For high traffic “living” areas in the home such as kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms, hardwood is more popular than carpet these days. However, that doesn’t mean carpet is a thing of the past. Carpet is still widely used in other rooms in the house.
Carpet is still widely used in bedrooms, home offices, kid’s play areas, stairs (often as runners) and basements. In fact, carpet is my preferred floor covering for bedrooms, home offices and kids’ play areas.
Although carpet can make a world of difference in your home, it doesn’t mean that every type in your home is made in the same way. You have to choose a quality carpet that fits in perfectly with the surroundings around your home. It needs to come with not only a comfortable body but also a great pile and color. You must also know how well you can maintain a good carpet.
There are many good types of carpet options with different carpet fibers for you to add into your home, which range from eco-friendly carpets for the environment, high-end carpets for that special finish, to more durable carpets for high traffic areas.
Let’s take a look at some of the more prominent options that you can choose today when you’re aiming to get a nicer look going in your home and all you need once it is installed is a vacuum cleaner.
Table of Contents
- I. Carpet Popularity by Room (%)
- II. Two Main Types of Carpet: Loop Pile and Cut Pile
- III. Carpet Materials
- IV. Carpet Quality Indicators
- V. Padding
- VI. Baseboard
- VII. Colors
- VIII. Poll: Carpet vs. Hardwood
- IX. Prices
- X. Sizing
- XI. Key Points For Using Carpets
- XII. Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Can Carpeting Be Dyed?
- 2. Can Carpeting Be Patched?
- 3. Can Carpeting Be Stretched?
- 4. Can Carpeting Be Painted?
- 5. How Is Carpeting Measured?
- 6. Who Invented Carpeting?
- 7. Can You Install Carpeting Over Hardwood Flooring?
- 8. Can You Install Carpeting Over Tile?
- 9. Can You Put Carpeting Over Concrete?
- 10. Can You Put Carpeting Over Laminate?
- 11. Can You Put Carpeting Over Linoleum?
- 12. Can You Put Carpet Over Cork?
- 13. How Long Does Carpeting Last?
- 14. What Materials Is Carpeting Made From?
- 15. Can Used Carpeting Be Sold?
- 16. Can Used Carpeting Be Recycled? How?
- 17. Can Carpeting Be Repaired? How?
- 18. What Is Berber Carpet?
I. Carpet Popularity by Room (%)
Which rooms are best for carpet?
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Our first section is based on analysis of hundreds of thousands of rooms to determine how common carpet is in the main rooms of the home.
From our analysis, we put together a simple chart and corresponding table illustrating how common carpet is for the main rooms as a percentage of each main type of room that has carpet.
As you can see, carpet is not popular for kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms and entry areas. This is to be expected since those are high traffic areas and the kitchens/bathrooms have water/spill potential for which carpet is not ideal.
The percentages below indicate what percent of each room type has carpet.
Which rooms are best for carpet?
Based on the data, we conclude the following:
- Best rooms for carpet: bedrooms, home offices and basements.
- Worst rooms for carpet: Kitchens, bathrooms, entry areas and dining rooms.
II. Two Main Types of Carpet: Loop Pile and Cut Pile
Carpet is created by looping yarn style material through a backing and then creating a particular pile on the other site (i.e. the upside). There’s loop pile (i.e. berber) and cut pile (i.e. saxony).
Below we set out the various carpet options for both main types.
A. Loop Pile Options
Berber is the most common type of loop pile option you can choose. This means that the fibers are bent into a series of loops. This establishes a durable carpet that resists stains although it does not have as much cushioning as other choices.
In a Berber carpet, the loops are short in length although a slight bit of variance is welcome. This is a dense choice that offers a smooth tone. It is also something that will not come apart all that quickly. You should still ensure that you don’t add anything sharp into the carpet so it will not tear up and wear out quickly.
2. Level Loop
A level loop design uses short loops where everything is carefully measured to where the loops are of the same length. This is a little stiffer but it is perfectly appropriate for areas where large amounts of traffic can come into play. The loops are made to be as symmetrical as possible so you will have a clearly organized setup for the carpet without being too complicated or rough.
3. Multi-Level Loop
With a multi-level loop design, the tops of the looks will be varied by height. This offers a more appealing design that offers a series of visual flourishes. This is different from a patterned carpet in that all the threads are made into looks instead of just with cuts. This creates a design where the variance in the textures on the carpet can gradually change over time. The details on your carpet will not be as noticeable as you might think but they can make a real difference when aiming to make your space look its best.
B. Cut Pile
The Saxony style is a cut pile option where the fiber ends are cut as evenly as possible. In a Saxony arrangement, the fibers are packed tightly together. This creates a smoother appearance. The fibers are about half an inch high as well. This is also known as a plush carpet for how soft and luxurious it feels. The individual fibers can tear up quickly if you add something sharp so you must be careful when figuring out how well this can work.
