5 Keys to Your Carpet Buying Success!

Carpet Professor

5 Keys to Your Carpet Buying Success

Choosing new carpet is more complicated and confusing than ever before. Here are 5 important things every homeowner needs to know.
1. Accurate Carpet Measuring Saves You Money!

Making sure you obtain correct measurements for your carpet project is very important. If your measurements are wrong, you will either pay too much or not have enough material to finish the job.

Inexperienced carpet salespeople tend to over-measure because they fear not ordering enough carpet to complete the job. Sneaky salespeople can intentionally over-measure your needs to increase their profit.

Homeowners who lack measuring experience tend to under-measure because they don’t know how to factor in the extra material needed for seaming, trimming and pattern matches. It takes years to become proficient at measuring for carpet so having your measurements verified would be wise.

Seasoned carpet salespeople know how to save you the most money by strategically using leftover material from one area to fill in areas in other areas. This can significantly reduce the amount of carpet you need to order and will also lower your cost for padding and installation too.

Here are some tricks and tips to getting your home measured right. You can also learn how to measure your home for carpet yourself! How to Measure for Carpet in 4 Simple Steps

2. Product Knowledge Gives You Power to Choose Wisely.

Selecting the wrong carpet fiber is worst mistake you can make! Learn the truth about carpet fibers and carpet styles. Learn more about Carpet Fibers.

Choosing the correct padding is very important too. The more you know the better choices you will make. Learn more about Types of Carpet Padding.

Beware of misleading or incomplete carpet buying information obtained from websites that sell carpet or make a commission from the sale. These sites may not tell you everything you need to know, especially when their main goal is to convince you to buy from them or their affiliates.

3. Wise Shoppers Get Several Free “In-Home” Estimates. 

Getting several estimates is just plain smart. It helps you narrow down your final choices and gives you the chance to compare estimates from local retailers side by side. You will come away knowing you made the best choice possible.

It’s not easy to compare carpets when they change the style and color names. That’s why its important to consider the specifications of each carpet to make sure you are comparing carpets of a similar type, grade or quality.

For example, you can’t compare carpet made of Nylon, with carpet made of Polyester. Print several copies of my free Carpet Shopping Form. It’s designed to help you compare similar carpets so you can make wise and informed choices. Learn more What Grade of Carpet Should I Select?

4. Installing Carpet Correctly Increases Long-Term Performance

Carpet installed improperly can develop wrinkles and can cut its life-expectancy in half.

Finding a qualified carpet installer can be challenging. Finding a carpet installer advertising on Craigslist or in your local Thrifty Nickel is one way to go, but rarely the best way to locate an experienced installer.

The best installers prefer to work for well established locally-owned carpet stores.

5. Proper Carpet Care and Maintenance Ensures Longevity

Take proper care of your carpet and it will serve you well for years to come. There’s a lot more to caring for a carpet then vacuuming. And if you don’t clean your carpets correctly you could easily ruin them.

You also need to know how to keep your carpet warranty in force. Too many homeowners unknowingly void their warranty by following the carpet manufacturers care and maintenance  guidelines. Read your warranty carefully.

Here I reveal the truth about proper carpet care, important warranty facts, and what you need to know about carpet cleaning! How often should I have my carpets cleaned?

 

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Carpet Professor’s Preferred Carpet Dealers

It’s hard to find a reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I have created my own special hand-picked list of carpet stores who are locally owned, give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. Homeowners want to know… Are there any reputable Carpet Stores Near Me?

Carpet Professor

Carpet Wrinkles and Moisture Problems for New Homeowner

Carpet Wrinkle
Carpet Wrinkles and Moisture Problems?

Q. Carpet Wrinkles and Moisture Problems? I just found your Carpet Professor website and have a carpet question for you which you may or may not be able to answer.

We had our home built two years ago and we selected Shaw’s “Simple Touch” carpet along with an upgraded padding (listed as 8-lb Envirostep).

Since then, we have had several issues with carpet wrinkles where it is bunching up badly in every room and down the hallway. This is not just a small wrinkle we are talking about, this is 1” and 2” inch folds in the carpet.

The builder sent the carpet installers back and they re-stretched the carpets twice within the first year, but they did so without moving out the furniture.

