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Old Faithful

Old Faithful

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Say you are considering purchasing carpet either to spice up the home you already have, or to be installed in the home you are building. Perhaps you have decided that under no circumstances will you end up with anything that, even vaguely, resembles the shag carpeting of the seventies. Most likely though, you have no idea of the magnitude of choices awaiting to delight your senses.


Perhaps years ago, carpeting was limited to some very basic stitch designs that were subsequently offered in an assortment of obnoxious colors. This is thankfully quite far from the truth today. In looking at carpeting up-close-and-personal, one notices that the pile, this is the manner in which the carpet loops are assembled, vary from one type to the next. For example, one of the most popular styles used today is known as the cut pile. This is comprised of a highly durable surface of twisted yarn, or other material. The density of the twists will differentiate the durability, as well as the look and feel of the carpet. This is evident when comparing say a carpet that shows footprints, as opposed to one that does not. Of course, denser twists are most useful in areas of high traffic, particularly in commercial locations. An entirely different method is loop pile carpeting. This is characterized by, as it sounds, loops of yarn or alternative fibers. For those looking to add texture to a space, a patterned loop design may be preferred. This design is merely characterized by loops of varying heights in a predetermined manner. Lastly, carpets that contain a multitude of texture may have been created using a combination of the cut and loop design. These two styles can be brought together quite nicely as they produce a lovely combination of both texture and color.


Of course, the pile type is only one piece of the puzzle, as the actual carpet fiber is exceptionally important. Due to the cost factor, nearly all carpeting is comprised of synthetic fiber. The natural fiber alternative would be something in the range of wool. However, nylon remains the most popular fiber choice for homes in the United States. Nylon has taken this title by being durable and stain resistant, while also achieving bright and lustrous colors. Olefin is another prominent fiber used in carpet making, yet it is characterized by its ability to fight off moisture, to minimize static electricity and by its durability.


Then, of course, comes the task of color selection. This is a process that can only be successfully completed by the homeowner. When considering color choices, it is important to take into consideration wall color, trim color, furniture color and really any other colors that you intend to bring into the home. For example, if you have lots of green indoor house plants, it should be considered as to how they will match up to the new carpeting.

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Lastly, due to the continued discussion about environmental hazards, carpeting has been the focus of some negative press. The premise of such discussions is to determine the factors of our immediate environment, be it in the home or in the office, that may be contributing to the increasing number of health problems that Americans are facing today. Carpeting has been, most notably, blamed for off-gassing hazardous VOCs. It is equally important though, to place this in perspective. Many new products that are brought into the home, from televisions to coffee makers, contribute to the presence of VOCs in the internal air. For this reason, it is important to provide plenty of ventilation throughout the home immediately after carpet installation or the introduction of new products. Further, some carpets have been certified as Green meaning they have a reduced VOC output.
On the flip side of the health spectrum, carpeting can be a positive edition to the home. Anyone can attest to the prevalence of particles floating in the air after merely watching streams of dust and dirt circulate in the sunlight. Thankfully, carpeting is a useful trap for these particulates, as it holds them in its fibers down at floor level, as opposed to allowing them to circulate at breathing level. The particulate matter can then be easily gathered and removed by a good vacuum. Modern day scientific studies have disproved the notion of the 1970s that carpeting is a poor option for individuals suffering from asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

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As the carpet selection process may seem lengthy and tedious, giving serious consideration to style, purpose and color will pay off in your long-term satisfaction. A nice clean carpet can certainly make a positive first impression on your guests. Further, do not forget to consider that you home is your sanctuary; investing in your level of comfort will inevitably have a more critical effect on your quality of life than you might realize.



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