Free Carpet Information and Buying Guide
Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert / Consumer Advocate - Retired after 30 years, do not sell or install carpet.
50 Carpet Questions Answered
Installing Carpet on Stairs? I have a question regarding installing carpet on my stairs.
How do I go about completing this job
Installing carpet on stairs is very difficult and easy to make costly mistakes. Putting carpet on stairs will usually require hiring a professional to measure and install. You should contact a qualified carpet installer to help you with this.
If you give me more details about what you would like to accomplish, I may be able to give you additional helpful information. Carpet manufacturers do not warranty any carpet installed on stairs. Learn more about Carpet Installation Cost
Q. Does face-weight have a bearing on carpet quality?
Face-weight does have bearing on the quality of carpet but not with every type of carpet. Let me explain. Face-weight is the amount of fiber or yarn that is used to make the carpet pile.
I am sure that you have seen thin carpets and thick carpets, the thicker the nap (pile) the higher the face-weight. Just because a carpet is thicker doesn't mean it will last longer or wear better.
The key to longevity and durability is in the type of fiber you select. Learn about What Grade of Carpet Should I Select?
Is Carpet Made from P.E.T. Polyester Durable?
Q. What are your opinions on this new fiber? I have a very active home (4 inside dogs, 2 kids, traffic, traffic, traffic) and I am considering purchasing this carpet for my living room and hallway. What do you think?
This is one of my favorite questions to answer, as this is not a new fiber at all! P.E.T. (Polyethylene
Terephthalate) is polyester produced from recycled soft drink bottles, and has been available for years. Here is my take on this fiber:
Do not listen to the advice of carpet sales people who recommend polyester, no matter what they say! Because polyester is so cheap to make, carpet manufacturers have tried for years to make a good carpet out of polyester, with limited success. every year they come up with some new technique that they claim will make polyester more durable. It hasn't happened yet.
Nylon carpet is more expensive than polyester, but it will tolerate an incredible amount of abuse. It cleans easily and won't mat down like polyester.
Buy a continuous filament 100% Nylon carpet and you will be much happier in the long run! Nylon is the most durable carpet fiber and is known to tolerate heavy foot traffic and last years longer than any other fiber. It also resists stains and is easy to clean as most nylon fibers are treated with topically applied anti-stain treatments.
Sorona is another option if you want a carpet that is easy to clean and very stain resistant. It is also known as Smartstrand by Mohawk. It is a fairly new product but it seems to be very durable.
The Sorona or Smartstrand Fiber is a better choice than Polyester or PET Polyester if you want your carpet to last longer and resist matting and crushing of the pile.
I don't think Sorona fiber aka the Smartstrand fiber is as durable as a Nylon fiber. See my latest opinion about the Smartstrand fiber
Should I Choose Berber Carpet?
Q. Hi, I was wondering how well does Berber withstand high traffic areas. Is it easy to keep clean and what kind of padding is the best? I am going crazy trying to decide if I want a plush carpet or Berber. I have a newborn son and know I will soon have lots of messes to clean up! Thank you for responding at your earliest convenience.
Berber can be made of Nylon or Olefin, and of the two, Nylon would be the better choice. Berber is a nice looking carpet, and can be quite reasonably priced. However, It is not the best choice for folks with kids or pets.
If you must buy a Berber be sure to select one with small loops, the big loops fall over quickly and look bad sooner. As far as pad goes, an 8-pound 1/4" to 3/8" thickness is recommended. Learn about Carpet Cost
Not The Same Carpet I Ordered?
Q. I just purchased some nylon Berber carpet. However, the weave or loop is much larger than the sample and I have concerns about the nylon pulling. I like the smaller loop. The larger looks like the yarns has been snagged or pulled. I found your web site very helpful, but what happens when the carpet comes in and it does not appear to be the same weave, or loop that was selected?
If you have ordered carpet from a carpet retailer and the carpet does not closely match the carpet sample, you have every right to refuse the carpet. You should get exactly what you ordered, so contact the retailer and ask them to look into it.
If there is a noticeable difference they should reorder the carpet and there should not be any additional cost to you.
With any Berber carpet, a smaller loop size is always preferable to larger loops, as the smaller loops will retain their new appearance longer. Large loops tend to fall over and lose the new appearance quicker. Learn about Carpet Styles
Seaming Different Color Carpets Together
Q. I want to replace my family room carpet with a different color, but not the bedroom. What do you do where the two carpets meet?
A carpet layer would seam the two carpets together right underneath the door between the two rooms. He cuts both sides straight and puts some hot melt seaming tape under the carpets to join them together.
Even if the two carpet colors are very different it doesn't usually look bad, it is very common to have different carpet styles and colors throughout the home.
Moisture Barrier Pad for My Dog?
Q. I have an older dog that does have urine accidents and this is what I am faced with. I plan on putting down a moisture barrier pad, that I think will help w/the cleaning. What do you recommend for this situation?
Don't waste your money upgrading to a fancy moisture barrier pad, it won't make that much of a difference in the long run. A regular Rebond pad will work just fine.
I suggest you invest the money you'll save with a carpet cleaning machine like a Bissell to help deal with your frequent pet accidents. They cost less than $200 and work very well. Learn more about Carpet Fibers
Best Padding for a Dry Basement
Q. I am shopping for new carpeting to be installed over a dry concrete floor. Every salesperson gives us a different recommendation for the padding. What Padding is Best? Rubber, Rebond, Foam or Synthetic Fiber?
Answer: If your basement is dry you have nothing to worry about. Rubber padding is expensive and is a great pad for basements but Rebond pad is great too and it is much less expensive.
If you have any moisture in your basement at all, I recommend using a Synthetic Fiber Pad. It breathes well and is mold and mildew resistant.
It would be a smart idea to do a moisture test just to be sure. you can get a low-cost moisture test kit at a flooring distributor or ask your carpet dealer where to buy one near you.
If I were buying carpet for my basement, I would definitely buy a Nylon carpet, and use a 6 or 8 lb. Rebond pad. Expect to pay about $3.50- $5.50 per yard for a good quality pad.
Which Carpet is Better?
Q. We are considering these two carpets a our family room. We would greatly appreciate your opinion. There are no children in our household, and this is a low-traffic area.
Master's Choice - style Chokio, which is rated for heavy use, face weight of 52 ounces, twist of 7.5, and density of 1910 made of 100% DuPont Stainmaster Xtra Life Nylon, or:
Traffic-master (Wear-Dated Carpet II) style Pacesetter , rated about 3.7 for performance (at high end of active traffic wear), 100% Solutia Wear-Dated II Nylon, twist of 3.85, density of 3.772, and face weight of 72 ounces.
With your nylon selections and a low traffic application, either carpet would be a good choice. Personally I like the Master's Choice because it has a higher tuft twist of 7.5, which tends to make a carpet look like-new longer.
You are considering two quality carpets. They both have the capability to last 10 to 20 years if cared for. You have done your homework well, good job!