We sat down with Yeager Flooring President Jim Yeager to get his take on what to look for when purchasing quality carpet.
You’ll want continuous filament nylon or wool that’s made by a well-known name brand. We usually recommend Karastan carpeting because of their excellent warranty, the finest in the industry, something worth considering when you’re making the investment of purchasing quality carpet. Continuous filament is very important. Less expensive carpet varieties use stapled fibers, and that type of construction will tend to fray and shed over time, making them possibly much less durable.
When it comes to synthetics, nylon is by far the cream of the crop. It’s better than polyester or olefin, which are harder to clean and do not hold up as well. Nylon does not shed yarn or get fuzzy as quickly. Wool is a more expensive choice but it is the premier fiber used in carpet construction. Wool cleans especially well, comes in beautiful colors, and has good resiliency, better than that of any synthetic fiber. They also are better suited to homes with asthmatics or allergy sufferers, provided they’re maintained regularly and properly.
We have many varieties of carpet, but frieze is one of the more popular styles these days. It hides a multitude of sins, such as dirt or pathways. It’s also available in a barber-poled yarn, that’s when they spin multiple colors in the yarn, that hides staining and dirt really well. The backing isn’t much of a worry on the residential level. It’s more of a concern in commercial settings with a lot of traffic.
The padding, also referred to as the cushion—that goes beneath the carpet—is very important. You’ll see a lot of places offering free pads with the installation of carpet, and most of the better carpet manufacturers require specific weights for the carpet cushion. But just because it’s the minimum doesn’t mean that’s what you should shoot for.
When purchasing quality carpet, go for a heavier, denser pad, such as 8-pound weight instead of 6-pound. You’re looking at a price difference of $2.00 per square yard, but it’s worth it. You’re better off with a firm, dense pad, than a cheap, cushy pad that will break down in six months. When you’re getting the padding, make sure you ask for the true weight and thickness, because some of the listed weights and thicknesses they can get away with aren’t always accurate. We call those “cheaters.”