The textured style is another cut pile choice. The yarn used is twisted and then cut. The carpet is soft while the surface is twisted enough to create a more casual appearance. The twists are tight enough to where it can resist stains and should be easy to clean off. The individual fibers bend a little faster than what a Saxony carpet has but it can add a nice tone when used well.
The frieze choice uses short fibers that can curl in many directions. This establishes a sturdy look that can hide footprints although it is not necessarily made with heavy foot traffic in mind as too much traffic can cause excess fatigue in the area. It has an informal style and is often referred to as a shag pile carpet. It is an attractive option that exudes a sense of luxury but you should be careful with handling items around it as you could have a rather tough time with trying to clean out anything you spill in there.
A pattern arrangement uses a mix of cut and looped yarn spots. The specific areas where the yarn is looped versus where it is cut can be planned out before the carpet is made. This is designed to establish a specific pattern and is often made with decorative intentions in mind. You can use any kind of great pattern whether it entails a symmetrical design or a series of floral accents all around. Whatever you choose should be checked properly.
III. Carpet Materials
The next distinguishing component to carpet is the material. When someone is wondering the different types of berber carpet, for example, those different types are based on the different carpet materials used in the pile.
Below is a list of the different types of carpet materials.
Nylon is a very popular carpet material for how it is strong, can resist soil, and stay in its same shape for years. It is popular but it can produce static electricity if you are abrasive on it.
Olefin is a polypropylene compound that was originally used in outdoor situations for how well it can resist moisture. Today, it is used in indoor situations because it offers a wool-like texture and is very strong. This can look great but it will have to be dyed to make it look strong. Also, excess exposure to the sun’s rays could hurt the appearance of the carpet.
A prominent synthetic material, polyester can resist stains. It resists moisture and is easy to clean off. It could clump up into piles if you don’t maintain it well enough.
Acrylic is made with a wool-like body that resists static and most stains. It is not likely to fade as much as other options.
You can always use real wool for your carpet if desired. Wool is appealing for how it features a series of carefully woven fibers that resist dirt. It can resist stains quite well. However, it is also more expensive due to how sturdy and durable the surface is.
Triexta is a synthetic choice that has become popular in many homes with pets and kids. This is thanks to how the fibers are strong and not as likely to tear apart as others. It is a powerful option but it can also cost quite a good deal of money due to how powerful it is.
IV. Carpet Quality Indicators
A. Pile Fiber Density
Quality carpet is indicated by the density of the fibers used for the pile. The denser the pile, the higher quality it is. When you can feel the backing material when running your hand over the upside of the carpet, that’s a lesser quality. When you don’t feel the backing, or the backing sensation is slight, that’s a better quality carpet.
B. Pile Fiber Weight
The heavier the carpet per square foot, the better quality it is. Heavier carpet indicates more fibers per square foot.
C. Quality Material
The most expensive and best carpet material is wool. It’s soft, durable, natural and eco-friendly. That said, it may not be the most practical since other materials are better for being stain resistant and in some cases more durable (but not as plush).
Here’s a photo of wool carpet:
In addition to your carpet pile, you also need a quality padding material. It is a soft material that is flexible and designed to go in between the subfloor and the base of the carpet where the fibers are attached.
The padding is used underneath the carpet pile and will cover up the floor. It insulates an area from the cold and creates a soft surface. You should always test out the padding used on your carpet before choosing it so you can get an idea of how it feels under your feet.
A baseboard material is a trim that is attached to the ends of your carpet. The baseboard will use a series of nails and wood pieces that link the carpet to the edges of the walls. This is to create a better overall appearance where the carpet is smoothed out and carefully arranged. This is a brilliant part of working with carpet that adds to the nice appearance of a surface. Still, you have to ensure that the baseboard links to the carpet after everything is measured and stretched out. Think of this as an anchor for the entire carpeted surface.
Carpets are available in a vast variety of colors. You can choose anything ranging from a neutral shade of brown or white to a more elaborate tone that matches up with other things in your room.
The Most Common Carpet Colors
Based on analysis of 1,883 bedrooms with carpet, the top 3 carpet colors are as follows:
- The most popular carpet color is beige, which is used in 55% of bedrooms.
- The second most popular carpet color is gray, which is used in 24% of bedrooms.
- The third most popular is brown, coming in at 6.27% of bedrooms.
FYI, we used bedrooms for the analysis because that’s bedroom’s most common flooring is carpet.
Carpet Color Chart
Carpet Color Decision Tips
Regardless of what you prefer, there are several points that must be used when getting carpet in your home:
- Choose a color that fits in well with other items in a room. These include pieces of furniture, the paint on your walls and so forth. Make sure the carpet blends in well with the rest of the room.
