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Carpet Purchasing
When purchasing or replacing carpet for your home, to be sure you make the best selection for your lifestyle and budget there are several things you should know:

*Will the carpet have heavy or light traffic? Will the room be the center of activity for family and entertaining? Is there direct access from outside, or will the carpet be away from entrances?

In heavy traffic areas (usually the family room, hallways and stairways), choose the best carpet you can afford. Look for performance rating guidelines. Most brands will have a 5-point rating scale, with five being the most durable.

*How will you use the carpet? Do you have small children who will have many spills? Will you be entertaining a lot? If this is the case, the more durable and easier to clean the carpet, the happier you will be with its performance.

*Before you go shopping, know how much you can afford and set a budget. This will help you avoid spending beyond your means. Carpeting can range in price from $2 a square yard to over $300 per square yard, depending on the materials.

*All carpet is made up of "pile" and "backing". Backing is usually canvas or jute fiber and often has a latex coating. The pile is the part you see. There are several different types of pile, such as cut-loop, Berber, or Saxony. Your retailer can explain the different types. No matter how it is constructed, a good carpet will always have a closely packed pile firmly attached to the backing.

Padding is also a very important part of buying carpet. A firm and resilient cushion, or "pad", is necessary to form a good foundation for your carpet, increasing its comfort and extending its life. Cushion also adds insulation and reduces noise. For most home carpet applications, choose padding no more than 7/16" thick. If the carpet is a Berber or low profile carpet, choose padding no more than 3/8" thick. To ensure the best performance and longest life, padding should be selected according to the manufacturer's requirements for thickness and density.

*Installation is the most critical step to ensure the overall performance and appearance of the carpet. To ensure you have the best installer possible, only use someone who is certified by CFI (Certified Floor Covering Installers Association) and has both liability and worker's compensation insurance. Always get references.

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

Be wary of extraordinarily low prices. Carpeting is a very competitive item and there are legitimate deals to be had.

Be sure of the quality of the construction, padding, and installation before you buy.

Be sure you are dealing with reputable companies for both the purchase and installation.

Check with your BBB to get a reliability reports on companies you are considering.

Be sure you fully understand all warranties and/or guarantees for both the carpet and installation.

Retailers recommended by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) can give you information on reputable retailers and installers in your area. Those recommended will have attained the Seal of Approval. Purchasing from a Seal of Approval retailer is the best way to be sure you have a satisfying carpet buying experience. These retailers and installers have pledged to provide you with dependable advice from qualified personnel and an installation that meets or exceeds industry standards.

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