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In depth information on do it yourself home property maintenance, covering all aspects of residential home, commercial, business, and apartment building repair, remodeling, and renovation projects Featuring tips, advice, how-to and step-by-step information to help you maintain and improve the value of your business building and home.

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 Please also visit: Removing Stains from Carpeting & Rugs
Decorating with Carpet
:

 

 • Area Rug Facts & Tips Tips for Purchasing and Installing New Carpet
 • Area Rugs Are Increasingly Under Foot
 • Selecting Decor First: Transform the often-overwhelming process of choosing carpet 

    into a preview of the room you want.
 • The Decorating Room Plan: Who, what and how? Simple questions can give you a

     detailed understanding of your carpeting needs.
 • Carpeting and Maintenance: Easy-cleaning? Water resistance? Durability? What

    matters to you when it comes to keeping that new look?
 • Carpeting and Atmosphere: Warm or cool, light or dark -- even quiet or loud. The

    carpet you choose sets the tone for any room.
 • Carpeting and Sense of Space: Want to make your home feel cozier? More

    spacious? We've got you covered.
 • Carpeting and Lifestyle: Rustic to formal and everything in between, we'll help you 

    choose the covering that's perfect for you.
 • Carpeting and Mood: Calm it down. Live it up. Carpet really can help you create a

    mood in your home.
 • Choosing Carpet Size: If it has to do with carpet or rugs, room size considerations

    and calculation, you'll find it here.
 • Choosing Carpet Color: When deciding on a carpet, consider everything from furniture

    to pets, climate to orientation.
 • Choosing Pattern or Plain: Should your carpet be pain or patterned, and which

    patterns are best for you. Let us help you decide.
 • Choosing Carpet Texture: Understand the effects of carpet texture, from uneven low-

    level loop to smooth tip sheered.
 • Choosing Fiber and Density: Dense carpets provide better performance, and are more

    expensive. Match your needs with the best value.

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Area Rug Facts & Tips

When decorating your home, think of your floors as the foundation for your design scheme. An area rug can visually integrate or harmonize eclectic elements in any decor or can revitalize a room. There's an endless array of rug designs to choose from. Oriental, Persian, contemporary and Native American designs are just a few that can be found in nearly any price range.

Tips for Selecting a Rug for Your Home

  • Visualize the desired total look of the room. Do you want a room that's uncluttered and monotone or a room rich with colors or textures? If you start with a totally empty room, choose a rug, then paint or paper the walls in colors found in the rug.

  • Remember, the rug has to fit the room – in more ways than one. Consider how the room is used, how much traffic the area gets and who will view it under what light. For high-traffic areas such as hallways and foyers, you may want a durable, patterned rug.

  • Choose furniture that enhances the rug design or colors found in the rug.

  • If you start with furniture, choose a rug to pick up the colors used in your furnishing patterns. Patterns can be mixed if they are coordinated by color. Elements of a rug design can be further incorporated into the overall design scheme. For example, if the rug is floral, add framed prints or flowers in similar colors.

  • Size up the size of the room and the area you want to cover. The most common area rug sizes are 4-by-6 and 6-by-9 feet. They work well under a coffee table. An 8-by-11-foot rug or larger can cover an entire room. Smaller area and scatter rugs can be ideal for adorning smaller spaces—a hearth, a bedside, the area in front of a kitchen sink—with a splash of color and warmth.

  • A rug with a bold, overall design can be the focal point of a room with a chair and sofa in solid or subdued patterns.

  • Light colored rugs make a room look more spacious, and deeper colors lend coziness to a room.

  • Choose a rug that will perform well, with the right combination of density and fiber. The denser the pile, (with closer tufts or stitches), the better your rug will wear.

  • Synthetic yarns - nylon, polyester, acrylic, and polypropylene - and the naturals - wool and cotton - are durable, soft, and easy to clean.

  • You’ve got to hand it to machine-made rugs: they may look strikingly similar to the handmade kind, but they’re usually much less expensive.

  • Watch out for fringe elements. If the rug you like has fringe, make sure it’s sewn on well, and very carefully use the vacuum cleaner.

  • Don’t be boxed in by the idea of getting a rectangular rug. A circular or octagonal-shaped floor covering can add flair.

  • Don’t underestimate the value of an underlay. Not only will it absorb the impact of feet and noise, it will reduce wear and tear on the rug and make vacuuming easier

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Buying and Installing New Carpet Tips

Since 1988, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received over 500 complaints associated with new carpet installation. CPSC evaluated many of these complaints. The most frequently-reported symptoms were watery eyes, runny nose, burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, rashes, and fatigue. CPSC is currently investigating the relationship between the carpets and the reported health problems.

The complaints led CPSC to study what chemicals come from carpet and whether those chemicals could cause the health problems that consumers reported. CPSC collected carpet samples directly from the production line. Laboratory work was performed to determine the types and quantities of chemicals released from carpet cushions used under the carpet.

