Carpet, paint recommendations?

Hi Folks,
The carpet in the living room is shot. After a not very pleasant surprise with brand name carpet tiles in another room I want ask here: Which brand/series is good as a typical high-pile living room carpet? We'd be looking at beige or gray, should be somewhat stain-proof because we will have guide dog puppies at times and then accidents can happen.
I've read a lot on the web but it's inconclusive. Some people say "Don't ever buy at big box stores", others say it's ok. Supporting local dealers is good, too, but recently I have seen a house that was completely re-done by a local business and I was not at all enthused. They paid a lot of money, the install job was good, but the carpet really looks sub-par. So, any suggestions?
While at it, I had asked in another NG and there the prevailing opinion was that for exterior paint Sherwin-Williams Duration could be the best. On the web some experienced contractors said it's very thick and not easy at all to apply with a roller. One paint we no longer prefer is Benjamin Moore. We have a lot of direct sunlight and it discolored in some deck railing areas after only two years, essentially turned white. The house paint (Kelly Moore) which we applied around 14 years ago also starts turning white now, but in smaller spots and it's been on there for well over a decade. One local paint store carries Pittsburgh Sunproof. Can anyone share hints or experience?
--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com/
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Joerg wrote:

Forget carpet - install laminate. * I will not stain, smell bad, or wear. You can do your own living room easily in a week-end * It is a DIY project * Laminate can be had for as little as $0.49/sq ft * The dog's nails won't hurt it * A laminate floor can be accessorized by throw rugs and these rugs can be easily changed to meet the whims of re-decorating.
The cheapest I've found is at Lumber Liquidators or Floor & Decor Outlets. If you need more informtion, just ask here.
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Or linoleum. I got a remnant for a bedroom, its highly durable unaffected by water, dogs nails etc, and still looks as good as the day it was installed.
I am surprised at how durable it is.:)
AVOID THROW RUGS, They are a trip fall hazard espically for the elderly!
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HeyBub wrote:

We thought about it. But it is not healthy at all for dogs when they get older. It is hard on the hips because their hindlegs slide around on it. And hips the weak point in most larger dogs.
--
Regards, Joerg

