Carpet Buying Guide: What To Consider Before Investing In A Carpeting Project

Stair runner with double binding

Guarantee You’re Prepared Before Going All-In On A New Carpet For Your Home

Making a carpet purchase can be a tough decision, especially if you’re not sure when it’s the right time to do so. Whether you’re moving into a new home, or you simply want to give your space a new refreshing look, installing a new carpet will be one of the first things that may cross your mind. We’ve put together this helpful guide to get you on the right track before you start the process on new carpeting! 

How can you tell when it’s time to replace your carpeting?

First off, you never want to inherit someone else’s carpeting. So if you’re buying a new home or renting a new apartment, and there’s existing carpet in there, that’s the time when you want to consider replacing the carpet. There’s just no way to tell how well it was maintained, in terms of vacuuming and cleaning, and there’s really no better germ collector than carpet.

If you’ve been living in a home for a while and you start to notice the steaks or traffic patterns, and those traffic patterns can’t be vacuumed or cleaned and removed, that’s a good sign to replace your carpeting. The same goes for when it gets matted down, stained beyond cleaning, or you start to notice ripples in your carpeting. 

With low-end carpet, you’ll start to see those ripples faster. That’s a sign of delamination, when the face fibers become separated from the backing. In these cases, people will reach out to us about re-stretching or repairing the carpet.  While we can improve it, it’s only a temporary solution. Eventually those ripples will come back. So when you see those ripples, that’s a sure sign to consider replacing the carpet.

Sometimes, poor installation will cause those ripples. Other times, it’s just the quality of materials, like a cheap pad. Within a few years, a lot of the people who have their carpet installed by Home Depot or ones you see on TV like Luna and Empire, the cheap pad and carpet will likely need to be replaced within five years.

What are the most important factors to consider when buying new carpet?

The most important factors to consider when buying a new carpet are how many people are going to be walking on the material and if there will be any pets on it. The more people and pets, the more durable a product you’re going to need. Meanwhile, your choice to allow shoes to be worn or not, is significant. The greatest accelerator of wear in carpet is shoes, and that goes for rubber-soled tennis shoes, slippers, you name it. They irritate the fibers, and you could double, even triple, the life of your carpet by removing shoes in your home.

Dog on Middleton Nickle stair runner
If you have pets at home always be mindful of the material you choose

If you take good care of a nice carpet, you can get 15 years out of it, versus five at the most when it’s not maintained properly. The type of carpeting you choose goes a long way in determining how long you’ll have for it. 

What are the main types of carpeting and what are the primary advantages of each?

Wool is the best, and after that is nylon. Polys, which include polyester and polypropylene, and P.E.T., which comes from recycled plastic bottles, are the least expensive but also the least durable. 

Wool is the ideal floor covering. It’s a renewable, sustainable natural fiber that’s also stain resistant, with its wax-like coating. Meanwhile, the fibers shift, so the older dead fibers get vacuumed out, exposing the newer cleaner fibers. It rarely carries any sort of odor, like petroleum-based polys can with their off-gassing. Wool is 100% organic and doesn’t have any VOCs which more and more people are concerned about these days.  

Wool lasts the longest but also requires the most maintenance, including regular/daily vacuuming and professional cleaning at least once a year, in order to maximize that longevity.  Properly maintained wool carpet will look nice and last up to 15 years. 

Less expensive but less resilient, polys can last five to 10 years if treated really well. Polys matte down much quicker and do not hold their colors as well as higher-quality choices. 

The Carpet Workroom has a wide selection of carpet products for your projects and designs.
The Carpet Workroom has a wide selection of carpet products for your projects and designs.

Featuring a real-grass look and feel, natural-fiber carpeting like sisal and jute are more durable, don’t require vacuuming, and allow for shoe wearing, but it also requires specialty cleaning. Indoor/outdoor products, which are mostly poly but different from strictly indoor poly, are stain and mildew resistant, and UV-stabilized against sunlight damage, so they can truly be outdoors. They are also among the strongest, most durable products but, like natural-fiber carpeting, they are typically area rugs and not installed wall-to-wall.  

What is the typical cost per square foot for the primary types of carpeting?  

Polys are approximately $3 to $8 per square foot —  starting low for the most basic neutrals and rising in price as you add in color pattern.

Woven wools are the most expensive. Nylon and indoor/outdoor types are about $5 to $10 per square foot and wools are roughly $5 to $20. 

Within all these material categories, there’s also the type of construction. Tufted products are usually lower priced than woven products.

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There are many factors that go into the decision-making process when installing new carpeting into your space.The guide we provided above will certainly help you get on the right track before investing in carpeting. For more information and helpful guides feel free to check out our other blog articles or visit our website!

If you’re ready to get started on your custom carpet project, simply email us at or request a custom quote on our website. One of our project managers will get in touch with you to begin the process! 

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