There’s something intangible and amazing about the feeling of great carpet under your feet. That sensory appeal means a lot. There are some elements in choosing carpet that are easy to measure. Taking a closer look at your carpet can help you get the best materials and the biggest bang for your buck, keeping value and durability in mind. Remember, you don’t necessarily need a high-priced, top of the line carpet. But you want to avoid an inferior product that won’t hold up to everyday wear and tear. Here are some tips for getting the right carpet and carpet pad for your needs.

Choosing the Right Carpet: Look at the Numbers
There are some key numbers that can tell you a lot about the carpet you’re buying. Here are a few of the most important factors:
  1. Pile Height: Pile height is the length of the visible fibers in your carpet. It’s broken down into three categories: low-pile (under ¼ inch), medium-pile (¼ to ½ inch) or high-pile (½ to ¾ inch). Each height has advantages and disadvantages, but folks tend to choose low-pile for strength and durability and a higher pile for softness and comfort.
  2. Tuft Twist: Twist is something many consumers overlook. It describes the number of times your carpet is twisted per inch. More twists tend to mean a stronger, higher quality carpet.
  3. Pile Density: Density describes how close together fibers are attached to the carpet backing. The closer they are, the higher the carpet’s density. A denser pile is generally a reflection of quality.
  4. Pile Face-Weight: Weight matters! Face-weight refers to how much your carpet weighs per square yard. It’s measured in ounces, and heavier weight is usually an indicator of higher quality.

Choosing the Right Carpet: Let’s Talk Fibers
There are so many materials to choose from when selecting a carpet, including some state of the art synthetic fibers that combine quality and affordability like never before. The options in synthetic fibers are exploding, with new products that combine durability, stain resistance and easy cleaning with a high-quality look and feel, while natural fibers like wool are here to stay. Here are a few of our favorites:
  1. Triexta is one of the hottest trends in synthetic carpet. Invented by DuPont which brought Nylon to the world, it’s more durable and resilient than many other synthetic fibers and is softer than polyester or Nylon. It’s a great value, and we often recommend Mohawk Industries SmartStrand Triexta carpet for families with pets and children.
  2. For high-traffic areas, we like Polypropylene fibers like Mohawk Permastrand. This lower density material is less durable than some others but great for high traffic areas that you’ll want to replace more frequently.
  3. Nylon: this tried and true, long-lasting favorite is known for its ability to bounce back and avoid matting. It tends to be a little pricier than some of the newer synthetics but is often worth it when durability is at the top of your list.
  4. Wool: luxurious and soft, wool is at the high end of the carpet spectrum with a price tag to match. It’s classic, long-lasting and a great investment, especially if kids and pets aren’t a factor. Karastan is a fan favorite when it comes to the ultimate in quality carpet and rugs.

Where and How Will We Use Our New Carpet?
When choosing new carpet,several factors come into play. Remember, we’re not necessarily looking for the cheapest option or top of the line, but the best value for your unique circumstances. Here are some important considerations:
  1. Location: The location of your new carpet will play a big role in the type you choose. For a lower traffic area like a bedroom, you may want to consider a softer, higher pile carpet that feels great on your bare feet and sees much less wear and tear. For a high foot traffic area like a hallway, a sturdy low-pile option may be a better choice.
  2. Lifestyle: Your family size and lifestyle mean a lot when choosing a carpet. If your house if full of active kids and pets, we’ll do our best to help you find a durable, high-value carpet that looks great and can stand plenty of foot traffic at the same time. If you’re an empty nester, maybe now is the time to splurge on that super-soft high-pile white carpet.
  3. How long will I be in my home? Our recommendations may be different for a homeowner who is going for long-term quality for their “forever home” versus a client who is looking to make upgrades for resale or an investor fixing up a rental property.

Don’t Forget the Carpet Pads
The carpet pad is an often overlooked but very important layer between your carpet and the subfloor. A good carpet pad can do way more than just add a layer of softness underfoot. Just like with carpet fibers, there are more choices in carpet pads than you ever thought possible. Lots of retailers will try to push an inexpensive urethane foam pad, but the fact is this old-school material won’t last. Your pad should reflect the quality of your carpet, so it’s time to think about an upgrade when you replace your carpet. We absolutely love Mohawk’s SmartCushion pads. They not only feel great, they can also extend the life and even the warranty of your carpet. SmartCushion pads are made of ViscoElastic memory foam that improves insulation and boosts noise control and energy efficiency. They also feature moisture guard for easy cleaning when you have a spill that soaks through.
Choosing the Right Carpet: The Right Pro Matters
The bottom line is that choosing a carpet for your home is a big deal. It’s an investment in your home, and as with any investment, it helps to have solid advice from a trusted professional. The fact that homeowners have many carpeting choices today is a good thing, but it also requires research and sound professional advice.
Installation is another important element. High-quality carpet should be installed by a team that knows what they’re doing and has experience with the specific carpet you select. The value of a skilled and experienced installation team can’t be overstated.
At Loudoun Valley Floors, our focus is on value rather than price. This means finding the quality/price nexus that makes sense for every single client. The best choice for empty nesters with a generous budget won’t match the best choice for a family of five with pets galore. Whatever your lifestyle and family dynamic, we’ll help you identify and meet your needs with a range of options. We’re happy to take the time to look at all the factors, styles and materials to find the choice that’s just right. Then we’ll install your carpet the right way to make sure you get years of enjoyment and satisfaction out of your choice. Come on in to one of our showrooms and let’s talk about your project.