Be wise when considering carpet



Lauren Silbar of Mequon poses on custom
carpeting designed by Carpets Galore to
accentuate the wallpaper.

A room’s focal point traditionally has not been the floor. That was then. Today’s decorating trends start, quite literally, from the ground up—putting emphasis on carpeting as a room’s main focus.

What lies on the floor sets the tone, mood and style for the rest of the room. Carpeting has evolved from an inexpensive way to merely cover a floor into a stylish, fashionable wall-to-wall statement made with color, pattern and texture.

“Designers will begin with the carpet because, though there are thousands of patterns, textures and colors to choose from, it is easier to match a fabric to a carpet than the other way around,” states Susie Sumichrast of Watson Smith Carpets and Rugs. Sumichrast has noticed this year’s trends being very sophisticated with direction toward highly patterned and colorful carpet designs.

Steve Rubnitz, of Carpets Galore in Brown Deer, agrees that color is essential to today’s décor and suggests “picking out an accent color” from a decorating scheme for carpet “because with different fabrics and textures, an exact match isn’t always possible.” Carpets Galore has seen its share of custom dye jobs as well as custom borders, though right now they are not as popular. Rubnitz has seen carpet trends waver between neutrals and colors but has seen a definitive increase in nylon carpeting over wool. “Nylon is synonymous with strength and resilience while at the same time being less expensive than most wools,” states Rubnitz.

The wool versus nylon debate is common amongst manufacturers, distributors, designers and consumers alike. Wool is a traditional choice for carpeting because of its natural strength and stain fighting capabilities. Natural fibers tend to ‘release’ dirt and moisture, making them easier to clean. However, nylon has improved to the point of having the similar qualities to wool at an overall less expensive price.

Buyers, however, should continue to beware. Scott Jaeger of Mohawk Industries, a carpet manufacturer, reminds consumers that you will get what you pay for. Jaeger adds that “there are good quality carpets for less money, but consumers need to know what they are looking for in quality carpeting.” Wool versus nylon is less important than that of the overall quality of carpeting. “Consumers should look at twist level, weight and density of carpeting,” offers Jaeger. “A higher twist level makes for a more durable carpet and as a general rule, the tighter and denser weave will wear better.” When shopping for carpeting, whether on your own or with a decorator, make sure you go to a reputable retailer who has the ability to help you choose a carpet that best suits your needs, can install it and will follow up on the care and maintenance.