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When choosing a new carpet, consider where in your home it will be used, how much traffic it will have, and its exposure to sun and dirt. This will help you choose a carpet with the appropriate durability, fade resistance, and ability to clean. Next, consider the texture and feel.


There are five common types of yarn used in carpets: nylon, olefin, polyster, acrylic, and wool. Nylon is the most common and has excellent durability. Olefin (polypropylene) is also a durable material but has more of a plastic feel (it is what artificial turf is made out of). Polyester is softer. Acrylic is similar to wool and is moisture and mildew-resistant, so it is frequently used in damp locations like bathrooms and basements. Wool is the softest and most luxurious of all fibers. Frequently, carpets are made from a blend of these yarns.

To create depth, carpets are made as loop pile or cut pile. Loop pile has the yarn in a twisted loop that extends upward from the carpet. For cut pile rugs they simply cut off the top of the loop so that the yarn is in individual strands.

Carpet Pads

Carpet pads are available in many materials -- polyurethane foam, fiber, or rubber. While thicker pads enhance the softness and sound insulation of the carpet, a pad can be too thick and cause excessive wear. In high traffic areas, use a thinner pad than in low traffic areas. Consult your salesman for the proper thickness for the type of carpet you have.
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