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Joerg:
In a nutshell:
get a solution dyed nylon carpet. If you want the softest feel under your feet, and you can afford the additional cost, buy a Saxony. If you're looking for long term durability, buy a level loop carpet.
Why Nylon? Carpeting is made of three synthetic fibers (Olefin, Polyester and Nylon) one natural fiber (Wool). The strongest of all these fibers is nylon, and so nylon makes for the longest wearing carpets. Over 80 percent of all the commercial carpet made in North America is level loop carpet made from nylon fiber. But, most of that commercial level loop carpet is not solution dyed. Get the solution dyed stuff, and most of the rest of this post will explain why.
Why solution dyed? In conventionally dyed carpet, the fiber itself is run through a liquid dye, and so the dye molecules bind to the exterior of the carpet fibers. In solution dyed carpets, the carpet fiber get it's colour from tiny solid coloured particles (called "pigments") which are added to the liquid plastic before it's drawn into a fiber. So, solution dyed carpet fiber gets it's colour from tiny coloured particles that are suspended inside the fiber very much like the raisins in raisin bread. Nylon is a polyamide and amide groups are polar. Water molecules are also polar. Water based dyes dissolve in water because they are attracted to polar water molecules, and they're also attracted to the amide groups on the surface of nylon carpet fiber. In fact, whenever a carpet gets stained, it's usually a water based food stain and it stains the carpet because the staining molecules are sticking to the polar sites on the surface of the carpet fiber that aren't occupied by dye molecules. So, after solution dyed nylon carpet fiber is made, it is dyed a second time with a CLEAR water based dye so that those clear molecules occupy all those polar sites on the surface of the nylon, thereby making the carpet much more stain resistant by denying the staining molecules a place where they'd stick well to the surface of the carpet fiber. But, through wear, some of those clear dye molecules will be worn off as the carpet gets older, and so the carpet will become more prone to staining in the traffic areas as it gets worn out. Exactly the same thing happens to conventionally dyed nylon carpets as they get older.
But, the most important thing to remember here is that because the colour of solution dyed nylon comes from the coloured pigments INSIDE the nylon carpet fibers, you can use bleach straight out of the jug to remove otherwise impossible stains on that carpet WITHOUT harming the carpet. That's because the bleach never actually comes into contact with the pigments that give the carpet fiber it's colour because they're encased in nylon plastic. Bleaching a stain out of a solution dyed nylon carpet will probably destroy all the clear dye molecules on the surface of the fiber contacted by the bleach, making the carpet susceptible to staining in the bleached area, but you can also use bleach a second, third, fourth and N'th time to remove stains from those same areas without affecting the colour of the carpet in those areas. That is, by using bleach to remove a stain on a solution dyed nylon carpet, you remove both the stain and the stain resistance in the area contacted by bleach, but you can keep removing stains from the carpet indefinitely using bleach. And you'll never harm the carpet with bleach. So, the prudent thing to do is to wipe up liquid spills ASAP, try to remove stains without using bleach, and use the bleach when all else fails. That will ensure you have the best looking, most stain resistant carpet for the longest possible time.
And, I have no doubt that it would have occured to you by now that you can check to see that everything I'm saying is true by dropping in to any carpet store and buying one of those $2 door mat size samples of discontinued carpet and torturing it with bleach. Just make sure that the carpet you buy is SOLUTION dyed nylon. And, if you can use bleach on the carpet without harming it, you can also use bleach on any pet accidents to kill any germs left behind in the carpet at those locations. That way, you can keep your solution dyed nylon carpet smelling fresh as an Irish meadow in springtime.
Olefin fiber CANNOT by dyed by conventional means, and so ALL 100% Olefin carpets are solution dyed. Chemically, Olefin fiber is very similar to polypropylene, which is one of the most water resistant plastics there is, so Olefin carpets are naturally resistant to water based food stains. Sounds great so far. The problem with Olefin is that it's a weaker plastic than polyester or nylon, and so Olefin carpets (which is what the big box stores mostly sell) wear out faster than nylon or polyester carpets. The big box stores sell Olefin carpets because Olefin carpets are generally less expensive per square yard than polyester or nylon and people shopping for carpet at a home center are mostly looking at price. But, before I started buying solution dyed nylon carpets for my apartments, I was buying 100% Olefin carpets for them. The only reason I switched was because I wasn't happy with how long the Olefin carpets were lasting before they started showing signs of deterioration.
If you want a carpet that's going to be soft on your feet and feel luxurious, you want a "cut pile" carpet, which means that that the tops of the tufts have been cut off so that each carpet fiber in each tuft can move independantly of it's neighbors. Such a carpet is called a "Plush" carpet. Since the individual carpet fibers can move independantly of each other in a plush carpet, when you vaccum a plush carpet, the rotating brush will leave the carpet fibers leaning one way or the other depending on which way the brush was going when it passed over the carpet fibers. Some people like that, some people don't. If you don't like that, don't buy a plush carpet.
A saxony carpet is very similar to a plush carpet except that the yarns are more tightly twisted, and the manufacturer packs more of those tightly twisted yarns into each square inch of carpet to make a Saxony, so you get more carpet fiber with a Saxony than with a Plush. So Saxonies are more expensive cuz they use more carpet fiber so they cost more to make.
If you want the carpet to last the longest, or you're concerned about someone in a wheel chair being able to roll over the carpet easily, get a level loop carpet. Most people would consider a Berber to be a kind of level loop carpet. There's a natural resilience to a loop that results in level loop carpet standing up better to high traffic than cut pile carpets. To my knowledge, ALL commercial carpet is level loop carpet cuz commercial carpet has to be long lasting.
And, the best way to get the longest life out of a carpet is to vaccuum it regularily with a good quality vaccuum cleaner. There's a popular misconception that shampooing a carpet will get it cleaner than vaccuuming, but that's not true. That's because as soon as you get the carpet fiber wet, you create something called "surface tension" on the surface of the carpet fibers that keeps dirt stuck to the carpet fibers. Next time you're at the beach, try cleaning sand off of wet feet and dry feet and see which one works better. Really, a vaccuum cleaner is meant for cleaning SOLID soils out of carpets, and a carpet shampoo'er is meant for cleaning liquids and dried up liquid spills out of carpets. They're different tools meant for different jobs. If you intend to shampoo your carpet, you'd do well to vaccuum it thoroughly first to remove the solid soils, and then shampoo to remove the dried up liquid spills. Vaccuuming after you shampoo is a waste of time.
There, now you know more about solution dyed nylon carpet than most people. And, most people would buy solution dyed nylon carpet if they knew what they were paying extra for. They don't, so often they go to big box stores to buy Olefin carpet at half the price. And, truth be told, if I couldn't buy solution dyed nylon carpet from my local carpet store, I'd buy Olefin carpet from a home center and just replace it more often. (I install my own carpets.)
Now, about paint...
--
nestork

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nestork wrote:

For a high-pile version I assume you mean something like the "French" series in this link:
http://www.saxcarpet.com/textures.htm

Aha, so in essence that kind of seals it all in.

One big challenge with dogs is when they get sick and throw up on a mostly empty stomach, like early in the morning before breakfast. Then a lot of bile comes out. The carpet we have now is amazing. Almost 20 years old but we can still get those stains out. However, it begins to fray at the seam lines and also has some sunlight damage at the east side sliding door. The occasional round circuit full-speed dog marathons don't help with that. We can't find out where that carpet came from.
What is a royal pain with bile puke clean-up is that the installers used this dreaded orange padding. If you clean too much the padding color makes it up into the carpet. I will make it a condition at any carpet dealer that only white or very light colored padding be used this time.

I found that cleaning up mechanically and then sucking things out very slowly with a wet/dry shop vac works pretty good. Just with its vacuum hose end, so that there is max suction over just a couple of square inches at a time. We try to use as little bleach as we can.

