Mixing and match carpeting?

marvelousmarvinFebruary 19, 2014

Has anybody ever mixed and matched carpeting, where they used different carpeting for different rooms?

My natural inclination was to use the same carpet for the entire house to tie everything together and make it all flow.

But, I'm reading that carpets are rated differently for durability and that your carpeting should depend on the expected traffic in that room. For stairs and other areas that are expected to get more traffic, you'll need more durable carpeting than for something like the bedroom.

I hadn't really considered that before, and that' explains why there's a few areas of carpeting that need to be replaced while the carpet everywhere else is fine. So, if all the carpeting needs to match, then that means I'll have to replace everything even though most of the carpet is still okay.

But, if you get the most durable carpet that will meet the demands of the most trafficked areas and use that same carpet throughout the whole house, then it seems you're overpaying for carpet for most of the house- you're getting carpet more durable than needed for the rest of the house.

I'm just curious what everybody else does with their carpet. To me, it just seems unfamiliar to use different carpeting for different rooms. But, there also seems like there should be a better way of carpeting that can handle the demands of different rooms.

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Annie Deighnaugh

It depends on the room and where the breaks can go. I used the same carpet in the dressing room and the front bedroom, but wanted a different carpet in the back bedroom, so they change at the doorway. Same thing downstairs. I have one carpet on the stairs, another in the exercise room and another in the guest room. The guest room is a plush cut pile with a pad vs. the exercise room with a low level loop and no padding.

For me, the rug should serve the purpose of the room. Matching carpeting throughout reminds me of commercial spaces...offices and hotels.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:27AM
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Wall to wall carpet, except for bedrooms, is losing popularity. Most home buyers want some type of hard surface flooring in the public rooms that can receive area rugs. Most carpet doesn't wear out over time, it just looks terrible and can't be revived with cleaning.

Many homes have a level loop carpet or short tight cut pile on the stairs for durability that coordinates, but changes to a different type of carpet for the bedroom areas.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 8:05AM
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Are you talking about wall-to-wall? Presumably you are.

Agree with the person who says that wall-to-wall is pretty out now. If you're set on wall-to-wall, you can break it up where there are doors, so with the doors closed, the break isn't so jarring. If you're thinking in terms of future sale of the house ,though, I'd stay away from wall-to-wall. I think that's one of those things potential buyers balk at.

If you do go with hardwoods and carpets, obviously you can put different rugs in different rooms. Some people have wall-to-wall in some rooms but not all, i.e.: a family room or the master bedroom. That's also an option.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 8:10AM
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We replaced our upstairs carpet last year. We would have had to replace all the plywood subfloor in three bedrooms, a large hallway, and a sitting room to prepare it for hardwood. We looked at just doing the stairs in hardwood, but it was very costly. We're the entry-level home in a neighborhood of young professionals, who often move to bigger homes as their families grow. They seldom remodel. We don't want to over-improve our home for when we go to sell--we're the only home on the street with a new kitchen and bathroom.

We looked at Smartstrand, but we found a Shaw Anso Nylon pattern which was just as soft to the touch as SS--important for bare feet in the bedrooms. I wanted the proven wear of nylon for the stairs. We didn't have a natural break to change to a different carpet.

The carpet salesman said that often people will buy and store extra carpet for the stairs, but it's only two of us and we don't wear shoes inside. The carpet might outlive us, or we might move.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:43AM
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I prefer a consistent flooring throughout. (Personally, I prefer hardwoods over carpet both for looks and for health as I have severe dust mite allergies.) My bedroom as a teenager had a different carpet from the adjacent living room. The change was at the door, of course. When the living room carpet needed replacing, mom did all the rooms in the new carpet and it looked much better to me.

You could think of it as overpaying for the low traffic areas, but I wouldn't. People often pay a premium for aesthetics. Bare bulb vs crystal chandelier for dining room lighting, for example.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:07AM
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I would say most high end homes with wall to wall (not that there are many) have mix and match. As a PP stated, having all matching carpeting throughout seems very commercial.

