Keeping up with trends in flooring

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Colors that pop: Advantage Carpet in Bridgeview offers a wide selection of area rugs to accent more neutral colors found in home carpeting. | Supplied photo

Thanks to advances in technology, having beautiful, durable carpet and flooring has never been easier. According to Marty Mokry, owner of Advantage Carpet in Bridgeview, a quality product and regular maintenance can ensure a long life with carpet and flooring.

Because of the longevity of the product, trends in carpet move somewhat more slowly than in other areas. “Carpet’s somewhat fashion-oriented, but it’s not like clothes,” he said. Nowadays, frieze, which has short, twisted fibers, is more popular than berber, which has loops and saw a surge in popularity several years ago. Over the last decade, some carpets have gotten softer with the introduction of silk-like yarn systems. These carpets are stain resistant and just as durable as others, but they’re not practical for the value-conscious customer, and owners should be careful about the settings on their vacuum cleaners, Mokry said.

In flooring, luxury vinyl is growing in popularity. Easy to install and replace, it’s versatile and in many cases looks just like what it’s modeled after. Some customers have a hard time telling the difference between luxury vinyl and real hardwood, Mokry said. In addition, for those customers who use it in basements, it can give the look of wood but can be wiped up in the event of minor flooding.

“It gives an overall softer, warmer look to a room,” he said.

While some customers come in knowing exactly what they want, some have only a vague idea, and Mokry helps them narrow down their choices.

“They usually know what they are not looking for,” he said. “We have quite a big selection in the store here.”

Staying neutral

Most carpets are comparable as far as stain resistance and overall longevity, though some customers who have had a good or bad experience with one type of carpet or another will gravitate toward or away from certain types, he said. When it comes to colors, neutrals still rule, with many customers adding a pop of color with an inexpensive area rug.

There are several ways customers can be value conscious. Those carpeting one room might be able to buy remnants, which stores like Advantage Carpet purchase at a discount, then pass along savings to customers. They also buy larger amounts when mills are clearing out their inventory, and those can be purchased at a discount too.

“We buy based on what we think most customers like,” he said.

Regular maintenance can help customers be value conscious by ensuring they get many good years out of their flooring, Mokry said. First, he recommends customers buy a good quality carpet with excellent padding. Of these, the padding is more important, as the padding acts as a shock absorber and will help reduce wear and tear on the carpet. Next, the carpet should be vacuumed regularly. And last, when deep cleaning carpets, use a chemical cleaner vs. a steam cleaner, as steam cleaner shampoos leave a film.

When vacuuming carpet, Mokry recommends going over high traffic areas regularly, depending on how many pets and children are in the home, and vacuuming in different directions so fibers don’t get mashed down. Flooring can be vacuumed as well, with the beater bar off, then scrubbed with vinegar and water.

More information about Advantage Carpet, 7329 W. 79th St., Bridgeview, is at (708) 496-8822.