Here are a few tips to help you choose the best carpeting for your home.

By Bob Vila | Updated Jun 17, 2019 2:16 PM

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When considering putting carpets on your floors, there are some things you should know:

How they’re made. Carpets are made in one of three ways. Woven carpets are made with the tufts woven into the carpet backing. Tufted carpets have fiber loops (or tufts) inserted into a prewoven backing, while in non woven carpets, the tufts are bonded to the backing.

What they’re made of. Carpets are made of wool, a blend of silk and wool, and cotton, as well as a wide variety of synthetic materials, including acrylics, nylon, polyester, and polypropylene olefin (for indoor-outdoor carpets). Wool carpets are expensive, cotton inexpensive, while the synthetics vary, depending upon the quality. Natural fibers tend to stain more easily than the artificial ones. Most good quality carpets, regard­less of the fiber used, will hold their color and wear for many years.

Rugs vs. Carpets. Area rugs can be used in countless ways (for example, to define areas, add color or pattern, or to deaden sound). But the use of an area rug is really a design decision. Wall-to-wall carpeting, on the other hand, can be a principal flooring sur­face, and it’s wall-to-wall carpeting that we’re concerned with here.

Most wall-to-wall carpeting, regardless of its manufacturing process, is termed broadloom carpet because it leaves the factory in rolls of varying widths, typ­ically 9, 12, or 15 feet. A padding is laid beneath the carpet, then the carpet itself is attached to the floor at the perimeter of room, most often using a tackless strip.

Carpet needs to be laid in a relatively dry setting, since all but olefin carpets tend to absorb moisture. But the decision about what kind of carpet to use tends to be a very subjective one. Many people feel expensive wool carpets convey prestige; others swear that top-of-the-line nylon is indistinguishable and more durable, too. Look at the options and arrange for estimates from a carpeting contrac­tor. The balancing act of price, availability, texture, color, and pattern should bring you to your decision.