size of the room, the anticipated traffic, lighting, and more. Taking time to ask yourself these questions and considering the answers will make it easier to purchase the right carpet.

Selecting the Right Carpet for Your Home

These questions are designed to help you think about the available options and how to narrow them down to choose the carpet that will work best for your home.

What style, color, and type of carpet fiber do you prefer?

Your preference should be the first thing you consider, because depending on the answers to the following questions, the first thing you like may not be the best choice. Choose a few favorites to work with as you narrow your options down. Considering style, color, and carpet fiber type will also help you determine what feasibly fits within your budget.

What kind of cushioning will you need?

Carpet cushion plays a role in comfort when the carpet is walked on. Cushion and padding is important, because it also helps keep the life in carpet and provides a certain level of stain protection. Purchasing optimal padding will make a great impact on how well the carpet looks and feels in your home.

How will the room be used?

If the room is going to be a center hub for activity in the home, more use will likely mean more maintenance, especially if a light color is selected. Using a loop pile option will help the carpet stand up to more activity.

Will the room be heavily trafficked?

Heavily trafficked rooms will naturally be subject to more dirt and dust, so lightly colored carpets are not the best choice. If the room is not used often, a lighter color may be a good option because it won’t require as much work to maintain.

Does the room have direct access to the outdoors?

Rooms with direct access to the outdoors will be subject to additional dirt and grime tracked in. Darker colors will do a better job at hiding the dirt. A loop pile option will provide a bit more strength, allowing the carpet to last longer. Using different styles and light colors may make the carpet harder to keep clean and presentable, and may cut its lifetime.

Are there indoor pets in the home?

Pets will add wear and tear on the carpet, so it is ideal to choose a cut pile carpet because they are easier to maintain. It is a good idea to select a carpet with a solution dyed fiber in case the pets have accidents in the home.

Are there stairs in the home?

If there are stairs in the home, carpeting them may lead to cleaning and maintenance hassles later on. Consider how often the stair case is used, and what it looks like without the carpet. If the stairs are wooden, why hide the natural beauty of the wood? Consider using a small piece of carpet on each stair rather than completely carpeting every stair.

What is the size of the room?

The color of the carpet will create an illusion about the size of the room. For larger rooms, a darker color carpet will help the room by giving it a “warmer” feel. If the room is small and you want to open it up and make it appear larger, a lighter carpet is the way to go.

What is the lighting in the room like?

Consider whether you will be using natural light in the room, or rely on the use of electricity to produce light. The natural light will allow more of the carpet’s true color to show. In rooms where there is a lack of natural lighting, it may be necessary to use a lighter shade of the color you want, because the carpet will look darker than it really is. When selecting a color, consider warmer colors will help give the room more energy, while cooler colors will invoke a sense of calm.

If you have a small room with direct access to the outdoors, you may find you need the light color to enlarge the room, and the dark color to hide dirt. You could either: use a light color with a door mat and require no shoes in the house, use a dark color and deal with the room looking small, or you could use a medium color to get the benefits of both. While the answers to these questions may not give you a foolproof answer to which carpet to choose, you will be better armed with knowledge when you make the purchase.

(2) Comments

  1. All plush style carpets are manufactured with the tufts (nap) laying down slightly toward one direction. If you run you hand across the surface you will be able to tell which direct the tufts prefer to lay down and which way the tufts stand up straight. So, when you vacuum it makes the nap stand up in one direction and lay down the opposite direction. Then when light shines on the carpet, it looks like there are two different colors, one side lighter and the other side appear a bit darker. The carpet can also appear to be different shades under different lighting. When sunlight shines in through a window or at night with artificial lighting from a lamp or ceiling light, the carpet color will look different. This is why it’s so important to take home carpet samples to see how they will look with the lighting you have in your home. That way you can make sure you like how it looks before you make you final color choice. Great question! Thank you.
    – Alan, aka CarpetProfessor.com

Comments are closed.