Follow these consumer tips for picking out the best type of carpet for the home.
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Carpet, one of a home's key decorative elements, helps create a comfortable atmosphere and enhance furnishings. It insulates and softens sound by providing a cushioning layer underfoot, and it's easy to maintain.
Traffic and type of use should determine the construction and color of carpeting choice. A smooth, plush top-of-the-line pile carpet would be a beautiful choice for a bedroom or formal living room. A trackless cut pile, densely constructed, makes a hardworking floor covering in a family room or entryway that has a lot of traffic. Plush pile carpeting -- thick, dense and smooth -- shows every footprint, whereas the twisted fibers of a cut-pile carpet keep footprints and vacuuming tracks from showing.
Cut-and-loop pile construction is used to create patterns that give interest and variety to a one-color carpet. It's also used to imitate the patterning of popular sisal rugs, providing easy maintenance not found in its plant-fiber counterpart.
Berber carpet, often more expensive than other types of carpeting, is constructed of level loops that are not cut. A multicolored Berber in shades of gray, taupe and cream is a hardworking choice for family areas, blending well with many decors and hiding dirt.
Carpeting is available in a wide variety of solid colors and patterns. Patterns and prints are currently popular carpet choices. Low-pile floral patterns are perfect for a French- or English-style country home. Plaid carpeting is great for a family room or home office, with its masculine look and dirt-disguising qualities.
When picking out new carpeting for a room, take along samples of fabric from cushions, draperies and so on. Bring home swatches of appealing carpet, and check the colors in all kinds of light, artificial as well as natural, to get a true idea of the colors.
Carpeting of all sorts is available in a wide price range. More than 95 percent of all carpet is made from synthetic materials because synthetics are easy to clean and keep costs low.