How to Buy Carpets
Don’t they often say, “Selling is an art,” but that’s in a salesman’s parlance, for being an effective shopper, you’ll need to follow, “the art of buying,” and yes, it’s quite an art! If aren’t aware of it, you’ll bring home, nary a good stuff! And when you’re to buy a carpet, it is indeed an art. You need to know so many things; check for several details; figure out what to look for and where; be aware of the right prices and bargain if needed; and still a lot more.
The first thing to consider is what you’re looking for? Is it the price or the durability or both? Simple, if you have a really huge budget or you’re ready to spend almost a fortune over floor covering, you don’t even have to read further! But when you are in need of something that’s durable yet fits well in your budget, you need to take care of several things.
How do you know it is durable? Will it really work 10-20 years or will dump you in next five years?
Durability depends on two main things – the specifications and their functions and the foot traffic in your home. Let’s leave out the second factor for a while; the first factor suggests that you need to be sure about the specifications. You’ll find it on the back of the product and you’ll have to read it thoroughly before you commit to purchase the thing. In case, you don’t find it on the back, you’ll have to ask the dealer or the seller to provide it to you. Make sure that you get hold of it. If the retailer says that it is unavailable, leave out that store and look for some other place, the person might be cheating.
What will the ‘specification’ label tell you? Why is it so important?
It basically compiles various important details such as the type of fiber used, the pile density rating, the face-weight and height of the pile and so on. All these little details determine the quality and durability and a genuine rug store will definitely provide you with the detailed information. Even if the label is missing as it is in many cases, the retailer will definitely have a spec sheet that is provided to them by the manufacturer, this sheet has all the necessary information such as the anti-stain treatments that product went through, brand name, style name, the color type or number and so on.
Along with all these minor details, it will also tell you the grade of the product and it is one of the most important considerations to check before you actually purchase anything.
What does the grade tell you?
In one word – ‘everything’, grading suggests the quality of the materials as well as their configurations. Let’s take a brief look at it.
It will tell you about the fiber used. Different kind of fiber has different qualities that help you estimate if the thing will last long or get ruined earlier.
The Pile Density Rating
It is an important aspect that ranges from 1000 to 6000 and to get its value a mathematical formula is used. So, what’s the formula?
(Fiber Face-weight x 36)/ pile height in decimal form a = pile density.
Now, if you’re wondering what these other terms are, simply take a quick at them also:
Face-weight refers to the actual weight of the fiber used when the pile was made without including the backing. Since the back is not taken into account, it is called face-weight. Generally, carpets have its value between 20-100 ounces; however, good option for your home would be the one with 45-50 ounces.
Pile height is something you won’t find in the spec table/sheet. To determine its value you will have to tape measure it or guess it out. Less than ¾ inches is the best option as it lessens the possibility of matting and crushing of the pile if not eliminate it.
The standard way to know the density rating is through the weight, thickness and height of the yarn and this is an important thing to check. However, an easier but not so accurate way to make out the density is to dig your fingers into the pile. If the fibers and tufts are tightly packed together, the density is good but if you are able to see the backing and there is not much tightness, then it isn’t.
Another important factor is the tuft-twist rating.
Yarn or the fiber of a carpet is formed into a single strand or a filament by extruding or twisting them. For forming these tufts, a bunch of strand are taken together and twisted. For your floor covering to stay durable and appear new-like for longer, the tufts need to be tighter.
Types of twists
The manufacturing style depends on types of twists and they both decide whether you are investing in the right thing or not. 7 twists type is the most durable of all. Frieze Styles usually have such tufts. For heavy foot traffic areas, these varieties and other similar varieties prove best option.
On the other hand, 4 twists type is not durable and suggests that your floor covering is of lower-grade. The rugs that come really cheap often have such style of tuft. You must avoid them if you want something that really lasts longer.
How many twists would be fine?
The number generally varies from 3.0 to 7.5. Lower the number, the lower is the quality. If you go for the lower ones, you’ll soon find your carpet matted down with frizzy look or almost worn out in its appearance within a short time. Anything above 6 will prove durable and keep your floor covering new-looking for years. The ratings are made on the basis of twists of tuft per lineal inch.
What style would prove better for your purpose?
There are various different styles available in the market. Both at the attractive looking showrooms in the town and at the easy to access websites online, you’ll come across numerous of them. You need to understand them and know their characteristics before you buy carpet online or from the showroom.
