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Carpet: Pros, Cons, and Prices

Practical Synthetics and Elegant Hardwood Can't Match Carpet's Pure Comfort

Carpeting isn't as popular as it once was, but its softness underfoot and affordability ensure that it will remain a staple in homes nationwide. If you're considering installing carpet in your home, continue reading to learn about the options available to you and how much your new flooring will cost.

Before You Buy: Carpet Options

If you think that all carpet is more or less the same, think again. There are many carpeting characteristics that distinguish one product from another, including the following:

  • Fiber: The four most popular carpeting materials are wool, Olefin, acrylic, and polyester, but others, such as nylon and sisal, are also available.
  • Texture: Pile refers to how the carpet fibers are woven. Loop pile carpet has fibers that form loops at the top, while cut pile has individual strands. Some carpets have both cut and looped fibers and patterned carpets have loops of different heights.
  • Color: Carpet color is important not only for decor, but it also affects how large or small a room appears (lighter colors give the illusion of more space; darker colors have the opposite effect). And if you're planning on moving soon, consider a neutral color.
  • Padding: Although not a must, carpet padding is installed in 9 out of 10 residential jobs. A carpet pad not only increases the life of the carpet, but provides greater comfort.
  • Stain Resistance: Some carpet fibers and textures naturally resist dirt and stains better than others. On top of that, individual carpets may have special stain coatings and stain warranty coverage.

After You Buy: Carpet Benefits

Once you've chosen a carpet for your home and had it installed, you can look forward to these benefits:

  • Comfort: No other flooring can match the warmth of carpet. With soft fibers underfoot, you can enjoy comfortable barefoot walking year-round or lounge on the floor in front of the television or fireplace.
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  • Safety: Carpet provides excellent footing and cushions falls, considerations that are especially important for seniors and homeowners with children.
  • Insulation: Carpeting, especially when it has padding underneath, creates an excellent layer of insulation that retains heat and contributes to better energy efficiency. Carpet also reduces foot traffic noise and absorbs sound, creating a quieter home.
  • Design Flexibility: Available in a huge array of colors, patterns, and textures, carpet can instantly update the decor of any room in the house.
  • Affordability: Carpet covers the pricing spectrum, from high-end luxury to simple functionality. And compared to flooring options like wood and stone, carpet is a bargain.

Carpet Costs

The actual cost of carpeting depends on a number of factors, including the type and amount purchased, the local market, the condition of the subfloor, the difficulty of the installation, and more.

  • The biggest consideration for carpet pricing is the quality of the materials. Basic carpeting might cost $2 or less per square foot, while mid-range carpet costs $2.50 to $5.00 per square foot and high end carpets cost $5 to $10 or more per square foot.
  • Carpet padding prices also vary according to quality; expect to pay as little as $.50 per square foot and as much as $2.00/square foot.
  • Carpet installation costs average $1 to $2 per square foot.
  • For most homes, installing new carpet falls within the $1,000 to $5,000 price range ($250 to $1,250 per room).

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