Living Home Projects - Carpets
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If you have a room in your home that you would love to update, carpeting is an excellent way to add character, charm, color, and make any drab room look great. Although you could hire a professional carpet layer to do the work, if you have a handy side, patience, and are eager to try it yourself, you will find this type of project to be very gratifying. Once the carpeting has been laid, you can stand back, marvel at your work, and see how warm and cozy new carpeting made it.

When it comes to carpeting versus wood flooring or some other surface, six out of ten people in the United States agree that wall-to-wall carpeting is the way to go. That means that for manufacturers to meet the high demands, nearly one billion yards of carpet is produced each year. If you think about that, you would have enough carpeting to wrap a 12-foot wide piece of carpeting around the equator.

As you can imagine, carpeting offers a number of benefits over other floor material. Again, it adds character and charm but also, carpeting can help warm a room, it helps cut back on noise, and considering the material, it is affordable. Additionally, with carpeting, you can choose from hundreds and hundreds of colors, styles, densities, and other factors.

Wall-to-wall carpet is also referred to as �broadloom.� For carpet to qualify as this, it has to measure more than 6 x 9-feet although broadloom carpeting sold today is typically sold in measurements of 12-foot wide. Of the carpet made today, about 90% of it is tufted by machines. These machines resemble huge sewing machines that are actually designed with hundreds of needles that operate to create stitched rows of yarn tufts at very high speeds. The synthetic fabric that results is known in the industry as �primary backing.�

While the machine is tufting the carpet, another part of the machine called the �looper� works to catch the yarn and the form loops. This process is what creates loop-pile carpet. For cut-pile carpeting, another piece of the machine works to shear the loops off so the ends of the yarn stand up straight. Cut-pile carpet makes up approximately 60% of carpet sold and is very soft and lush. Another popular type of carpeting is called the cut-and-loop. With this style, you get a little bit of both loop-pile and cut-pile design.

Some yarns come pre-colored while others are died. Once the dying process is complete, the primary backing is then coated with a special latex adhesive, which is reinforced with another backing. This second backing is generally made from a material called polypropylene. Depending on the manufacturer, the backing may or may not have a resilient cushion added onto the second backing.

While the three cuts mentioned above are the most popular, remember that others exist for you to consider:
  • Saxony - This actually falls in the cut-pile family but has a nice, level surface with varying twists

  • Freize - Although considered somewhat rare, this type of carpet is rugged and has a nubby-like style. The yarns are twisted and the carpet wears well.

  • Velvet - For this type of carpet, the yarn is short and tight. The result is a carpet that is level, uniform, and smooth. Typically, velvet carpeting would be used in a living room, study, or some other formal room. The one drawback is that when velvet carpeting is walked on, you will see footprints.

  • Berber - Made with complete loops, this type of carpet has a nubby look. Berber is often used in commercial environments although many people like this type of carpeting for kitchens, family rooms, and bathrooms.
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