- Check on how well the carpet is made so you can identify when there are stains. You might have a tough time identifying stains that need to be fixed if you have a darker color.
- You can always get a patterned series of colors on your carpet. These include colors that create floral or symmetrical line designs among other things. You can always ask the manufacturer of your carpet about how well a design might work for you.
- Watch for the sunlight that comes into your area. Don’t add any colors that are too unique and dark into a spot where there’s lots of sunlight or else you might risk the color fading.
VIII. Poll: Carpet vs. Hardwood
Take our poll below:
The cost to get carpet will be based on how much carpet you need at a given time. There are many specific points about carpets that you must explore when looking at its cost:
It can cost about $1 to $10 per square foot for carpet. The more expensive options are typically more durable and could also come with an attractive pattern. Berber and wool are especially more expensive than other options.
It costs about $1 per square foot to get the carpet installed. You might have to spend a little extra in the event you need to remove any old carpeted surfaces, get furniture moved around and so forth.
In summary, you should expect to spend around $2 to $10 per square foot depending on what you have. This means that a standard room will cost a few hundred dollars for you to get a carpet with.
The sizing for your carpet will be measured based on how large your room is. You will have to measure your carpet based on such factors as how long and wide your room is and how many cuts have to be made to get the surface in your property organized right. You can always work with a professional installation team to get a clear idea of what you can use when getting it installed. Do be careful when getting it ready though so you won’t use more carpet than needed or be at risk of bare spots in your home.
XI. Key Points For Using Carpets
There are several added considerations to find when getting a carpet installed in any way. These points can be used when getting an installation ready to help you fully get the most out of your carpet:
- Sometimes the subfloor or padding underneath the carpet has to be installed. In many cases, you can use the same padding that you used for an older carpeted material on your new one. You’d have to check on how consistent and flexible the padding is before you choose something in particular.
- You will more than likely have to add a new baseboard material to get this ready. It might take a bit of extra time but if used right it should not be too hard to use.
- You can always get a customized cut ready for your carpet. You’d have to ask your installer to see what can be done beforehand. A proper estimate is needed with regards to how much carpet you need in a certain room.
- Some added moldings may be added to link your carpet up to other carpeted surfaces around your home. This is especially the case if you have different types of carpet with a variety of piles all around your property.
Make sure you watch carefully when getting carpet added in your home. A great carpeted surface can make a world of difference if chosen right. You should look around to see what’s available and how well it can all fit into your home when used properly enough.
Related: Types of Rugs
XII. Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to commonly asked questions about carpeting.
1. Can Carpeting Be Dyed?
It is possible to dye nylon or wool carpets. Acrylic, polyester and polypropylene carpets cannot be dyed. Your carpet’s current color will determine the new colors into which it can be dyed. There are three methods that are commonly used to dye carpet. They are spraying on the dye with a wand which has pressure poundage of between 150 and 500, using an aerosol spray can or applying the dye using a rotary scrubber with nylon bristles. They all require using professional-strength carpet dye for best results.
2. Can Carpeting Be Patched?
Carpeting can be patch by professionals with the proper equipment or by DIYers with the help of a patch repair kit that has adhesive disks. Simply measure and tape off the damaged piece of carpet to be patched. Remove the damaged area and measure and cut a replacement patch. Put the carpet patch into the right position. Glue it in place. Then rough up and smooth down the edges of the carpet patch to hide the seams.
3. Can Carpeting Be Stretched?
Yes, a loose, lumpy, wrinkled, can be stretched. But to do it properly you will need a power carpet stretcher, a knee kicker, a pry bar, a stapler containing 5/16-inch staples, a utility knife and some tack strips. Once one end of the carpet is secured into the tack strips, the carpet stretcher is used to pull the carpet tight all across the room and remove the rolls and wrinkles. The other end of the carpet is then embedded into the row of tack strips at that end of the room.
4. Can Carpeting Be Painted?
Berber, jute, seagrass and sisal carpets can be easily painted using upholstery paint. Plush carpeting does not take paint well. It tends to become matted and hard.
5. How Is Carpeting Measured?
Carpeting is measured using a diagram of the space to be carpeted. The area is then measured and the measurements are transferred to the diagram. The total square footage is then calculated. The measurements in each area is routinely rounded up to the nearest .5 of a foot. So a floor that’s 14.3 feet long by 11.8 feet wide becomes 14.5 feet by 12 feet. This ensures there enough material to adequately cover the floor. An additional 5% is added for seams. Carpets that require a pattern match will need additional material.
6. Who Invented Carpeting?
Goat hair and sheep’s wool have been sheared and spun or woven into carpets for over 9,000 years. In Western Asia, knotted-pile carpet rugs were being produced between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago. William Sprague is credited with being the father of the modern carpet industry. In 1791 in Philadelphia, he built the first mill for weaving carpet.
