Style of CarpetPlush: Usually one solid color with even, smooth pile height. Varies from lightweight (apartment-grade) with fewer tufts per square inch to heavier weights that are very dense. Comes in a vast range of colors. Shows footprints and vacuum marks.
Frieze: Very tightly twisted tufts of yarn. More expensive than plush but wears much longer—15 years is not unusual. Frieze comes in a variety of pile heights, from short all the way to super shag. Durable and holds up to heavy use without matting or showing traffic patterns. Rebounds well.
Berber: A popular choice in recent years, Berber has nothing to do with color (though it usually comes in light earth tones) but rather with construction. Berber carpet is made of short looped yarn that is aligned in rows for a uniform look. The loops can snag and run easily, like a pair of hose. When that happens, it is nearly impossible to repair.
Padding Under CarpetEach carpet manufacturer recommends a specific pad for a specific style. That is most likely your best bet; go with that recommendation.
Foam: This is the type of padding that usually comes included. Don't accept it. It will not hold up to traffic, and it will flatten quickly. It is not recommended for residential use.
Rebond: The most common for residential installations, rebond is made of recycled urethane foam. It is usually multicolored and looks like lots of little pieces stuck together, which is what it is. It comes in a variety of densities and thicknesses to accommodate all manufacturers' specifications.
LongevityTaking care of your new carpet will be the biggest factor in your overall satisfaction—how much you love your carpet decision, how long it looks beautiful, and how well it wears.
Take care of spots the moment they happen. Use a good spot remover, such as Spot Shot.
Invest in a good home carpet machine to steam clean your carpet.
Hold off as long as possible from having the carpet professionally steam cleaned, but once you do this, set a standing appointment for at least once yearly.
In ConclusionHave you figured it out? For my money, there is no better carpet than a 100 percent nylon frieze installed over a high-quality rebond pad. Nylon frieze resists stains. Spots that do happen come out very easily. It does not mat or become crushed, even in high-traffic areas. Nylon frieze is reasonably soft underfoot and will bring you many years of enjoyment.
That was easy. Now comes the hard part—selecting a color you will enjoy for 15 years or longer!