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How Do I Choose the Best Cut Pile Carpet?

Frieze carpeting, a type of cut pile carpet.
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  • Written By: Mary Ellen Popolo
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 19 June 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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When choosing carpet, the first thing most people think about is color. Although this is an important part of the decision making process, there are other factors that should be evaluated in order to choose the best carpet. Cut pile carpet is durable, comes in a selection of materials, prices, and colors, making it one of the most common types of carpet purchased. Once you've decided to buy cut pile carpet, you will need to choose a type and a material, both of which will determine the quality and price of the carpet. Color can be selected once the other elements have been chosen.

Saxony, frieze, textured, and velvet are the four most common types of cut pile carpet. All four types of carpet are manufactured by cutting the loops of the fibers, hence the name "cut pile." Velvet or plush carpet is cut numerous times, resulting in a luxuriously soft and plush carpet. The cut loops of both frieze and Saxony carpet are twisted very tightly until they almost bend. Saxony carpet is then heat treated to make the fibers stand upright, while textured carpet is twisted and then crimped to create a multi-colored look.

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All cut pile carpets are durable, and the main difference between each one is how it looks and feels underfoot. Before choosing which type of carpet you think will look best, consider the room, and decide which type of carpet would work best in that room. For instance, velvet carpet is plush and soft but will show every footprint, making it best suited for rooms that don't get a lot of foot traffic, such as guest rooms or formal living rooms. Textured cut pile has a multi-colored look that helps hide dirt and stains, making it a good choice for family rooms. Frieze's construction makes it one of the most durable, even in areas with high foot traffic, and it may be the best choice for a hallway or entryway.

The most common materials used for making carpets are wool and synthetics, including nylon and olefin. Wool is the most expensive, while nylon, olefin and other synthetics are less expensive and more common choices. Carpet density refers to how many threads the carpet has in a specified area — 1 in2 (6.54 cm2), for example. The more dense it is, the more expensive it will be. The type of material together with the carpet's density will determine the price.

Once you have made the decisions regarding the type and material for the cut pile carpet, you can select the color. When choosing color, think about the room or rooms in which the carpet will be placed. Select a color that will blend in with the room's surroundings, and match the existing wall colors and the furniture. In addition, think long term and choose a color that will appeal to you over a long period of time and match future changes in the room's color scheme.

The cost of carpet does not always include padding and installation. When pricing carpet, ask for the cost all three — carpet, padding and installation, so that you know what the total cost will be. It is a good idea to comparison shop and get prices from at least three different retailers. When asking for prices have them break down the price for each item separately so that you can accurately compare one retailer's price with another.

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