Now that the one-year installation warranty has expired, the carpets are once again badly bunching up in the exact same spots as before! The builder now says it needs to be re-stretched again because “The carpet was installed when it was cold”… but now I am thinking this has to be something more than just a problem with the carpet or pad.

Is it possible there might be a problem with the padding and carpet compatibility? Any thoughts or suggestions?

Alan’s Reply:

I wish I had good news for you. You have a selected a low-quality P.E.T. Polyester builder-grade carpet designed for use in low foot-traffic applications. If you have medium to heavy foot traffic, this could cause your carpet to lose its stretch and develop wrinkles in a hurry.

It’s also possible that the padding height, if over 7/16” may have contributed to the wrinkles, but I suspect that high humidity, a moisture problem or excessive wetness from a poor quality carpet cleaning may have contributed to the problem.

You have little recourse unless you can convince the builder to re-stretch it again at no charge to you. You should also make arrangements to move out all the furniture yourself if they won’t do it as it will help them re-stretch the carpet more effectively.

Meanwhile, save your money and put in a better grade of carpet when you can. I always recommend buying a Nylon Carpet if you want a long-lasting more durable carpet. In the meantime, make sure you don’t have an unchecked moisture problem.

Carpet Wrinkles and Moisture Problems

Check to make sure your gutters and downspouts are deflecting rain water away from your home properly. This is a very common source of moisture problems for homeowners.

If you have a basement or your home is built on a slab, it would be smart to do a moisture test to make sure the concrete is not a source of moisture.

Have the concrete sealed if there is a problem. It’s not too costly to have the concrete professionally sealed. You can even do it yourself for less using Thompson’s Water Seal available at your local hardware store.

Alan aka The Carpet Professor

Follow up:

Thanks so much for the response Alan,

Ironically we had a major moisture problem in the crawl space under the house the first year. (Standing water) and the house was covered with mold.

They removed the mold and sealed the crawl space and now it’s all climate-controlled. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what caused the carpet problems.

The good news is the builder will be coming out to re-stretch the carpet again despite it being 2.5 yrs after build, the bad news is we have to live with a low quality carpet (which I already figured…even with no bunching.

I hate how the pile mats down with the first foot print) so I guess we will suck it up until we have enough money to get all new carpeting in a couple years…. Thanks again!

AbcCarpetPro.com Carpet Professor

Top 10 Causes for Carpet Wrinkles, Ripples or Waves

Why does my carpet have ripples?

What is a Carpet Wrinkle?

Carpet Wrinkles
If you have Carpet Wrinkles like this, you need to have it fixed before it gets worse! Most carpet installation warranties expire after 1 year.

Carpet wrinkles are usually the result of your carpet not being stretched-in tight enough to prevent wrinkles from forming over time.

Basically your carpet has no stretch left in it and it must be re-stretched.

A simple re-stretch of your carpet may fix your carpet wrinkle problem once and for all and hopefully avert any permanent damage to your carpet. However, your final outcome may depend on the reason why your carpet developed wrinkles in the first place.

Any carpet can develop wrinkles, especially if your carpet was not stretched in properly in the first place. However, there are many other reasons why your carpet might develop wrinkles, carpet waves or carpet ripples, or whatever you want to call them.

If your carpet is still under warranty, begin your carpet complaint by contacting the retailer where you purchased your new carpet. You want them to come to your home and inspect your carpet.

You need to give the dealer or retailer sufficient time to investigate and come to some conclusion as to the probable cause of your carpet problem and hopefully figure out who or what may be responsible for your carpet wrinkles. If they fall short and don’t satisfy your concerns then you need to consider other options.

Carpet Wrinkle
Carpet Wrinkles and Moisture Problems?

Carpet is much harder to stretch in when it is cold. That’s why carpet wrinkles tend show up during hot summer days because the carpet was originally installed on a cold winter day.

Don’t be a victim of a lousy carpet installation, you need to know your best recourse and what you can do to have a successful resolution to your carpet wrinkle problem, hopefully at no cost to you.

Here are my Top 10 main causes of carpet wrinkles and who or what may be the cause of your Carpet problems.

Carpet Wrinkles Continued…

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Carpet From Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire or Costco?

