If you are looking to purchase new carpet for your home, then you know there is a wide range of carpet selections available to you. If you don't know much about carpeting, then those same carpet selections can become overwhelming, and most people end up making their carpeting choice based on color or price, regretting their selection a year later.

There is really only one thing that you need to know to be able to make a wise carpet selection, a selection that you will be happy with for years and that will serve you well. That one thing is the yarn count in the carpeting. All carpeting, regardless of style or yarn fiber type, has so many stitches of yarn per inch, the more yarn the carpet has, the better it will wear. An easy test you can do is poke your finger in the carpet sample at the carpet store, if your finger instantly touches the carpet backing, that particular carpet has a low stitch count and will not hold up well. The more yarn per inch in the carpet, the more difficult it will be to touch the carpet backing with your finger, thus meaning a durable, quality carpet that will hold up well under years of use. An informed salesperson will be able to tell you the exact amount of stitches per inch. The yarn stitch count will directly relate to the price of the carpeting, the higher the yarn stitches, the higher the price of the carpeting.

A low yarn stitch count does not mean an inferior carpet product, it still meets the manufacturing standards, it just means the carpeting will not last long in a high traffic area. Low yarn stitch counts, say 20 stitches per inch, would be fine in a little used guest bedroom, but for high traffic areas, a wise choice would be over 50 stitches per inch with a low pile height. Carpeting with a low stitch count as a rule, has a higher nap, or pile height, thus giving the illusion of thicker carpeting, after a few months of use, the yarn will be squashed and reveal the carpet's backing.

Home carpeting is primarily of either nylon or polyester yarn, there are other yarn types used, such as wool or 'grass', but most of the wall to wall style carpeting will be nylon or polyester. The category you select can simply be a matter of personal choice, since both nylon and polyester carpeting will have about the same amount of longevity and require the same care. The feel of the carpet will be the difference between nylon and polyester, nylon will be softer to the touch, polyester will have a slightly more rigid feeling.

Choosing the nap, or pile height, again will be a matter of personal choice and in what area of the home the carpet will be installed in. A low nap, or low pile height, is a better choice for high traffic areas of your home, while a high nap, or high pile height is fine for a low traffic area, such as a bedroom.

Carpet styles are endless; berber in high or low nap, cut pile in high and low naps, level piles in high and low naps, level loop, pattern loop, and the list goes on. Whatever carpeting style or yarn type you choose, just remember the yarn count, the yarn stitches per square inch. The higher the number, the better, making your carpet selection one that you will enjoy for years to come.

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Author's Bio: 

Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"