Carpet Buying Tips in Giant Big-Box Home Improvement Center

If you are the type who does research before you go carpet shopping, you are likely to go up to a carpet expert in a retail store and say something like, “I would like to look at a Berber action back carpet made from Olefin fiber”. If the retail store expert doesn’t have a clue as to what you are talking about, you are in a giant big-box home improvement center. You’re likely to encounter the same experience when buying the best portable carpet cleaner as well. But don’t give up, all is not lost. Sometimes, if take your time, you can walk them through it.

The first thing you need to understand is that purchasing carpet is a trade off. You trade a high quality hard surface floor for a cheap piece of cloth to stretch over your floor. But if carpet is your floor of choice, there are some things you need to know if you are going to help a giant big-box home improvement center employee help you purchase carpeting.

The first thing you need to know is the various styles of carpet. The primary styles are Berber, Plush, Frieze and Cheap.

Berber – Berber is lumpy carpet made from weaving heavy rope fiber. It has the texture of a gravel driveway. Other uses for Berber are reinforcing blacktop and lining bomb shelters. Some other features of Berber are that it always looks dirty and destroys your vacuum cleaner.

Plush – Feels rich, soft and luxurious … for about two weeks. If you don’t walk on it you can increase that time by almost ten percent. Other features of plush carpet are that it sheds and shows footprints.

Frieze (pronounced phrrrizzzaaay and is French for “pardon my French”) – Use to be called “shag” but they don’t call it shag anymore because even giant big-box home improvement centers would be smart enough not to carry it. Shag was the biggest disaster in the history of carpeting (if you don’t count Polyester, Olefin and Berber). Frieze pile is not as deep as the old Shag (it was common to lose pets and small children). Frieze is popular because it hides dirt well and it holds the record for most appearances of any carpet on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”.

Cheap – This is by far the leading selling carpet style in giant big-box home improvement centers. It’s made of something the employees call “Mystery Fiber”. Other features of Cheap Carpet are that it comes in random colors and amuses the installers.

Once you know the styles, you need have knowledge of the most popular carpet fibers – Nylon, Polyester, Olefin and Mystery Fiber.

Nylon – The only synthetic fiber that any carpet store with an ounce of integrity would even think of selling. I am more that a little surprised when I find giant big-box home improvement centers selling it.

Polyester – Polyester is part of the new wave of synthetic carpet fibers. It is great looking and dyes well to create vibrant colors. It is so soft and luxurious you will want to go barefoot. It is non-absorbent and highly stain resistant. Polyester self destructs in fifteen minutes.

Olefin – A cheap, oily, disgusting fiber that comes in a variety of exciting colors including gray, light gray, off gray, dark gray, lighter gray, charcoal gray, darker gray and gunmetal gray. Did I say, “gray?”.

Mystery Fiber – Mystery Fiber is unique to giant big-box home improvement centers. Spun from quality land fill products, this fiber cost about 40 times less than conventional fibers. Other features include tolerable odor and huge profit margins.

There you have it. You are now qualified to show a carpet department expert of a giant big-box home improvement center how to choose a carpet for you. Happy shopping..



Julia Arostegi lives in California USA. She took Developmental Communication at the University of California and finished her studies in 2012. She is currently the managing director of California Magazine. She is also a blogger, content enthusiast and a photographer.