Minneapolis carpet expert educates customers
Who we talked to
Twelve years ago, Tom Becker was looking for a career change. He was working as a vocational counselor and wanted to do something that allowed him to deliver a product to people.
"I try to educate customers to pick the right carpet based on their lifestyle, pocketbook and what they want to accomplish with the renovation of their home," Becker says.
What should I look for to ensure I purchase lasting, high-quality carpet?
"The carpet industry has radically changed in the last 10 to 15 years. The old notion was you had to buy nylon or wool to get high quality, but polyester carpets are performing exceptionally well. Polyester and blended carpets also use recycled materials, which fit into the green movement.
"You should be concerned with what you can see in the carpet - the density and the tightness of the twist. Density dictates cost of the carpet. The more density, the more fabric and the more you're going to pay. If it's twisted very tightly, there are more strands. You also want to look at whether the fiber is cut or looped into the backing. Looped carpets can bring possible problems, like snagging, that cut pile carpets do not. Frieze is a well-wearing carpet in high traffic areas and offers the multi-flecks of color that people like in Berber carpet. With carpet, it's not a matter of if you stain it, it's when you stain it, and how the carpet will look after you clean it and how it masquerades the stain. That's why people like the flecks of color.
"The padding is also important. I try to get people to go with an 8-pound pad with every carpet. It's around a dollar more per square yard, but it's a good way to make a less expensive carpet much more comfortable.
"People want to buy carpet, use it, and feel it's OK to throw it away when they want to redecorate the house. They want something good enough to last, but they don't want to feel they're throwing money in the trash when they get rid of it. People are more likely to make a decision to remodel and replace carpet if they haven't put an arm and a leg in it."