It’s buyer beware especially when buying new carpet or flooring for your home. Here is some sound advice you might want to consider before you agree to buy new carpet or flooring…

Lowe's Carpet Sample Display Rack
Big Box Retail Carpet Sample Display Rack

The last time I checked… most of these Giant National Carpet Retailers use OTHER companies to facilitate their carpet sales, carpet measuring or carpet installation services.

That means if you ever have a carpet problem or complaint, you may have a hard time getting anyone to help you or take responsibility for making things right.

Did You Know…

  • Home Depot, Lowe’s and Costco contract out all their measuring and installation services to various privately-held companies?
  • Empire Today REQUIRES all their salespeople to form their own CORPORATION so they will be Independent Sales Contractors?

What does this all mean to YOU the homeowner? With so many fingers in the pie it is not too hard to figure out that you might end up paying way too much for your new carpet.

Carpet from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire?

These nationally advertised conglomerates take a large chunk of the profit right off the top.  Then let other privately held companies and independent sales contractors each have a shot at making more money from your purchase.

From costly measuring fees to needless carpet and padding upgrades, from carpet and padding removal and disposal fees to extra unnecessary and costly installation add-ons.

There are plenty of ways they will try to make you cough up a lot more money before it’s all said and done.

  • The Lure of a Great Sounding Deal…
  • Get Three Rooms for the Price of One!
  • Get 60% OFF New Carpet
  • Free Basic Installation!
  • Free Padding!
  • Low Price Guarantee!

Do these sales gimmicks sound familiar? Get out your magnifying glass so you can read all their fine print regarding these unbelievable sales gimmicks. I found this at Home improvement warehouse…

Free Carpet Installation?

Can you read their fine print at the bottom? Use a magnifying glass!
These advertised carpet installation deals are designed to attract unsuspecting homeowners who would like to save money on new carpet and flooring but don’t know how to go about doing it.

Unfortunately, these four giant retail carpet-selling conglomerates are heavy hitters with deep pockets who have only one thing in mind: Making Big Money by luring you in to buy from them.

Both Lowe’s and Home Depot have been trying to lure-in unsuspecting homeowners for years by offering low-cost or free “basic” carpet installation.

They make up a portion of this sneaky sales gimmick by charging more for the carpet and padding and by greatly increasing the added cost for anything extra you might need to complete the job.

They add on extra fees and charges for anything and everything that is considered beyond their limited definition of a “basic” installation. Their definition seems to change from time to time.

Their so-called “free” carpet installation that lures many homeowners in, may not be totally free once their sub-contracted measuring people and installers get a good look at what you really need to complete your project.

It’s highly likely there will be numerous extra fees & charges tacked-on to your final bill.

Final bill? Yes, and they may also require that you pay for the entire carpet job IN FULL before they will place your carpet or flooring order.

The final bill comes on the day of installation when the carpet installer determines that your job requires additional labor for various things like moving heavy furniture, special transitions, floor prep, and extra labor fees.

There are hefty charges for anything considered beyond their current limited definition of a “Basic” carpet installation.

These extra fees and charges can easily add up to hundreds that you were not forewarned about. That is, unless you took the time to read all their fine print.

As Gomer Pyle Says…
Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Home Depot’s Low-Price Guarantee? They say they will beat any competitor’s price by 10%, but according to their fine print, that’s only on identical in-stock items.

That makes it virtually impossible for anyone to substantiate because they put private labels on all their carpet samples.

What are Private Labels?

They intentionally change the names of all their carpet styles and colors to make it nearly impossible for you to comparison shop.

The exact same carpet might cost a lot less at the local carpet store down the street, but how would you know?

You would have to lay out carpet samples from both stores side by side to compare. Lots of carpet retailers use private labels on their samples. It’s almost the norm these days.

Home Depot’s low-price guarantee sure sounds good until you read all their fine print. Can you say the word “exclusions”?

Homeowners need to avoid unscrupulous carpet retailers and only buy from locally owned, honest and reliable carpet stores.

Sneaky Carpet Sales Tactics

The Big Box home improvement warehouses have been charging homeowners a measuring fee just for coming to your home and sizing you up. The fee may be refundable if you agree to buy from them.

This is designed to add more sales pressure on you. They want to prevent you from shopping for carpet at other local stores.

