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11/11/2008 12:00:00 AM

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Choosing The Best Carpet Patterns

Compiled by FacilitiesNet Staff

Picking a carpet pattern may seem like little more than a style exercise. But properly matching carpet pattern and carpet color to the application can help improve carpet life, experts say.

In some cases, a patterned carpet does a better job of disguising dirt than a solid color. However, patterns present another set of issues. Patterns cost more and take longer to install. Designs must be matched at the seams, and this usually requires more product than a standard installation.

Another carpet pattern factor to consider: Light and dark combinations are better camouflage. If maintenance is stretched, a blend of colors can make spills less obvious.

The wrong color can make the carpet harder to maintain. Start with the color of the local grime. Dirt color varies from region to region. In cold regions, pedestrians are likely to track in salt, while in wet regions, they’re likely to drag in mud. Dirt in Florida doesn't resemble the same shade as dirt in Chicago. A good color must be able to camouflage the dirt between cleanings.

Other factors to consider are exposure to sunlight and contaminates such as ozone, which can be given off by copiers, experts say. Long-term exposure to sunlight and interior pollutants will fade most carpets.

Finally, carpet isn't one size fits all. When evaluating carpet patterns and carpet colors, consider the application within different parts of the building. Some products are good for executive offices, but not for hallways. For best results, ask suppliers to discuss their product offerings in terms of segmented space.  For example, corridors are subjected to more traffic than offices or conference areas. And first-floor entries are likely to have heavier traffic than a 12th floor corridor.

The bottom line: Instead of specifying a single color or carpet pattern for an entire building, facility executives should look for the best solutions for specific spaces.

Sources:

Ways to Avoid Carpet Selection Snags by Lynn Proctor Windle

Related Articles:

How to Make An Informed Carpet Quality Comparison

Understanding the Real Cost of Carpet