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How To Choose A Carpet Within Your Budget





These days there are an overwhelming variety of carpet brands, styles, and colors available.  This can make the task of choosing the perfect carpet for your home a major hassle.  Add even more choices into the mix such as Stainmaster, Scotchguard, Nylon Tactesse, and various other options, and you’ll likely end up with a splitting headache after your first trip to the carpet store.  We’re going to try to make your decision a bit less difficult.

Try to keep in mind that it’s just carpet.  You’re not shopping for a new car or the right college to send your son to.  You’re looking for a material to throw down on the floor of your home.  You’re going to walk on it, spill stuff on it, and drag furniture across it.  Choosing a carpet isn’t rocket science. In fact shopping for carpet can be an enjoyable experience.

It’s almost impossible to make a horrible mistake when choosing carpet.  If you entered a carpet store and blindly threw a dart into the department and purchased whichever carpet it landed on, odds are it would work out just fine.  Almost all carpet has some form of stain protection and unless that dart landed on a “hot pink” colored 60’s shag carpet, it’ll probably look nice as well.  So take some of the pressure off yourself.  Don’t wait until the last minute to shop and just take your time.

Not everyone can afford Fabrica’s high end multi-toned Jakarta carpet at over $16.00 a square foot.  If you can then good for you, but for the rest of us we need some balance of price versus quality.  In the case of Fabrica you pay more for their carpet partly due to the popularity of their name.  Fabrica Carpet is world famous and is installed in the White House and within luxury homes across the world.  Fabrica is well known for manufacturing some of the highest quality carpet on the planet.  From yarn twist, to density, to the shearing process it uses, Fabrica Carpet is well above the industry standard.

Fabrica is especially well known for its large variety and uniformity of colors.  Fabrica uses a Beck Dyeing process which means that their carpet spends hours longer in deep dye immersion than that of other carpet mills.  This allows their carpet colors to resist fading and have very little differentiation due to dye lot variance.  Fabrica is also well known for their willingness to dye custom colors for very little additional cost.  Fabrica is a fantastic carpet if you can afford it and will be in your house long enough to enjoy it.  There’s no sense installing Fabrica if you’ll be selling your home within two years (although it will add value to your home).

For the rest of us who need to watch our dollars, budget for around $3.00 to $5.00 per square foot for carpet installed.  High end carpet such as some of Karastan’s more expensive styles will cost upwards of $6.00 - $7.00 SQ/FT.  $3.00 should buy you a basic low cut pile with a generic stain resistance.  You’ll notice that the price will increase as you view carpet styles with more material, patterns, and anything else that might increase the mills manufacturing costs.  It’s more expensive to produce a cut loop carpet than it is to produce a standard cut pile carpet.

Additions such as Stainmaster and Nylon Tactesse will also add to the price.  Are they necessary?  It depends upon you.  If you own pets or have small children, then I wouldn’t purchase a carpet without Stainmaster.  If I lived alone with my wife in a condo, then I wouldn’t consider it to be quite as critical.

As far as Nylon Tactesse, it depends on your own personal preference as well as your pocket book.  All Tactesse really does is add a softer feel to the carpet.  Some people love the feel, others prefer a rougher texture.  Compare samples with and without Nylon Tactesse to see which you prefer.

When shopping for carpet the bare minimum you should look for is some form of stain protection and a density thick enough so that you can't see right through to the backing.  Dig your fingers into the carpet sample and see how easy it is to feel the backing.  The more difficult it is to push through, the denser the carpet’s pile.  This is a good way to tell how dense a carpet is which is one indicator of quality.

Purchasing carpet doesn’t have to be a painful process.  Do some research ahead of time, have a firm budget in mind before entering the carpet store, and leave yourself plenty of time to make a decision.  This isn’t a choice you should make when rushed.  Borrow and re-borrow plenty of carpet samples and then simply choose one you like.  It’s not brain surgery.

Check out this article for more advice on How To Choose Carpet.