Like most moms, I dream of having a perfect home with immaculate matching carpets. But, with kids being kids and dogs adding to the mess, I’ve realized that my home’s flooring needs to adapt to my family’s lifestyle. Not the other way round.
It’s OK to have different carpeting in different rooms in your home that suits your lifestyle. Bedroom carpets should be plush, stairway and hallway carpeting must be durable, living and dining room carpets should be stain-resistant, and home office carpeting should allow you to move around.
Carpets are a great style statement and provide excellent comfort, especially on cold nights. I’ve learned through experience that they must be functional first and able to withstand all the wear and tear my family creates. So, if you want to avoid a case of buyer’s remorse – read on!
Different Carpets: What You Should Know
There’s been much heated debate on whether you should have the same carpeting throughout your home to create a sense of cohesion or flow from room to room. Which makes perfect sense – in an ideal world.
Some people even debate whether they should use wall-to-wall carpeting at all! More on that here.
As we all know, life can get messy. And most bustling family homes, especially those with pets, must deal with the odd spill and heavy foot traffic.
While there’s a solid case for having different carpeting throughout your home for practical reasons, it’s important to choose carpeting that seamlessly flows from one area to another. No, they don’t have to match each other but they need to visually relate.
The most important thing to get right when you decide to use different carpets in different rooms is the treatment of the transitions. Just butting the carpets together can highlight differences in a bad way, so consider adding a wood or stone threshold between rooms for a more finished look.
Avoid cheap metal or vinyl transition strips whenever possible!
Carpeting Style Guide by Room
Carpets have unique pros and cons, so choosing a style and durable material that suits your lifestyle and is mostly wear and tear-resistant is important. You should also consider how easy or hard a carpet is to clean. Read my article on which carpets are hardest to clean for more information!
So, let’s have a look at a few fabulous options.
The ideal carpet feels plush, luxurious, and soft underfoot for any bedroom. Therefore, consider a cozy twisted fiber like a frieze, Saxony, or a contemporary shag carpet that, unlike their 70s versions, are available in a wide range of gorgeous colors.
To underscore the importance of having different carpets in different areas, the suggested bedroom carpeting on a staircase will be disastrous from a safety perspective.
So, avoid a potential disaster by investing in a carpet that’s not too thick or plush, as it needs to securely wrap around the staircase railings, treads, and banisters.
Another critical consideration is durability, as there’s a lot of traffic in that area. It would be wise to purchase carpeting crafted from strong fibers with a slip-proof tight loop style.
If you choose the right option, carpeted stairs are a great option for families because hardwood stairs or hard materials are incredibly slippery.
Like staircases, hallways are prone to a lot of foot traffic, so choose durable carpeting with a classic entryway pattern that will still look great after a few years of wear and tear.
Living & Dining Rooms
Your lifestyle should dictate your carpeting choice. How much foot traffic you get in your living and dining rooms will influence how durable you need your carpet to be. Especially if you have messy kids or pets!
The ideal carpet for living and dining rooms is crafted from short tight-nit nylon materials which are stain-resistant and not prone to chair indentations. Another great option would be to use carpet tiles like I did in my entryway.
These high-traffic areas require a durable carpet, so investing in a quality carpet will save you money and time in the long run.
A Home Office
Carpets are great for noise reduction, especially on those tricky Zoom calls! However, a home office carpet should also provide mobility and allow your office chair wheels to move around without hindrance.
While plush carpets are excellent noise mufflers, fluffy carpets are not ideal, so instead, choose an office carpet crafted from tight-knit, small loop carpet like smooth Berber carpets.
Going Green With Eco-Friendly Carpets
If you’re searching for an eco-friendly carpet, look out for polyester products that have been crafted from recycled items like plastic bottles.
Other eco-friendly options include sustainable materials like recycled nylon fiber or durable polyester polymer carpets made from corn ethanol. The con with these two options is that they’re more difficult to find and will be available in a smaller range of styles.
Allergies & Chemical Sensitivities
Thank goodness the days of that horrible “new carpet” scent are over since manufacturers don’t use formaldehyde (of all things) anymore! They do, however, include other chemicals that some people are sensitive to.
Carpet material may contain chemicals that can negatively affect allergy sufferers, so you may find it’s worth purchasing a carpet marked with Green Label Plus certification that the Carpet and Rug Institute guarantees to emit fewer chemical emissions.
However, the previously mentioned certification does not confirm that stain-proof or flame-retardant treatment chemicals are safe. So, you should consider purchasing a wool carpet if you or your family are affected by severe allergies.
Recycle Your Old Carpets
If you choose to replace your carpets, consider recycling the old ones through your retailer for free or via carpetrecovery.org for a small fee.
Carpet Shopping: Key Considerations
Who would have thought that buying carpets could be so tricky? But with the following tips and tricks, you’ll avoid all the potential pitfalls if you do your “homework.”
All carpets are assigned certain weights ranging from 25-70 ounces, calculated based on the amount of yarn in a carpet’s square yard.
Heavier carpets tend to be more durable. However, that’s only the case if you compare carpets manufactured with the same materials. A polypropylene carpet sample could be heavier than a nylon sample, but it is not more durable.
BCF Vs. Staple Fiber
Carpets are either woven with long thread bulked continuous filament yarns (BCF) or shorter staple fiber yarns.
Synthetic carpets are produced with BCF materials, while natural wool carpets are crafted with staple fibers. While both yarns are durable, carpets made with staple fibers tend to shed for some time after they’re installed.
I can speak from experience on the shedding issue. But the shedding stops after a few good vacuum sessions, so don’t let that deter you.
The Twist Factor
Carpet fibers are twisted between 2½ to 8 times to improve their durability, so carpets produced with a higher number of twists will last much longer. Manufacturers will typically not disclose that information, but it’s worth enquiring about.
Great quality carpets have a 7–10-year warranty. That said, you should familiarize yourself with the texture retention warranty that guarantees that the rug will retain its shape for a certain period, including the vital stain warranty.
Stain warranties mainly guarantee that the carpet will not discolor from food or beverage stains. Keep in mind that you might not be covered concerning grease, cosmetics, blood, pet, or ink stains. So, as they say: read the fine print!
While it would be a lot less complicated to have the same carpet throughout your home, different carpets in different rooms are perfectly ok. Investing in quality carpets that fit the function of each room and visually complement one another is well worth the effort!
If you’re still not sure if wall-to-wall carpet is right for you, take a look at this article where I cover when (and when not) to choose carpet.