What’s involved in the selection, purchase and installation of carpet?

It is important to realize that the average person purchases flooring once every seven or so years. Given that statistic and how fast technology is changing the world we live in it is no surprise that most people are relatively clueless when purchasing carpeting for their home or office.

First and foremost the most important aspect is color. No matter how good the piece of carpet is, if it is the wrong color the customer will be unhappy from the moment it is installed.  Personally, I believe that is why it is imperative that the customer be allowed and in fact encouraged to take samples home with them. This allows the customer to view the sample in the area that the carpet will be installed and see it with furniture, window treatments, wall coverings and any other items that will be in the room. Additionally, since colors change depending on the amount and type of lighting in the room it is extremely important to view samples at different times of the day and night.

The next hurdle in making the best decision is an understanding of the amount of traffic the carpeting will be expected to handle. Important considerations include the number of people using the room; whether pets will be present and how long the purchaser expects the carpeting to last. Fiber type and stain resistance needs to be addressed together with the style of carpeting. Numerous styles are available including cut pile, saxony, cable, shag, cut and loop, loop, berber and sisal. Also carpets are tufted or woven each of which have certain advantages and disadvantages. Each of these different qualities will play a major role in the feel of the room.

Once the carpet has been selected the proper cushion becomes the main concern. Proper cushion is critical for both the longevity of the carpeting as well as the proper installation. Certain constructions of carpet such as woven pieces require a harder flatter pad in order to help assure a good professional installation. Many cushions that are appropriate for tufted carpets are just too soft for woven carpets. The proper cushion will act as a shock absorber taking the brunt of the stress from the foot traffic.  Too many people don’t understand just how important the proper cushion is.

Once the carpet selection is made, arrangements need to be made to measure the area to be carpeted. A professional measure allows for proper seam placement, a review of the furniture to be moved, a check of door clearances, determination of removal of existing flooring if necessary and finally the total amount of materials needed to complete the installation in a professional manner. Let me assure you that this requires a professional as opposed to a do it yourselfer. Common mistakes include not allowing to pattern repeats, not allowing for door drops and not explaining seam placement.

In my next blog I will discuss the ordering, cutting, delivery and installation of the carpeting. Bottom line it is not the simplest process and requires expertise that usually can only be found in a professional floor covering store!

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