Tips on Buying and Cleaning Carpets
Tips on Buying and Cleaning Carpets

Tips on Buying and Cleaning Carpets

The best place to shop for good-quality carpet is at the homes of friends and neighbors. If you like their carpeting, ask how long they’ve had it. If it’s more than a few years old and shows little signs of wear, get specifics on the brand name, manufacturer and the dealer who sold and installed it. Then see if you can get the same thing in a color you like from the same dealer. Expect to pay at least $20 a square yard for quality carpeting. Waterhog Masterpiece mats

Carpet manufacturers generally stand behind their warranties and so do reputable carpet stores. Fly-by-night operators do not.

Keep in mind that some factory warranties only cover factory defects, including wear, but the factory’s definition of “wear” is a loss of fiber, which is almost unheard of. A homeowner’s notion of “wear” is matted and crushed carpeting. Some warranties do not include matting or crushing.

Two popular carpet fibers today are nylon and Olefin.

Nylon has a good memory. If a nylon carpet is tightly woven it will pop back up when you walk on it. The drawback of nylon is that it is more apt to fade.

Olefin does not fade. It is easy to clean (you can even use bleach) but it quickly looks crushed.

You can judge the quality of carpet by the amount of yarn it contains – the density of its pile. The denser the pile, the longer the carpet will last.

You can check this density by trying to spread the yarn with your fingers. If it is of good quality, you should not be able to see the backing even when you try hard to push apart the yarn.

The carpet industry uses precise measurements of density, one of which is called face weight – the number of ounces of pile yarn in a square yard. Better carpeting has a face weight of 30 to 40 ounces or more.

Most carpet labels do not list face weight, but the store should be able to provide that information if you ask.

CARPET CLEANING: Save money and your carpet by taking proper care of it: Use entry mats (but don’t place them on top of your carpet).

Vacuum at least once or twice a week with an upright model vacuum cleaner.

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