Buyer’s Guide to Carpet and Carpet Installation

Buyer's Guide to Carpet and Carpet Installation

Buyer’s Guide to Carpet and Carpet Installation

New carpet flooring is an excellent choice for homes. It’s the traditional option for bedrooms and living rooms because of its softness, ease of maintenance and durability. A wide variety of styles and types are available for you to choose from. But with so many options, finding the right carpet to fit your needs can be challenging. 

We’ve put together this carpet buying guide to help you decide which option is best for you. Whether replacing old carpet or another flooring material, this buying carpet guide will answer your questions.

What Is Carpet?

Before you buy carpet, you should know what it is. Carpet is a type of flooring made from woven fibers. It consists of a top pile layer attached to a backing. There are two main styles of carpet:

  • Broadloom: This type of carpet comes in rolls that professionals lay over a carpet pad. It is a popular choice for homes because it comes in many different patterns, styles and colors, and installers can cut it to fit any sized room or area.
  • Carpet tile: These pre-cut sections of carpet have a backing that helps adhere them to floors. They are more durable than broadloom and can withstand high-traffic areas, making them an excellent choice for commercial buildings.

Categorizing Carpet

You can categorize the different carpet options based on the manufacturing process, pile, fiber material and type. 


The two standard methods for manufacturing carpets are:

  • Tufted: Tufted carpet consists of rows of machine-pinched yarns held together by an adhesive and a backing.
  • Woven: A loom weaves together the yarns and carpet material.


The carpet’s surface layer is its pile. Pile plays a vital role in the carpet’s durability, comfort, ease of maintenance and appearance. When discussing carpet piles, you will want to know whether the carpet is loop or cut. 

Manufacturers cut the yarns in cut-pile before or during manufacturing, but not loop pile yarns. Loop pile is more durable, but the fibers can come loose or snag. Cut-pile is generally softer and resists matting, but it can be more challenging to clean. 

Carpet pile has three heights:

  • Low: The short fibers of this carpet are flat and dense, increasing its durability. Low pile carpet is easy to clean and perfect for high-traffic rooms or areas where pet hair, messes or dirt are common.
  • Medium: Since the fibers of medium pile carpets are taller than low pile, it is softer. This type of carpet can withstand moderate traffic and dirt but is more prone to pet hair and debris. You can easily clean medium pile carpet with a vacuum. It is an excellent choice for living rooms and bedrooms.
  • High: High pile carpet has long fibers that make it fluffy and plush. It is the softest carpet but collects debris and dirt easier. Furniture and heavy foot traffic can leave indentations in the pile. Areas or rooms where you want to dampen noise or add luxury and warmth are perfect for high pile carpet.

Fiber Materials

Fibers affect the durability and feel of your carpet. You can choose between natural or cost-effective synthetic fibers. The natural fibers include: 

Fiber Materials
  • Wool: This resilient fiber is stain- and fire-resistant.
  • Cotton: While cotton wears well and is soft, you must clean it regularly.
  • Silk: A luxuriously plush carpet fiber that is easily dyed and durable.

The synthetic fibers are:

  • Nylon: Nylon is more expensive than other synthetic fibers and is stain-resistant and durable.
  • Olefin: This material is a less expensive type of carpet that can go outdoors. It is glossy and water- and stain-resistant.
  • Polyester: Polyester is an affordable material that is soft and stain-resistant.
  • Triexta: This fiber is like polyester but more resilient and plusher.


