Let’s face it: installing wall-to-wall carpet is about as popular in the world of interior design as tweezing your nose hairs out at the dinner table would be, well, anywhere. (I hope? Don’t admit it if your dinner table is prone to such antics.)
But around here we love
nose hairs being different. Okay, we actually just love comfortable and warm padding underfoot and not having to refinish the jank-fest floors in our upstairs in order to have the significantly more popular hardwoods with area rugs. We have all that downstairs and it is lovely. But it wasn’t feasible for our upstairs. Cue the obvious question, which I asked when we first uttered the words “wall-to-wall”: is it possible for wall-to-wall carpeting to be attractive? I say yes.
The truth is, I’ve never been happier to see an unmarked white van pull into our driveway than the day our wall-to-wall carpet appeared. (Incidentally, the carpeting was in that unmarked white van, in case you were wondering if a sleazy crack salesman emerged instead. Incidentally, such fellows don’t actually frequent our driveway, in case you were questioning my seeming moral dubiousness.)
But less talk about white vans and more talk about how we found our affordable, attractive, and eco-friendly carpet, in helpful Q&A format.
What is it?
It’s wall-to-wall carpeting.
No, really, what is it?
Oh sorry, I got distracted by this carpet model I know.
What was the question?
WHAT KIND OF CARPET IS IT?
No need to shout; I heard you the first time.
The brand of carpeting is Shaw, the style is Conquest, and the color is Limestone.
Thank you. Why did you choose carpeting over refinishing your wood floors?
The floors in our upstairs were not in good shape and refinishing them would not only have been time-consuming, but simply not worth the results. Kenley’s nursery floor was painted brick red, another room had old carpet glue adhered to much the floor. The boards everywhere were warped and uneven, typical of a second-story for a house as old as ours.
Do you have something against brick red painted floors?
But didn’t you refinish your bedroom floor a few years ago?
Yes. It was a significant improvement, but still too shabby and old-looking overall.
Do you have something against old things?
Yes. I mean, no. I mean, sometimes.
How has it held up so far?
Swimmingly, for the 6 months in which it has lived here. It has a 20 year warranty and the retailer from which we purchased it said they would come replace any sections that didn’t survive our normal wear and tear. But so far it vacuums nicely, and the stain-resistant feature has already come in handy—liquids just pool on top of the rug rather than soak in. Plus I’m told that I will be able to parade a herd of gazelle across this carpet and still be able to clean it back to perfection.
Have you tested that claim?
No. The only gazelle with which I’m personally acquainted have been avoiding my calls.
I see. Is it true that Shaw’s products are eco-friendly?
Yes. One of the reasons I chose Shaw in the first place is because it’s made in the USA and the carpeting won’t give us cancer. Or something. (You can read more about the Green Label Plus program for low chemical emissions here.)
Speaking of green, I’ve heard that teething frogs taste better when eaten on this particular wall-to-wall carpeting. Is this true?
But isn’t that texture a little rough on her sweet baby skin?
Not at all. It’s actually super soft. I can lay on it and be totally comfy, and Kenley happily face-plants into it on a regular basis.
In that case, I’m liking the texture.
Me too. One of the reasons I was initially against wall-to-wall is because it sometimes seems to create a flat sea of color. The basketweave texture in our carpeting prevents that from happening and adds a little modern interest to the floor. Ack I just got all design-speak.
Wouldn’t an orange shag rug have had the same effect?
OMG why didn’t you point that out sooner?! Now we’ve wasted all that money.
Well since you didn’t go with orange, how did you choose your color?
We threw five gazelle up in the air and chose our color based on an algorithm derived from the order in which they fell.
Yes, that’s why they aren’t returning my calls.
No. Actually, we just went to the carpet store, looked at the miniscule color swatches, then politely asked the owner if we could perhaps have some larger samples ordered directly from Shaw before we installed 1600 square feet of a color that looked totally different on a 3”x3” square. They were happy to oblige given the volume of our order, and had the swatches shipped directly to our house. It took about 1.38 seconds for both of us to realize which one was the right choice.
So much did it cost, then?
A lot, by our penny-pinching standards. In fact, it was the most money we’ve put into our home since living here. But we wanted a high-quality product that had good aesthetics and was eco-friendly, so that’s why we were fairly picky and didn’t just go with the cheapest big-box retailer option. We also had the entire upstairs and a stairwell done at once, which obviously cost more right now but saved us money in the long run: the retailer gave us a large volume discount and a free upgrade to the higher quality padding, neither of which we would have gotten if we’d done it one room at a time. I should also add, though, that Shaw does offer more expensive options, and our choice reminds me of some of the more expensive options sold by FLOR. So overall, we landed middle-of-the-road. Just call us roadkill.
It seems to me we’ve covered everything, roadkill. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes. This picture.
That doesn’t have anything to do with this post.
So there you have it! What do you think? Are you a wall-to-wall fan?