Factors to consider when choosing carpeting

When the time comes to choose flooring, homeowners may be overwhelmed by the vast array of options at their disposal.

The choice between carpet and hardwood flooring – whether it be laminate or tile – is a matter of personal preference. People have long extolled the virtues of hardwood flooring, but carpeting can be just as stylish and provides a host of other benefits as well.

Carpeting insulates rooms in the summer and winter, adding that extra level of protection against the elements. Carpeting also absorbs sound in a home. Many appreciate the warmth and cozy feeling of carpet, especially when stepping out of bed.

According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, carpeting makes play areas safer and may also reduce the severity of an injury in the event of a fall.

Today, there are many different types of carpeting available. Selecting the right carpeting for a room comes down to identifying the level of traffic in a particular room, the attributes homeowners would like the carpet to have and any other needs that fit with their lifestyles.

Ultimately, manager of Carpet Liquidators in Bellingham Darion McDowell said, “It’s based on the need of each home and each person.”

The following guidelines can make carpet shopping a bit easier:

Type of carpeting

There are many different types of carpeting, some of which are best suited to certain situations. For example, plush and saxony carpets are better in low-traffic areas. These carpets may show footprints and also vacuum tracks and dirt, but they’re higher on the comfort spectrum than other types of carpet.

Berber, which is more flat and dense, helps mask stains and tracks. It’s durable in high-traffic areas.

Textured carpets like frieze are cut from fibers of different heights, so they mask stains and are also softer on the feet than berber.

McDowell said landlords prefer carpets that are less expensive and can be replaced easily. Other homeowners, however, tend to purchase carpet that can last a lifetime.

Smartstrand carpet, made by Mohawk, uses a compound of corn to repel stains, he said.

“That’s probably the most popular right now,” he said.


Padding can impact the way carpeting feels and how long it lasts. Padding prevents carpet backing and fibers from coming apart over time. It pays to invest in a padding that will last as well.

It isn’t always necessary to purchase the most expensive or thickest padding. However, it is wise to pick a pad that matches the type of carpeting you’re selecting and one that aligns with how you plan to use the room.

You may be able to go with a thinner pad in low-traffic rooms and beneath dense carpeting like berber. In high-traffic rooms, choose a thicker, more durable padding. Some padding is also stain resistant and can keep spills from settling within the fibers, McDowell said.


Select a reliable carpet retailer and installer. Competent installers will lay the carpeting in the correct manner so that it will look beautiful and maintain its durability for the life of the product. Shop around to find the right installer or even do the work yourself if you feel capable.

Take time when shopping for carpeting, which is a substantial investment that can last for many years if the right material is chosen and installed correctly.

“The best thing to do is to have us come out and do a quick measure,” McDowell said.

Carpet Liquidators is located at 200 E Bellis Fair Parkway in Bellingham. To learn more, visit carpetliquidators.com.

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