The Commission does not currently have evidence that specific chemical emissions coming from carpet are responsible for the health complaints associated with carpet installation. There have been reports that mice exposed to air passed over carpets showed severe health problems and, in some cases, died. At this time the cause of these health problems and the implication of these findings for human health are not known Studies to determine the significance of these reports are in progress.

In the meantime, here are some practical steps to consider before purchasing and installing new carpet:

TALK TO THE CARPET RETAILER/INSTALLER.

  • Ask about the carpet industry's voluntary "green label" program for new carpet. According to the carpet Industry, the label tells consumers that this carpet type has been tested and passed emissions criteria. The label, however, is not a guarantee that the carpet will not cause health problems. A toll-free phone number is available on the label for updated information on the industry's program.

  • Ask the retailer to unroll and air out the carpet in a well-ventilated area before Installation.

  • Ask for low-emitting adhesives if adhesives are needed.

  • Make sure the installer follows industry installation guidelines Residential Carpet Installation Standard, CRI-105)

VENTILATE AREA WITH FRESH AIR

This will help reduce chemicals coming from carpet installation.

  • Open doors and windows. Increasing the amount of fresh air In the home will reduce exposure to most chemicals released from carpet. During and after installation, use window fans and room air conditioners to exhaust fumes to the outdoors. If you have a ventilation system, be sure it is in proper working order. Operate it during installation, and keep it running for 48 to 72 hours after the new carpet is installed.

Content Provided By the DOE

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Area Rugs Are Increasingly Under Foot

What can add softness, color and design to a room in a matter of moments? The answer is area rugs. No installation hassles. You just position the rug wherever you want it. If you want to make a change, you can do so quickly and easily.

Area rugs and runners are the fastest growing segment of the soft flooring industry. They can be understated and subtle or boldly colored with vivid design elements, such as geometrics or florals. They can add a focal point to a room that might otherwise look blasé with just a long expanse of vinyl tile, hardwood or carpet on the floor.

According to John Clarey of Shaw Industries, "Area rugs are the hottest new way to express personal style. They're an easy and relatively inexpensive way to add color to the floor."

Shaw's Color Palette line of high-end area rugs offers a variety of designs in 100 colors, ranging from pastels and true florals to natural tones.

Don Scarlata of Colonial Mills, whose company specializes in braided rugs, noted that area rugs are a natural complement to wood and vinyl floors, offering an added design element as well as comfort and protection of hard-floor surfaces.

Area rugs also are a great way to protect the high-traffic areas of carpet from soil and general wear-and-tear. With area rugs bearing the brunt of use, they can be taken up easily for regular cleaning. Thus, you can add additional years to your carpet while also expressing your personal style. So, not only are areas rugs fashionable, they are practical as well.

Courtesy of the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association

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Selecting Your Decor Before Carpeting

Decorating can be scary. It's overwhelming to see the selections in the stores. All sorts of things look appealing, but which is right for you? Most people are in terror of spending their money for what might turn out to be a dreadful mistake.

How can you make the right selection? How can you spend your money wisely? How can you be a smart shopper? Ask the right questions? Know when a salesman is trying to pull the wool over your eyes?

Its first premise is that you are truly the only one who knows what feels right to you .

The second premise is that you need information, knowledge of your options, so that you can pick the product or products that will work best for you.

The technique we will follow is:

First, name the realities that your decorating will have to accommodate. These consist of who will use the room, what activities will go on in the room, how long a time will be spent in this room, and what the room itself is like. No matter what's going on in the stores, these are realities you have to address.

Second, name the adjectives that you would like to describe the room when it's finished. Never mind at this stage how you get there from here. To find any route, you first need to know your destination.

Third, the adjectives you select will suggest certain uses of the decorating tools of color, pattern, and texture. This booklet will describe how to use these tools to achieve the look you like, particularly in reference to carpeting.

Does the room have a view of the outdoors? That's a wonderful asset. You might make the room seem larger by creating an INDOOR/OUTDOOR effect.

What is this room adjacent to? Do you want it to seem connected or separated from the adjacent space? Rooms that are seen together should be compatible in design.

What words do you want to describe the room you design? Consider the realities of your room's use. Pick at least one adjective in each category.

Maintenance

  • Easy To Clean

  • Waterproof/Moisture Resistant

  • Durable

 

Atmosphere

  • Warmer

  • Cooler

  • Changeable with the Seasons

  • Lighter And Brighter

  • Darker Or Dimmer

  • Quieter

  • Noisier

 

Sense Of Space

  • Cozy

  • Spacious

  • Indoor/Outdoor

 

Lifestyle

  • Country/Rustic

  • Informal

  • Semiformal

  • Formal

Fourth, all the decisions that need to be made in selecting carpeting will be tied into the adjectives that you want to describe your room, so that you will know what will work for you. You will know what to ask for when shopping, and what alternatives will still achieve the look you're after. This website poses the questions that need to be addressed to select the correct carpeting. You'll know the right answers for you.