One thing you need to remember while shopping is that you should always choose what fulfills your needs better, so, instead of focusing on what the salesperson is trying to sell focus on what you really need. While for some Saxony proves great, other prefer Berber, still there are many who would say textured is the right thing to go with. On the other hand, your mind may suggest how if you simply pick up frieze? The best way to decide is to be clear about your lifestyle and foot traffic in your home. Of course, carpet prices and your budget are next considerations, yet, you’ll first have to be sure about the style that you want.
Plush is loved by many because of its thick, soft and appealing appearance. It has tightly twisted piles too, something that makes it durable and strong. Still, you can’t rely on it if you have heavy foot traffic at your home and you hardly get any time for regular cleaning. The biggest drawback with plush is that it shows footprints and vacuum tracks. Another issue with it is that it starts appearing shaded at many places because it is manufactured by reversing the natural direction of the fibers.
Saxony is also somewhat similar to plush, it is elegant and luxurious but again, you can’t have it in a living room full of people. If you’re looking forward to matting a low-traffic area such as your bedroom or guest rooms, it can be a good option.
A house full of people, kids playing all day long and pets around the place all the time would need something entirely different. Berber or Textured version will prove good. Berber uses up fiber loops that are continuous in pattern which make it flatter and denser. Available in different designs that include level loop, multi level loop, and cut-and-loop styles, it proves best for high foot traffic places as it is capable of hiding away foot prints, tracks, stains, dust and soil. It is durable as well. If your home is a kid’s playhouse and you have pets around, go for it.
Textured is still another best option for places with lots of people, kids, and pets. It is manufactured from fibers that are cut to dissimilar heights making them reflect light, thus, it completely hides away all kinds of marks, tracks, and dirt. Shops, workplaces, cafeterias should use this type.
Now, if you are looking for a luxurious looking option that feels great and appear fancy, Friezes are what you should go for.
Padding: an important factor, you can’t deny considering
Padding to your carpet is what the foundation to your building is. It gives support and prevents the backing & fibers from getting apart. Strong padding means your floor covering will last longer. Just the way you decide over the design and style on the basis of your lifestyle and requirement, padding too will need you to check your specific requirements for better results. For high traffic areas, you’ll need it to be denser and firmer but for low-traffic part of your house, you can go for lighter option as there you’ll need lesser protection.
The entire floor refurbishment of your living space goes in the partnership of the padding and the rug over it. Thus, the decision is actually inter-dependent. If you are going for a cut pile or cut loop versions, the padding will have to be of 6 pounds or 2.7 kilograms of the density per cubic feet, while for the rugs that are of thin loop, you’ll need thinner pad too. In this case, you’ll have to choose something that is 3/8 inch or 9.5 millimeter or something still thinner such as of 8 pounds or 3.6 kilograms of the density per cubic foot.
Where to buy carpet? Will you get to save money or the shopping will cost you a fortune?
A proper budget is important. You can’t send as if you’ve just won a jackpot! But what about the elegance, quality, and sophistication you’re looking for? Even the luxurious looking most beautiful pieces can come at a budget pricing and you don’t always have to spend a fortune for the sake of elegance!
This will require you to spend some time in doing a bit of research both by going to the market to visit a few shops and hopping around websites on the Internet. Keep your eyes open for carpet deals and special price offers. Your local daily can fetch you some of the offers through advertisements and so can the local radio stations and TV channels. Checking out the classified ads will also help you.
Internet is indeed the best place to buy carpet, especially during the festive seasons like the New Year, Christmas or Thanksgiving. Again, some shops go for clearance sales, you can get great stuff for inexpensive prices. A clearance sale is not always a place where cheap products are sold just to get rid of them. Sometimes they offer most amazing things sold cost effectively.
Check for all the shops and suppliers in your town. Making a quick comparison of the prices offered by different suppliers can save you a lot. Some stores even offer products at easy monthly installments. If that suits your budget, you can go for that too. Many stores have other special offers like free installation or installation at cheaper rates, if you get such an option, you can spend on the rug but save on getting it fixed on the floor. Looking for a carpet wholesaler is yet another good way to save money. Wholesalers always sell their stuff at prices much lower than the retailers.
And if you just can’t wait for a festive season to show up, hop across the online stores, check out with the wholesalers and various different dealers and suppliers in your area, there is still another way to save you money! Plan out a smart buying option! Choose a different product for each of your rooms. For the busy living room and high-traffic area, pick up more durable option and for lesser busy areas such as guest room or bed room go for more affordable options. In many cases, you can try carpet tiles instead of going for a regular rolled version. This will cut a lot on your maintenance cost. You won’t have to replace the entire rug from the room, just fixing up the place where you have stains or marks will do it all.