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Time to Organize Your Basement or Garage
Installing a New Skylight
Consider These Options in Carpeting
Consider These Options in Fireplaces
Preparing to Replace the Drywall
Enhance Your Furniture with Slipcovers
Shopping for a Gas Fireplace
Finishing Your Living Room Walls
Shopper's Guide for Hot Water Heaters
Steps to a Better Garage
The Proper Way to Finish Hardwood Floors
When It's Time to Re-Do the Dining Room
Making Your Carpet Look New Again
Changing the Atmosphere by Changing the Lights
Let's Visit Your Home's Crawl Space
Your Guide to Doors & Deadbolts
Coffered Ceilings
Guide to Air Purifiers

Consider These Options in Carpeting

There is almost no home whose appearance cannot be improved by laying down some new carpeting. Think about a room that you consider to be luxurious or cozy.  In either case, you'll likely think of a room with comfortable carpeting.  And the good news is that carpeting a room is a good financial move too, because not only can it be quite affordable, but when you sell the house, it can greatly increase the amount you'll get.  But first, you have to get the carpet and you have to get a good deal.

Before you even consider carpeting the house, though, think about health issues.  Is there anyone in your family who has respiratory issues like asthma?  If so, almost any carpeting could be a problem, since they often hold dust mites and mold that could be hard on these physical conditions.  Even if you vacuum the floor frequently, you probably won't get all of the culprits.  For families with these kinds of health issues, hardwood floors or even vinyl would work better.  But if respiratory problems are not an issue, then you're ready to go carpet shopping.

As you're looking at carpeting, remember that there are vapors that emanate from many carpets; this is called "out-gassing."  The vapors can be toxic (which is ironic since so many people claim to "love that new carpet smell").  In the modest levels that most carpets have, it's not a problem breathing these vapors.  But it's hard to know for sure.  There's a chance that there might be somebody in your family who is more susceptible to these gases than other people or that some carpeting will have more of the 'gassing' than others.

To add to this problem, there are a few carpet glues / adhesives which also give out gases.  It's recommended, therefore, that if you're shopping for carpeting or carpet glue, that you do a short test.  Ask the store to cut just a small piece of the carpet from the roll that you're considering buying.  Take it back to your house and put it in a jar and seal it.  Now put the jar by a window that has a good amount of sunlight coming in, and let it set there for a couple of days.  If the odor is strong when you open the jar, this is an indication that the amount of toxic gases coming from the carpeting is high enough to possibly make someone ill.  So what do you do in this case?  You ask the store if they have some place where they can let the carpet ventilate outside for a couple of days before you pick it up.  If not, then you need to find a storage place to let it air out before you install it.

Another consideration when you're shopping for carpeting: You need to decide which material is best for you.  Some carpet is made from wool. It's a popular choice because of how well it keeps its original shape. On the other hand, wool frays easily and is prone to mildew.  Nylon is another good option, because it's durable and easy to clean; it also resists mildew better than wool. However, it tends to be more expensive. There is also polyester carpet, which has a reputation for being durable and resisting mildew and other stains. The down side:  the carpet tends to pile.

So the choices are generally: How much can you afford, what do you need for health purposes, and is durability more important to you than being stain resistant? Whatever your choice, you'll find carpeting to meet your needs.

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