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Selecting Carpet

Ask these key questions to pick the best carpeting.

More in Decorating

find best choice for homeowners carpet needs

A few key questions can help a carpet salesperson help you find the best choice for your needs:

1. What type of room will the carpet be used in -- formal or informal, high- or low-traffic?
2. What do you expect of carpeting for this space?
3. How do you want the carpet to feel underfoot?
4. What's your carpeting budget?
5. How much effort do you want to put into maintaining your carpet?

Good-looking Berber carpeting, made of continuous loops of fiber, is a popular and long-wearing choice. It's available in nylon, wool and polypropylene. Olefin or polypropylene Berber is extremely stain-resistant.

A flat, dense cut-and-loop carpet is inexpensive and wears like iron. Its high density, determined by the number of stitches per inch, makes it a durable choice, especially good for commercial settings.

A trackless carpet is a good option for any room in the house. Its textured, crimped fibers are cut to different heights and reflect light in such a way that tracks don't show, making it a particularly good choice for high-traffic areas.

Luxurious plush carpet -- the kind you want to run through barefoot -- has its drawbacks. Because this type of carpet is so thick and plush, footprints and vacuum tracks are always visible. It's best for use in low-traffic areas such as formal living rooms and master bedrooms.

The cost of carpeting doesn't necessarily reflect quality. More expensive carpeting is not necessarily better -- often the price is higher because more fibers were used, as in dense plush varieties of carpeting.

A carpet pad must be suited to the type of carpeting it's used with. A common misconception is that a thick carpet pad is always best. Plush carpeting requires a thick pad, but a Berber carpet needs a flat pad that won't interfere with its latex backing.

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