You cannot buy carpet here, but before you purchase one square yard (or square foot) of carpet, you should read this entire web site. I know it will save you frustration, confusion, and money. Unlike most colleges there are no diplomas given, but if you pass the test , you will know more than most people trying to sell you new carpet. Have fun, and become informed before venturing out to make that carpet purchase.
Carpet – nothing looks like it, feels like it or performs like it. It enhances the peace and quiet of your home by absorbing sound. It insulates against the cold, cushions your feet with comfort, and adds safety—helping to prevent slips and falls and protecting dropped objects from being damaged. And because carpet is a key decorative element in the home and a major purchase, you must keep several factors in mind during your selection process. Perhaps the most important things to consider are these: Does it fit your taste, and does it match your lifestyle? This informative section was created to help you make a selection that best suits your home and your budget.
Location / Use
Before purchasing carpet, you need to answer the following questions:
Where there is to be heavy traffic (usually the family room, hallways and stairways), choose the best carpet you can afford. When shopping for carpet, look for performance rating guidelines with various brands of carpet. This rating system offers guidance on choosing the carpet that will perform best for various traffic needs. Most guidelines will be based on a 5-point scale, with the number 4 or 5 rating being best for the highest traffic areas. A 2 to 3 rating is good for areas with less traffic.
Because it covers so much living space, carpet is the foundation of your room’s décor. It can be a neutral color, blending in with fabrics and other surfaces; or it can be a vibrant focal point of the room, making a statement that reflects your style.
The selection of carpet color is a very personal choice. Carpet comes in almost every color, pattern, and texture you can imagine. You will want to select a color that unites your decorative elements and creates the atmosphere you desire. Ever popular beige carpet can make a room look spacious; but for a bolder statement, look for a common color in your furniture and draperies. Choose a carpet with a similar hue. Environmental colors, like blues, deep greens, rosy quartz, and stony neutrals are becoming increasingly popular.
Warm colors can turn up the heat in a room that lacks light, while cool greens and blues have a calming effect. Lighter colors make the room seem larger; darker colors provide coziness. There are also practical considerations in color selection. New stain and soil resistant technology makes today’s lighter color carpet much easier to clean, allowing more decorating options. Medium and darker colors, tweeds, and textures will help disguise common soil in your home’s high traffic areas.
Your budget and your needs are two key elements in selecting carpet and rugs. There are a wide range of choices and costs from which to make your selection. Ask yourself how long you expect to keep your carpet before replacing it. A better grade of carpet will give you a greater length of service than one of lesser quality. Buy the best carpet you can afford for the heavy traffic areas of your home—halls, stairs, and family rooms. A medium grade will provide good service in rooms with less traffic—bedrooms and guest rooms.
The cost of carpet is based on many factors, including fiber, construction, quality, and design. The total project will include the cost of cushion and installation. Be wary of the cheapest products or services.
Ask your retailer to give you a complete cost estimate—one that includes cushion, installation, moving of furniture, hauling off old flooring materials, and any special needs that you may have. Remember—a high quality, professional installation can extend the life of your investment.
Construction: Textures and patterns
Today’s carpet offers much more than a conventional loop pile. To add to a room’s sophistication and interest, consider choosing a textured pattern. New technology can produce multilevel loop and cut/loop patterns. Choose diamonds, bows, pin dots, or fleurs-de-lis designs that “pop out” in sculptured effects. The texture, colors, and pattern of the carpet can be made to complement or contrast with patterns of your furniture and window treatments. Using a solid color, textured carpet is a great way to provide interest and pizzazz, without going to a multicolor, overall pattern.
Textured styles also fit well with today’s active and casual lifestyles. Textured carpet can be created through the use of several construction techniques. Many of these styles are known for their soil hiding ability.
Loops are cut, leaving individual yarn tufts. Still one of today’s most popular constructions, its durability is achieved with factors including the type of fiber, density of tufts, and the amount of twist in the yarn.
Smooth, level finish, but pile yarns have more twist so that the yarn ends are visible and create a less formal look. Minimizes foot prints.
Smooth, level surfaces; formal atmosphere, “velvet.”