We bought a home recently and carpeted the master bedroom/dressing room in one carpet and the stairs in another. You would definitely want something more durable on the stairs. All other rooms we had the hardwoods refinished and have rugs. Some of the rooms have rugs that are simply carpeting cut and bound to fit the room. It almost looks wall to wall but it isn't.

Regarding the transition, a door jamb handles that. One thing we also did was leave a border of hardwood in the upstairs hallway.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:20AM
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I think it is interesting that people think the same carpet throughout looks commercial. The only commercial setting I can think of for carpet is a hotel and the hotels I have been in have had different carpets in different areas to the best of my memory. The rooms are different from the hallway and different from the lobby. (My limited hotel experiences are mostly in the US in mid-price point hotels.). Oh, I guess some restaurants have carpeting, but there generally aren't separate rooms really so the issue at hand doesn't seem to apply.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:26AM
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We have wall to wall sisal in bedrooms and in our office. The rest of the house is wood or stone.

We chose all the same sisal. However, it came in varying blends of wool and synthetic, and we put the best stuff in our MBR and the toughest stuff on a stair runner.

I like sisal because it is so versatile. We have area rugs over the sisal in a few bedrooms.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:26AM
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Imo, having different w2w carpet in different rooms would be no different than having different hardwoods in each room. Carpet flowing from room to room looks no more commercial than a house with the same hardwood or tile in the whole house (or most rooms). I can see switching in a room used for a special purpose, as in someone's example of an exercise room, but having a different carpet in each bedroom looks like a hodgepodge to me.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:46PM
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Just to clarify on my "commercial" point, I can see it both ways. I understand the uniformity aspect, and how it creates a nice flow, but for me, I like that uniformity with hardwoods. I can't imagine having different hardwoods in each room, but carpeting or rugs, I can't imagine having a whole house full of the same. Maybe commercial wasn't the right word, but I didn't want to offend anyone and say it reminds me of every tract house or tract apartment building I have ever been in. My first apartment was in a wonderful old complex. All I wanted was hardwood floors! But to save money, they put carpeting over the hardwoods. The same beige builder grade carpeting throughout. Very disappointing. So, I wouldn't want to do that in my house.

I know there are different levels of carpeting, and not all will be builder grade. I love the carpeting in my master. I just think there is something to be said for mixing and matching.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 8:39PM
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We moved over the summer to a home built in 1987. It had wtw carpet throughout except for the kitchen (hardwoods), front entry (tile) and baths (sheet vinyl or tile). (*MBath actually did have carpet except for room with toilet and showerâ¦.ewwww--now has new sheet vinyl).

In any event, due to both time and budget we replace all the carpet with new carpet. If we would have had an additional 2 weeks of time we might have done hardwoods in the living and DR. But I digress.

We ended up with a light color (called quartz) in the LR, DR, upstairs hall, and 2 upstairs BRs. Then our contractor recommended a flatter pile with a raised pattern for the stairs. It is a slightly darker color and has a raised square pattern like a large berber. The downstairs family room and bedroom are a higher nap carpet than upstairs, so better for the family room which is over slab instead of plywood. It is a darker color, than upstairs.

The walls are all shades of gray. The carpeting are all shades of greige, and due to the different natural light available they look the same color, even though they are not.

It was a bit of an adjustment going from all hardwoods to all wall to wall. But we are fine with it now and like it a lot. It is so much easier to keep clean, and it is so warm and quiet.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 8:40PM
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My husband installs carpet and wood flooring for a couple of upscale flooring stores and several contractors in Texas. As everyone knows carpet has fallen in popularity but it's definitely not gone. When we're figuring bids for whole houses, there are always multiple carpet colors/patterns. I'd have to ask DH but I don't recall the last whole house bid that included just one color and style of carpet (but I'm sure there are some). In our house, we have 3 different carpets. A medium colored seafoam green in a bedroom, a chocolate brown pattern in a bedroom and an antelope print in the den. None of the 3 can be seen from any of the other carpeted rooms. I don't think it would be a problem if you could tho (of course there are exceptions). Look for wool or nylon. Stay away from polyester. Even if the sales person tells you the "new" polyester is just as good as nylon, it isn't.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 12:48AM
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I discussed with with my husband tonight during dinner. He said it's most UNcommon to see a whole house of the same carpet. Mix and match definitely rules. Tomorrow he's making a template for a double grand staircase. Can't wait to see what they're putting on it! The carpet that is used for these runners typically run over $100/yard (material only).