This article by Cathy Crane has a a full color DIY Video available

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Fibers

Your rug should not only look great, it should perform well, too. To find the best rug within your budget, there are several factors to consider. The perfect rug will have just the right combination of density, twist and fiber.

  • Density refers to the closeness of the tufts or knots. The denser the pile, the better your rug will wear.

  • Twist refers to the winding of yarn around itself. A tighter yarn twist will provide added durability.

The type of fiber used in your rug also will help determine its appearance and performance. Synthetic fibers provide brilliant colors, easy maintenance, softness and outstanding value. Natural fibers provide soft, low luster colors, long term performance and other aesthetic qualities

There are six general types of fibers, each with different characteristics:

  1. Nylon - Wear and soil resistant and easily cleaned. Resilient, withstands heavy traffic and the weight and movement of furniture. Unlimited variety of brilliant colors.

  2. Wool - Noted for luxury and softness. Has high bulk and is available in many colors.

  3. Olefin (Polypropylene) - b and colorfast with a soft wool-like feel. Resists wear and stains. Affordable. Predominant machine-woven synthetic fiber. May also be used in outdoor carpet.

  4. Polyester - Noted for its soft "hand" when used in thick, cut pile textures.

  5. Acrylic - Offers the appearance of wool at a lower cost. Sometimes is blended with other fibers. Most often appears in bath rugs and mats.

  6. Cotton - Noted for its softness and performance. Available in many colors.

  7. Blends - There may be blends of any of the above fibers.

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Planning for Carpet - The Decorating Room Plan

The persons using the room.

  • List them and their requirements

The activities that will go on in the room.  

  • Consider what mood would be conducive to the activities

  • The wear and tear will be on the furnishings.

How often and for what periods of time will this room be used?

  • What mood would you want for that time duration? 

  • What will be the wear and tear on the furnishings?

What is the room itself like?

  • Consider its size, shape, lighting conditions. 

  • What are the room's assets and liabilities? 

  • You're going to want to make the most of its assets and underplay its liabilities.

Describe the room you want to create:

  • Maintenance::

  • Atmosphere:

  • Sense of Space:

  • Lifestyle:

  • Mood:

  • How Do You Want This Room To Be?

Who will use this room?

Consider the age, size, sex, coloring, hobbies and special interests of this person. What would make this person comfortable? What would be easy to maintain? What will go on in this room?

The room needs to be designed to be conducive to the activities that will go on in it. For example, for sleeping you might want a CALM mood, for active child's play, you might want a STIMULATING mood. (It's supposed to be good for a child's I.Q.)

For how long will this room be used?

If you just pass through the room, as you do in an entry hall or in a powder room, the room needs to make its impact fast or it has missed its opportunity. You can use STIMULATING/DRAMATIC effects in rooms like these. If you spend a long time in a room, and you want it to be restful, you would choose CALM/PEACEFUL effects. If you spend a moderate amount of time in a room, often you want it to be RELAXING in mood.

Another decision that emanates from the length of time spent in a room is the wear-ability of materials. If a room will be used occasionally and treated delicately, you can use perishable materials. If it will be used constantly, and rather roughly, you had better choose materials that can stand up to the wear. Spending more initially for something that will look good for longer is a good economic decision. What is the room itself like? Do you need to compensate for its flaws? For example, if you have a small, dark room, you might want to make it look more SPACIOUS, as well as LIGHTER/BRIGHTER.

If the room is enormous, you might want to make it feel more COZY. If it's long and narrow, you might use various decorative devices to improve its seeming proportions.

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 How Carpeting Contributes to Maintenance

Easy to clean

Fibers: The newest stain-repellant nylon carpet fibers are a boon here. You can even get off red wine without a trace 24 hours after the spill!

Colors: Dulled colors can help you hide dirt. You might select a carpet by the entrance that is the same as the color of the earth outdoors. You might conceal your dog's hair by choosing a carpet in a color close to his coat.

The Choice of Fiber

Patterns: Patterns can conceal dirt and spills. For a rug under the dining table, pattern is better than plain. Even tweeds and heathery mixtures camouflage soil.

Waterproof - Moisture Resistant

Fibers: If you want a soft rug or carpet for the floor, choose one made of man-made fiber. Nylon, polyester, and polypropylene olefin (used in indoor/outdoor carpet) are nonabsorbent and resist moisture and mildew. Avoid wool; it absorbs moisture.

Durable

Soft-surfaced floors can cushion falls.

Surface Texture: Uncut pile (the kind that forms loops) wears far longer than cut-pile carpeting--especially when short and closely packed. Children can run their trucks over tight low-level loop pile. High shaggy pile is warm and friendly.

