Your family room often serves as the social gathering place of a home, bringing family members and friends together to relax and socialize. However, because of all the socializing and often more foot traffic than say, the living room, the flooring choice might be more important than you think. Hardwood continues to be a popular choice, but many homeowners still steer towards carpeting to cover family rooms and game rooms where people gather. Therefore, it can be quite important that the floor is soft, comfortable and cozy. 

If it’s been a while since you’ve explored flooring options, you’ll find that modern carpet choices have been upgraded. Not only can you choose from a wider range of colors and textures, you also have upgraded materials (natural materials like jute and wool to environmentally friendly materials like nylon and polyester). Beyond that, durability, ease of cleaning, color and construction can make a big impact on choosing the best carpet for your family room. 

Here are a couple of factors to consider when choosing a carpet for your family room. 

The construction of carpet can make a big difference in the look of your room. The construction factors include pile and style (say that six times fast). 

Pile – cut piles are known as plush, while uncut piles are looped. Other options are patterned loop, which has loops of multiple heights and cut and loop, which creates a pattern. 

Style – cut piles styles include smooth, texture, twist (known as frieze) and shag. Smooth styles look the most formal, while twisted and shag are more casual. Loop pile styles include level loop, known as berber – which is ideal for high-traffic areas because of how dense it is.

Selecting a color is a very subjective decision. The carpet color that you choose depends not only on your personal taste and decor style but also on considerations like the intended use of the room, the natural light exposure in the room and even the color of your pet (choosing a carpet color that doesnt’ show your dogs hair can be a big advantage). With the right hue, your carpet can disguise the foot traffic from family, guests and pets. There is no need to always choose a dark brown carpet to hide dirt and spills. As it turns out, darker carpet color could even end up showing marks and spills more readily.

Bad color choices can be fun but often become outdated quickly. Neutral-colored carpets, including gray and beige, don’t go out of style. If you decide to go with a neutral, don’t be afraid to go with lighter colors, which can make your room appear larger. Many carpet options are now made with stain and soil-resistant technology that makes them easier to clean. Consider carpeting with slightly different colored threads, like Berber, to further disguise soil. Just like you would do with paint colors, bring samples of carpet home with you and see how they look in the different light throughout the day in the room of choice. 

Because the family room is one of the most used rooms in the house, spills frequently happen in here more than any other room (besides the kitchen). Having flooring that is easy to clean will make your life so much easier. There are many carpet options that come with a lifetime warranty. For the best possible peace of mind, look for a carpet that has a “no exclusions” policy – meaning that any substance commonly excluded from most of the other stain warranties (bleach or pet accidents) are fully covered. 

Because of the high-traffic nature of the family room, carpets should be durable. This rooms’ floors typically get the most use and has the highest level of traffic besides the hallways and stairs. To ensure that your carpet will withstand the wear and tear of everyday life, look for high-quality carpet that features a good wear warranty. When shopping for the best carpet for your home, test the quality of the product by bending the sample backwards. If the backing easily shows when you do this, the low-density carpet is of lower quality and will crush faster. A carpets durability is measured in face weight, gift twist and density rating. Look for a 34-40-ounce face weight, a tuft twist of 5 or more and a density rating of 2,000 or higher. 

Even if you can’t see it on a day-to-day basis, you will definitely be able to feel the difference of good carpet padding. The right padding is the key to a more comfortable surface and even better yet, noise reduction. It can help provide an extra source of protection against premature wearing of your carpet too. The more traffic expected in the room, the denser the padding should be.

Fiber Softness:
If your family ends up spending a lot of time on the floor playing board games or having sleepovers, movie nights, the softness of the carpet can be an important consideration. Most manufacturers today have a line of “soft” carpets, which feature more fibers than traditional carpet fibers. This softness can be achieved with a carpet cushion placed beneath the carpet. Many people believe that it is possible to achieve a balance between softness and durability. Modern “memory foam” carpet padding can offer the best of both worlds – great durability and softness.