BY ANGIE HICKS • OCTOBER 2, 2010, www.cincinnati.com
Carpet with stains or surface damage doesn’t always need to be replaced. A good cleaning or some repair work can often restore your home’s carpet to like-new condition
However, when the fibers do wear down, or when heavy odors, staining, wrinkling or water damage can’t be repaired, it’s time to replace your carpet. More often than not, when carpet is replaced, it’s not a case of have to. It’s a case of want to.
“People always like to ask how long carpet will last,” says Jim Leamer, co-owner of Simply Floors in West Chester Township “Technically, it’s never going to wear out. I could show you 40-year-old carpet in someone’s house that’s not worn out. In most cases, the majority of people replace their carpet when it more ‘uglies’ out.”
When shopping for new carpet, it’s important to factor in where the carpet will be in the house. Will it be a guest room that’s rarely used or a hallway that sees a lot of foot traffic?
Once you figure out your durability needs, then factor in personal style and color preferences. It makes sense to invest in high quality carpet that is easily cleaned, is stain resistant and will hold up against heavy use.
“The keys to purchasing carpet – besides the retailer and installer – are the fiber type, the ounce weight or face weight, density and twist,” Leamer says.
Leamer and Ed Beerman of Ed’s Professional Carpet Installation in South Fairmount both say frieze carpet, which hides stains and heavy wear, is the top choice for most homeowners.
“Everything runs in cycles,” Beerman says. “(Frieze) is a throwback to the old shag.”
Some carpet manufacturers are coming out with environmentally friendly carpets made from post-industrial fiber, corn and other recycled products. Leamer has also seen more homeowners looking for patterned carpeting.
“They’re a little more stylish and a little more design oriented,” Leamer says.
When purchasing carpet installation, look for hidden fees. Some companies offer whole-house installation for one low price but tack on charges for extra services, such as removing old carpet or moving furniture. And before you think about saving money by installing carpet yourself, do some research.
Installing carpet is more difficult than it seems. Unless you have experience or are willing to invest in tools and time, you may be better off hiring a professional.
“There are a lot of little nuances,” Beerman says. “You have to keep the carpet running in the same direction. You might have to stretch some areas or use a power stretcher. Most homeowners don’t have that or know how to use it. A power stretcher has huge teeth on it. It would be very easy to hurt yourself or damage the carpet and then you have to replace it again.”
Leamer offers simple advice for keeping carpet looking good and lasting long.
“I tell people, it’s as simple as taking your shoes off, that’s huge; to vacuum regularly; and to have it professionally cleaned by a reputable steam cleaner,” Leamer says.
If you’re not certain whether your carpet needs to be replaced, contact a professional installer – not a salesperson – to evaluate its condition. Check that the installer is insured and ask for references.
“Shopping for flooring, for most people, is difficult and stressful,” Leamer says. “They feel under informed and overwhelmed. To me, the key is finding a retailer you’re comfortable with that you can trust through the process, because anybody can tell you anything.”