Density: Tight construction of carpet is essential for good wear, so choose one with dense pile for heavy-traffic areas, such as halls, stairs, and children's bedrooms.

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How Carpeting Contributes to Atmosphere

Warmer

Colors: Warm, bright, and dark colors seem warm. Warm colors are the colors of fire: reds, red- oranges, orange-yellows. Bright and dark colors seem warm because they come closer. What is closer is cozier. What is cozier is warmer.

Textures: Soft textures can actually insulate. Just think of getting up in the morning and puffing your feet on a cold bare floor as opposed to a warm soft rug. Rugs and carpeting keep the floor from looking or feeling cold. The thicker the carpet, the warmer the feeling.

Cooler

Colors: Pale and cool colors are cooling. Think of the pale blues and greens of water. Light colors feel open and airy--even the pale neutrals.

Textures: Hard and slick textures contribute to the sensation of cool. However, if you want a soft carpeting, choose one with a smooth even surface. The rough natural texture of sisal makes a cool looking floor covering.

Changeable with the Seasons

Basically you're going to want warm colors and thick textures in the winter and cool colors and slick textures in the summer.

Size: Choose portable area rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. You can leave floors bare in the summer and cover them with rugs in the winter. If you already have a neutral wall-to-wall that you don't want to pull up, you could layer area rugs over it in the winter.

Lighter and Brighter

Colors: Choose warm colors that have a lot of white in them. Pale colors make the most of what light there is. They reflect it and bounce it back into the room.

Textures: Shiny, smooth surfaces reflect light too. If you choose carpeting, choose one with a smooth surface, say, a Velvet Plush.

Darker or Dimmer

If the light is too bright, you'll want to absorb some of it to make the room feel comfortable.

Colors: Choose cool colors that have been toned down by the addition of gray. Dark colors absorb light and keep it from reflecting back into the room.

If all that light is also making the room feel too warm, you will want to choose color colors--blues and greens. Generally cool colors in dulled grayed tones are a good choice for too-bright rooms.

Textures: Rough or uneven surfaces have the effect of softening bright light. Light will hit an uneven surface at different angles, so the light is broken up and not bounced back into the room. For the floor, a rug of any kind is better than slick tile. To keep a cool feeling, rough-surfaced sisal is useful. If you want a warm feeling, choose a deep carpet, or one with a multi-level surface.

Quieter

Colors : Colors don't actually change the noise conditions of a room, but they do have a psychological effect. Dark colors feel quiet like a cave.

Textures: Texture is the key to controlling sound. Soft textures suck up sound. You may want carpeting to cover the floor--and walls. With a carpet, the higher and thicker the pile, the more sound it will absorb. (Incidentally, cut pile absorbs more than looped pile.)

Underlay: Don't forget the carpet underlay. That too, helps absorb sound.

Noisier

Sometimes noise is a positive. Vigorous activities, play, and parties are stimulated by some noise. Some constant soft sound can block out or blunt sharper, more irritating sounds.

Colors: Light, bright colors can make you feel like whooping it up.

Textures: Hard, slick surfaces bounce sound around, almost make it echo. If you want the room to be noisier, take up the carpet.

How Carpeting Contributes to Atmosphere

Changeable with the Seasons

Basically you're going to want warm colors and thick textures in the winter and cool colors and slick textures in the summer.

Size: Choose portable area rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. You can leave floors bare in the summer and cover them with rugs in the winter. If you already have a neutral wall-to-wall that you don't want to pull up, you could layer area rugs over it in the winter.

Lighter and Brighter

Colors: Choose warm colors that have a lot of white in them. Pale colors make the most of what light there is. They reflect it and bounce it back into the room.

Textures: Shiny, smooth surfaces reflect light too. If you choose carpeting, choose one with a smooth surface, say, a Velvet Plush.

Darker or Dimmer

If the light is too bright, you'll want to absorb some of it to make the room feel comfortable.

Colors: Choose cool colors that have been toned down by the addition of gray. Dark colors absorb light and keep it from reflecting back into the room.

If all that light is also making the room feel too warm, you will want to choose color colors--blues and greens. Generally cool colors in dulled grayed tones are a good choice for too-bright rooms.

Textures: Rough or uneven surfaces have the effect of softening bright light. Light will hit an uneven surface at different angles, so the light is broken up and not bounced back into the room. For the floor, a rug of any kind is better than slick tile. To keep a cool feeling, rough-surfaced sisal is useful. If you want a warm feeling, choose a deep carpet, or one with a multi-level surface.

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Cooler

Colors: Pale and cool colors are cooling. Think of the pale blues and greens of water. Light colors feel open and airy--even the pale neutrals.

Textures: Hard and slick textures contribute to the sensation of cool. However, if you want a soft carpeting, choose one with a smooth even surface. The rough natural texture of sisal makes a cool looking floor covering.