Somewhere in the back of your mind, you think that if you don’t buy carpet from them, you will be forfeiting the $75 to $125 measuring fee have already paid.

Accurate Carpet Measuring?

From what I have been told by industry insiders, their licensed & certified measuring specialists they contract with, are required to measure your home using a “special method”.

Does that mean they add another 5, 10 or 15% of material to the total? Likely so! They are not going to tell you how many square feet your home needs. When they are all done measuring they leave to do all the calculations back at the office.

You Better Shop Around…

You will never know if their measurements are accurate. Even if you get several bids / estimates from other local carpet dealers. Why? Because they don’t give you anything you can use to verify their measuring. You will just get an estimate based on “one-price” to do the whole job.

Basically, they want to make darn sure there is more than enough carpet or flooring material to work with.

That way, they never have to worry about running short of material during installation.

That might translate into you paying for a lot more for new carpet & pad then you might actually need. Just adding an extra 10 yards of material could easily add $300 or more to the total cost for your carpet job. Ouch!

Empire Strikes Back?

Empire Today likes to attract customers by airing repetitive TV ads featuring unbelievable sales offers with next day installation.

If you call them, they will send a sales professional to your home who will show you samples and try to “close the sale” on the spot.

  • Are you getting a fair & square deal?
  • How long will this carpet last in your home?
  • What is your level of foot traffic in your home? Low, Medium, Heavy?
  • Are they trying to sell you a low-quality Polyester carpet and say it’s as durable as a Nylon Carpet?

These are just a few questions that you need solid answers to before you should commit yourself to buying from any shop-at-home flooring retailer.

Private Labels

All these giant retailers all use private labels on their carpet samples. Most farm out the measuring and installation of their products to other privately help companies. Some even have other companies do all the selling too. What does this mean to you?

  • If you have a complaint, you may have to deal directly with the independent contractors to seek a remedy.
  • Have a Carpet defect? You’ll have to contact the carpet manufacturer and have them inspect your carpet.
  • Have an installation problem? You’ll have to contact the carpet installer. No one likes getting called back to deal with a homeowner complaint.
  • If you can’t get a suitable remedy for your issue, you may have to file a claim in small claims court. The problem is, who is actually responsible for making things right and how can you prove that in court?
Costco Executive Members

Costco members were once shown a small display with miniature carpet samples. Lately they have been taking their displays with samples down. Executive members are offered some extra benefits that may be of interest to some folks. Like a longer warranty?

If you grab their free brochure you will be provided with a phone number to call to start your in-home Carpet Consultation Process.

Be sure to read all the fine print very carefully to see what added benefits you might qualify for, if any.

An independent flooring consultant will bring samples to your home and be happy to write up your order and arrange for installation.

While they do carry some good quality carpet, be prepared for sticker shock when you see what the total cost will be.

Again, you can’t comparison shop easily because they change the carpet style names and colors to thwart you.

To compare carpets, you would need to take their carpet samples with you into other nearby carpet stores and compare both identical samples side by side. It’s definitely not easy to do.

They know you probably won’t take the time and trouble to do this, and it is unlikely that they would leave their carpet samples with you anyway.

Is There a Better Way?

If you are in the market for new carpet or flooring of any kind, I think you should consider getting a free estimate from one of the dealers that I have listed in my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory.

It’s taken me years to locate, investigate and identify these locally owned and family-run businesses and I think they are the best of the best here in America!

I suggest you visit several flooring retailers near you, get several free estimates and be sure visit a carpet store that I recommend if you can.

You decide for yourself who to buy from

When it’s all said and done, I think you will agree that my preferred dealers are knowledgeable, reliable and reputable!

You’ll be treated with respect, get a fair & square deal and get great customer service… Before, during and after the sale.

See who I recommend near you! Visit Alan’s List of Recommended Carpet Dealers (don’t forget to print up my free coupon so you can get up to $100 off new carpet!)

There’s a lot more you need to learn before you head out to shop for new carpet.

Best & Worst Places to Buy Carpet!

 

AbcCarpetPro.com Carpet Professor

It’s hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I created my own special hand-picked list of carpet stores who are locally owned, give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. Homeowners want to know…Are there any reputable Carpet Stores Near Me?