7. Can You Install Carpeting Over Hardwood Flooring?
Yes, you can. All you have to do is nail tackless strips on the floor along the baseboards on the room’s perimeter using masonry nails. Cover the floor with carpet padding laid. Cut the carpet about four inches larger than the room’s length and width. Lay it in place leaving two inches of excess at the wall. Hook one end of the carpet into the tackless strip at one end of the room beginning in the corners. Stretch the carpet all the way to the other wall using a power stretcher. Hook the other end of the carpet on the tackless strip there. Trim off the excess carpet.
8. Can You Install Carpeting Over Tile?
Carpet can be laid over tile. Simply cut and remove a strip of tile around the room’s perimeter that’s about 2 inches wider than the tackless strip that holds the carpet in place. Nail in the tackles strips on the floor 1 1/2 inches from the baseboard. Cover the entire floor with carpet under-padding. Hook the end of the carpet over the tackles strip. Use a power carpet stretcher to pull the carpet tight all the way across the room. Press the other end of the carpet into the tackless strips there. Cut off the excess carpet all along the baseboard using a utility knife.
9. Can You Put Carpeting Over Concrete?
To install carpeting over concrete, nail tack strips into the floor all around the perimeter of the room. Cover the entire concrete floor with carpet padding. Connect the strips of padding using tape. Unroll the carpet on top of the padding. Begin at the far corner of the room and hook the edge of the carpet into the tack strips. Once you have connected the end of the carpet to the tack strip across the entire back wall, use a power carpet stretcher to pull the carpet taut all the way to the front wall. Hook that end of the carpet to the tack strip. Replace the baseboards.
10. Can You Put Carpeting Over Laminate?
Putting carpeting over laminate is not recommended. The tack strips used to connect the carpet to the floor can wrinkle the laminate. This will make it uneven, not lie flat beneath the carpet and make it near impossible for the carpeting to be installed properly. Over time, laminate has a tendency to stiffen and begin to curl up. This will push against the carpeting and cause it to become displaced, lumpy, wrinkled and uneven. It is better to remove the laminate and put the carpeting directly on the subfloor.
11. Can You Put Carpeting Over Linoleum?
It is possible and relatively simple to put down carpeting over the linoleum on your floors. The key is to make sure the linoleum is clean and smooth. Then install your tackles strips and your carpet pad and follow the basic steps for installing a carpet. Some people put a plywood underlayment on top of the linoleum before installing the carpet, but that is not necessary. A good carpeting job can be done without underlayment.
12. Can You Put Carpet Over Cork?
If the cork flooring is firmly in place, you can leave it as it is and simply install a carpet pad and carpeting on top of it. That is a faster, safer and more cost-efficient method of replacing your cork floors with carpeting. You can call in a professional or tackle putting carpeting over your cork floors as a do it yourself project.
13. How Long Does Carpeting Last?
Inexpensive, apartment-grade carpeting generally lasts about 5 years. Medium grade carpeting can be expected to last as long as 15 years. The top-quality carpeting available today can last as long as 25 years. That longevity and durability depend on the amount of traffic it has to endure and how well it’s cared for and maintained.
14. What Materials Is Carpeting Made From?
Carpets can be produced using a wide range of natural and synthetic materials. They include acrylic, polyester, wool, nylon, polypropylene(Olefin), Smartstrand and recycled plastic. Some popular carpeting materials are uncut carpet pile, cut carpet pile, Saxony cut pile, textured cut pile, Frieze cut pile, plush carpet or velvet cut pile.
15. Can Used Carpeting Be Sold?
Used carpeting is commonly sold in home goods stores, thrift stores, home decorating stores, second-hand stores, private sale listings and online auction sites like eBay. There is a wide selection of used carpeting available in a variety of sizes and at very affordable prices.
16. Can Used Carpeting Be Recycled? How?
Carpets of all types can be recycled. The fiber in the carpet is separated from the backing and often both the fibers and the backing are broken down, processed and used to create new carpets and other products.
17. Can Carpeting Be Repaired? How?
Rips, stains and cigarette burns can make your carpet look old and unsightly. Plus, replacing it can be expensive. If the area that’s damaged isn’t too large, it’s possible to repair the carpet and save money instead of replacing the entire carpet. The damaged sections of carpeting can be repaired using a patch.
18. What Is Berber Carpet?
Berber carpet is a loop carpet invented by the Berber people of North Africa. They produced light-colored, handwoven textiles featuring distinct woven knots, loops, as well as natural multi-color flecks from the coat of the sheep from which they got the wool from which the carpets were produced. The knot and loops are distinguishing characteristics of modern, mass-produced, Berber carpets.