Carpet is one of those investments that ranks close to buying a house or a car. Would you buy a car based only on color? You would probably do some research and ask the sales rep about quality, performance, and reliability.
Here are some questions to keep in mind to test drive your carpet before you buy it:
- What is the carpet made of? Most carpet is made from nylon or polyester fiber. Polyester carpet is cheaper, but studies show it can mat and crush in as little as six months. The fiber and construction are key in determining how long carpet will look good. An investment in quality will pay off in the long run
- Is all carpet stain protection the same? Polyester fibers are stain resistant, but liquids can still absorb into the backing of carpet which can cause discoloration. A carpet made with a high-grade nylon fiber plus stain protection will repel liquid. Your carpet is better protected from surface to subfloor.
- Is carpet stain protection the same as soil protection? You may be surprised to learn that staining and soiling are two different things. Staining is caused by food or beverage spills. Soiling is caused by dirt or oils tracked onto the carpet.
Most carpet has some sort of stain protection, but not all have soil protection. You can't tell by looking at the carpet. The only way to really know is to ask or check for a soil warranty that has full coverage for the typical life of the carpet or beyond.
Getting carpet that performs as beautifully as it looks is pretty easy. By asking the right questions, you'll have a carpet that looks great for the long run.