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Selecting carpet over hardwood floors or tile is a popular choice of homeowners today. One of the reasons people go with carpet is the wide variety of textures, colors, and designs available. Unlike hardwood flooring and tile, carpet reduces noise levels from the floor, is more comfortable to walk on, and provides great insulation from drafts.

But what should you look for when you shop for carpet? Here are five basic tips that can help you.

Tip # 1 - Pick the Right Carpet for the Area
When choosing your carpet, be mindful of the location where the carpet will be going. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it a high traffic area?
  • Is it a room high in moisture?
  • Will you spend time eating in the room?
Your answers to these questions will govern the type of carpet that's best for you.

For high traffic areas such as living rooms or hallways, it's often better to get a high-grade carpet that can withstand the wear. It might cost you more upfront, but the benefit of longer wear normally outweighs the additional cost. For places like these, a high-quality hard twist or loop pile carpet is a winner.

As for bedrooms, consider who's in them. Will it be the kids' bedroom or the parents' bedroom? Children spend more time in their bedrooms than adults do. It's only natural that they will benefit from a higher grade of carpeting. But also consider the comfort factor as well. If the kids will be playing on the floor, a cut pile carpet is usually best because if feels soft to the touch.

Bathrooms, dining rooms, and kitchens are usually poor places for carpeting because of moisture and liquid spills. Instead of picking carpeting for these areas, it's best to choose a floor surface that's easy to clean, such as tile or linoleum.

Tip # 2 - Look at the Colors around You
Walls can usually be painted, but if you don't have the time or money to paint, then consider picking a carpet that matches what you currently have color-wise within the room. For example, if your walls are painted or wallpapered in bright tones, it's best to stick to neutral shades for the carpet. Your carpet should compliment your walls as opposed to fighting for attention.

Tip # 3 - Pick the Right Fibers for Your Carpet
If dirt is a concern, many people think that choosing patterned carpets can help. The truth is that's not always the case. It really has more to do with the carpet fibers than the design. For example, Nylon resists dirt and cleans much more easily than PP (Polypropylene) or Acrylic fibers.

Tip # 4 - Choose the Right Carpet Design
If you have kids or pets that have "accidents", it's best to go with a pattern design. The pattern can help mask any unfortunate spill that has proved resistant to thorough cleaning.

If you do go with a pattern though, keep in mind the space of your room as well. For example:

  • Large-scale patterns tend to make a room look smaller in size.
  • Small-scale patterns create the illusion that the room is bigger.

Tip # 5 - Pick a Carpet You Have Time To Care For
As with all finely crafted products, the life expectancy of your carpet depends on how carefully you maintain it. Never go with a carpet that requires more work than you can give to it. With proper cleaning and maintenance see (Carpet Cleaning Guide), you can help prolong your carpet's life and appearance.

Choosing your carpet isn't difficult as long as you follow these tips. Just a little forethought and information are all you need when it comes to picking carpet that is right for you.