Is Berber a Good Choice for Children and Pets?

Learn the good and the bad about Berber Carpet styles.

Is a Looped Berber a good choice for children and Pets?

How to select the right carpet style and grade for your home and avoid common consumer carpet buying mistakes.

Berber Carpet

Q. How well does Berber withstand high traffic areas? Is it easy to keep clean and what kind of padding is best? I am going crazy trying to decide if I want a plush or Berber. I have a newborn and know I will soon have lots of messes to clean up!

 

Alan’s Response:

Don’t spend a lot on new carpet if you have small children! Children are very hard on carpets, they spill everything imaginable and parents are often too busy or too tired to clean up messes quickly enough to keep up with the demand.

Looped Berbers made from the Olefin Fiber are hard to keep clean, they snag easily and are not recommended for folks with active children or pets. 

Berber snag

For folks without active children or pets: Berber may be a good choice.   Fact: Inexpensive looped Berber carpets made with Olefin tend to snag easily and mat down more quickly.

Most Berber styles are made with loops. Some Berbers are called “cut and loop” having both loops and cut loops, Some Berbers have patterns and some do not, and still other Berber styles have no loops at all.

Carpet Fibers…

Berber style carpets are often made from Nylon or Olefin, and of the two, Nylon would be the better a more durable choice. Nylon Berbers costs more but lasts much longer, and cleans much easier than Berbers made from Olefin.

Berber Carpet Complaints

Why do Olefin Berber carpets attract dirt and are so hard to keep clean? 

While Berber styles are elegant and beautiful when new, there is a common complaint from homeowners with Berber carpets made with the Olefin fiber. Consumers often report that within a week or two after a professional cleaning, previous spots and stains tend to reappear as if they were never cleaned at all. This is because the Olefin fiber is inherently oily and often makes Olefin hard to clean and prone to attracting dirt like a magnet. Old stains tend to reappear again and again regardless of how many times you have the spots cleaned. 

Why do Olefin fibers attract dirt?

Here’s why… During the manufacturing process the Olefin fiber is naturally oily. Fiber makers use a special process to clean the Olefin fibers to try to remove these oils, but often cut corners in order to reduce costs. Some manufacturers put their Olefin fibers through a “three-phase” cleaning process to try to remove most of the oils. 

Berber Stain

To make a better product, the fiber maker will use a “five-phase” cleaning process which removes much more of these oils from the fiber. This makes a significantly less-oily fiber that cleans much easier and doesn’t attract dirt nearly as much. 

Using the five-phase process to removing excess oils from Olefin is a more time consuming and costly procedure, manufacturers must charge more for these premium fibers and therefore you will pay more for a carpet made from these premium olefin fibers. Unfortunately consumers have no way of knowing which Olefin fibers have been cleaned with the “five-phase” process and those that have only had the three-phase cleaning. 

Rule of thumb: I think it would be reasonable to assume that most Berbers priced under $13.50 per yard ($1.50 sf) would be made using the “three-phase” process. You might have to spend $18 per yard or more to get the better grade of olefin fiber. 

Most carpet salespeople have no knowledge about this manufacturing process and asking them questions about it might be futile. However, perhaps you could ask them to call the carpet manufacturer and see if they can tell you which cleaning process was used in the Berber carpet you are considering. Good luck with that. 

Fact: It’s the fiber type and the size of the loops that matters most.

Inexpensive Berbers snag easily. Often priced at less than $10 per yard, don’t fall for those cheap Berber prices and assume that this low-quality carpet will last more than a few years for you. If you have active kids or pets you need to buy something more durable. 

Large Loops vs Small Loops

Berber styles that have Large loops tend to collapse and fall over more quickly. That makes the carpet appear worn out and ugly, often within a year or two in main traffic areas. 

Smaller looped Berbers tend to resist matting and crushing better and retain its like-new appearance longer. Berbers made of Nylon are more durable and resist matting and crushing of the pile longer than any other synthetic fiber. 

If a Berber carpet is priced under $15 per yard, then it is likely made of Olefin and designed to last a few years at best. You’ll be plagued with lots of snags, pulls, runs and stains that are hard to remove. This is why Berber is a bad choice for folks with active kids or pets. 

