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Carpet Flooring FAQ: Your Questions Answered

Carpet Flooring

The balls of fluff, or loose fibers, found on carpet or in the vacuum cleaner bag are the normal result of fiber left in the carpet from the manufacturing process. Removing these loose fibers does not affect carpet life or appearance. Because of their large size, these fibers are too big to become airborne or to be breathed in. With proper vacuuming and using a quality vacuum cleaner, most shedding gradually disappears within the first year after installation.

Light reflects differently as the pile is pushed in different directions. Foot traffic generally causes this, and the best solution is to sweep or vacuum the pile in a uniform direction.

Just snip the end to even the carpet surface. Never pull out long or loose ends as this can permanently damage your carpet. If a tuft becomes snagged or works loose, simply cut it off and let the surrounding yarn fill in the space.

When a room’s relative humidity is very low, a static charge can build up in your carpet as you walk across it. If this occurs, a humidifier or other commercially available products can help.

Your carpet pile may compress due to heavy foot traffic or weight of furniture. Rotating furniture may help reduce indentations. You can work the pile back into place with the edge of a coin. Sometimes, passing a hot steam iron over the spot can also help, but keep the iron at least four inches above the carpet.

If you examine a carpet carefully, you’ll notice that the surface is comprised of many individual fibers. These fibers are sewn into the carpet’s backing at both ends, creating a sturdy hoop or loop shape. Depending on the carpet, these loops can vary in height, density, and texture. In carpet industry terminology, this is known as “pile” or “rug pile.” The fibers of a high pile carpet are tall and elongated, with a lower density. Shag carpeting is a classic example. By comparison, the fibers that make up a low pile carpet are shorter and more tightly packed together, creating a smoother, flatter appearance.

The “pile” of a carpet refers to the height and density of its individual fibers. The term “low pile carpet” describes any carpet made from short fibers that are sewn together in tight, dense rows. This creates a uniform, even appearance, with a texture that is smooth to both the eye and the touch. Low pile carpet is often recommended for children’s rooms, rooms with heavy foot traffic, and hallways.

It makes sense to know whether you want high pile or low pile before you go carpet-shopping. But if you’ve already purchased the carpet, determining pile is important, because it can help you decide how to use the carpet. For example, if you determine that you have a high pile carpet, you’ll likely want to avoid placing it in a muddy or heavily-trafficked area, since the long, fluffy fibers can be a somewhat tougher to keep clean. For heavily-trafficked areas, low pile carpet is perfect. However, for a more plush, cozy feel -- in areas where you may read and relax -- high pile may be a better option.

Some high-tech vacuums can cost close to a thousand dollars (or more). Fortunately, you don’t need fancy bells and whistles to keep your low pile or high pile carpet looking great — just a few basic features. Look for a lightweight vacuum with wide, sturdy wheels. These features will allow you to maneuver the vacuum more easily. Ideally, we recommend using a model with adjustable height and motor speeds, though brush roll control is optional. Most vacuums have adjustable settings (such as “high” and “low”) that are designed for use on different floor or carpet types.

To some extent, “quality” is about your personal style preferences — but there are also objective quality standards you should pay attention to when shopping for a carpet. For example, durability and performance. No longer is the quality identifier just the fiber type as technology and innovation has made yesterday’s fibers from ordinary to extraordinary. You should consider pile height, density, twist, weight, and ply of the fiber. Along with construction of carpet, you should also pay attention to carpet warranties. A good, quality carpet should offer a solid warranty coverage that protects against events such as spills, stains, and wear. A warranty lets you know that the manufacturers are quality-focused, and that the carpet was designed to withstand normal wear-and-tear while retaining most of its fibers. A Sales Professional at your local Flooring America can help you find a good quality carpet for your needs.

The answer to this question depends on factors like what types of carpets are being installed, what types of floors are underneath, and the shape and size of the room where the carpet is being installed. Regardless of these factors, installing carpets can be a big (and sometimes messy) job, so it’s best left to the professionals — especially if you’re redoing your home in order to show or sell it!

Each home flooring project is unique. However, there is no waiting period to place furniture back on the new carpet! People can also walk on the carpet immediately after installation. Also, It would be helpful to walk around the newly carpeted room with your installer for a final inspection.

Regardless of what sort of carpet you have, the best way to keep it clean is by following the manufacturer’s recommendations. These recommendations vary by brand and product line, depending on factors like the “pile” (height) of the carpet and what materials the carpet is made out of. If you have questions about how to keep your new carpets clean, just ask our knowledgeable flooring experts for tips.

It’s not just how you clean your carpet that’s important, but how often. As always, it’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations, which might suggest cleaning daily, weekly, or every few weeks. (Of course, you might need to spot-clean more frequently if you have accidental spills.) Some types of carpeting are more “high-maintenance” than others, but most are a breeze to keep clean thanks to technological innovations in the home flooring industry. For many products, the occasional vacuum and a touch of soapy water is more than enough.

Steam cleaning or chemical cleaning may be more appropriate for your carpet, depending on the product. Due to product variations, we strongly suggest that homeowners always refer to manufacturer guidelines. The basic difference between these approaches is that chemical cleaning uses specially formulated solutions to help dissolve and break down substances that cause staining, while steam cleaning uses heated water vapor.

Carpet squares, also known as “modular carpet,” are exactly what they sound like: small squares of carpeting, usually with dimensions of 18” x 18” or 24” x 24”. Carpet squares were designed to provide a lightweight alternative to traditional carpet rolls, which are considerably larger and heavier. Carpet squares have unique pros and cons, so it’s a good idea to weigh the benefits and drawbacks with an experienced professional. Our team can help you decide whether traditional carpets or carpet tiles are better for your home flooring project.