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Carpet & rugs care

From the moment a new rug or carpet enters your home, certain steps and procedures should be followed to ensure its functionality and appearance retention. They relate to placement and installation, as well as carpet/rug care and maintenance. Here are the main pointers.

As you spread your new rug over the floor, the first thing you may want to check out is how different orientations affect its surface appearance, as seen from the room entrance. Form and position of the top pile yarn, combined with the direction of light, can result in noticeably different color and pattern effects.

When best orientation is found, a rug and pad should be secured from slipping and folding by placing adhesive strips underneath it.

With your new rug, and especially carpet, placed inside, it is advisable to keep the room well ventilated for a week or two. While you are not likely to know the specifics of the rug/carpet chemical out-gassing intensity, nor your sensitivity limits, there is no need to take unnecessary chances. After a couple of weeks, the emission is usually significantly lower, and so is the level of risk that it could cause discomfort.

Also, frequent vacuuming in this time period will help remove most of the short, lose fiber, a residue of the manufacturing process. All rug and carpet pile shed to some extent, but especially those with cut pile. These lose fiber particles are space and air contaminants you don't want to move and fly around. Also, if not removed in time, they will penetrate deeper into the rug/carpet face, facilitating accumulation of other impurities.

Depending on the traffic pattern and frequency, you may, or may not find periodic rotation of the area rug beneficial.

It is always a good idea to protect your rug/carpet from both, direct sunshine and excessive moisture. Placing protective caps beneath high-pressure points (furniture pieces, or appliances) will minimize indentations and potential damage to the face fiber.

The rest boils down to taking proper care of your new rug or carpet. It should be vacuumed 2-3 times a week, on average (more use warrants more vacuuming). This keeps it nice and clean, preventing dirt particles to damage and penetrate the face fiber, turning it dull with time. Any spills should be removed immediately - the longer wait, the harder it becomes. If using chemical agents, make sure they are appropriate, and will not affect fiber appearance. 

Having your area rug or carpet professionally cleaned every two to three years is usually beneficial.  

Carpet and rugs terminology - This sounds like a school class - but this is the one you don't want to miss. An educated buying decision translates into a buying success, and that is your goal. Certainly, understanding carpet and rug terminology is something you need for enjoyable, successful shopping.  And it is not as simple as it may seem at first...

Construction - Simply put, rug or carpet construction is a particular way of putting it together. Whether produced by hand, or by machine, they are made in a certain way. This includes all that is done to come up with a finished product: from tufting or weaving the yarn to dyeing and applying chemical or other treatments...

Materials - Nearly all of materials used for rug and carpet construction are in their face-fiber and backing. It is usually the face-fiber material that gets most of attention and consideration. This is because the rug/carpet fiber forming its face is most exposed, both, visually and physically. Hence it is the main determinant of appearance quality and retention...

Environmental effect - Most materials, natural or synthetic, have some environmental impact, and those used for carpets and rugs are no exception. Health hazard comes mainly from rug and carpet being outgassing potentially toxic fumes, as well as from rug and carpet mold (mildew) infestation...

Label and warranty - Rug/carpet label and its warranty can give important information and indications in regard to its quality level. Getting familiar with their contents is time well spent. Here's what you should look for...

Area rug size and shape - In somewhat different ways, area rug size and shape have both, functional and aesthetic aspect. At first, one would say that area rug's size is pretty much determined by dimensions of the space it is intended to. In reality, the decision on how large area rug will be, and whether it is to be square, round or of some other shape, should come after careful consideration of not only room's size and geometry, but also typical traffic patterns, form and arrangement of other objects and decor elements present, as well as the intended use of the room, or space...

Colors and Patterns - Color of your rug, or carpet, creates certain visual effect, emotion, and an atmosphere. Individual perceptions vary, but most of us will be affected similarly. Here's a brief overview of what are out typical responses to colors and patterns. It may help you decide what rug color and pattern type is best for your room...

Design style - Possible variations in the visual characteristics of the rug/carpet face - its design - are literally countless. They come from visual rug/carpet attributes created by both, fiber coloration, and its dimensional appearance. Luckily, all this immense variety is being channeled, fairly efficiently, into a few main classifications...

Carpet and rug buying checklist - The two main aspects of every rug or carpet are (1) its aesthetics and (2) practicality. Once you find the one that has the right looks, the next step is to check out how appropriate are its materials and construction type to its intended use. In other words, what is its quality level. The following checklist will help you figure that out...

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