Ask Ken: Shopping for Carpet is Overwhelming. How Can I Make it Easier?
Ken's Quick Answer:
"Carpet has thousands of options and it can be hard to know where to start. Here's the decision tree I always follow: function, price, color, and style. If you ask a few basic questions and follow that sequence, you can't go wrong."
Ken's In-Depth Answer:
I've long said that the most important thing in floorcovering is color. But that oversimplifies the problem. For every kind of flooring, there is a decision tree. It's important to understand what that tree is. Then, start at the top and work your way down.
Let me tell you what I mean, using carpet as an example. At the very top of the decision tree is 'function.' Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself: Where is your carpet going to be? How much foot traffic is it going to receive? Do you have children or pets? Is it by a front door? Is it on the stairs?
I understand you might like the color, but if you don't pick a carpet that's going to withstand the particular use in your house, nothing else matters. That's why function is first in my decision tree.
See More Flooring FAQs
"Starting with style can be tempting, but if a product doesn't fit your use case, it's not meant to be. Remember too that there are often carpets, such as synthetic sisals, that offer more durability while keeping a unique look."
Next up in our carpet decision tree is price. Sometimes people understand that it's worth paying a little bit more for something that they're going to keep for years and years. However, it's important to know what price range you're in and whether a specific carpet conforms to your budget.
Here's where we get into the design aspects of the carpet. Let's talk about color. Color is key because you've got to see that product in your room and in your house. Bring the sample home. See it alongside your furniture and your fabrics to make sure that the color is coordinates and compliments everything else you have.
The last step of the decision tree is pattern. Nowadays, it's not simply choosing red, blue, green, beige, or gray. Carpets come in textured patterns, or they can come in patterns through loop or cut-pile construction. Sometimes it's made through patterns with multiple colors. Maybe it's all three. We show some examples in the video at the top of the page.
Here's what you want to figure out. Do you want a lot of pattern in the room or do you want very little pattern? Perhaps, for instance, you just want a subtle pattern. A lot of that has to do with whether you are trying to make a statement or just complement and go along with the rest of the decor.
When you shop for carpet, think of the decision tree. Function, price, color, and pattern. If you follow that sequence, you can't go wrong.
If you have any questions about selecting the right carpet for your home, don't hesitate to give us a call at 401-214-0285 or visit our showroom."
About Ken: Ken Fain is the co-owner of Island Carpet in Middletown, RI and a floorcovering veteran of more than 40 years. His popular 'Ask Ken' video series answers common flooring questions on a variety of topics. It has reached thousands of viewers on both YouTube and Facebook.