A good quality Nylon Berber would clean easier, wear better, and retain its new appearance much longer than would an Olefin Berber. If made with smaller loops, that would make it even more durable.

If you decide buy a Berber carpet and want it to last, be sure to select one with smaller loops, as the bigger loops tend fall over quickly and look worn out sooner. As far as pad goes, an 8-pound minimum density, and a 1/4″ to 3/8″ thickness is required for virtually all Berber styles.

Another option you might want to consider would be selecting a Berber without loops, this is called a “cut-Berber” or a “California Berber” style.

Cut Berber 2

 

Some Berbers are made from wool, which is an excellent natural fiber, but are very costly..

 

What Grade of Carpet

Should You Select?

Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to find out!

Carpet Shopping at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire or Costco?

It’s always smart to be cautious when shopping for new carpet or flooring for your home.

Carpet scams are common and are often hard to foresee. Here is some sound advice from a trusted carpet expert you might want to consider before you agree to buy new carpet or flooring from any nationally advertised corporate retailer like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Costco or Empire Today.

Learn the Truth about Choosing New Carpet wisely, How to quickly spot common retail Carpet Scams and make Smarter Carpet Choices!

Carpet Scams and Rip-offs at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Empire or Costco?

Costco Carpet Display
Costco has been taking down their carpet displays and now just have a brochure.

Don’t Fall For Those Relentless TV Ads about their Free or low-cost Carpet Installation Specials!

The last time I checked, all four of these Giant National Carpet Retailers use OTHER private companies to facilitate their carpet sales, measuring and installation services.

That means if you ever have a carpet problem or complaint, you may have a hard time finding anyone to help you or take responsibility for making things right. If they do return your calls, they usually blame the other guy, or they blame you for choosing the wrong grade of carpet, or for not maintaining the carpet properly.

Have a Carpet Complaint? 

If it is a carpet defect, you’ll have to contact the carpet manufacturer to come by and inspect your carpet, if the carpet is still under warranty.

If you have an installation problem you’ll have to contact the carpet installer directly. The installer will take a look at your carpet if you are still within the standard 1-year warranty.

Did the retail salesperson misrepresent the product you purchased? Did they say it was a good choice for your home? Good luck with that, as you are solely responsible for making wise and informed carpet and padding choices that can meet your needs, goals and lifestyle. 

Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to help determine what Grade of Carpet you should choose for your home.

Carpet Shopping at Costco?

Costco members may be shown a small display with a rack full of miniature carpet samples or brochures. (Lately they have been taking the samples down) See the photo at the top of this page?

Costco Brochure 2021
Costco’s New Carpet and Flooring Brochure for 2021

If you grab their free brochure you will be provided with a phone number to call to start your in-home Carpet Consultation Process. A commissioned salesperson will bring samples to your home and be happy to write up your order and arrange for installation.

While they may carry some good quality carpet, be prepared for sticker shock when you see what the total cost for carpet, padding and installation will be.

Private Labels on their Carpet Samples?

You can’t comparison shop easily because they change the carpet brand name, style names and color names to thwart you. You would need to take their carpet samples with you into other local carpet stores to try to compare both samples side by side. It’s definitely not fun or easy to do, and is time consuming. Not to mention that they will not leave all their carpet samples with you.

If you are in the market for new carpet or flooring of any kind, I think you should consider buying new carpet from one of the recommended carpet stores I have listed in my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory.

Continue

 

More Information:

Buying Carpet From Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire or Costco?

Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice? Carpet Professor

Learn the good and the bad about Berber Carpet styles.

Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice?

How to select the right carpet style and grade for your home and avoid common consumer carpet buying mistakes. Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice?

Berber Style Carpet with Large Loops

Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice?
Is Berber Carpet with Loops a Good Choice?

 

Q. How well does Berber withstand high traffic areas? Is it easy to keep clean and what kind of padding is best? I am going crazy trying to decide if I want a plush or Berber. I have a newborn and know I will soon have lots of messes to clean up!

Alan’s Response:

My advice? Don’t spend a lot on new carpet if you have small children!

Children are very hard on carpets, they spill everything imaginable. Parents are often too busy or too tired to clean up messes quickly enough to keep up with the demand.