In this cut pile, the yarns are extremely twisted, forming a “curly” textured surface. This informal look also minimizes foot prints and vacuum marks.
Many of today’s popular Berber styles are level loop styles with flecks of a darker color on a lighter background.
Loops are the same height, creating an informal look. It generally lasts a long time in high traffic areas.
Usually has two to three different loop heights to create pattern effects, providing good durability and a more casual look.
Combination of cut and looped yarns. Provides variety of surface textures, including sculptured effects of squares, chevrons, swirls, etc.
Really Express Yourself!
Perhaps you are ready to boldly express yourself with a floral, fleur-de-lis, or multicolored carpet that will enhance plaids, stripes, or solids furnishings. European, English, French Country, and Colonial are some of the descriptive words used for the beautiful combinations of patterned carpet used with patterned furnishings.
Fiber is carpet’s basic ingredient. The type of fiber used and the way the carpet is constructed determine how well the carpet will stand up to spills, pets, and daily traffic. Approximately 97% of all carpet is produced using synthetic fibers that are designed to feature style, easy maintenance, and outstanding value. There are five basic types of carpet pile fibers.
If loose ends or “sprouts” extend above the rest of the pile, clip them off even with the pile surface. Never try to pull them out. After clipping, smooth the area with your fingers. Sharp edges on your vacuum cleaner, a child’s toy, high heels, or animal claws can cause this condition.
All carpet fibers will crush under heavy stationary loads. Crushing can be reduced by shifting furniture regularly. Crushed areas can usually be improved by covering the area with a damp, clean white cloth and then applying heat to the cloth with an electric iron on the lowest setting. To ensure that the iron does not damage carpet fibers, test carpet in an inconspicuous location such as a closet. Remove the cloth and restore the pile while it is still hot by brushing it lightly. Keep traffic off the carpet until it is dry.
After certain carpet styles have been subjected to traffic, you may notice areas that appear lighter or darker than other areas. Don’t be alarmed. Shading is the result of the change in direction of the pile due to pressure from footsteps and vacuuming. Brushing the pile all in one direction may temporarily correct shading; however, shading is part of the carpet styling and should be expected in varying degrees. Do not mistake shading for color fading.
A good checklist to handle spills should include the following items. Do not use any household cleaners other than those listed, since many household products contain chemicals that may permanently damage your car pet.
Use Clean & Tidy’s Spot Remover Kit or do one of the following:
A solution of a mild liquid detergent (no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water). A clear, non-bleach liquid dish washing detergent such as Dawn, Joy,or Clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.
Difficult stains on carpets made from solution-dyed fibers such as polypropylene (olefin) and solution-dyed nylon may be removed with a mild bleach solution (one part chlorine bleach to five parts water).
WARNING:Do not use bleach solution unless you are absolutely certain your carpet is 100% solution dyed. Carpet dyed by other systems will be damaged if in doubt, call 1-800-441-SHAW.
Prompt attention to spots and spills is essential. No carpet is stain proof, although many are stain resistant, which allows time to act.
Stain Removal Instructions
Clean & Tidy’s Spot Remover is recommended for all types of spot cleaning, or refer to the recommendations in Stain Removal Procedure. The numbers are keyed to the stain, and all instructions should be used in the recommended sequence. Some stains are marked PRO, indicating that professional knowledge and equipment are necessary.
Water Soluble Stains
Follow the instructions below for these types of stains:
Alcoholic Beverages (Beer, Wine, Liquor), Berries, Blood, Chocolate, Coffee, Cola Drinks, Cosmetics, Deicer (or vacuum), Excrement, Food Dyes, Furniture Polish, Glue (white), Gravy, Ice Cream, Ink (washable), Jelly, Milk, Mud, Mustard, Paint (Latex), Tea, Urine, Vomit
Follow the instructions below for these types of stains:
Asphalt, Butter, Crayon, Furniture Polish, Grease (food or auto), Ink (ballpoint or permanent), Lipstick, Paint (oil), Shoe Polish
Freeze stains such as chewing gum and candle wax with ice or a commercially available product in an aerosol can. Shatter with a blunt object and vacuum before the chips soften.