Changeable with the Seasons

Basically you're going to want warm colors and thick textures in the winter and cool colors and slick textures in the summer.

Size: Choose portable area rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. You can leave floors bare in the summer and cover them with rugs in the winter. If you already have a neutral wall-to-wall that you don't want to pull up, you could layer area rugs over it in the winter.

Lighter and Brighter

Colors: Choose warm colors that have a lot of white in them. Pale colors make the most of what light there is. They reflect it and bounce it back into the room.

Textures: Shiny, smooth surfaces reflect light too. If you choose carpeting, choose one with a smooth surface, say, a Velvet Plush.

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Darker or Dimmer

If the light is too bright, you'll want to absorb some of it to make the room feel comfortable.

Colors: Choose cool colors that have been toned down by the addition of gray. Dark colors absorb light and keep it from reflecting back into the room.

If all that light is also making the room feel too warm, you will want to choose color colors--blues and greens. Generally cool colors in dulled grayed tones are a good choice for too-bright rooms.

Textures: Rough or uneven surfaces have the effect of softening bright light. Light will hit an uneven surface at different angles, so the light is broken up and not bounced back into the room. For the floor, a rug of any kind is better than slick tile. To keep a cool feeling, rough-surfaced sisal is useful. If you want a warm feeling, choose a deep carpet, or one with a multi-level surface

Quieter

Colors : Colors don't actually change the noise conditions of a room, but they do have a psychological effect. Dark colors feel quiet like a cave.

Textures: Texture is the key to controlling sound. Soft textures suck up sound. You may want carpeting to cover the floor--and walls. With a carpet, the higher and thicker the pile, the more sound it will absorb. (Incidentally, cut pile absorbs more than looped pile.)

Underlay: Don't forget the carpet underlay. That too, helps absorb sound.

Noisier

Sometimes noise is a positive. Vigorous activities, play, and parties are stimulated by some noise. Some constant soft sound can block out or blunt sharper, more irritating sounds.

Colors: Light, bright colors can make you feel like whooping it up.

Textures: Hard, slick surfaces bounce sound around, almost make it echo. If you want the room to be noisier, take up the carpet.

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How Carpeting Contributes to Lifestyle

Country - Rustic

 

Colors: Bright and clear. No subtle shadings here.

Patterns: Primitive or naive. Bright flowery peasant motifs are fun too.

Textures: Rough or bold. The rougher and more unrefined, the more rustic. The floor covering might have a handmade look. You could use hooked or braided rugs.

Informal

Colors: Bright with strong contrasts. Strong colors go well with the natural-looking textures of informal furnishings.

Pattern: The size of the design should fit proportionately with the size of the room and its furnishings, but on the whole, small motifs seem more informal.

Textures: Uneven or un-shiny. Texture is a great determinant of informality. Textures in an informal room tend to be natural and unpolished. They tend to have uneven surfaces, or look like they have uneven surfaces. In terms of carpeting, this might mean you select a multi-level loop style, or a pebbly-looking level loop or cut Frieze. A carpeting colored with various shades does not look uniform. Mottled colorations or tweedy effects even on smooth surfaces give an informal ambience.

Semi-Formal

Colors: Colors are neither super-bright, nor super-subtle. If bright, bold colors are informal, and pale, subtle colors are formal, then those colors in the middle are semi-formal.

Patterns: Most patterns are semiformal. Except for the most powerful and primitive and the most subtle and sophisticated, the majority of patterns can be considered semiformal.

Textures: Textures are neither especially rough nor smooth. To achieve a semiformal effect, textures can be modestly uneven or dimensional. They can be simply smooth without being especially lustrous. Rug and carpet surfaces may be smooth or carved in patterns.

Formal

Colors: Soft, pale colors are beautiful with fine furniture, and they won't upstage it! Another way to go, if you want drama (as Napoleon did) is to choose rich jewel tones. 

Patterns: Patterns may be large in scale, delicately drawn, crafted by hand, or made of luxurious materials. Most formal patterns are extravagant in some way. Some types of designs have a classically formal feeling. This is true of damask and brocade fabrics, Aubusson and Savonnerie rugs, most Oriental rugs, as well as most fine-patterned porcelain. 

Textures: In a formal room, textures are basically smooth and shiny. Soft, smooth surfaces in general create a luxurious comfort quotient. Imagine deep pile rugs, generous upholstered pieces, fabric on the walls. These soft surfaces also absorb sound and give a feeling of privileged privacy. Flat rich rugs like Orientals, needlepoint, and flat furs are less warm and comforting, but they are still extremely formal.

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How Carpeting Contributes to Mood

Calm - Peaceful

Colors: To create calm, avoid strong contrasts. You might choose a one-color scheme, and just do variations of light and dark. If you do, it's wise to put the darkest color on the floor. It follows gravity.

