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Landlord's Guide to Replacing Carpet & Flooring - Landlordfloors.com

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Landlord's Guide to Replacing Carpet & Flooring


Carpet Buying Q & A



Carpet fading in direct sunlight - Landlordfloors.comQ. We just completed a new family room to our home and wanted to put in carpeting.  Our main concern is sun exposure.  


The room has three very large windows and we get direct sunlight for about three to five hours a day depending on the season. We plan to install some type of window shades but haven’t decided on any yet. 


What type of carpet fiber do you recommend for a lot of direct sunlight?




All carpet fibers fade with exposure to sunlight. Fading effects will begin after about 40 hours of exposure. I recommend you select a Nylon carpet (most durable), select a lighter color and install window coverings to reduce the exposure to sunlight. A lighter color will not show the fading like a darker color will, but the real concern is carpet disintegration where the carpet can dry-out and literally fall apart after a few years of exposure.



Q. We are looking to buy a new carpet and one of the dealers talked us out of a polyester carpet  and told us to buy nylon. He said that they last longer and do not wear as much. We were wondering if this was true. What he is trying to get us to buy is Horizon by Mohawk.




Take his advice and buy nylon. Polyester is the worst fiber to make a durable carpet.



Q. I'm considering replacing the carpet in our den area.  The problem I'm faced with is a dog who is getting slightly incontinent in her old age.  This combined with the fact that she was never very well house trained (I claim innocence on this part) to begin with has made for a few 'accidents' as of late.  I've made decent strides with her training, but I've had to come to grips with the fact that it will never be perfect.

My question is, is there a good carpet recommended that will help prevent stains from setting before I can get to them? Also, I've noticed that in some cases the stains have soaked through to the padding. Is there any manner of liquid-proof layer that can be placed between the carpet and padding, and is there any padding better suited for this?




There is a padding available that has a plastic layer over the top and it will prevent liquids from being absorbed. There are several different names for it (moisture barrier) but most retailers will know what padding you are looking for. I generally don't recommend this type of padding. It is more expensive and may not be worth considering in your situation.

As far a carpet goes, I recommend you select a Nylon that has anti stain treatment applied. If you choose dense carpet with a shorter nap, like a commercial cut-pile style, any accidents will tend to bead up on top of the carpet and not soak in as fast. Stay away from Berbers and thick-pile plush as they are more difficult to clean up "accidents" and as you know, Berbers can snag easily. One more thing: No matter what the salesperson says, don't buy polyester (P.E.T.) carpet.



Q. I am in the process of opening a day care center, and of course health and safety of the children are my main concern. I have purchased some VCT tile and I was going to purchase some 100% olefin carpet from one of the mills in Dalton, Ga.

They recommend I get the gentry padding which has a moisture barrier.  The carpet comes in 20 oz and 26 oz.  I am concerned about moisture in the room since the floor is concrete. I am planning on having a third of the room in VCT
tile and the other part carpet. Please help me to make the right decision on completing this room. I would like to know exactly what kind of carpet I need including oz. Also padding and is the VCT tile going to be okay. I cannot afford to make the wrong decisions when it comes to the welfare of the children in my care.




Congrats on your new business! The carpet you are referring to is a commercial level loop carpet, that typically comes in 20 and 26 ounce face-weights. Retail is about $15 and wholesale is about $8.50 for the 26 ounce, which I recommend you use. The carpet is fairly thin and will last the longest if glued directly to the floor, but in your case, I assume that you want a softer floor for the children. Padding that is designed to go under this carpet is 1/4 inch thick, and a density of 6 to 8 pounds. I do not recommend using a moisture-barrier type of padding as it does not allow the carpet and pad to "breathe". 


If in fact you do have moisture evaporating up from your concrete floor, the last thing you want to do is trap that moisture under a "moisture-barrier" type of padding. Trapped moisture quickly turns into mold and mildew and you surely do not want that to begin to grow underneath your carpet and padding. If there is moisture in the room, I suggest you use a dehumidifier to remove any moisture and thus eliminate any problems that could be caused by the moisture. You might want to consider hiring a professional to address the moisture problem.


Pad: I recommend using a felt padding, 1/4 inch thick. Cleaning: I recommend using Chem-dry when you need to clean your carpets. Never use a steam cleaner, too much moisture. Installation for this type of carpet is about $5.00 per yard, not including any preparation or tear out of old materials.

As far as your VCT, it is designed to last for many years. It is a utilitarian flooring and should be professionally waxed about 2 weeks after it has been installed. Don't buy self sticking tiles, use true Vinyl Composition Tiles installed by a professional. Installation varies widely with VCT depending on the size of the job. A minimum charge may be $99. Otherwise, expect to pay 30 to 75 cents per square foot. You are doing GREAT!  Good luck!



