The right carpet can really liven up a room. The wrong carpet, on the other hand, can cause any number of problems. It’s not just a matter of combing through a book of samples, either. There are a number of considerations when shopping for carpet. Here are a few of the most important ones.

  • Quality. What kind of material is it made of? Is it something that will hold up to wear and tear after years of foot traffic? Or will it fall apart and start shedding fibers? Is it something that feels good under foot? Or is it abrasive and uncomfortable? Your carpet is an investment. If you just try to find the cheapest one, you’ll end up spending more in the long run, as you’ll just have to replace it after a few years. But if you spend a little more to invest in a carpet that’s well put together with a good quality material, it will last you for many years to come.

  • Underpad. The padding underneath is just as important as the carpet itself, but it often goes overlooked when carpet shopping. The padding provides the carpet with extra support, to help it last longer. With the wrong underpad, or no padding at all, it will degrade a lot more quickly. The underpad also provides insulation for your floor, and can even absorb sound. Get padding made of rubber or foam, and choose firmer, denser padding for rooms that see a higher level of use.

  • Maintenance. How will you take care of this carpet? What will it look like after a few years of having dirt tracked over it, food and drinks spilled on it, and more? You may want to invest in a stain resistant chemical coating that makes cleaning a lot easier. Rather than expensive carpet cleaners, spills can be mopped up with a clean cloth. You’ll still need to vacuum regularly to keep the carpet looking presentable, but it’s a much easier task.

  • Lifestyle. Do you have pets? Do you have a lot of family members? Will there be a lot of eating or drinking going on in the room that you’re looking to carpet? These aspects of your home life and how you plant to use the room in question will be a huge influence on what kind of carpeting you buy, as they will tell you what kind of wear and tear the carpet needs to stand up to. 

  • Eco-Friendliness. What’s your carpet made of? Organic materials, such as wool or cotton, are much better, not only for the environment, but for you and your family as well. Synthetic carpet fibers contain Volatile Organic Compounds, which can exacerbate allergies and asthma. And when the time comes to replace the carpet, synthetic fibers will sit around in the landfill for ages, rather than breaking down. Investing in organic, eco-friendly, or even recycled carpet materials, will preserve your health and reduce your carbon footprint in the process.

These are just a few of the factors you should take into consideration when shopping for a new carpet. Talk to a flooring expert to find the right carpeting for your home and your lifestyle, as well as for your décor. With a little bit of attention and planning, you can get a great carpet that will last you for years to come.