Forum Title: Limited carpet choices--is this true?
I thought purchasing carpet for our high traffic family room would be easier than buying a car. I'm getting so many differing opinions from the 3 carpet stores, and after reading many posts on this site, I'm still confused, so I hope someone out there will shed some light. I've been told that I have to choose between a carpet that is for a high traffic room or a carpet that resists stains well, but I won't find both. Another salesperson wants us to get the Mohawk silk. The other person said not the silk, you won't be able to vacuum the pet hair. Another said you can go with nylon, but you'll have to re-treat it and it's not good for stains. We need to replace our carpet--it's over a subfloor and is the only big room in the house, so it's used the most. We are in the humid South and folks bring in pine needles, black dirt and we have elderly pets who sometimes can't control themselves. In addition, each of the 3 sales persons has showed us at least 5 different pads. One wants to sell us 8 lb. high density foam (think temperpedic-like), another wants us to get moisture barrier, and another says the recycled 8 lb. is fine. Finally, they each had varying opinions about the seam in the room. It's a long narrow room. One said put the seam in the middle, another said do a T seam on one side of the room under the furniture, another said nothing. I don't know how any consumer can make their way through this! Too bad there aren't any certified installers in my state to ask. Thanks for your help and advice.
Category: Carpet Post By: KATIE CONTRERAS (Norman, OK), 02/02/2019

Nylon or wool are great choices when picking your carpet. As far as seam placement we would want to know the size of the room and where the windows are. If you can post a drawing that would be good. All the pad you listed are good, it might depend on your pick of carpet.

- NICHOLAS COOPER (Gastonia, NC), 04/11/2019

You appear to be getting information overload. It's common. Even here on The Floor Pro Community. But there are some aspects of coming here for advice that you won't get at the stores you have been looking at. We don't have a profit/commission motive. What you buy does not affect our income because everything here is free. That's not to say there aren't some members who aren't biased toward or against any particular products, but none of us are thinking your final decisions will cause us to make or lose money. A diagram or picture would be helpful in determining how a carpet should be laid out. A long narrow room doesn't mean much without knowing where the traffic patterns are, where the natural sources of light come from (windows) and what your furniture placement is (and whether that gets changed once in a while). Generally, you would want seams to run toward the main source of natural light, which will aid in hiding the seam (any slight variation on one side or the other could cause a very noticeable shadow). A seam should also be placed out of the main traffic lanes, but that isn't always possible, nor is it always necessary. A properly made seam in quality goods will be no more problematic than any other part of the carpet. Seems like for the last decade or so that soft carpet has been a major selling point. Why? I walk on carpet, I don't sleep on it, rub my face on it - and all my walking is on my feet, not my hands. I understand comfort and the gathering of bodies around the TV and even the occasional romantic interlude in front of the fireplace. But silky-smooth, soft carpet has never been a priority to me, durability and style are. Marketeers have been paid large sums of $$$ to convince you that ooooh so soft carpet is what you must have. BS! Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too. There are carpets with high quality stain protection applied as part of the manufacturing process that will last for as long as you own your carpet. AND the carpet will be durable enough for that to be a very long time. The only thing I know is, you don't want a polyester carpet in your situation. StainMaster (nylons) and Mohawk's SmartStrand (triexta) carpets are what I would narrow my choices to, but there are a couple other branded nylons that also have high quality stain protection. You haven't indicated exactly what kind or how much traffic, so I can't refine my suggestions any better. Maybe stay away from longer piles and stick to medium to shorter. The longer the pile, the more yarn density you'll want. Carpet pad is a whole 'nother game. I used rebond cushion most of the time in 7 & 8# densities and, depending on the type of carpet and where it was installed, I sold 3/8 and 7/16 thicknesses. Too thick causes problems and too thin is too hard (some carpets required thin foundations though). If you have pets that have accidents, then a pad with some kind of moisture protection would be good. Some manufacturers even offer padding that cater to pet owners, but again, those marketeers have put their twist on it to make it sound like Dogs gift. That's all I got for now. Jim

- LISA MARTINEZ (Syracuse, NY), 04/17/2019

I can only respond as a consumer that just ordered family room carpet. We have a young dog that is trained but there is always that possibility. We lost our 14 year old dog in January and had done a lot of carpet cleaning the last few weeks when he couldn't keep food down. Only 2 adults but the family room is a major traffic pattern in and out of the garage. Right now there is really old berber and I hate it. I started with reading reviews of carpet stores on Angie's List and reading and posting here. You could ask people you know to see if anyone has bought flooring recently to see if you can get recommendations. We ended up going with the place that did our tile since I wanted to have some metal edging changed from that job. I knew they did good work and had good reviews but so did some other places. The main criteria though was finding a carpet and color and fortunately they had a big selection of major brands and a patient saleslady that worked with me and my color issues. They have a reputation for being pricey but actually we got a better price their both times compared to other stores for the same or comparable. This time we hit a big carpet sale. Beyond that, I went with my gut feeling on the place and the sales person. You want to be sure they have good installers. Ultimately - we ordered a solution dyed nylon from Beaulieu with an 8# pad that has a moisture barrier. That was their recommendation and I trusted their judgment. We are waiting for it to come in. Stainmaster has some solution dyed in their SolarMax and Pet Protect lines. I think the Pet Protect carpets need to be installed with a pad that has a moisture barrier. I looked at Smart Strand and brought several of their regular line and the silk line home. I did like how much softer it was but just not sure yet how durable it would be. However, we might have gone for it, if we found a color we liked. We wanted a mutli-tone - or at least 2 toned. The 2 toned looked blah in the colors I tried - at least compared to some other carpets. And in both lines, I noticed a pinkish tinge when I brought some of the samples home. I didn't see that in the store. Bringing samples home and asking the store to order samples for you is important. And don't forget to ask about the cost of carpet removal and other things that you need that might be extra.

- TOMMY FOWLER (Kenosha, WI), 03/25/2019

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