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Flooring and Carpeting/carpet for 86 year old


My mom is recarpeting her home.  She has fallen a couple times and is worried about not to soft and not to hard when it comes to the carpet because she thinks it may make her fall.  She shuffles a little.  
1.  Can you point us in a direction w.r.t. any specs or types of carpet we should look for both in carpet and pad?  
2.  She doesn't want to walk around looking at stores and wants to call a company to come to her.  I am leary.
3.  She has no idea what she wants other than not to soft and not to hard.

Please help!


This is not an unusual request. There are numerous carpets and a few cushions available that will met your needs.  

I suggest a loop pile nylon carpet; different from a berber in that the berbers tend to have significantly higher pile. The pile height should not exceed about 1/4", and I would suggest a pile weight of 24 oz or more. This will provide a firm feel to the feet.

Typical cushions sold for residential use will be too thick and soft, so you will need to look at products designed for commercial use.  Do not allow a sales person to tell you that something like a 3/8" with 8 pound density will be firm enough - unless you can take a sample of it and the carpet and place them on a hard floor and have your mother step on them together.    

As to the shopping, there are reputable in-home services and there are some not so reputable.  I suspect there is a retailer near you who, if you explain the situation, would be willing to either bring samples to your home or allow you to take samples home.

If you want to discuss directly, please call me at 706-275-2200.


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Carey Mitchell


Any question regarding carpet, including specifications, maintenance, installation, regulation.


Retired after 44 years in carpet manufacture, technical and research. Served 33 years as Director of Technical Services for the world's largest carpet manufacturer.

The Carpet and Rug Institute, Technical Chair - 12 years; American Society for Testing and Materials (40 years); American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (39 years); Society of Cleaning and Restoration (Board of Directors); US National Textile Research Consortium; Cleaning Industry Research Institute (Board of Directors and founder); Canadian General Standards Board Technical Advisory Committee; The Fiber Society; Alzheimer's Association of NW GA (Board of Directors); Trout Unlimited; Federation of Fly Fishermen

AATCC Review (Textile Chemist and Colorist Journal); Journal of the American Industrial Hygiene Association; International Journal of Flooring Sciences Cleaning Digest; Cleanfax Magazine; Floor Covering Weekly; Floor Covering News; Proceedings of the Technical Conference of the Polyurethane Association; Proceedings of the Symposium on the Science of Cleaning;

BS in Chemistry and Business Administration, University of North Georgia

Awards and Honors
Carpet and Rug Institute, Smrekar Award, 1998; Carpet Industry Leadership Award, 1994; Cleanfax Magazine Person of the Year, 1996; Cleaning Digest, person of the year, 1997; Institute of Inspections,Cleaning and Restoration Certifications award,1997; ISCT Lipscomb Award, 2004

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