Choosing the Right Carpet for Your Living Room

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For most people, the living room is one of the most important parts of the house. It usually has a central location in your structure and it’s the gateway to all the other sections of your household. It’s where the family converges after a long day of work and it’s where most of us receive our visitors.

As such, making sure that we have warm, cozy and visually pleasing living rooms is a top priority for most homeowners. As most interior design and housing experts would tell you, the process of improving every room starts from the ground up. What you do with your flooring will have a big impact on how satisfied you’ll be with your living room for the long haul.

Carpets are very popular floor coverings for American homeowners. Not only do they add softness, warmth and noise absorption to a room, they also provide it with a touch of artistic character at relatively low costs. Approximately 51% of all homes in the US use carpets or rugs to cover their bare floors. The carpet market is definitely a big one and there are plenty of material and design variations out there to choose from.

But how exactly do you know which carpet is best for your living room? We consulted our team of carpet experts and they shared the following tips in selecting a carpet that you’ll love for a very long time:

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Set a Reasonable Budget

When chosen in good taste and properly installed, a carpet can add a dash of luxury to a living room’s aura. However, that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to shell out the big bucks just to have an elegant and functional carpet covering your floor. With all the material and style combinations out there, there’s no reason for you not to find something that you like which suits your spending power.

Choose the material based on need first, then proceed to choosing a style that catches your eye. Make sure to get quotes from several vendors and ask them to list the prices for the carpets and the installation fees separately. This will allow you to make direct comparisons and see which vendor has the advantage at a glance. Factor in the maintenance costs involved and the lifespan of the carpet to see which one provides the most value for your money.

Think Traffic

The quantity and qualities of the people who’ll be stepping on the carpet on a daily basis matters a lot when you’re trying to figure out which carpet is best for your living room. Busy homes with large families need carpets with thicker padding to make them more resistant to wear and tear. If there are kids and pets in the house, you’ll want to get stain-resistant carpets to easily clean up spills and droppings.

If you live by yourself or with just your partner, lighter carpeting should work just fine. Fancy carpets with longer fibers aren’t designed for homes with kids and pets but if you’re all adults, it’s more likely to stay clean and not break down. The bottom line? Buying a carpet based on need is a good sign that you’re on the right track.

Consider Local Climate

Carpets can trap moisture and small water droplets within their fibers, which can trigger bacterial, viral and fungal growth. When this happens, indoor air quality is compromised and your carpet becomes an inconspicuous health hazard to people and animals who come in close contact with it. Your area’s climate should be a key factor when choosing what type of carpet today. Places with high volumes of rainfall and humidity are more likely to pose a water damage threat to your carpets than drier environments.

If you live in a high-humidity area, you’ll want to get carpets that are stain-resistant. You’ll also want to check the cleaning costs of the carpet that you’re getting because homes in wetter places usually require more frequent carpet cleaning service sessions.

Settle on a Style

Saxony, Berber, textured and frieze are just some of the most common carpet styles in the market today. In carpet parlance, the world style signifies the type of surface that the carpet sports. This is determined by the makeup, length and arrangement of the fibers. Some are uncut and looped, some are cut evenly, some unevenly and some are intentionally twisted.

While those details may seem minute, they have a big impact in the look and properties of a carpet. Texture, durability, maintenance, design options and feel are all direct results of a carpet’s surface styling. For instance, Saxony can be designed to show nice patterns, but it’s not suited for heavy human traffic walking on it on a day-to-day basis. Conversely, Berber may not look quite as sophisticated, but it can withstand constant abuse from footsteps and vacuum cleaning.

Our tip is to do your research and find out what properties each style has. Sync those properties to your needs and from there, you can see which designs in a carpet style family suit your aesthetic desires. When doing that, don’t buy a carpet based on its stand-alone look. Make sure its colors and patterns jive well with the rest of your living room. The last thing you want is to have your floors clashing with your walls and ceiling. Ask the dealer what colors will complement your existing living room design and factor that into your buying decisions.

Don’t Forget the Environment

You may not realize it, but traditional carpet manufacturing processes use volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde to create your floor coverings. These substances are associated with poor air quality and they’ve been linked to allergic reactions and a host of respiratory issues. You can reduce the risk of encountering VOCs when you buy carpets that use natural and recycled materials for their main components. By doing so, you not only improve health conditions in your living rooms, you also contribute to the global environmental preservation movement.

Supporting natural and recycled products means that there are less carbon emissions that were made when creating your carpet. These carpets may cost a little bit more up front, but they pay for themselves over the long haul by saving you from unexpected medical bills.

With these five tips, you should be able to narrow down your list of living room carpet choices to just a few options. It then becomes a matter of choosing which one provides the best bang for the buck and whether you envision it being part of your home for the next decade or so. Happy shopping!