Carpet adds elegance to your home and the more you know, the more you can select the right one for your lifestyle and decor. That means you’ll enjoy it for years.

Firstlearn about quality. It isn’t thickness that determines quality; in fact, some very high-quality rugs are thinner. It is density that determines it, how closely the fibers are tufted together. You can check this out for yourself; just bend a sample card and if you see a lot of white space you’ll know it is lower quality.

Second, understand carpet pile. Some piles just aren’t as good for some rooms as others.

The fluffy ones, such as a shag or frieze, have a high pile and are better for the bedrooms or living/dining area, but disastrous for stairs; they don’t wrap properly or provide footing foundation. That means you’ll slip and fall.

A high pile carpet isn’t good for the home office, either, where you have chairs with wheels, file cabinets and heavy furniture that often needs to be moved.

A carpet with a low pile tends to be sturdier because it’s more tightly woven. Examples of those are the Saxony and Berber.

Third, know thy fibers. You have both natural, such as wool, and synthetic (man-made) fibers. The most common fibers are:

Wool (has natural oils that repel dirt)
Nylon (the superman of strength)
Polyester (a close second to nylon)
Olefin (the most affordable)

Each fiber type affects carpet durability and cost.

Olefin deserves special mention because it creates some of the most affordable carpets. It is best used for low-traffic areas. Olefin, however, is stain-proof, and when used in a loop style, such as Berber, it can be stronger. That’s because the strongest side of any fiber is the side, and that is more exposed in a loop.

Fourth, understand style, because this also affects strength and price; some create more affordable carpets than others. Berbers are relatively inexpensive especially when they have the Olefin fiber. Also, the Frieze is one of the more affordable carpets and it’s durable also because of the twisting action of the fiber which gives it extra toughness.

For more information, feel free to come into the Floor Gallery showroom in Sunnyvale, CA.