  • The cool colors, the blues and greens, are calming. 

  • Grayer, darker colors are calming too. When we feel a sense of serenity at dusk, it is because everything is washed in gray light. A touch of gray can calm down almost any color.

Plain: Pattern is lively; avoid it. You could get away with a subtle pattern, however, say one with closely blended colors or maybe a textured effect.

Textures: Soft, smooth textures suggest serenity. A carpet-covered floor is not only soft to the touch, it absorbs sound.

Stimulating - Dramatic - Lively

Colors: Bright warm colors like red, orange, and yellow energize like sunshine. Strongly contrasting colors are dramatic. Opposite colors like red and green, blue and orange, or purple and yellow are so different they make each other more intense.

Pattern: Bold pattern is exciting. Patterns that have strong contrasts within the design are attention-getters. The more pattern, the more lively the room.

Textures: Hard and uneven textures are lively. Multilevel or carved carpets have uneven surfaces. Because they absorb light unevenly, they have variations of light and shadow. This variety attracts interest and causes the room to be more stimulating.

Relaxing

Colors: Colors may be medium-value (neither extremely light nor dark). Colors may contrast a medium amount. You might choose brighter cool colors, or duller warm colors.

Patterns: Simple linear patterns are your best bet. The pattern should contain a medium amount of contrast. A simple rule of thumb -- if the room seems too dull or drab, add pattern, if too stimulating, remove pattern.

Textures: Textures may be smooth or gently uneven.

Cheerful

Colors: Light warm colors are particularly cheerful. Yellow is as cheerful as sunshine. It adds brightness to a room without appearing to shrink its size.

Patterns: A particularly pleasing pattern can do a lot to brighten your mood.

Sexy

Colors: You might want to choose a scheme of warm colors. Dim light combined with warm colors flatters the complexion and creates a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. 

Textures: Thick, shaggy, soft, pleasant to the touch. This is the most important factor. Thick, soft textures not only appeal to the senses, they create a feeling of warmth, and because they absorb sound, they create a feeling of privacy.

For the floor, you might want a deep pile carpet or fur rugs.

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Decisions When Selecting Carpeting Choosing The Size

  • What size is this room? What size do you wish it were?

  • Do you want to unify the room to make it seem more SPACIOUS, or break it up to make it seem more COZY?

  • Wall-to-wall carpeting unifies spaces. It gives a comfortable furnished look, and it has an amazing capacity to absorb noise. It can cover wood floors in poor condition, and with the proper underlay, it can cover concrete floors.

  • It is fairly permanent; it might be hard to take with you when you go.

Originally, carpeting was woven in twenty-seven-inch widths. When the looms were expanded to accommodate carpeting of wider widths, the carpeting itself came to be known as broadloom. Today 95 percent of the carpets sold are tufted, not woven, but they are still known as broadloom. Most tufted carpets are available in twelve-foot or fifteen-foot widths. If your room is wider than twelve feet, or fifteen feet, the carpet will have to be seamed. If your room is narrower than twelve or fifteen feet, you'll have to pay for some waste. Usually your carpet dealer will help you figure out the yardage you need, and provide the installation service. Proper installation is important because faulty installation can reduce the life of the carpet. Cleaning normally has to be done on location. To equalize wear in different areas, you can rearrange your furniture from time to time.

How Much Carpet Will You Need?

Since all carpet prices are quoted per square yard, it's not too difficult to get an approximate idea of how much a given style will cost.

You can calculate it yourself. Let's assume your living room is 1 8' x 12', and your dining room is 9' x 12'. When you multiply each dimension with the other, you have a living room of 216 square feet and a dining room of 108 square feet.

Measure your room's length and width in feet. Multiply those two numbers to get the room's total square feet. There are 9 square feet in a square yard. So you divide by 9.

If you're carpeting odd shaped areas, just take down all the measurements. A salesman will be glad to calculate the yardage for you.  If you'd like we have a quick calculator on site.

Carpet tiles. Carpet is also available in easily installed, interchangeable squares or tiles that have an adhesive backing. Carpet tiles come precut in twelve- or eighteen-inch squares. Carpet tiles provide a money-saving way to achieve the effect of wall-to-wall. You can dispense with professional installation. since you can do it yourself. You can dispense with an underlay, since the tiles already have a high-density foam backing. Maintenance is simplified. Worn areas can be replaced without disturbing the rest. Worn tiles may also be rotated to less obvious areas.

Room-sized rugs have much of the same unified, SPACIOUS effect as wall-to-wall carpeting. They should have only about a foot of the natural floor showing around the outside edges. The advantage of rugs over wall-to-wall is that they are portable. You can take them with you when you move. You can rotate them to distribute wear. You can send them out to the cleaners. You can even take them up in the summer for a cooler look.

