All carpet is not the same. When trying to select the right carpet, not only do aesthetics play an important role but so does the functionality of the flooring of the space you are looking to transform. When you select a carpet you are more likely to concentrate on the look and the feel of it—but you need to also take into consideration the textile, appearance and durability. These are all key factors along with fiber length, stain resistance and composition that are vital in determining the lifespan of the carpet you choose.

If you’re in the market to add carpet to your new space, here is some information that can aid you in making the right decision and choosing the best carpet to suit your needs.

Where to Start:

The durability of your flooring plays an essential role in its overall appearance. With high, medium and low traffic areas in every space, the wrong carpet can wear down and show damage more quickly. Depending on the foot traffic, the durability of the carpet may be substantially different for each space in order to ensure its longevity and maintain a clean appearance. Pick a good fiber type like Nylon and check the pile density—in other words, how close the fibers are to one another. The thicker and more dense the pile, the better quality the carpet. For added benefit, be sure a protective pad is installed underneath the carpet for better wear and a more comfortable feel.

The textile or material of a carpet and length of the fiber will determine how much material the carpet can collect. On average, one square foot of carpet can collect and store as much as a pound of dirt and dust.

All flooring is prone to spills and stains, so the stain resistance of your carpet can add or detract from its longevity as well as its health and appearance. While each carpet has its own properties in terms of stain resistance, some services like Chem-Dry can add a protective layer to resist re-soiling and increase the life of the carpet. Over time, the factory-applied stain resistance becomes less effective and eventually fades, which leaves your carpet more vulnerable and more prone to staining. While some services only coat the tips of the fibers, Chem-Dry’s method of applying Protectant gets down to the base and coats the entire carpet fiber, revitalizing the carpet’s stain resistance and providing greater protection against re-soiling and staining. This also makes it easier to clean carpets after a spill.

When choosing carpet, make sure you are taking into consideration not only the appearance but the foot traffic of the area you are designing. All of these tips can help you select the right carpet for your needs and help you maximize the appearance and life of your carpet.

Jotham Hatch is the National Training Director for Chem-Dry, a carpet and upholstery cleaning service, with a global network spanning over 50 countries and serving over 10,000 homes and businesses a day worldwide. He first joined the company in 2003 as an Instructional Designer and has spent more than a decade focusing on training solutions through a variety of mediums including hands-on, face-to-face, on-line and text-based methods. A resident of Utah, Jotham graduated from Utah State University and has additional experience as a small business owner and an account manager.