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:42AM
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I would say for average tract built houses, the same flooring throughout the house is extremely common. It's done because it saves the builder a lot of money. This house gets this flooring, and A) the installers aren't likely to put the wrong stuff in the wrong rooms, and B) they can use the left overs from room A in room B.

And yet, somehow, the general public has interpreted this as flooring must be the same throughout the house. Nope. Flooring should be chosen on a room by room basis.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:52AM
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Hmm. I have a 1926 non-tract house and the flooring is the same throughout with the exceptions of the laundry room and bathrooms. (Hardwood, not carpet.). Same as in my previous 1939 and 1954 houses--hardwood throughout with the exceptions in those houses of the kitchens, bathrooms and basements. The 1939 was tract housing, I'd say. But the 1954 house was definitely not. So, in my limited personal experience, it's not just tract houses that have the same flooring throughout.

To me different carpet in different rooms looks like it was replaced piecemeal as the carpet wore out. That was absolutely the effect in my parents' home from my teenage years.

Perhaps the difference is high end vs not, as some have suggested. (Our current house is over $800,000 in value but we live in a very HCOLA and I would not say it is a high end house at all.). The only houses I have been in that are what I would consider high end have not had wall to wall carpet in any of the areas I saw, so I can't say that I have any personal experience with high end homes and carpet. In those houses the "public" areas were hardwood in every room, with the exception brick or tile on the kitchen floors.

I wonder if there is regional variation?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:25AM
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amberm, The ol' tract homes. It's been at least 25 years since DH has been a part of the tract home scene in Dallas. And I totally agree everything you said. But I'm guessing these decorating "rules" come and go, just like everyone used to use the same paint thru out (and it was white or close to it). Even tho I have 3 rooms of carpet (all different), a room of wood, two of travertine tiles and 3 of porcelain and 7 paint colors and every room has a different feel, they all work well together (I think).

crl, you've covered a lot of time and a lot of decorating trends so naturally there is going to be a big variety in what you've experienced. And I do know that a lot of it is regional. A big majority of the houses DH puts carpet in is only in the bedrooms, master closets that are larger than most bedrooms, and runners on staircases. After many years of wood and tile, we're starting to see carpet make a comeback.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:51AM
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we have hardwoods on our main level except we carpeted our step down family room- it is a pattern and i cannot imagine using 'bedroom' carpeting in there...
our upstairs hallway is hardwood with the bedrooms carpeted in similar carpeting, but different...
our front stairs have one type of runner and the back a different.
our finished basement has some carpeting that is also different...

but, if carpeting runs room to room to room, i think it looks best to have it all the same--- it looks alittle strange when an upstairs hallway is carpeted and then each of the bedrooms has a different carpeting... but then again, if i were a kid growing up in that house, i probably would want a different carpet in my bedroom than what was in the hall!!!
life's short- do what works for your family is my mantra!!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:30AM
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@crl, I think amberm is referring to carpeting, not hardwoods, when talking about "flooring throughout". I can't imagine a whole house of hardwoods would be considered out of date or just for tract houses. But I could be wrong!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:30AM
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I was mostly referring to carpet. And I didn't mean that it's ONLY true for tract houses. Just that a couple posts above mine mentioned higher end houses having different flooring in different rooms being common. I meant in houses where cost is more of a concern, having only one choice of carpet, one colour of hardwood, and one choice of vinyl or tile is common because it's more cost effective.

I remember my mother replacing carpet in a new to us house in the 80s. I wanted to choose my own colour for my bedroom, and I wasn't allowed because it would cost more than just running beige throughout.

I'm sure this is where the notion that carpet (or hardwood, or any other flooring) HAS to match came from.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:49AM
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