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Everyday Cheapskate: How to Buy Carpet: What You Need to Know to Make the Perfect Decision

Mary Hunt on

A synthetic fiber that outperforms all other fibers. It wears well, cleans like a dream, resists matting and comes in all colors and styles. And it is inexpensive.

OLEFIN

A fiber made from polypropylene, a type of plastic. Olefin is quite cheap. Most berber carpets are made of olefin. But it is difficult to clean -- more like impossible -- so it tends to look dingy in traffic areas. Feels rough underfoot.

POLYESTER OR P.E.T.

Feels very soft, but beware -- polyester carpet mats terribly and is not resilient.

WOOL

 

Quite expensive but a truly elite fiber for carpet. Requires cleaning by a specialist who deals in wool. Wears well. Lasts for decades. Price can be astronomical.

PADDINGS UNDER CARPET

Each carpet manufacturer recommends a specific pad for a specific style. Don't go higher or lower than recommended. Go with exactly the type of padding recommended to ensure the best result.

FOAM

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