DIY – Getting a Handle on New Carpet

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by on February 7, 2013

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I love DIY tips, especially when it can help you save around the house. If you have been thinking about new carpet, check out this guest post for tips on what to look for and how to make it easier.

Whether you’ve just moved in to a new place, decided to do some redecorating, or are just tired of looking at "that stain in the corner," the prospect of re-carpeting part (or all) of your house can be intimidating both because of the time and expense involved.

The good news is that there’s no need to stress.

There are carpeting options available at price points both high and low and even DIY options that can save you hundreds of dollars.

Know the Terms

When you’ve settled on the space you want to carpet, the next task is to decide what kind of carpet you want. The basic types of carpet are:

  • Loop pile – In loop pile carpeting, the fibers are looped and attached to the carpet backing. Berber is a style of loop pile carpet.
  • Cut pile – Cut pile carpet is similar to the loop pile carpet except that the loops are cut leaving the fiber strands standing up. Cut pile carpeting includes plush and shag carpeting.

Which Carpet is Right for Me?

It’s tempting to say that a Berber carpet is better for high-traffic areas or that a plush carpet is better for rooms where people walk barefoot, but that’s not always the case. Your best option is to use an online buying guide for exhaustive information on dozens of different types of carpets and pads.

While the Internet is a great tool for exploring price and quality options, there’s no substitute for going to the store and running your fingers through the pile. Arm yourself with some solid carpet knowledge and head down to a local retailer where you can really get a feel for the product.

Where Should I Buy It?

Carpet specialty stores are a good place to browse, but you are no longer locked into buying from stores that deal exclusively in flooring. Home improvement stores have a surprising variety to choose from, and frequently at much better prices than the specialty stores.

Can I Install it Myself?

The short answer is "yes, you can."

The longer answer is "yes, you can, but you need to be sure it’s worth the time investment." You can save money by installing carpet yourself, but you may need to buy or rent specialized tools to help with the installation, and you should probably plan on some trial-and-error before you get the hang of it. But if you want to give it a go, first research installation techniques to determine how much time it will take for the size of your installation so you can decide whether if you have the time needed for the project or if it’s worth it for you to have it professionally installed.

Under Foot but Never Out of Mind

Changing the carpeting in your home can be one of the most satisfying updates you can do. Not only does it change the appearance of your home, but it changes the physical feel of it as well. It’s not a project to take lightly, but with a little bit of research and some comparison shopping, you can make a positive change that you and your family will enjoy for years.

Do you have some tips on carpet choices? Any success stories of installing your carpet yourself? Any practices you can warn others to stay away from?

Jay Harris has been a Home Depot store associate since 2005 in the Chicago area. Jay writes tips on equipment rentals, including carpet cleaner rentals and truck rental tips.

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