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Flooring and Carpeting/choosing wall to wall carpet

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Question
I am replacing carpet in my master bedroom.  The current carpet is only 5 years old and a MESS.  It is builder's berber and it is showing traffic patterns and is FILTHY.  We are 2 people in our 60's and do not have a football team tracking through (although the carpet looks like we do).  We do spill orange soda and cola sodas often, but I  try to clean it up immediately (lots of cold water, blotting and colorless dish detergent) but it is still heavily stained.  Also, there is alot of "foot traffic dirt".

I am considering a Triexta (60 faceweight, 5.25 twist) by Mohawk (sold at HD) in a neutral beige.  What do you think and what shold we do to maintain it so it is not an embarrassment as is the currrent carpet?  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your help and advice.

Answer
As an inspector I deal with defects and performance and I do not see many complaints with Triexta, but it is a newer fiber. It is supposed to be stronger than PET polyester, has better colorfastness and cleanability features than PET. It is as colorfast as solution dyed nylon. It is softer than most other fibers, and yet behaves better than staple nylon, especially in a shag construction. It appears to be a good for families with kids and pets (look out for loop styles though such as Berbers), and/or are going to be in the home more than 10 years.

Fiber aside, as far as finding a carpet that will perform: I simply recommend to ALL consumers prior to purchasing that they select a carpet with the lowest pile they can stand (aesthetically) and the tightest twist they can afford. Next, and almost always,  the tighter the twist the denser the pile becomes. Why? Because as it is more tightly twisted there becomes a need to provide more coverage, otherwise you will see the backing. Pick a Bulk Continous Fiber over a staple yarn to avoid undue fuzzing. Also, when shopping also look for earth tones and multicolors or flecks  as these will tend not to show soil as rapidly as solid and non earth tones such as blue.

However, as with ANY carpet do not use "lots of cold water and dish detergent". Too much water is NOT good for any carpet. I also do not recommend using dish detergent, as that is made for rinsing completely off your dishes and you can't do that with carpet. Here are some basic maintenance tips:
1. Use walk off mats to try and prevent outside soils from tracking onto the carpet.
2. Vacuum regularly.
3. For spots and stains,  Buy some carpet cleaning concentrate from a store that rents carpet cleaning machines.  Put some concentrate into the empty bottle but no more than 1/8 of the bottle and then fill to the top with cold water. Shake well. Spray the carpet areas  with the solution, gently brush them to agitate the pile with a very soft bristle brush and using hand towels,  rub the areas turning the towel as it becomes soiled and damp so you are using a clean and dry area on the towel. Do one step at a time. On each spray application do not spray more than two full sprays when pressing the trigger and only repeat once or you will overwet the carpet. If you need to repeat wait 24 hours. If you see no more soil being released on the towel then the carpet is as clean as it can be. This method accomplishes some key points in one step; you  use a minimal amount of water because you can control the amount of spray, you dry the carpet faster to eliminate wick up of soiling,  you can see what the carpet is releasing immediately, and you should see the carpet brighten up even though it is still damp.  By the way, this method is also good for cleaning future spots and  upholstery that can be water cleaned (code w). .
4. Have the walk areas/traffic lanes cleaned once a year. I prefer truck mount steam. Find someone that has been in business for a long time with their name on the truck, its been my experience that they do a better job. They have more of a vested interest than the "two room special" companies (always check with the Better Business Bureau before you chose). Tip: There is no need to clean under furniture that does not get walked on. Your vacuum will suffice.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need more info. Good Luck!

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R Adams

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Certified Installer 1966-1976, Certified Carpet Cleaning Instructor 1976-1985, Certified Commercial and Residential Floor Inspector since 1985 is available to answer questions on problems with carpet or other flooring, and carpet cleaning. I can guide you as to whether you may have a valid claim against a manufacturer/installer/dealer/cleaning company.

Experience

Floor covering Installer 1966-1976 Carpet Cleaning Instructor 1976-1985 Floor Covering Inspector 1985- present

Organizations
Floor Covering Inspector Training School; FCITS Floor Covering Inspection Technical Services; FITS Certified Claims Inspectors Association; CCIA

Publications
Hartford Courant

Education/Credentials
B.S. Chemistry 1971 A.S. Physical Science 1969 Armstrong Certified Installer 1972 3M Certified Carpet Cleaning Specialist 1976 FCITS Certified in Carpet and Hard Surface, Commercial and Residential

Past/Present Clients
GE, Phoenix Insurance Group, McDonalds Corp, WTNH, US NAVY, Xerox, Time Warner, Pitney Bowes, Conair, Yale New Haven Hospital, UCONN, Price Waterhouse, Pepsico.

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