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Carpet Guide

Selecting Carpet

Selecting A Carpet

Carpet can do much more than cover your floors. It can be the foundation of a decorating plan, inspiring other ideas. Or, it can be selected to complement existing walls and furnishings. Above all, the carpet you choose should reflect your personality and bring comfort to your home.

When planning your “look”, it’s important to have a basic knowledge of how color, texture, and pattern can work. Although there are no absolute “rules” that govern these considerations, we can help narrow down your choices with practical design and decorating advice. Just click on one of the above tabs to learn more.

Make color work for you

The quickest facelift for any room is color. It can be used to make a small room appear larger or to pull a background forward. It can create an atmosphere of warmth and comfort. Or, it can make your environment feel cool and spacious. However used, it's color that really creates the mood of your room. Start by gathering colors that catch your eye… fabrics, paint swatches or clippings from your favorite magazines. If you are decorating a newly constructed room, you may want to start with the floor and build your colors around the carpet. As you begin to shop, you’ll find yourself drawn to certain shades that make you feel comfortable. It’s these colors that really define your personal style and make it your own.

Color Tip 1

If possible, choose your carpet before selecting your paint, wallpaper and furnishings. The colors in your carpet can inspire the rest of our color scheme.

Color Tip 2

In rooms with lots of pattern and texture, it’s best to choose a solid-color carpet. That doesn’t mean your choice has to be neutral. Using an accent color from a fabric or curtain is a great way to pull your look together.

Color Tip 3

Use paler tints to lighten up a dark room. These soft, cool colors also help make a small room seem spacious.

Color Tip 4

Neutrals create an atmosphere of quiet warmth. Today’s neutrals are more than just beige. Look at taupe, gray, khaki, sage green, sandy yellow, and gray-blue as great neutral alternatives.

Color Tip 5

Mixing colors can provide a feeling of height. Use the darkest shade on the floor, the next shade on the walls, and the lightest shade on the ceiling.

Color Tip 6

Be sure to color test your carpet sample by daylight as well as by artificial light at night. Color changes dramatically when flooded with sunlight or lit by lamps

Add texture to your floor

Texture is all about how something feels when you touch it. Be it rough, soft, nubby, or smooth. In fact, everything in your home makes a textural contribution—including your carpet.

Carpets are offered in an extraordinary array of textures, making the floor an enticing living space. But, how is carpet texture created? Karastan doubles and triple-plies its yarns for textural effect and employs different levels of twist for variation. Then we loop and cut the yarns to create the final texture.

Below are brief descriptions of the most common carpet textures.

Combination Styles

Carpet is partially cut and partially uncut, which creates a naturally patterned look. It is very durable.

Level Loop

Each loop is the same height, creating a durable carpet with an informal look. Berber and sisal are good examples. Multi-Level Loop: Loops are inserted into the backing at different heights to create interesting dimensional effects.


Deep cut-pile with smooth, level surface. Velvets are an example of this style.


Similar to plush, but the yarn has more twist so that yarn ends are visible. Saxony has a less formal look than plush.


Yarns are extremely twisted, forming a highly textured carpet surface.

The power of pattern

Like color, pattern is a powerful decorating tool with boundless potential. It can be used to stretch the dimensions of a room, define areas within your home, or to reinforce a room’s character. The best rule of thumb with pattern is to choose a theme and build your plan from there. Carpets in floral, stripe, and geometric patterns give a room instant personality that can spark a decorating approach. From there, you can choose furnishings and accessories that work in tandem with the shapes and colors featured in the carpet. Mixing patterns can be tricky. Remember, if the patterns are related by form, color or texture, the mix is more likely to succeed. To make sure you are comfortable with your pattern choice, bring some carpet samples home before you buy. The proportion of a pattern can look quite different in the context of your room.

Kids and pets

Since pets, like children, are prone to accidents, you’ll want to make sure your carpet is easy to clean. Karastan nylons are protected with the best stain-resistant treatments in the industry, so you won’t have to worry as much about every day mishaps. If you rather go natural, wool is your best soil-resistant choice. Karastan wools are naturally superior because they have built-in stain resistant features. The scaly structure of the wool fibers hold dirt high on the pile, making vacuuming more efficient—and effective. Although you can’t prevent dirt, you can select colors and patterns that are better at hiding life’s little mishaps. Multi-colored patterns are an excellent choice if you have pets or small children because they mask spills as well as everyday wear and tear. If your looking for a solid carpet, remember that light colors show dirt the most, while dark colors show more lint, dust, and pet hair. If you have a shedding pet, you may want to match your pet’s hair to the carpet color. Although it sounds ridiculous it can help make your home feel a little cleaner.

