Carpet FAQ's


What are the different types of fiber used in carpet today?

  • Wool is considered the premier fiber in carpet construction, but it's price is out of reach of most consumers. It is soft, has excellent resilience and durability, and is the most "green" fiber that carpet is made from.

  • Nylon is the most commonly used fiber for carpet in the industry and is historically regarded as the most durable synthetic fiber. Brand names include WearDated, and Anso. Nylon offers excellent comfort and vibrant colors.

  • Nylons are not inherently stain resistant but are treated for improved stain resistance.

  • Triexta, made by DuPont, offers the wear advantages of nylon but is more stain resistant. Triexta, also known as SmartStrand Forever Clean, Sorona, and Silk, offers built-in lifetime stain and soil resistance that does not wash or wear off and is easy to clean with just water. Many of the softest carpets available today are of Triexta fiber.

  • Polyester is considered the "value fiber" and is naturally stain and fade resistant. Polyester styles are good choices for low-to-medium traffic settings such as bedrooms. New technology makes today's polyester greatly improved from the polyester you may remember from the 1970's.

  • Olefin, also known as polypropylene, is the most stain resistant fiber and is primarily available in Berber and commercial carpets. Polyester and olefin tend to be less costly than nylon and Triexta.

Which carpet will wear the best?

After wool, nylon is traditionally cited as the most durable fiber. Triexta is also proving to perform as well as nylon. More important than the specific fiber is the construction of the carpet. Look for cut pile carpets that are tightly twisted and dense (fibers very close together.) Be aware that no entry-level (“builders grade”) carpet will perform well long-term, regardless of fiber content.

Which carpets clean up best – especially with children and pets?

Solution dyed nylon, Triexta and solution dyed polyester. These fibers can be cleaned very aggressively without damage to the carpet. Some products even offer stain warranties on mustard, bleach, red wine, Kool-Aid, and pet accidents, items that are excluded from most warranty coverage! Also, carpets with color flecks help to hide stains and dirt.

Why do you price by the square foot and not by the yard?

Most people do not know how to figure square yardage but can easily determine the amount of square feet in an area. Square footage is simply the length multiplied by the width. For example, a 10’ x 10’ room is 100 square feet. If you want to know the square yard price, just multiply the square foot price by 9.

What is ounce weight?

Ounce weight (also called face weight) is a measure of the amount of fiber in a square yard of carpet. The higher the number, the more fiber is used in the construction of the carpet. As a guide, a "good" carpet is usually 18 to 30 ounces, a "better" carpet ranges 30 to 50 ounces, and a "best" is 50 to 65 ounces. "Premium" carpets are usually 65 ounces and up (ounce weights max out around 125 ounces.) Ounce weight is just one of the factors that determines the durability of the carpet. Other important considerations include twist, density (gauge), pile height, and fiber content. It is true that heavier carpet ounce weight will tend to feel more luxurious, plush and comfortable. Heavier carpet has more fiber and yarn, so it costs more to manufacture and thus costs more to purchase. Although a higher ounce weight carpet may be more expensive, it is not necessarily more durable.

Will my seams be noticeable?

There is no such thing as an invisible seam. Some carpets show seams more easily than others, for example, Berbers and light colored cut piles.

What is the difference between saxony, textured, frieze and Berber carpet?

Saxony, textured, and frieze are all types of cut pile carpets. Saxony is a very formal carpet that shows footprints easily. Textured carpets are tightly twisted to minimize footprints. Friezes are even more tightly twisted; the fibers actually bend over themselves. Berbers are carpets that are looped.

What is a "cut and loop"?

A "cut and loop" (also called an LCL) is a carpet with both looped fibers and cut fibers, constructed in a pattern or design.

What pad choices do I have? Is it true that it is better to upgrade the pad and not the carpet? Do I have to replace my pad?

There are three main types of pad: rebond foam, rubber cushion and fiber pad. Think of the pad as the shock absorber of your carpet. The better the pad, the longer before the carpet begins to show wear. You don't have to replace your pad, but your carpet warranty is usually made void if you don't. People also replace their pad for hygiene reasons.

Is there a carpet that does not show footprints?

Only a commercial loop carpet or a very low, tight Berber will not show footprints. Textured carpets, friezes, cut and loops (LCLs), and loose Berbers will only minimize footprints. Also, heavy furniture leaves indentations in all carpets.

What kind of pad is included in the installed price?

Cut pile carpet prices include a 7/16" 8 lb. rebond pad. Berber, print carpets, and cut-and-loop carpet prices include a 3/8" 8 lb. rebond pad. Pad upgrades are also available. Be sure to ask your Design Consultant to show you samples of a variety of pads so that you are making an informed decision.

What is included in installation? Do you move furniture?

