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Misc

Slate Flooring – Slate Floors

Slate Flooring

 
 
Slate flooring is not as popular as other flooring materials. Many homeowners simply are not aware of the benefits of this magnificently versatile and beautiful flooring material. In addition to making beautiful flooring, slate is often used as a roofing material.

Ideal For The Homeowner

Slate is very versatile and durable. Slate has a smooth texture, but it is deceptively hard. Slate is both moisture and stain resistant – some slate products may require a sealant. Slate floors are not as expensive as marble floors or granite floors, yet has the same natural beauty.

Flooring Fact


Slate Floors can be heavy – always check the load bearing capacity of your sub-floor if you are fitting flooring above ground level.


All-Natural Substance

Slate is a natural stone product. It is both bacteria and allergen resistant. Slate comes in a wide variety of natural stone colors. Slate does not need to have heavy waxes applied; it is beautiful in its natural state!

Suitability

Slate is very hard, durable and long lasting. Most slate is water resistant, but some versions must be sealed to prevent staining. Slate is ideal for bathrooms, entryways and basements.

Do-It-Yourself

We advise you not to attempt installation of slate flooring unless you are a serious do-it-yourselfer or a professional. Make sure that you can handle the job before you start. Mistakes can be very costly to fix. If you’re not sure that you can do it yourself, then go to a home hardware store and ask for instruction first. Though slate is not as heavy as marble or granite, it is still heavy nonetheless and must be handled with care. Additionally, it must be installed with precision.

Thin slate tiles can be installed below ground, but if you are installing it above the ground floor, be sure that the floor can handle the increased load. If you have installed slate before, you will probably be able to install thin-cut slate.

If you plan to install slate flooring yourself, follow these basic guidelines:

1. Use thin tiles

2. Use a wet diamond blade saw to cut the tiles

3. Be sure you measure accurately

4. Get instructions on grouting properly

5. Take your time!

Flooring Fact


Check out the different color and pattern varieties of slate – I guarantee you will be surprised!


Maintenance

It is fairly simple to keep your slate flooring clean. Due to the natural stone in slate, the floor will probably trap more dirt than you realize! Simply sweep well and go over with a damp mop and mild household detergent. Also, be sure to keep sharp objects such as uncoated chair legs and other metal objects away from slate flooring, to prevent scratching. Slate is hard and durable, and will last a lifetime with proper care.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Slate Flooring

Advantages

  • Very hard and durable – lasts a lifetime with proper care.
  • Available in a wide range of colors, styles and patterns
  • Seasoned do-it-yourselfers can do simple jobs
  • Hypoallergenic, allergen and bacteria resistant
  • Highly resistant to water/moisture
  • Low maintenance
Disadvantages

  • Relatively expensive (not as much as marble or granite)
  • Can feel hard and cold underfoot
  • Some versions may need to be sealed to prevent staining
Categories
Misc

Silk Carpets and Rugs, if you want the best quality Oriental Rugs

Silk Carpets and Rugs

Article Summary: Silk Carpets and Rugs were usually made specifically for Kings and Courts that knew exactly what they wanted. This article looks at where they originate from and why they were made.

The quality of these carpets and rugs has varied throughout the centuries as the material has gained and then lost favor with various Kings and leaders. Today the most elaborate and decorative examples of silk carpets and rugs appear to come from around the 16th Century, perhaps the most famous of which is the Vienna Hunting Carpet, which is currently held by the Vienna Museum, in Osterreichisches. One particular King, Sigmismund III of Poland, was rather particular about his silk carpets, so much so that he sent an aide to Kashan to oversee the production of rugs ordered from the area

Silk carpets and rugs at the time were not of a comparable quality to that of others. They commonly used a much lower number of knots per square inch, in the order of 200 compared with nearly 700 for others destined for sale in the markets of Europe. The main areas of silk carpet production were in North West Persia (Iran) – Tabriz, central Persia – Kashan, Joshagan and Isfahan, and Eastern Persia – Herat. Carpets that were directly ordered by order of the court could have come from any of these regions.

It would be expected that in the home area of the Shah, Tabriz, he would have had a marked influence on the design and quality of rugs and carpets produced in that area. It appears that this is in fact not the case mainly because there were sufficient high-quality artisans living elsewhere who could produce silk carpets at better prices. There were however Royal workshops set up by the Shah in the vicinity of the Palace in Isfahan, mainly in order to better supervise the production of better quality rugs and carpets and hence improve the overall quality of what was available locally.

It is important to note that when looking at a silk carpet from around the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, the place of production is not really of critical importance, mainly because of the fact that the Court commissioned rugs and carpets with strict guidelines on what exactly they wanted in their design, be it strict geometrical patterns or more free flowing designs. Whatever the Court demanded, the Court received. If you go to any good museum that has rugs displayed you will note that the museum will place greater emphasis on which Court commissioned the rug, rather than the area of production.

Another interesting fact can be found hidden in written contracts from the Court of the time. It was understood even back then that no two carpet makers would make the rug using exactly the same methods. Therefore it was clearly stated that “whoever starts the rug must finish the rug”. If two people worked on the same piece, the result was often a rug that stood out for reasons such as; different number of knots per inch throughout the rug, mixed loose and tight knots, different angles of knots. These carpets and rugs had to be almost perfect – almost, but not quite. A religious belief at the time was that only Allah was perfect. For this reason each carpet would have a deliberate error weaved into the rug. It may not have been at all obvious to the purchaser of the rug, but to create the “perfect” carpet would have been a serious error for the artisan.