Thanks, I didn't know that the big box stores have mostly olefin.

We don't care so much about that part. It doesn't necessarily have to be plush, it's just that that is the kind we have in there now.

That's the problem with the local store carpet friends had installed. It has far too few yarns per square inch, it looks too "thin".

That's what I have in my office. Carpet tile, laid it myself and it holds up to office chair wheels quite well.

That's how we always do it, thorough vacuum first (with a Dyson), then shampoo. But shampooing is only done 2x per year.

I could install carpet if it came in tiles, like in my office. In Europe I also installed big rolls but they have better systems. A milky kind of substance that the carpet is literally laid into. Can be fairly easily picked up 10 years later for replacement. No tack strips and all that nasty stuff. But, can't get that kind of foam backer carpet here in the US. Regular American carpet on padding that must be stretched, well, my back is not good enough anymore to do that. Lower disks, the usual. We'll have it installed by the pros then.
Thank you very much for the detailed explanation, which I am going to print out so it won't get lost and I can re-read.

:-)
Painting is the more immediate project because I already filled and smoothed nail holes, cracks and whatnot. So now the walls look a bit pecky and my wife wants it to be done soon.
--
Regards, Joerg

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'Joerg[_2_ Wrote: >

> > you'd never see gaps between them like you do in that series. Next time > > you're at a carpet store, ask a salesman to show you some good quality > > Saxonies, and you'll see what I mean.

> > molecules will bond the strongest to the polar amine sites along the > > surface of the nylon fiber. If you have clear dye molecules bonded > > to those sites, then the stain molecules won't find any vacant amine > > sites where they can bond to the nylon fiber, and that helps make > > the nylon stain resistant.

> > > a

> > > used

> > being chemically similar to polypropylene is highly resistant to > > water and water based stains. So, if acidic puke doesn't leave a > > stain, it probably is Olefin.

> > you should ask for is a "pet" pad. Foam can be either open cell or > > closed cell depending on how much blowing gas is used when making > > the foam. In open cell foam, the bubbles that form in the foam due > > to the injection of blowing gas grow large enough to intersect, and > > that makes the foam permeable to both air and water. The problem > > with using open cell foam for underpad is that pet urine can > > penetrate through the carpet, through the underpad and into the > > plywood underlayment under the underpad. When that happens, you > > have to tear up the floor to eliminate the smell of dog or cat urine > > from the house.

> > Pet underpads (also called "Premium Pads) will be made will less > > blowing gas so the pad is denser and the bubbles in it don't > > intersect. As a result, the pad will be impermeable to both air and > > water, and nothing can pass through it into the underlayment below, > > nor can anything come out of it. In your case, you definitely need > > a pet underpad.

> > poor man's carpet shampoo'er to remove liquid spills and pet > > accidents from any carpet. In fact, if you phone around to any > > place listed under "Janitorial Equipment & Supplies" in your Yellow > > Pages phone directory, you'll be able to buy "spotting solutions" > > which are cleaners made to remove specific kinds of stains from > > draperies, upholstery and carpets. Here's a spotting kit sold to > > professional carpet cleaning contractors in the UK:

> > spotting kit, and you can buy them individually, which is what the > > pros do when they run out of something.

> > same cleaning chemical that the pros do, then if you can read > > Engrish and follow directions as well as any pro, you'll be able to > > remove stains from carpets as well as any pro. All you have to do > > is remember what was spilled on the carpet, and buy the appropriate > > cleaner for that kind of stain.

> > Winnipeg carry mostly Olefin carpets, and I suspect that's because > > Olefin is the least expensive fiber to make carpet from.

> > > It

> > at all.

> > walk in bare or stocking feet, like bedrooms. Level loop carpets > > shine brightest where there's an awful lot of foot traffic. A > > living room is suitable for any kind of carpet.

> > wet/dry vaccuum cleaner, then there's no need to shampoo the carpet > > twice a year. Cleaning out spills and pet accidents with the > > wet/dry vaccuum cleaner should leave the carpet relatively clean, so > > I'd maybe shampoo it once every 3 or 4 years.

> > > Europe

> > > of

> > home improvements, the cost of materials is 1/4 to 1/3 of the cost > > of the labour to install them. With carpet, it's the other way > > around. The carpet costs 3 to 4 times more than the installation. > > So, there just isn't the same savings to be had by installing your > > own carpets as there is in installing your own laminate flooring or > > tiling or whatever.
--
nestork


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carpet is quiet and warm on bare feet but does collect dust...
I am 56:( When I was young wall to wall carpet was the ultimate in floor covering.
Now people want hardwood..
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nestork wrote:

There was no new text in your responce, maybe it got lost somewhere. But yesterday night while canvassing the local carpet dealers I realized that Saxony is not the brand but tuft style. But since you recommended it I'll ask them for solution-dyed nylon.
If you remember any good brands I'd appreciate a hint. I found out the hard way that not all major US name brands produce quality carpet, in my case not even after replacing the whole thing.
--
Regards, Joerg

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