Secrets and lies: debunking the myths about carpet

Myths about carpet keep shoppers looking for alternative options. 

Year after year, carpet is by far the most common type of flooring sold. So why does carpet get such a bad reputation? Maybe it is just a totally misunderstood flooring or the lies that have been told about it that have given its bad reputation. Here's the real scoop - I've been working in the carpet industry for 20 years and now I'm going to share the truth and clear up the confusion. 

Myths about carpet #1 - Carpet is outdated 


Carpet really is still the most popular type of flooring that is sold today. Most consumers base their decisions based on color and price. Because carpet's the most economical flooring option available, it drives the market. Carpet styles and colors are updated frequently to keep up with recent trends. Of course, the look of shag had its day but it faded out and berber (the type with the tight loop construction) took over in the 90's. Today, pattern carpets and multi-colored carpets are tremendously popular.  Most manufacturers have stopped producing funky colored carpets, so you no longer have to worry about winding up with a house full of Avocado Green shag. Carpet colors are primarily sold in neutral colors of gray and beige to fit demand. 

Myths about carpet #2 - Allergy and asthma suffers should not buy carpet

Allergy and asthma sufferers tend to think that their health condition will improve by removing carpet from their homes. However, having carpet in the home can actually help you breathe easier. There are many scientific studies that have concluded that carpet actually helps people with allergies. Allergens get trapped in the fibers of the carpet so that they are not allowed to float around the room - then they stay in the carpet, not in your lungs! Regular vacuuming will remove these allergens from the carpet. If you vacuum regularly with a high-efficiency filter vacuum, you'll get to keep your air quality good and your feet cozy. 

Myths about carpet #3 - Carpet is hard to maintain

There are steps that can be taken to extend the life of any carpet.  Frequent vacuuming removes dirt particles in the carpet before they have a chance to settle into the backing. Once dirt reaches this backing it is much harder to remove. Hot water extraction or regular cleanings are recommended by the manufacturers every 18-24 months. You wash your clothing so they will look better and last longer - do the same for your carpet! If you take these small, easy steps to care for your carpet, it will last for years.  

Myths about carpet #4 - Thicker is better no matter what

Most carpet shoppers begin the process totally wrong. The first thing they do is feel the carpet with their hand to feel how thick it is. This is totally wrong because feel can be deceiving - a fat yarn does not always mean a good quality yarn. In fact, you could be feeling a hand full of air. Instead, begin by examining the label on the back of the carpet to discover what type of yarn the carpet is made from. There are three main types sold today - Smartstrand (Triexta), nylon, and polyester. 

  • Smartstrand is the newest fiber and is only produced by Mohawk flooring. This product cleans the best, is naturally stain resistant, and best of all, the stain protection doesn't wear off with cleanings. It wears as well as nylon in high traffic areas.

  • Nylon carpet is known for its ability to wear well in high traffic area and cleans well with added stain protections. Be aware, though - the stain protection will be removed with repeated cleanings and needs to be reapplied.

  • Polyester has the widest availability of color options but doesn't hold its look as long in high-traffic areas such as living rooms, halls, and master bedrooms. Cleaning is not a problem for polyester - stains are easily removed because most polyester carpet fibers are made of plastic recycled bottles.

Myths about carpet #5 - Warranties are the best way to shop

Not all warranties are created equal! There is no standard in the industry to dictate what warranty should cover for each carpet. Remember - the price will usually indicate how well the carpet will wear, clean and hold its look. Warranties, unfortunately, are written so they benefit the manufacture more than the consumer. You're better off choosing a carpet fiber that will give you the wear and cleanability you need for your home, then selecting the thickness that fits your price point. Warranty should be the last factor in your consideration - not the first. 

Carpet is still a great solution for homes even if your home is busy with lots of kids, pets, or foot traffic. Understanding the truth about the carpet you select and being realistic about expectations will help you to enjoy your new flooring for years. 

With so many options in flooring available, it can be a bit overwhelming to try and decide what the best carpet is for your home. You may even have other types of flooring that you are needing help with. I provide more information in my ebook that you can get here. In the book, I cover all the factors you need to know before you buy your next new flooring. I talk about hardwood, luxury vinyl tile, laminate, ceramic tile, and more about carpet in the ebook. Get your copy here.