How to Choose the Best Carpet for Your Family’s Lifestyle

All carpets are not created equal.

In fact, choosing the perfect carpet for your family’s home is a task that requires some research and planning ahead. Selecting a carpet that isn’t right for your needs and lifestyle might mean that you’ll need to replace it much sooner than you anticipated; understanding which kind is right for you ahead of time will help you save money in the long run.

A pile of options


Understanding carpet pile is a good first step in choosing carpet that’s right for you. The amount of options available to you might seem overwhelming at first, but we’re here to break it down for you.

Carpet is made from fabric loops or tufts on backing that’s made from a stiffer material. “Pile” refers to the height and type of these loops, which determine the texture and softness of the carpet.

A high-pile carpet is softer and fluffier; it lends itself to a cozier atmosphere, like a bedroom or family den. A higher pile means that the fabric loops are longer, which looks more luxurious and feels nicer against bare feet.

Low-pile carpet is made from shorter loops, which means that it’s generally less “plush”. This type of carpet is often recommended for areas that receive a higher amount of traffic. It’s also easier to effectively clean than high-pile carpet, and is therefore better for people who tend to struggle with allergies to things like dust and pet dander.

More to pile than meets the eye


Even beyond pile height, there are multiple different types of pile– the loops can be thicker, varied lengths, shorter, more cushioned… the possibilities are virtually endless.

Cut pile is one of the most popular styles of carpeting. It’s made when the loops are cut, which creates a softer surface that’s more cushiony against your feet. It’s typically pretty sturdy, and won’t succumb to crushing as much as other varieties. When you think of standard bedroom carpet, you’re probably picturing cut pile.

Loop pile, on the other hand, is (as you might be able to guess) when the fabric loops aren’t cut. Loop pile carpets are much more durable than cut pile, but they tend to sacrifice some of that cushiony softness for the sake of that durability. Loop pile carpet withstands foot traffic very well, but if you have a pet who’s fond of exercising her claws on the carpet, loop pile might not be the best choice– the loops can get pulled out, which can make the carpet look worn well before its time.

There are multiple different subtypes of pile, too. For example: cable cut and plush pile types are luxurious underfoot and perfect for a cozy room that doesn’t receive a lot of traffic, like a formal dining room or bedroom. Textured cut pile’s texture effectively hides footprints, making it great for high-traffic areas.


Carpet materials


Today, three types of carpet materials dominate the market. The material is what the fabric loops are made out of, and as you can imagine, different types of fibers feel different underfoot.

Polyester is a popular choice because it’s affordable and soft, but it’s also easy to clean, resistant to stains, and can be made from recycled materials– making it planet-friendly. However, sometimes you get what you pay for; polyester is cheaper, but it’s also less durable than the other two popular carpet types.

Olefin is very similar to wool; it’s a dense type of loop pile carpeting that’s perfect for higher-traffic areas or areas that tend to be damp, like basements. It’s sturdy enough to be able to handle intensive cleaning, which means that it can keep looking its best for years to come without getting worn out.

Nylon is a longtime favorite, and is potentially the most popular of the three. Color, texture and pile options for nylon carpeting are virtually limitless. The best part about nylon carpeting is that it lasts a long time– potentially 15 years or more, even in an area with higher traffic. It’s also resistant to fading, which means it’ll hold color for a long time.


Overwhelmed by options?


Don’t worry– here at Kaufman By Design, we’re here to help you sort through all of the options available to you. One of our design experts will help you determine which type of carpet is absolutely perfect for your home. Feel free to give us a call or reach out today!