One of the main factors to consider in our guide to buying carpet is type. Here are the eight different types of carpet:

  1. Frieze: This carpet’s long twisted fibers create a shaggy look. It adds a casual, comfortable feel to any room. The texture of frieze carpet can help conceal dirt and crumbs, and its long fibers are resistant to crushing in high-traffic areas.
  2. Textured: This cut-pile carpet with kinked and twisted uneven fiber creates an eye-catching appearance. It doesn’t show markings and resists soil, making it an excellent choice for areas or rooms with medium or heavy traffic.
  3. Nylon: Its solid and durable fibers make nylon a popular choice. Nylon is affordable and can withstand daily wear and tear while looking new. It hides stains and is easy to clean, making it an excellent choice for children or pets.
  4. Pet-proof: An excellent carpet solution for pet parents can resist and hide stains and odors. Pet-proof carpets come in a variety of patterns, textures and colors. 
  5. Commercial: Since commercial spaces often have frequent, heavy traffic, this type of carpet is extremely durable and economical. It will continue to look great for years to come.
  6. Plush: The fibers are closely packed, producing a smooth surface. Plush carpet is amazingly cushioned and luxurious. It makes any room or area look elegant but performs best in low-traffic areas because it can show footprints and seams.
  7. Loop: Having uncut looped pieces of yarn allows loop carpet to be low, medium or high pile. It hides soil and is suitable for high-traffic areas.
  8. Patterned: A combination of looped and cut fibers is used to create the designs of patterned carpets. They come in various patterns, textures, lines and colors, making any space stand out. Patterned carpets are wonderful at hiding stains and soil, making them suitable for high-traffic areas.

Why and How to Choose Carpet

Our buying guide for carpet wouldn’t be complete without discussing its advantages and the aspects you should consider. Carpet’s many benefits include the following: 

Why and How to Choose Carpet
  • Appearance: The numerous styles, textures, colors and patterns available can match any decor or theme. Carpet adds beauty and style to a space for many years.
  • Comfort: Residential carpeting has a plush, luxurious feel that is perfect for walking, lying down or sitting. You can walk on carpeting without shoes because it’s so comfortable.
  • Safety: Carpet is one of the safest flooring options for children and older adults. The softness of the carpet makes it gentler on joints and feet and provides a cushion for falls.
  • Cost: Carpet prices are less than other types of flooring, such as hardwood or laminate. It lasts for many years and is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Ease of cleaning and maintenance: Carpeting can receive stain-resistance treatments that increase its durability. In general, carpet is easy to clean and maintain, only requiring routine vacuuming and occasional use of stain removal products. If your carpet has stubborn stains, you can have it professionally cleaned.
  • Ease of installation: Carpet is easy to install, whether professionals install rolls or tiles. Professionals can glue, tape or inter-lock them, and carpet tiles can also be peel-and-stick. 

When deciding which carpet to choose, consider these factors:

  • Durability: Consider the amount of foot traffic in the area or room where the carpet will go. You want to select the right pile and type of carpet, so it is durable enough. 
  • Resistances: If the carpet is in a room where spills, stains or traffic is frequent, look at carpets with resistances.Carpet can be stain-resistant, wear-resistant or a combination of the two.
  • Pets: Pet owners will want to consider pet-proof carpets for their homes. Pet-proof carpet resists crushing, matting, stains and odors. It can handle energetic dogs while looking as good as new.
  • Sound: Hard flooring materials produce a plodding sound when you walk across them. However, this sound can become uncomfortable when multiple children or pets run across the floor. Carpet is a simple solution for soundproofing your home. It can minimize noise transfer, whether from music, games or running.
  • Longevity: Carpet lasts 5-15 years. While this duration is a nice period, other flooring options can last longer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Carpet

If you still have questions about carpet, check out these 12 frequently asked questions for answers.

1. How Much Does Carpet Cost?

The cost of carpet varies depending on the material, style, type and other factors. Generally, carpet rolls cost more than carpet tiles because of the padding underneath and the installation method. Luxurious carpeting uses high-quality materials that cost more but are more comfortable and tend to last longer. Additional features, such as stain or wear resistance, will cost extra.

2. How Much Does It Cost to Install Carpet?

There are a few different methods for installing carpet, which determine the carpet installation cost. While none of these installation methods are challenging for professionals, the easiest ones cost less.

