Carpeting can be made of natural or synthetic fibers or blends. Be sure to read the back label on the sample thoroughly before buying.
Wool: A staple yarn (strips of fiber spun together) that dyes and cleans well, but is not resistant to static electricity or fading. It also is nonallergenic, which means you won’t sneeze or break out in hives if you roll on it like a Labrador retriever.
Acrylic: Another staple yarn, acrylic is color-fast and resists stains but can pill and fuzz.
Nylon: The defending champ in the carpeting world because of its ability to withstand static electricity and staining. A continuous filament yarn, nylon starts life as a chemical stew and is stretched into fibers, meaning it sheds less.
Olefin/Polypropylene: This stuff is tougher than an overcooked steak. It makes good outdoor carpeting in case you own an NFL team.
Polyester: Polyester is a staple yarn, wears nicely and won’t make your nose runny. It resists fading, but is harder to clean than nylon or wool.
Blends: Combo platters of the above taking unfair advantage of all their good qualities.
Padding: This is what goes between mean old Mr. Floor and your carpeting. It’s primarily meant to keep your carpeting from disintegrating and, as an afterthought, to please your feet.
Urethane Foam: Urethane foam comes in many different densities. Do the “Mr. Whipple” on it and squeeze it before purchasing. If it flattens easily, don’t expect it to perform any differently under your carpeting. Try to upgrade your pad to a denser product; it’s always a good investment.
Rebond: Recycled urethane leftovers scrunched together. Rebond also is available in many densities and should be selected like urethane foam.
Never buy carpeting without bringing a sample home and looking at it under various lighting conditions throughout the day. Also, bring fabric swatches, finish samples, paint chips and wallpaper scraps with you to the store. This will speed the selection process, follow this link.
Once you’ve selected the style of carpeting, type of padding and the color that’s right for you, it’s time to install the product.
Most carpeting comes in 12-foot rolls, so you will need what’s called “fill,” otherwise only half your room will be carpeted. Make sure the retailer fully explains where the seams are going before the carpeting is installed.
Also, check all guarantees offered on the product and installation.