Room-sized rugs that are smooth and un-patterned often look best with a mitered border. For a particularly handsome effect, you might have several borders. The first two might contrast with the center of the rug. The final outside border might repeat the center color. When rugs are cut from broadloom carpeting, you can specify any size or shape you want.

Area rugs are great in a large room. They break up that endless prairie of the floor into islands of interest. The room has to be big enough to break up into areas. An area rug would be ridiculous in a tiny room.

The area rug got its name because it is used to define a specific area of activity. Choose a rug of a size that fits your furniture grouping. Generally, furniture must be squarely on the rug, or entirely off. If you are placing an area rug on top of a wall-to-wall carpet, don't make the mistake of thinking you can get away with something smaller just because you have so much carpet. An area rug still has to be of a size to define the area.

Scatter or Accent rugs are small and are used in strategic places to add a spot of warmth or color. They might be by a bed or in front of a fireplace. Although usually used on bare floors, they may be placed over plain carpet.

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Decisions When Selecting Carpeting Pattern or Plain

This choice depends on the role you want your floor covering to pay in your decorative scheme.

If you want to underplay the floor in order to emphasize your furnishings or accessories, by all means choose a plain carpet.

If you want to add excitement to the room on the floor, choose a pattern. Most patterned floor coverings command attention.

What activities will go on in this room? What will be the wear and tear? It's a good idea to have a patterned floor covering under the dining table. A multi-colored pattern can conceal spills. Even tweeds and heathery mixtures camouflage soil.

Patterns vary in emphasis, depending on the size of the design, its colors, and the amount of contrast in it.

For a sock emphasis, you can choose a large-scale pattern, that is warm, dark or bright in color and has bold contrasts. There shouldn't be more than one bold pattern like this in a room.

For medium impact, choose a medium-sized pattern in warm colors that are lightened or dulled, or cool colors that are darkish or brightest with medium contrasts.

There are some more helpful hints for choosing a pattern for the floor. Are your furnishings mostly curved? Or mostly straight-lined? Do you want the floor covering to draw even more attention by being different than the rest? Or do you want it to harmonize by being the same? Each room should have dominance either of curves or of straight lines, but there should be some of the other shape for contrast.

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Decisions When Selecting Carpeting Choosing The Texture

The surface appearance of your carpeting will affect the formality of the room, and the lighting conditions. The surface of the carpeting also affects its durability.

Choose a Smooth Even Surface or an Uneven One

A carpeting with a smooth even surface, such as a Velvet Plush, has a dressy look, fine for a FORMAL or SEMI-FORMAL room. Even smooth flat rugs such as Orientals, or tapestry weaves, have a formal feeling.

Smooth surfaces also reflect light back into the room, helping to make the room LIGHTER/BRIGHTER. The more lustrous the carpet fibers, the dressier the look. A caution here, however. A smooth lustrous carpet often shows footprints. Some people like this look. Others don't. If you're one of those who don't, ask for a de-lustered fiber; then you can get the smooth look without the footprints.

A carpeting with an uneven surface is appropriate for a RUSTIC or an INFORMAL room. Looped pile is a bit uneven, so it tends toward tailored informality. An uneven sculptured effect is achieved by combining piles of various heights, or by combining looped and cut pile. Sometimes the look is achieved simply by variations in color. A dressier uneven look is sometimes created by carving the surface of a carpet. (This often gives further definition to the design.)

Light hits an uneven surface at different angles and diffuses the light--a good idea in a sunny room. Carpets with uneven surfaces don't show footprints. Choose a Low Pile, a High one, or Something in Between

What kind of wear will this floor covering get?

A low, densely packed pile is the most DURABLE and hard wearing. Uncut pile (the kind that forms loops) wears far longer than cut-pile carpeting-- especially when short and closely packed.

The higher the pile, the more luxurious and sound- absorbing. However, high pile is not the right choice for a heavy-traffic area. The fibers will be trampled and abraded, and they are harder to clean.

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More Specifics on Texture

In the Uneven/informal Category

Low-Level Loop is the most basic pile. The yarn comes up from the backing, forms a loop and then returns to the backing. When loops are low and level, the carpeting is a good performer in high traffic areas. As a matter of fact, this style pile is often used in office installations, or banks or public places like that. It wears like iron. Dirt stays on the surface and is EASY TO CLEAN.

You can also have a luxurious informal look with a level loop Berber-style carpet. The loops have a natural chunky look.

Multi-Level Loop carpeting achieves a sculptured effect through the different heights of its pile. It also takes tough wear, but is not quite as durable as the level loop carpeting. It has the advantage of hiding dust and dirt.

Cut and Loop Pile achieves surface interest through the variation of height and cut and looped fibers. It is not as hard-wearing as a tight low looped pile carpet.

In the Smooth/More Formal Category

Cut Pile carpet has a more luxurious look. It has a velvety texture that is very lustrous and beautiful for a formal or semiformal room. It is called Cut Pile because initially it was made with a looped surface, and each loop was cut in the center, leaving two tufts in place of the loop.

