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BUYING CARPET

Finding the right carpet at a price you can afford can be overwhelming. There are so many styles and colors from which to choose - how do you zero in on the best choice, the one that will truly meet the needs of your home? Buying new carpet doesn't have to be a difficult process though; it can really be boiled down to answering a few basic questions:
How much carpet do you need?
What is your budget for this project?
Which color will work well in your home now and for years to
come?
How much wear will your carpet receive and which style will
hold up the best?
Below are some buying tips to help you answer these questions and get you started.

Many people want to know, before they start shopping, how much carpet they are going to need. Carpet is priced by the square foot (it used to be priced by the square yard, but similar products, such as tile and hardwood flooring, used square foot pricing.) to get an idea of how much carpeting you will need, take your room dimensions in feet and multiply the two numbers together to get the square feet. For instance, a room that is 15' by 18' is 270 square feet. Because there is a lot of waste when installing carpet wall-to-wall, add 10-20 percent to the total. This will not be an accurate number of what you will need, but is a rough estimate just to get you started. Then you can begin the shopping process with at least a general idea of your needs. Your carpet dealer will measure exactly, including determining where seams will need to be, and will tell you the exact amount of carpet your home will require and what it will cost to install. Don't be afraid to ask specific questions regarding seams and waste.

For many folks, how well the carpet will wear is of utmost concern. And for many families, the carpet in their home will take incredible amount of wear (and even abuse). Picking the right color is part of the process. One little known decorating secret is to pick a color based on the kind of soil that is usually tracked into your home. If you are replacing carpet because it is soiled and worn, take samples home and compare them to your traffic patterns. While quality carpet is made to resist soiling and staining, the ugly truth is that nothing is soil proof. Picking a color close to your "dirt" color is not an exciting decorating statement, but is a smart solution for homes with busy families that do not want to be slaves to their carpet (and other furnishings, for that matter).

The texture and pattern of the carpet is also important in keeping the carpet looking good for a long period of time. When selecting carpet, the more textured it is, the more forgiving it will be. Equally important is the density, or thickness and fullness, of the carpet. If you can easily see or feel the carpet's backing, then it is not very dense and will not wear nearly as well as a denser carpet. Price is also a useful way to judge density because it echoes the cost of the fiber in a particular carpet. Unless the styling or pattern is unusual
(and hense, difficult to make), the cost is a direct refletion of how much fiber went into the carpet's constructon. The cost of installation and padding will be about the same no matter which carpet you select. Once you have paid that price (plus the aggravation of moving your furnishings around), make sure the actual carpet you purchase is worth the fixed costs you have put into the job.

Fresh carpet will give you home a brand-new look. With proper maintenance, you can expect your carpet to last for many years. If you can't vacuum as often as you should, cheat a little and vacuum the traffic patterns. Loose dirt and grit are often the cullprits in making carpet look worn before its time by wearing down and abrading the carpet fibers. With just a little well-chosen maintenance, your carpet will look great for years to come.
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