Q. Wanted to thank you for a very informative web site. Learned a lot about carpets. I am thinking about carpet for the stairs and was hoping that you can shed some light as to which one would be an ideal choice. I have 2 small kids and no pets.



There are many good choices for you. I suggest you go to a local family-owned carpet store (like Frank's Floor Covering) and tell them you want to buy a plush Nylon carpet for your stairs. Don't buy a carpet made of polyester or Olefin, only Nylon. Buy the best quality you can afford and be sure to put a dense pad under it. Be sure it is installed by an experienced installer.



Q. Could you tell me if GCO carpet is good carpet? It is a discount carpet company chain and they carry their own brand (GCO carpet). The carpet I am looking at is warranted by GCO Carpet Outlet for 15 years against wearing more than 10 percent within 15 years. What do you think?




GCO is a co-op that uses private labels on all their carpet samples. I never recommend buying carpet or flooring from any nationally advertised conglomerate. 


You mentioned that the carpet you are considering has a limited wear warranty stating that the carpet will not lose more than 10% of its fiber content within a 15 year period. Carpets rarely lose more than 10% of its fiber content. It may mat down and look worn out but it will still retain more than 90% of its original face weight. The wear warranty is basically worthless. 


If you want your carpet to look good for 15 years, the only way you can hope to attain that is to choose a carpet made of Nylon. There are many ways you can be scammed and you need to be especially careful when it comes to choosing the right carpet fiber. Discover how I rate various carpet and flooring retailers: Best and Worst Places to Buy New Carpet?


We put Gulistan carpet down 2  years ago.  We have had the carpet layers back several times to have ripples or wrinkles taken out.  What is the cause of this?  Would having the wrong setting on the sweeper have anything to do with this problem?       




No, your carpet sweeper/vacuum cannot be the cause of wrinkles.



Q. What is the best material in carpets to guard against matting, and please explain BCF?  Thank you




1. Nylon is best known for its durability and resisting matting and crushing of the pile. 


2. BCF stands for Bulked Continuous Filament. It basically is a way to make a continuous filament fiber look thicker, or fatter by fluffing it up. It makes the carpet look beefier without adding more yarn. Here are the technical descriptions:


3. Bulking - When processing yarn, usually by mechanical means, bulking is done to fluff it up and give the yarn more covering with the same weight. Also known as texturing and lofting.


4. Continuous Filament - A continuous strand of synthetic fiber extruded, drawn, crimped, and bundled with other continuous filament fibers to make yarn directly from the extruder, without the need for spinning, as is required by natural (or synthetic staple) fibers. Any synthetic fiber can be made in a continuous filament form.




Q. I need to purchase carpet for our family room which measures roughly 14.6 feet by 24.6 feet. Would I be better off purchasing 12 foot or 15 foot goods? There are far fewer quality choices in the 15 foot goods. The carpet I really like is a Tactesse that I have only found in 12 foot goods, which would put a seam directly in the traffic pattern to enter/exit the room.




A qualified carpet installer can seam up your carpet nicely and you should not suffer any problems with 12 foot goods. Using 15 foot wide material would eliminate all the seams, but like you mentioned, not many choices. I would go with the 12 foot if you want to go with the Tactesse. The Tactesse fiber has been available for many years. It is designed to have the look and feel of natural wool. Tactesse is known as a "soft" nylon and the cost is higher because of it's softness. The accomplish this by extruding the fiber stand thinner, thus making it softer. 



Q. A friend of mine gave me his carpet, which was not old. The carpet was fine in his apartment. We both have wooden floors, both with poly. When I took the carpet home, almost immediately I noticed the backing smelled, a bad rubbery odor. This was definitely not noticeable in his apartment. In mine, it was so bad, I threw the carpet out. Both apartments are dry, clean apartments, seemingly similar. Why would the backing be fine in his, with similar ventilation to mine, but horrible in mine? It was so noticeable, all my friends could smell it, even in the hallway. Thanks.




I understand something here, as a result of my just buying a condo. It is a thirty year old condo with carpet that was at least 20 years old. When we first looked at the condo we thought the carpet was fine, no pet odors, no musty smells, we thought that it was a good carpet to keep, maybe just clean it. Next we noticed that the padding was deteriorated and in the traffic areas it was not spongy anymore. 


We decided that we would just replace the old pad and then reinstall the old carpet. Since I am an installer, this would be no big deal. Then we pulled up the old carpet. YEOW! We opened a big can of worms! The pet odors, the mustiness, and the stank was horrible! These smells were completely unnoticeable until the carpet was disturbed. Then they seemed to come to life! Big life!