Most of our carpet prices include removal and disposal of your existing carpet and pad, the installation of the new carpet and pad, and moving your furniture. However, we do charge extra for moving extremely large items such as pianos, big screen televisions and large entertainment centers. There are also stair charges for installation on steps. This will be discussed during your in-home estimate.

My child has allergies! Should I consider carpet?

The good news is that people with allergies and asthma can have carpet. Most fibers used in mass-produced rugs and carpets today are harmless materials like polyester and nylon, the same stuff clothes and bags are made from. These synthetic blends are constructed out of lab-developed fibers that repel allergens, in part because they are nonorganic and offer an inhospitable climate. For example, mold has nothing to eat and particulate (pollen, dander, etc.) can be easily vacuumed. Wool should be avoided because allergens and mold can thrive in it. Regardless of material, avoid shag -- the shorter the strands, the fewer places the pollen can go. Also choose carpet with tightly woven strands for the same reason.

But no matter which carpet type you choose, dust, pollen and other allergy-aggravators are still in there, so get rid of them. Vacuum regularly have your carpets professionally cleaned (hot water extraction) on a regular basis. Invest in a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which traps allergens; some vacuums are even equipped with them.

Allergens sink into the carpet and out of the air, but even with frequent vacuuming, they're still down there. Hard floor coverings offer no haven for allergens -- they just sit on the surface. They're easier to clean than carpets -- a simple sweep and vacuum quickly gets rid of allergens. If you opt out of carpet, however, note that hard surfaces require more frequent cleaning. If not maintained, the result will be a dusty, sneezy environment that is inferior to the allergen-trapping properties of a carpet-covered room.

In short, if you want to sweep/vacuum more frequently, a solid surface may be better. But, if you aren’t able to maintain the flooring almost daily, carpet may actually serve you better.

Why do you price by the square foot and not by the yard?

Most people do not know how to figure square yardage but can easily determine the amount of square feet in an area. Square footage is simply the length multiplied by the width. For example, a 10' x 10' room is 100 square feet. If you want to know the square yard price, just multiply the square foot price by 9.

What does an average house of carpet cost?

In an average home of 1800 sq. ft. of carpeted space, with a 45 oz. nylon cut pile, the cost would run around $7500 fully installed with standard pad.

What type of vacuum cleaner should I use?

To ensure your vacuum will conform to the highest industry standards, make sure that your vacuum is appropriate for your type of carpet and is certified through the Carpet and Rug Institute. Please be aware that there are some vacuums that simply will not work on certain carpets, for example Dyson vacuums on premium soft carpets like SmartStrand Silk and Shaw Caress. Typically, a good vacuum will offer features such as allowing you to adjust the height, beater bar rotation and fan speed. Vacuums with large wheels, self-propelled vacuums or specialty tools will also make for effective carpet maintenance.

Fiber Type and Construction will determine how your carpet needs to be vacuumed:

  • High pile, wool, wool-blend, and premium soft carpets: Adjust height to highest setting, avoid vacuums with very strong suction and use a vacuum with large wheels.

  • Thick loop, casual frieze or long pile carpet such as "shag": You may need to completely disengage the beater bar and vacuum carpet with suction only.

  • All other carpet constructions not mentioned above: Use a vacuum with a rotating brush or beater bar. Change the bags often and check the beater bars for burs and gouges to prevent damage to the surface of the carpet.
Adjustable height is the most important feature because this enables the machine to be used on a wide variety of carpet constructions. For the proper height setting, the beater bar or brush should just lightly touch your carpet surface.

If your vacuum is set too high above the carpet surface, the vacuum can't attract the gritty soil below. Make sure it doesn't dig into or gouge the carpet pile. If the setting is too low, the vacuum's beater bar or brushes can "fuzz" the carpet's surface, causing it to look worn and frayed. If you see any fraying or damage to the vacuumed area, change the setting or use a different vacuum on your carpet.

Nearly every vacuum manufacturer offers multiple models that can be used on a wide range of carpet constructions. The following examples have been recommended by the respective manufacturers and have been verified by


Standard Upright VacuumLightweight/No Depth AdjustmentCanister Vacuum
Hoover UH70120Oreck MagnesiumHoover Canister S3865
Kirby SentriaOreck Magnesium RSOreck Quest Pro
Soniclean Soft Carpet SFC-7000Hoover Nano UH20020WDirt Devil Edge
Dirt Devil UD70115HP Product Edge Powerhead
Eureka AS5203ANilsk-Palace Collection
Bissell BigGreen Commercial(this is the vacuum we use and sell in our store-we love it!)Vacuo Edge Powerhead

Which should I do first, paint or the new carpet?

Most people paint first. However, if you paint first, no matter how careful we are, there will be some touch-up painting required after installation.
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