Follow up with solvent as in the “Oil-based Stains” section above.
Use the instructions below to remove these types of stains:
Coffee, Cosmetics, Ink (permanent), Mustard, Tea
WARNING – Only carpets which are solution dyed are resistant to bleaching, but do not exceed the recommended concentration. DO NOT USE THIS PROCEDURE UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THE CARPET IS SOLUTION DYED -CARPETS DYED BY OTHER SYSTEMS WILL BE DAMAGED.
Products with olefin and nylon blends can not be exposed to bleach without removing the color from the nylon fibers unless the nylon component is solution dyed. If in doubt, call 1-800-441-SHAW.
For nail polish stains, use nail polish remover.
Ask us to remove these types of stains. These should only be handled by the professionals.
Ask a Professional to remove these stains:
Asphalt, Betadine, Furniture Polish, Grease (auto), Ink (ballpoint or washable), Paint (oil), Rust, Urine
WARNING: Certain products found in most homes can cause irreparable damage to your carpet. Bleaches, tile cleaners, mildew removers, oven cleaners, and drain openers are very strong chemicals that can discolor or dissolve carpet fibers. Acne medications containing benzyl peroxide, a very powerful bleach, are capable of permanently damaging your carpet and most other fabrics as well.
The most important step in caring for your carpet is vacuuming. Vacuum thoroughly and frequently, particularly in high-traffic areas. Bear in mind that walking on soiled carpet permits the soil particles to work their way below the surface of the pile where they are far more difficult to remove and can damage the fibers. Frequent vacuuming removes these particles from the surface before this happens.
For rooms with light traffic, vacuum the traffic lanes twice weekly and the entire area once weekly. Those areas with heavier traffic require that the traffic lanes be vacuumed daily and the entire area twice weekly. Up to three passes of the machine will suffice for light soiling but five to seven passes are necessary for heavily soiled areas. Change the vacuuming direction occasionally to help stand the pile upright and reduce matting.
Vacuum Cleaner Recommendations
To ensure that your vacuum will conform to the high ‘ industry standards, make sure that your vacuum clean is certified through the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Vacuum Cleaner Indoor Air Quality Program.
Visit www.carpet-rug.org for details and listings.
1. A good vacuum cleaner is vital to prolonging the beauty and life of your carpet. An inexpensive machine can remove surface dirt but will not effectively remove this hidden dirt and particles embedded in the pile.
2. Shaw Industries recommends the use of vacuums with a rotating brush or combination beater/brush bar that agitates the carpet pile and mechanically loosens so for removal by the vacuum. Note that carpet with the loop pile construction may be sensitive to brushing or rubbing of the pile surface and may become fuzzy. For these products, Shaw recommends the use of a suction-only vacuum or a vacuum with an adjustable brush lifted away from the carpet so it does not agitate the pile. A vacuum with a beater-brush bar can be tested on an inconspicuous area of the carpet and used if no excessive fuzzing occurs.
3. Replaceable paper vacuum bags do a better job of trapping the small particles that pass through cloth bags back into the room. High efficiency vacuum bags, also called microfiltration bags, trap even smaller microscopic particles such as mold and mildew spores and dust mite byproducts, often found to be a source of allergies. All vacuum bags should be checked often and replaced when half full.
4. Make sure the belt is in good condition and that the brush or beater bar rotates when in contact with the carpet. To adjust the vacuum to the correct height setting for the carpet, raise the beater/brush bar to the highest setting and then lower it until it contacts the pile enough to slightly vibrate the carpet several inches away from the machine, but not low enough to cause significant slowing of the motor.
5. Change the vacuuming direction occasionally to help stand the pile upright and help reduce matting.
PLEASE NOTE: NO CARPET IS ABSOLUTELY STAIN PROOF. SOME CARPETS HAVE STAIN RESISTANT TREATMENTS TO IMPROVE YOUR ABILITY TO CLEAN UP STAINS, NOT PREVENT STAINS. CARPETS WITH SOIL RESISTANT TREATMENTS REDUCE THE RATE OF SOILING, BUT ALL CARPETS REQUIRE REGULAR CARE AND MAINTENANCE.