Once the epitome of sumptuous interiors, Carpet is a more accessible element of interior design than ever before. And it still hasn’t lost its luxurious allure. Of all the classic elements discussed, carpet, along with rugs and fabrics, is the most tactile and inviting. A carpet, by definition fitted wall-to-wall, can expand the sense of spaciousness in most rooms and works most effectively when covering expansive living spaces. Carpet remains very popular with every segment of the population. Young families with small children look to carpeting for softness and warmth for tiny hands and feet. For those of us who still love to roam around the house barefoot, carpeting is essential. Because carpet adds a small sound-dampening quality to most installations, it is invaluable in bedrooms. Changing the color or style of carpet from space to space also helps define different areas of most homes.
Carpet is made of many different fibers, pile constructions, backings, and densities, which affords a wide range of quality and price from which consumers can choose. In general, more expensive carpet, whether wool or man-made, is more durable and luxurious than cheap carpet, which wears badly and needs replacing far sooner than superior carpet.
Carpet is soft underfoot, warm, and comfortable to live with. It can insulate against many loud sounds and impacts in the household.
Carpet comes in many grades for specific installations and areas of higher wear. Wool and wool-blend carpets are the most luxurious and durable.
Depending on composition and any applied treatments to the surface, carpet varies greatly in susceptibility to stains and spills. Mishaps should be attended to as soon as possible to ensure superior performance for the life of the carpet. Carpet can’t withstand extended exposure to water. It is not recommended in kitchens, bathrooms, or other water areas.
Carpet comes in various widths, ranging from twenty-seven inches wide to over thirteen feet wide.
Carpet can harbor pet hair, mites, and other minute pests. Care should be taken to deep clean carpets if members of the family have allergies.
Woven carpets were the first machine-made carpets produced for mass consumption. The pile is woven into the backing in a similar way as handmade rugs. These carpets are long lasting and include types such as Axminster and Wilton, which have a pile on the surface and, quite often, colorful patterns. Flat weaves are also available with little or no pile.
Tufted carpets require the pile be inserted into the backing, which is then coated with adhesive to keep the tufts in place. A secondary backing may be added for extra strength. Tufts on the face of the carpet can be cut, left in loops, or a combination of the two to create interesting and enduring patterns and textures. Tufted carpet is generally of one color or a subtle blended shade.
Nonwoven carpets have fibers that are glued, or needle-punched to the backing. These carpets are available in roll and tile, have no pile, and are inexpensive. They become cheap looking in a very short time.
Durability is defined by how densely the fibers of a carpet are packed together. The tightness of the weave, not the depth, ensures long life for a carpet. If the carpet bounces back after pressed with your fingers, it’s a good indication of tightness of weave. Pile weight is also a good indicator of durability. Light, domestic use for bedrooms and other lightly used rooms requires a pile weight of around one and three quarter pounds per square yard.
Light to medium use for living rooms requires a pile weight of around two pounds per square yard. Medium to heavy use for family rooms, stairways, and entries requires a pile weight of around two and a half pounds per square yard