Rethinking carpet

Modern carpet has attributes modern families value

FORT WAYNE NEWSPAPERS A patterned carpet, whether a traditional design, a calm and quiet one or a bold, contemporary statement, will express personality and add warmth in more ways than one to your home.
FORT WAYNE NEWSPAPERS Neutrals are always a sound choice, but gorgeous colors are available to beautify your floors and enliven your home décor.
FORT WAYNE NEWSPAPERS Your selection of a carpet includes considering the importance of what it’s made of and how it is made, too, not just the lovely surface you’ll enjoy for years to come.
FORT WAYNE NEWSPAPERS Wool carpeting remains an excellent choice for its high-end look and hypoallergenic qualities. This line also ppints out the interest that the different weave textures can bring to your home. Fiber choice is one of the major decisions a homeowners makes, after the big choice to use carpet, and it has important repercussions for durability and ease of care.

Carpeting seems to have gone by the wayside, in lieu of seemingly ubiquitous hard flooring. But a trip to a carpet showroom to survey the amount of stylish options can tempt you otherwise.

Modern applications of carpets are stylish, functional and can help with efficiency and even allergies, offering high performance and value well above previous iterations. Knowing what’s right for your home and lifestyle can be tricky, though, and with so many advancements in the industry, choices abound. Rely on professionals to guide you through the process.

The debate: Hard vs. soft

The debate about carpeting versus hardwood or vinyl plank flooring includes arguments about aesthetic style and lifestyle, as well as health and safety. Some allergists say because carpeting traps dirt and dust in the fibers until vacuumed, those with heavy allergies should choose carpeting in lieu of hardwood floors, which allow the debris to flow freely through the air and house. The quality of indoor air in carpeted homes can be higher due to reduced levels of in-atmosphere dust, which carries germs and allergens, creating a potentially healthier environment. Regular cleaning and vacuuming not only keeps carpeting in great shape but reduces the amount of allergens, dust and germs in the home.

Carpeting may also help reduce accidents and injuries in the home, especially for babies and small children and the elderly. The soft flooring buffers falls and can reduce slipping and the cushioned surface underfoot can help reduce stress on joints. Carpeting can also provide energy savings, most significantly during colder months. Installing carpeting can also help absorb sound, creating a more serene environment within the home. For this reason, carpeting is a great option for bedrooms, media and reading rooms, playrooms, offices and attics. The biggest impact is typically felt when homeowners install carpeting on the upper floors of a home, reducing the amount of noise heard on the floors below.

More than just carpet

Once you have decided to use carpeting in an area of your home, your process will require you to deal with more considerations than that lovely visible layer that is the carpet itself.

Selecting the correct carpeting means considering options that have nothing to do with the aesthetics. Unseen aspects such as fiber material, density and quality, type of backing and padding, as well as binding options, are just as vital as the carpet itself.

Lifestyle should be chief among the topics discussed with any floor covering professional. Traffic patterns of the homeowners and occupants factor in a big way, as do the presence of pets. Technical advancements and upgrades in modern materials now make the combination of carpeting and small children or pets an easier issue to tackle. Highly durable and functional pads or backing adds comfort and can additionally make cleaning up spills and accidents a snap.

While carpeting will always require regular vacuuming, spot cleaning and occasional deep cleanings, stain resistant styles are plentiful. Casey Sanserino, of local company Michael’s Floor Covering, says while regular vacuuming is vital for keeping your carpeting clean and like new, Dyson brand vacuums are too powerful and can pull apart the fibers of the carpeting. Using a Dyson may also negate the warranty that comes with your chosen carpet. Sanserino also says most warranties require homeowners to schedule regular, professional carpet steam cleaning. Locally owned carpet cleaning companies, Steam A Way Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning and Referral Cleaning & Restoration, offer high-quality, professional carpet cleaning services and offer free estimates.

When selecting carpet, the fiber options are plentiful and important. The majority of carpets are made using man made fibers such as nylon, polyester and acrylics, while natural options are wool and sisal. Nylon fibers are well known for being stain resistant and durable and newer versions are incredibly soft, to boot. Polyester fibers resist fading and some are made from recycled plastic bottles.

Acrylic fibers stand up to stains and can mimic the look of wool at a lower price point, however these fibers are not ideal for heavy traffic areas. For eco-friendly options, look to wool and sisal which emit less volatile organic compounds due to their natural fibers and non-toxic dyes. Wool tends to be the most expensive option due to its high-end look and its naturally hypoallergenic qualities. Environmentally speaking, many carpet manufacturers are now using recycled materials for carpet fibers and making efforts to recycle retired carpets when replaced.

Along with the type of fiber, the pile of said fibers is equally important to consider, as this is the visible surface of the carpet. Cut, cut and loop, level loop and multi-level loop are pile options that will provide the particular style or texture to the final look. Berber is an example of level loop pile while shag is an example of the many cut styles.

An appropriate underlay or pad is a thin layer that serves as additional insulation, adds further cushion underfoot and can help prolong the life of the carpeting. The three common options are foam, fiber and rubber. The type of underlay will often depend on type of carpeting, its backing, as well as lifestyle variables, such as the presence of pets.

Comfort and beauty

The feel of a high-quality carpet underfoot is luxuriously comfortable and can bring a soft, elegant texture to bedrooms, living rooms and dens as well as dining rooms and offices. Carpeting offers a wide variety of designer options like textures, colors, patterns, prints and yarn styles. While many prefer neutral hues for long-term carpeting, more bold colors and patterns can be brought into the home by way of area rugs. This technique is an interesting way to add personality and panache to a room with less commitment. Layering rugs over existing carpeting can quickly change up a look and add stylish texture to any room. For a particularly small yet bold pop of personality, choose a statement-making color or print for a staircase or main hallway or a splashy, custom-cut area rug for an entryway.

Rugs and carpets are also helpful when wanting to define spaces or create vignettes in larger rooms. Seating areas become instantly more welcoming when plush carpeting is underneath. While it may seem obvious to some, it is worth mentioning how important it is to avoid installing carpet in damp areas or rooms in which water features heavily, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Use specialty area rugs to bring warmth, color and texture to these rooms instead.

Sanserino and the experts at Michael’s Floor Covering assist homeowners with designing and planning how various floor coverings work together. A modern, layered look within a home often includes hardwood or vinyl planks and/or tile in conjunction with carpeting, whether wall to wall or bound area rugs. Working with a professional design team will help ensure all the elements, colors and textures correspond. Michael’s Floor Covering carries brands such as Karastan, Shaw, Mohawk and more, for both residential and commercial uses. In addition to carpeting and area rugs, Michael’s Floor Covering carries vinyl, laminate, ceramic and wood flooring products.

RESOURCES

Michael’s Floor Covering www.michaelsfloorcovering.com

Steam A Way Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning www.carpetcleaningfortwayne.com

Referral Cleaning & Restoration www.referralfw.com

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