We had to replace ALL the carpet and pad. Had we not moved the carpet, we would have never known these odors were in there. This sounds like what has happened to you. You inherited the stank from your friend, a bad rubbery smell from who knows what.....pretty strange huh?



Q. I've looked through your website and are still confused. We have an unfinished basement that we are finishing. It is a walkout basement. We will be using it at a play area for my kids, aged 5 and 8. The room is about 36' x 27' and there are 12 stairs to the basement. Stain resistance and wear are our top two priorities.

Now the questions. Would a low-loop Berber be a good choice? If not, what would be a good choice? I have read in other sources that Olefin is naturally stain resistant. However, you seem to say that it is not as good as Nylon. Why the difference of opinion?




I never recommend a Berber carpet for a basement, unless it is completely dry and children and pets are not involved. Berber carpets snag, and snag easily. Kids, and pets will cause damage to Berbers that is difficult and expensive to repair. I do recommend commercial level-looped carpets for this type of application. They are built to last, easy to clean (unlike Berbers), survive severe abuse and are inexpensive. They can be installed over 1/4 inch 8 pound pad, or glued directly to the floor without pad (my recommendation). 


Your choices for fibers are nylon or olefin, and the newest advanced generation olefin (polypropylene) fibers are both durable and easier to clean. This only applies to commercial looped carpets, not to Berber carpets. Commercial level loops are so tightly packed together they do not mat down or snag easily.

Olefin is a strong fiber, but has poor resiliency. The larger loops in Berbers fall over quickly and mat down, and cleaning an Olefin Berber carpet does not revive the like-new appearance.

Homeowners who have purchased Berber carpets (made of Olefin) often find that their carpet doesn't look very good after a year of use. Matting is the main problem with looped Berber and once it mats down it looks dingy. Professional Cleaning will not revive a loop that has fallen over. On the other hand, Nylon is known for being very resilient, and after cleaning, nylon carpeting will look almost like-new again and again. Learn more: Berber styles made with Olefin


 I just found your web site when looking up information on carpets. What a great information center! We looking at buying a carpet from a home improvement warehouse we like very much, though on the high price side ($39.00 square yard  installed). It's a Gulistan Tactesse nylon with face weight 65; density 3.966; twist 6.50; and performance rating of 4.25.  We think it will look beautiful and last for the rest of our lives (we are 60 and 65 years). Since we have grandchildren visiting, we like the stain master feature and feel it's good quality. But do you think we are spending too much for the carpet?  

We also looked at another Gulistan textured nylon (wear dated but no stain master) with face weight 55;  twist 4.75; performance rating 3.90.  Price on this was $23.59 SF installed.  Not as nice as the above, but looked like a good piece of carpet. What do you think? Appreciate and value your opinion before making this large purchase (135 square yards).




I believe that shopping for carpet at a home improvement warehouse may not be your best choice. Their salespeople often lack sufficient carpet experience compared to a locally-owned carpet dealer. You could find a similar carpet at a local "family-owned" carpet store. Best places to shop for new carpet?

The "soft" nylon fiber you have mentioned for $39 per yard installed is a relatively new type of nylon fiber. It has only been available for a few years. It is designed to resemble the appearance and texture of wool, and they have priced it accordingly. The other carpet you mentioned is also a nice carpet that would last for a long time. In my opinion, the "soft" nylon fiber carpet for $39.00 is  a bit overpriced, but if you can afford it then buy it. If you want to save money and have a long lasting carpet, then choose the textured Nylon. I am sure you would be happy with either.



Q. We are looking for a new carpet for our basement family room. This is the main entry for the family through the garage and also for the muddy paws of the family dog from the back yard.  We have been considering a "high end" Berber but my husband has become concerned about the low melting point of the olefin fiber (170 degrees). There is a fireplace in the family room but we have a fire resistant rug in front of the hearth. Considering all these factors, what would you suggest as the best carpet choice for us? 




I have installed Berber for many people who have a similar scenario as you and I have also replaced the Berber in many a home where it has become ruined in a hurry. Berber is Berber, expensive or not, it still is made the same way and with the same materials. I would never even consider a looped Berber with pets or kids, too many factors can ruin the carpet. The fireplace will probably shoot out a coal and a big hole will result right in the middle of the room.
I suggest a frieze, 45 oz. face weight or higher. Something with a multicolor that will help hide mud and any other unknown substances that may find its way into the family room.

A frieze will tolerate a lot of abuse and can be repaired easily if you find a burned area. Nylon is the fiber you want, anti-stain and get anti-shock while you are at it. If you don't like the look of a frieze, any good quality textured Nylon carpet will be a better choice than Berber. I hope this helps, thanks for your question!





Landlord's Guide to Replacing Carpet & Flooring - Landlordfloors.com


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