carpet recommendations?

michoumonsterSeptember 18, 2012

Hi all, I am planning on putting carpet down in our bedrooms. There is not much mention of carpet in the forums. I guess everybody prefers hardwood, but carpet is nice on the feet in the bedrooms, so we think we would like to go with that. We have 2 kids and a small dog. Any recommendations on good brands to look for? Should we get those stainmaster types? We do have mild skin allergies, don't mind the low pile/rug-like carpets and want light colored carpets like beiges, or greiges.. thank you for any advice!!

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I have bought carpet twice in the last couple of years for rental homes. Both times I bought the in-stock Stainmaster frieze carpet from Lowe's because I had it in another rental and it holds up really well. The medium beige color works well because it has a multitude of colors in the individual stands (giving it an overall uniform color)which help hide typical carpet stains. Also, it also cleans up really well with my at home carpet cleaner. Every year that I clean the carpet, I am always amazed at all the stains that come out.

One carpet I keep wanting to try is the Mohawk SmartStand - I don't have any personal experience with it but I would strongly consider it for my personal home. From what I have read about SmartStand, it seems to be positive. I always end up ruling it out from a pure cost perspective when it comes time to replace rental carpets though.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:17PM
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Smartstrand every day of the week! You can't beat the softness, the durability and the stain properties. The softness is what drew me to the Smartstrand at first. Then I learned about how it doesn't mat and how the stain properties are actually part the fiber and not a treatment applied to the fibers. We went with the Intelligent Style (called Lucky Star @ Lowe's) in the Paper Moon color (soft white color). The length of the fibers in this style is a little longer than what I'm used to and I love the look it gives it. I would call it a transitional look--not quite formal and not quite casual. My favorite thing to do at the end of a long day in heels is to kick them off and take a stroll across my Smartstrand! I absolutely LOVE this carpet and would recommend it to anyone. Two testimonials for you:

My girlfriend recarpeted her house before we got to the flooring install phase of our build. She went with the lower end Smartstrand plush style as they have dogs and allergies. She was hoping the shorter & less dense fibers would make it easier for the vacuum to pull dust and dander completely out of the carpet. As the dogs are indoor/outdoor and we live in NC where there is plenty of red clay dirt she opted for a rust color just in case the stain properties weren't all they were cracked up to be. She has been very happy with the performance of the carpet and stains have come right out.

About 4-6 weeks after we moved in with our new house with white Smartstrand, DS2 cut his foot in the garage and didn't realize it. He tracked quarter size blood smears across the hardwood in the mudroom, kitchen, & family room and then across his white carpet from the bedroom entry to the bathroom and back. There were probably 30 or more stains on his carpet alone--looked like a dalmatian with red spots instead of black ones in there! I just knew the carpet was ruined. We got the little guy cleaned up and bandaged and then I tackled the carpet. Armed with just a clean white cloth which I dampened in a bowl of plain old cool tap water, I gently dabbed at the stains and would you believe they came right out 1-2-3 just as easy as you please. I had all the spots cleaned up in ~5 minutes. To this day, there is no trace of the blood stains that you can see with the naked eye at all. Right then and there I knew we had made the right decision choosing Smartstrand. Paying a little extra was definitely worth it.

Check out the Flooring Forum here on GW and do a search for Smartstrand. It will pull up all the latest news on Smarstrand for you including info on the latest lines called Smartstrand Ultra and Smartstrand Silk & oftentimes pricing from different areas of the country. From what I have read, Lowe's typically has the best pricing on the Smartstrand.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:21PM
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Mydreamhome-----do you happen to know how much your carpet was a square foot from Lowe's? Thanks

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:37PM
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Thanks for the suggestions! I will check out the offerings at Lowe's. I think Costco might sell Stainmaster too. Smartstrands sounds really ideal and looks like they have a gazillion choices. How much more expensive is it? I actually don't know how much to budget for carpet, but have heard it is sold by square yard?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 1:40AM
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Carpet is quoted/sold by the square yard most often. Some shops will have some carpets quoted by sq. yd., others by sq ft and all in the same showroom! Anything to make it more difficult to decipher I sometimes think.

If I remember correctly, Smartstrand comes in a standard 12' width. How much you need vs how much waste there will be will be determined by which direction the carpet is put down and whether or not your carpet guy finds places to use what would otherwise be "waste". This can figure into the price greatly as some dealers will figure the amount of carpet needed without any regard to efficient use of the material. (i.e. for easy use of round numbers, lets say the carpet is $5 sqft & you have 2 closets that are 5'x7' that need carpeting--he can price you out 7' of 12' wide carpet that he will split between the 2 closets and have 2'x7' of waste for the most efficient use of the material @ cost of $420, or he could decide to quote you 7' of 12' wide carpet for each closet for the most inefficient use of carpet, but most efficient twisting of sales numbers @ cost of $840).

We had ~1000 square feet of carpet and a local dealer that gave us contractor pricing and was really into using the material in the most efficient manner possible--what would have been waste from the bedrooms was used in the closets. It ran us right around $3500 including pad, installation and taxes. So that's right at $3.50 sqft.

As far as Stainmaster goes, we had it in our last house. In most areas it was not a problem, however, we had 1 spot in DS1's room where the dog had an accident and in DS2's room where he threw his bottle out of the crib and formula leaked onto the carpet. In both rooms, the stains would appear to be gone after a pretreat and steam cleaning, but then a few days later they would reappear--never could get rid of them. Not saying SS wouldn't do the same, but that was my experience with SM. Also, here's an excerpt from an earlier post of mine on our carpet choice of SS vs other similar competitor carpets w/ SM-- "When we were looking, no other carpet compared--even the Shaw carpet that is supposed to be the direct competition for the Smartstrand. Nothing was as soft. I remembered what it was like as a kid playing on the stiff scratchy carpet and decided that since it was available, I wanted a soft carpet for my kids to play on and for my feet to walk on at the end of a long day in the hated high heels. Even DH was surprised by how soft it was--he thought carpet was carpet was carpet & as he said those exact words, he ran his hand across the Smartstrand sample and then said, "Ooooooh!?!". Then he understood. I still close my eyes in pure pleasure when I step into my bedroom and onto the carpet at the end of a long day."

I've posted a link below to a thread off the Flooring forum on price comparisons. Check out the 1st response by Floortech...

Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Smartstrand Pricing @ Lowe's

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:37AM
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mydreamhome, thanks so much for the detailed and comprehensive info! I will also check out the flooring forum too.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:36AM
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Don't know about differences in the brands, but always get the thickest, nicest carpet pad you can. Makes every carpet feel better and last longer.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 1:19PM
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We had bound area rugs made out of Karastan wool Berber for our previous house. They wore like iron and survived many puppy accidents and various spills. We're using two of them in our new house and they look like new after nearly 20 years. If we would have put carpet in the new house, it would have been Karastan wool.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 6:35PM
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jolsongoude, thanks for the suggestion! When you mention that you had bound area rugs, does that mean the karastan is removeable, like a regular rug and not installed into the floor? I definitely would like to check out karastan too. thanks!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 11:52PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I'm not familiar with smartstrand.

In our bedroom and in our study, we chose olefin in a commercial grade level loop in a tweed. Olefin is essentially made from recycled milk bottles and is color fast and stain free. It does crush though which is why we went with the level loop. It can be cleaned with mineral spirits or dilute bleach. The only way DH has found to destroy it is by melting has a low melt point....when he put a drop light on the carpet.

We like carpet in the bedrooms as it's so soft under foot and we walk barefoot a lot, esp at night.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:10AM
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