Noise is another factor to consider when you have kids and pets. Expanses of hard surface flooring can reverberate household noise. Using plush textiles, such as Karastan carpets, along with fabric upholstery and window coverings, can help absorb sound waves and make your home a more peaceful and relaxing place.

Karastan Certified Installation

Karastan dealers have been chosen based on their dedication to quality as well as their demonstrated ability to provide superior installation.

Improper installation can cause problems. The following recommendations outline minimum standards. They're explained more completely in the industry's installation standard CRI-105.

Minimum Standards

Use of seam sealer on all seams. A bead of latex seam sealer must be applied to the cut edges to seal all seams. The seam sealer will lock in the tufts along the edge of the seam and prevent the loss of tufts at the seams.

Use of good quality cushion. By absorbing the impact and shock of foot traffic, cushion or padding plays an important role in the overall performance of your carpet. Cushioning of inappropriate density, thickness or construction mat will result not only in an accelerated loss of appearance retention, but also matting, packing, wrinkling, buckling and separation of the carpet backing or seams. What's more, cushion density becomes increasingly important in carpets of lower pile weight and density. For more detailed information and recommendations, see our Padding section.

All installations must be power stretched. After seaming, the installation must be power stretched in all directions. This helps prevent buckling and provides greater stability.

When purchasing carpet, its installation should be one of your primary concerns. At Karastan, we're committed to the certification of our carpet installers. This ensures that when you purchase the highest quality products, you also get the highest quality installer. We encourage our retailers to certify all of their installers. Be sure to ask your retailer for a certified Karastan installer.


The type of fiber used in a carpet plays a key role in how it feels and how well it performs. Basically, there are two fiber types: natural and man-made. The predominant natural carpet fiber is wool. Other natural materials such as silk, linen, and cotton are sometimes blended with wool, but rarely used alone. Most carpets on the market are made from synthetic fibers such as nylon, rayon, acrylic, polypropylene and polyester.


This man-made fiber provides a less expensive option than all-wool carpets while maintaining durability and softness. Karastan uses Invista Tactesse® Nylon in many of its carpets for added crush resistance and stain protection.


Acrylic has good resilience, but can be less durable. Taking full advantage of acrylic’s benefits, Karastan blends acrylic with wool in its Cobble Hill and Cobble Road carpets. The combination brings richness and resilience together at an affordable price.


Also known as olefin, polypropylene is a thermoplastic resin made from propylene gas. Carpets made from polypropylene have good abrasion resistance, but tend to flatten quickly.


Polyester has good color clarity, colorfastness, and resistance to water-soluble stains. All of Karastan’s staple polyester yarn comes from the company’s state-of-the art plastic bottle recycling facility. This “food” grade PET Polyester fiber might be considered to be better quality than “carpet-grade” polyester fiber.


The amazing innovation of SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® renewable sourced polymer allows Karastan to style for today while saving for tomorrow. Carpets made with SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® help conserve and protect the earth’s limited natural resources – another reason to celebrate.


Wool is the most beautiful, luxurious, and durable of all the carpet fibers. It is a natural fiber that is highly regarded for its strength, durability, crush resistance, cleanability, and comfort. Visit Karastan Wools to learn more about this superior fiber.

Signs of Quality

Trying to evaluate the huge amount of carpet types on the market can feel overwhelming. It is easy to be misled when comparing woven to tufted and cut-pile to loop. What you need to take into account when buying a quality carpet are the identifiable signs of quality:


While you are looking at the label, also examine the backing of the carpet. Make sure the backing has a tight weave. This ensures quality and wear.


Stain-resistant treatments, like those from Karastan, Solutia and Stainmaster, are often applied to nylon carpets to make them easier to clean. Since wool is naturally soil resistant, it does not require further treatment.


Most carpets are either woven or tufted. Weaving is the superior method as it locks each yarn into the backing, creating a highly durable carpet. Tufted carpets are less expensive because they can be made faster.

Pile Density

Density refers to the amount of pile yarn used in the carpet and the closeness of the weave. In general, the denser the pile, the better the performance. Take the sample and bend the face-pile away from you. Can you see the backing? The denser the pile, the less backing will be visible.

Face Weight

Face weight is the amount of fiber used on the surface of the carpet expressed in ounces per square yard. This should not be confused with total weight, which is the face weight plus the weight of the backing. Do not buy a carpet because it has a high face weight. Other qualities, like density, fiber, and weave are more important. Keep in mind: a lighter weight woven carpet will outperform a higher weight tufted product.


Carpet fibers are twisted together for harder wear and a defined look. The tighter the fiber twist, the longer the carpet will perform.