Tampa carpet expert offers purchasing advice
Who we talked to
Jim Yeager’s a third-generation carpet salesman. His grandfather started the first Yeager & Co. in Philadelphia in 1944, and his father ran the business for decades after that.
Yeager himself worked in wholesale carpet distribution for 27 years and eventually became president of a Florida-based wholesale distributor before he opened the latest incarnation of Yeager & Co. in Odessa in 2002.
What should I look for to ensure I purchase lasting, high-quality carpet?
“You’ll want continuous-filament nylon that’s made by a name brand. In my opinion, that’s the cream of the crop. It’s better than polyester or some of these other fibers, which are harder to clean and won’t hold up as well. Nylon doesn’t shed yarn or get fuzzy as quickly.
“We have many varieties of carpet, but frieze is one of the more popular styles these days. It hides a multitude of sins, such as dirt or pathways. It’s also available in a barber-poled yarn, where they spin multiple colors in the yarn, and that hides staining and dirt pretty well. The backing isn’t much of a worry on the residential level. It’s more of a concern in commercial settings with a lot of traffic.
“The padding, also referred to as the cushion, that goes beneath the carpet is very important. You’ll see a lot of places offer free pads with installation of the carpet, and most of the better carpet manufacturers require specific weights for the carpet cushion. But just because it’s the minimum doesn’t mean that’s what you should shoot for.
“If you can afford it, go for a heavier, denser pad, such as 8-pound weight instead of 6-pound. You’re looking at a price difference of about $2 per square yard, but it’s worth it. You’re better off with a firm, dense pad than a cheap, cushy pad that’ll break down in six months. When you’re getting padding, make sure you ask for the true weight and thickness, because some of the listed weights and thicknesses they can get away with aren’t always accurate. We call those ‘cheaters.’”