When it comes to area rugs, buy the most expensive piece you can afford. Good rugs are made to last a lifetime, so before you hand over your credit card ask your dealer if you can try the rug at home on approval to make sure it works in your space.
Quality all the way
Save up for a high-end rug woven out of wool or silk, which will start at about $100 per square foot. If sisal is your thing, keep in mind that it may buckle and stretch in moist conditions or scratch hardwood floors without an underpad.
What lies beneath
Flip a quality wool or silk rug over and, whether it’s made by hand or machine, you’ll be able to see tightly knotted fibres spread evenly across the backing. If you’re buying a vintage or antique rug, check for worn patches and repairs. Find more than you’re comfortable with? Don’t buy, or ask for a better deal.
Protect your purchase – and your floors
Padding cut to fit and placed under your area rug will help cut down on wear and tear, make it easier to vacuum and stop it from sliding and damaging the floor when the kids start racing around the house.
If you love the look of plush velvety carpet, wall-to-wall may be the floor covering for you. Be careful of low prices and special offers. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Bend and check
Oftentimes the denser the carpet the better it resists crushing, matting and stains. To check out the density for yourself, just give the sample a good bend; if you can see too much backing, pass.
Fibres and weave
Wool is still considered a superior (if pricey) choice, but man-made fibres have made an amazing leap – check out Stainmaster carpets for durability and feel. When looking for a velvety cut pile carpet, make sure it has a tight twist. For looped piles, such as berber, a tight weave indicates high quality and long-term durability. And as with any major purchase, ask about the carpet’s warranty and confirm what it actually covers.
Don’t skimp on the underpad, it’s what makes you feel as if you are walking on clouds. When selecting an underpad, make sure it’s appropriate for the space, whether you’re carpeting a high-traffic hallway, or damp, mildew-prone basement.