Carpet Basics

floors, flooringOne of most popular flooring materials is carpet, fibers attached to a backing. The fibers can be of acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, polyester, polypropylene (olefin), wool, or other materials. The properties of each fabric type varies, as does the cost. Most carpeting comes with a label on the back that specifies the fiber(s) used in the pile (the top surface) as well as in the backing or foundation (the bottom surface).

Another component of carpet installation is padding. Carpet doesn’t require a foam pad beneath it, but the extra cushioning and protection a quality pad offers makes it a practical addition. Other types of flooring can’t be padded. Carpet pads are continuous rolls of polyurethane foam, bonded polyurethane, rubber, or fiber below the carpet. The softness of the carpet pad depends on what it’s made of and its thickness.

One reason why carpet is so popular is that it can be installed faster than other types of flooring. An experienced installation team of two, for example, can carpet about 1,000 sq. ft. in a day. Though many do-it-yourselfers shy away from installing carpet because they think it is too difficult or requires expensive tools, it’s actually quite easy if you follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Because of the size of carpet rolls (12, 13-1/2, and 15 feet wide) many do-it-yourselfers shy away from installing their own carpet. Also, maybe they’ve heard horror stories about installing carpet seams.x

Pro Tip

Carpet pads not only add cushion and reduce noise, they also reduce wear to the carpet.

 
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