There are three major components of a carpet that you should look at when determining the carpet’s quality: height of the pile, density of the carpet, and the twist involved. Typically, when a carpet is more expensive, it is because you are receiving a better quality carpet, but it still doesn’t hurt to do a little examining of your own. Some carpets will list the information regarding density, twist, and pile height, but many companies have ceased doing so.
Carpet density simply refers to how closely packed a carpet’s individual tufts are. The closer the packing of the tufts, the higher the density, and therefore the carpet will have much better wear resistance than a lower density carpet. Check the density by digging your fingers into the carpet. Can you feel the carpet backing? If you can’t feel it easily, then the density is high. If you can feel or even see the backing, it has a low density and ought to be avoided if you are looking for a longer lasting carpet.
The twist is how many times the fiber is spun before it is actually set by heat. If it has a higher twist number, then it will be a better carpet because it can withstand more wear. The majority of carpets have around two twists. Check the ends of the carpet. If they are tight and neat, then they are of good quality. If they are frayed, loose, or otherwise open then skip the carpet.
A carpet pile is the individual carpet strand. The pile height refers to the strand as it extends from the backing. In short, how tall is the carpet? A higher carpet means more material and thus a more expensive carpet. A great pile height will be more density when you walk on it.
Examine each of these three aspects to determine carpet quality, but installing the wrong carpet pad can actually shorten your carpet’s life, as well as void your warranty. In general, an 8-pound pad is a solid choice. Avoid purchasing a carpet pad over a half inch; too much give under the carpet will allow it to deteriorate faster. See what the carpet manufacturer recommends; it’s often the best choice for your new carpet.