3. What Goes Under Carpet?

An underlayment goes under the carpet. It can be rubber, foam or felt padding that ranges in thickness and density. The padding protects the underlayer from the wear and tear of the base floor and the top layer from furniture indentations and foot traffic. Additionally, carpet padding provides cushioning, sound absorption and insulation.

4. What Goes Under Carpet Padding?

Nothing goes under carpet padding. The padding goes on top of the base floor and provides the foundation for carpets. 

5. How Much Is Padding for Carpet?

How much you pay for carpet padding will depend on the padding’s type, thickness and density and room size. The thicker the padding, the more cushion it provides, but at a slightly greater cost.

6. Is a Lighter or Darker Carpet Color Best?

If dirt and stains concern you, dark brown, gray and earth tones are the best colors for hiding it. White, yellow and orange carpet will make stains and dirt more obvious, while black makes it easier for dirt and debris to accumulate over time. 

When dirt and stains aren’t a worry, you can choose whichever color you like best for the room’s design. Darker colors make the room feel cozy, so they are great for colder climates, bedrooms and living rooms. Lighter colors brighten a room and make it appear larger.

Is a Lighter or Darker Carpet Color Best?

7. When Should You Replace Carpet?

As mentioned before, carpet lasts 5-15 years. Signs that your carpet needs replacing include the following:

  • Stains that don’t go away after a professional cleaning
  • Deterioration of the padding, which causes the carpet to be less comfortable or lumpy
  • Carpet piles that are flat even after cleaning and fluffing
  • Threads showing through certain areas at the top
  • Fraying along the edges
  • Faded fibers, which cause the carpet to become a different hue than its original one

8. What Type of Carpet Lasts the Longest?

Nylon lasts the longest because it is the most durable. Professionals can treat it to increase its stain resistance. It is an excellent choice for homes with children and pets or many visitors.

9. What Carpet Pile Height Is Best?

Which carpet pile height is best for you will depend on your lifestyle and what you want. The higher pile carpets are more comfortable but harder to clean. Low to medium pile carpets typically work well for common areas like the living room, while high pile carpets are suitable for bedrooms.

10. How Do You Prevent Carpet Damage?

Opting for additional features like pet-proof carpet or stain and wear resistance can help prevent carpet damage. Other methods for preventing damage include: 

  • Placing doormats inside and outside the entrances to collect dirt and debris.
  • Using coasters under heavy furniture to avoid indentations.
  • Cleaning your carpet regularly to remove dirt and stains.

11. Which Carpet Is the Best?

If you know you want carpet, the best way to choose the design, style and texture you want is to view samples and consider your preferences. Metro Flooring Contractors has mobile sales representatives that can come to your home and show you examples.

When considering your preferences, ask yourself these questions:

  • Which room or rooms do you want the carpet installed in?
  • Do you have pets or young, active children and want the flooring to block as much sound as possible?
  • Are you worried about stains or wear?
  • Do you prefer plush or flat carpets?
  • Do you have a favorite color you want the carpet to be?
  • Do you want your flooring to have a pattern?
  • What does your budget look like?

These questions can help you narrow your options and decide which is best for your needs.

12. How Do I Buy Carpet?

You can purchase carpet and installation services from professional installers, such as Metro Flooring Contractors. Metro Flooring Contractors offers the best prices and products with exceptional installation.

Contact Metro Flooring Contractors for Quality Carpet Installation

Metro Flooring Contractors has decades of experience in the flooring industry. We provide brand-name flooring options and professional installation services for less in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware, northern Virginia and parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Whether you are purchasing new flooring for your entire home or one room, we have the products, selection and support you need to find the right flooring to fit your needs and make a wise investment. 

Our professional installers are ready to provide you with a quick turnaround and affordable rates. Contact us today to schedule your free in-home estimate and begin your flooring project. We look forward to helping you find the carpet to make your dream home a reality.

Contact Metro Flooring Contractors for Quality Carpet Installation