Looped Berbers made from the Olefin Fiber are hard to keep clean and they snag easily. Looped Berber styles are not recommended for families with active children or pets.

For folks without active children or pets: Berber may be a good choice.

Fact: Inexpensive looped Berber carpets tend to snag easily and mat down more quickly.

Berber Carpet Snags
Berber Carpet Snags and Pulls are common.

Most Berber styles are made with loops. Some Berbers are called “cut and loop” having both loops and cut loops.

Some Berbers have patterns and some do not, and still other Berber styles have no loops at all.

Berber Carpet Fibers…

Berber style carpets are often made from Nylon or Olefin, and of the two, Nylon would be the better and more durable choice.

Nylon Berbers cost more but can last years longer, and nylon Berber styles clean much easier than Berbers made from Olefin.

Berber Carpet Complaints

Why do Olefin Berber carpets attract dirt and are so hard to keep clean? 

All Berber styles are elegant and beautiful when new. However, there is a common complaint from homeowners with Berber carpets made from the Olefin fiber.

Consumers often report that within a week or two after a professional cleaning. Previous spots and stains tend to reappear as if they were never cleaned at all.

Is Berber a good choice? Berber Stains
Is Berber a good choice? Berber Stains

This is because the Olefin fiber is inherently oily and often makes Olefin hard to clean and prone to attracting dirt like a magnet.

Old stains tend to reappear again and again regardless of how many times you have the spots cleaned.

Why do Olefin fibers attract dirt?

Here’s why… During the manufacturing process the Olefin fiber is naturally oily.

Fiber makers use a special process to clean the Olefin fibers to try to remove these oils, but often cut corners in order to reduce costs.

Some manufacturers put their Olefin fibers through a “three-phase” cleaning process to try to remove most of the oils. 

To make a better product, the fiber maker will use a “five-phase” cleaning process which removes much more of these oils from the fiber.

This makes a significantly less-oily fiber that cleans much easier and doesn’t attract dirt nearly as much.

Using the five-phase process to removing excess oils from Olefin is a more time consuming and costly procedure, so manufacturers charge more for these premium fibers.

Unfortunately consumers have no way of knowing which Olefin fibers have been cleaned with the “five-phase” process and those that have only had the three-phase cleaning.

Rule of thumb: I think it would be reasonable to assume that most Berbers priced under $15.00 per yard would be made using the “three-phase” process.

You might have to spend $20 per yard or more to get the better grade of olefin fiber.

Most carpet salespeople have no knowledge about this manufacturing process and asking them questions about it might be futile.

Fact: It’s the fiber type and the size of the loops that matters most.

Inexpensive Olefin Berbers snag easily and are priced at less than $15 per yard.  Don’t assume that this low-quality carpet will last more than a few years for you.

If you have active kids or pets, I think you should buy something more durable.

Large Loops vs Small Loops

Berber styles that have Large loops tend to collapse and fall over more quickly.

This makes the carpet appear worn out and ugly, often within a year or two.  This is common in main traffic lanes, on stairs and down hallways.

Smaller looped Berbers tend to resist matting and crushing better and retain its like-new appearance longer.

Berbers made of Nylon are much more durable and will resist matting and crushing of the pile longer than any other synthetic fiber.

If a Berber carpet is priced under $15 per yard, then it is likely made of Olefin and designed to last a few years at best.

You’ll be plagued with lots of snags, pulls, runs and stains that are hard to remove. This is why Berber is a bad choice for folks with active kids or pets.

A good quality Nylon Berber would clean easier, wear better, and retain its new appearance much longer than would an Olefin Berber.

If made with smaller loops, would it be more durable?

Yes! If you decide buy a Berber carpet and want it to last, be sure to select one with smaller loops, as the bigger loops tend fall over quickly and look worn out sooner.

Berber Carpet Padding

As far as pad goes, an 8-pound minimum density, and a 1/4″ to 3/8″ thickness is required for virtually all Berber styles.

Another option you might want to consider would be selecting a Berber made without loops, these are called a “cut-Berber” or a “California Berber” style.

Here is a Cut Berber or California Berber Style.

Some Berbers are made from wool, which is a natural fiber and very durable, but are very costly, usually over $80 per square yard.

What grade of carpet should you choose for your home? Take my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to find out!