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Carpet Glossary

Martha Stewart Living Television

When you choose to redecorate a room, one of the most important things to consider is the carpet. But narrowing down the vast number of available choices to a carpet that suits you can be a daunting task

The most important things to consider when choosing a carpet are what room it will lie in, the amount of foot traffic to which it will be exposed, and whether children and pets will be adding to the carpet’s natural wear and tear. Answering these questions can narrow the choice of color: Light carpets create an illusion of space but tend to show dirt more than darker shades; medium to dark colors make a room look cozier and camouflage light stains, scuffs, and dirt. Neutral colors blend into the background of a room, while patterns make the carpet a focal point.

Carpets have three basic constructions: cut pile, with hundreds of fibers twisted into individual yarns; twist pile, in which the twists are crimped to give the carpet a softer-looking texture; loop pile, loops the yarns just as the name suggests, for a dense surface appearance. Most carpets are made of either nylon, which is easy to clean and durable, or polypropylene, a synthetic material that is extremely resistant to stains.

Installing a carpet is a job best left to professionals. Clean the floor prior to installation and vacuum afterwards.