Flooring Buyer’s Guide Part 2


A good pad = upgrade???

This does not make sense. How can your carpet be protected from foot traffic if I don’t automatically use the best carpet pad?

Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up. First of all it is my job, not yours, to specify the pad that goes under your carpet. As with anything, there is a correct pad and an incorrect one. There is a lot of confusion about carpet pad (also known as underlayment). In recent years the Carpet Cushion Council (Yes there is a committee for everything) has devised a chart for pad that goes under your carpet. It is actually fairly simple. Floor traffic is rated in two classes for residential use. Class 1 and Class 2, clever huh? They are respectively light and heavy traffic. I told you this was simple. Most of the pads you will see is rebond. This means that it is made from rubber that is either left over from various manufacturers or is recycled content that is cleaned and pressure cooked to the desired density. If you ever get a chance to tour a carpet pad facility it is pretty amazing. We actually have one here in Phoenix.

 

What is a good carpet?

I don’t know. What do you need it for? How many people will be living in the home? Will there be a lot of traffic in the carpeted areas? Walk-off mats? Any tile? Vacuuming? Professional cleaning?
I am sure by now you get the gist of this newsletter. When someone asks what a good carpet is, I need to answer with a question. Actually I need to ask a lot of questions. Purchasing flooring can be a lot of money, so how long do you need it to last? A $13 Sq.Yd. Carpet isn’t going to maintain its appearance for 8 or 10 years no matter what the salesman says or how much the discount may be.  Quality always costs. Just not as much as you may think.

Let’s break down the items that make up your carpet purchase.

How many are in the household? In my home there are only two adults and Zeus the wonder dog. Our needs will be different than a household with children and even more different from the house with children that is the neighborhood snack house.

Where is the carpet going? If you have hard surfaces in the major walk areas, then you can use a softer carpet that may not be as durable, but will be a better feel in the bedroom when you wake in the morning. If the carpet is in an area that food will be consumed, a P.E.T. yarn or Smartstrand by Mohawk will be a better choice than the “On sale” item from a big box store.

How long do you need it to last? Are you selling the house? Is it a house in a middle income area or a gated community? Do you want to just keep the floor warm or maybe show off the largest area of your home to prospective buyers? It may be worth the extra 15 or 20% if you get a better price for it.