The density of a cut pile carpet strongly affects its durability.

Tip: Sheared carpet is all of one height, but some fibers are cut while others are looped. There is subtle surface variety. This style is adaptable in formality.

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Decisions When In Selecting Carpeting
Choosing Fiber and Density

A very important factor in determining the performance of a carpet is the density of the fibers because the more tightly packed the fibers, the more they will hold each other up. If the fibers don't hold each other up, some fall on their sides and get abraded away by scuffling feet. Dirt gets ground into the backing, and works like sandpaper in wearing away the fibers.

Dense carpets perform best, but, naturally are more expensive. How dense do you need this carpet to be? Will it get heavy traffic? If not, you may not have to buy the very best quality. If so, it would be economic to do so. The carpet's good looks will last longer.

Two tests for density:

  1. Bend the carpet backwards as if it were on the edge of a step. How much backing can you see? Obviously, the denser the carpet, the less visible the backing.

  2. Run your finger tips through the pile and see how much backing you can feel. If it is difficult to touch the backing, you have a dense carpet (or very short fingers.)

If you choose a cut pile carpet, you have three choices of twist

Twisted fibers, like a spring or a curl, are resilient. They bounce back after being crushed. Sometimes a tighter twist can make up for a lack of density in terms of performance.

Frieze is the most tightly twisted style. It has a pebbly informal look and is hard-wearing and dirt-hiding. It is good for high-traffic areas. The Frieze is the most rugged of the cut pile styles.

Saxony has a medium amount of twist. You can recognize this style by its appearance. You can distinguish the ends of the fibers from one another.

Velvet Plush has almost no twist. The fibers blend together into one smooth velvety look. This luxurious look is not for heavy traffic. High density will increase its durability. Plush carpets tend to show footprints unless the fibers are de-lustered.

The Choice of Fiber

Wool is the original carpet fiber. It is still the standard of the industry. It's beautiful, but expensive. In fact today, it represents only about 1% of the carpet market. I would recommend buying a wool carpet only if you intend to keep it for a long long time. A good wool carpet will cost $40 or more per square yard.

Polyester takes dye well, but it is not very durable. It is a good choice for a low traffic area, however. As you might imagine, it is less expensive than some other fibers.

Olefin/Polypropylene is moisture resistant, and resistant to fading. It is a good choice for a damp basement or for use as indoor/outdoor carpeting.

Nylon represents about 90% of the carpet market. But beware, all nylons are not the same. Look for the manufacturer's trademark. New generation nylons are especially designed to resist static, matting and crushing, and soil and stain.

Recent introduction on the market are stain resistant carpeting that repels most common household stains, and alleviates the concerns most people have using carpeting in high-spill areas.

A well constructed fourth generation nylon carpet will cost $20 or more per square yard. If you like the look of wool--but not the price--ask for nylon in a de-lustered finish.

Please also visit: Carpet Stain Removal
 

Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Solutions

Phil can help you fix your own property’s mold problems at low-cost, more safely, and better-in- results than what is done by many mold inspectors and mold contractors.  How can Phil help you?

     1. Read Phil’s five plain-English,
mold advice books to master mold inspection, testing, removal, remediation, and prevention for your house, condo, apartment, office,  or workplace.

     2. Buy do-it-yourself, affordable mold test kits, mold lab analysis, video inspection scope, mold cleaner, mold killer,
and a mold-killing high ozone generator for the  successful toxic and household mold inspection, mold testing, mold species identification and quantification, mold cleaning, mold removal, and mold remediation to find mold, kill mold, clean mold, and remove mold from your residence or commercial building.

     3. Get FREE mold advice, mold help, and/or answers to your mold questions, by emailing mold expert Phillip Fry at
phil@moldinspector.com. You can also email pictures of your mold problems in jpeg file format as email attachments.

 

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Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Solutions

Phil can help you fix your own property’s mold problems at low-cost, more safely, and better-in- results than what is done by many mold inspectors and mold contractors.  How can Phil help you?

     1. Read Phil’s five plain-English,
mold advice books to master mold inspection, testing, removal, remediation, and prevention for your house, condo, apartment, office,  or workplace.

     2. Buy do-it-yourself, affordable mold test kits, mold lab analysis, video inspection scope, mold cleaner, mold killer,
and a mold-killing high ozone generator for the  successful toxic and household mold inspection, mold testing, mold species identification and quantification, mold cleaning, mold removal, and mold remediation to find mold, kill mold, clean mold, and remove mold from your residence or commercial building.

     3. Get FREE mold advice, mold help, and/or answers to your mold questions, by emailing mold expert Phillip Fry at
phil@moldinspector.com . You can also email pictures of your mold problems in jpeg file format as email attachments.

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