Carpets and rugs should not be viewed in isolation of the piece itself. Remember when you next look at a beautiful work of art, there is always a story behind it, a reason why it was made, and a history. Creations of the time were a part of that history and we are very lucky that these fine pieces of art have survived to give us an insight into what life was like all those years ago. That is why fine carpets and rugs will never lose their value and over time as people come to recognize the beauty of these items, they will increase even more. I hope that by learning a little of what life was like all those years ago you too will gain more from your silk carpets and rugs.

Happy Collecting!

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Misc

Shopping for Flooring Products

Shopping for Flooring Products?

Find all your flooring products here at discounted prices

FastFloors on the Internet started off life in 1997 but the company has over 20 years experience supplying top quality flooring products prior to that. With such a huge knowledge and experience with all types of flooring you can be assured that when shopping for flooring your new floor will be best quality at the best price.

Customer Benefits

Conducting business through the Internet helps FastFloors keep their overhead low. By maintaining a smaller physical location, FastFloors is able to significantly reduce their operating costs. These savings are then passed along to their customers.

Another benefit of shopping at FastFloors is their friendly, knowledgeable staff of flooring specialists. All are fully qualified and prepared to answer any flooring-related question. If they don’t have an immediate answer, they will get it and call the customer back.

Saving you money!

After customers have selected their flooring, they are encouraged to compare the FastFloors price with their local flooring retailer’s price. You will find that buying from FastFloors will save them from 15% to 70%, and the best part is that FastFloors guarantees that their prices are the lowest! They will meet or beat any competitor’s price on the same item – though it is highly unlikely that a competitor with a lower price can be found.

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of companies that claim to be better than their competitors, but few that have their claims backed by independent sources. This is not the case, however, with FastFloors. Not only do they claim to be better than the competition, their claim is supported by Money magazine. In the May 2000 issue of Money Magazine, FastFloors is listed as one of the best online sources for flooring.

The founders of FastFloors have reached their initial goal. But now there is a new goal: to remain to be the world’s best source for flooring products.

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Misc

Rugs For Hardwood Floors

Choosing A Rug For A Hardwood Floor

Area rugs are the perfect solution to all your hardwood floor problems. Not only do area rugs protect your hardwood floor from the inevitable scrapes and gouges that furniture can put into it but they will also create an instant transformation to any room they are laid down in.

One of the first things you need to think about when choosing an area rug for a hardwood floor is the theme you are using for your décor. With all the different decorating styles to choose from, it is good to know there is an area rug that will go with whatever style you choose.

The Basic Considerations when Choosing Area Rugs

  • Color of the Area Rug: Area rugs come in every color imaginable. Choosing an area rug that complements the colors you’ve chosen for your décor will give the room a more harmonious look where as an area rug in a contrasting color will add instant drama to the room. Keep in mind that light colored area rugs look great on a dark hardwood floor and brighter or darker colored area rugs contrast brilliantly on lighter flooring.
  • Texture of the Area Rug: The texture of the area rug makes a big impact on the overall effect. Fabric area rugs that are woven tightly look compact and net whereas those that are braided for a looser look impart the room with a more casual appearance. Other area rugs including those made of bamboo, resemble wood itself and so must be carefully chosen to work with the grain in your hardwood floors.

Area Rugs in Tropical Themes
A fully tropical theme goes best with lighter hardwood flooring such as a light oak. Bamboo area rugs can be placed in various areas of the home to bring out the tropical feel. You can get a bamboo area rug in any color and just about any pattern you desire. There are even green bamboo area rugs that retain the natural look of bamboo. In fact this Anji Mountain Arboretum Rug has a very tropical feel with it’s palm frond print.

Seagrass area rugs, which look great with country décor are another viable option for the tropical theme. Tropical styles are versatile and can be combined with a variety of other design styles for looks that range from lovely to spectacular.

Area Rugs in Modern Themes
The modern look of angles, straight lines and shiny surfaces is kept simple when the décor is strictly contemporary. The color of furniture and accessories is typically black, white and silver. Hardwood floors work with any style of decorating and modern is no exception. If you are going for a completely modern look, modern area rugs add splashes of color but stay in line with the geometrical designs of the décor around and under them. This Dynamic Nolita 1302 Multi Rug would look stunning on a modern floor.

Area Rugs in Eclectic Themes
Tropical is not the only style that can be incorporated into other design ideas. Eclectic themes may combine Moroccan and Traditional or Tuscan with Country. When combining design styles, it may seem like anything goes but that is not necessarily true. The trick to combining styles is to add elements from each that compliment the other’s look. The same goes for the area rugs you choose for your hardwood floor. A Moroccan area rug with the traditional patterns will clash with the patterns on a modern area rug. While it is okay to mix and match designs, you need to be extra discriminating when mixing area rugs from different design styles.

For more information about area rugs take a look at How Area Rugs are Made and Area Rug Care.

And then discover the wonders of Oriental Rugs and How to buy Oriental Rugs as well as have the mysteries of Silk Carpets explained.

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Misc

Rubber Flooring – Rubber Floors

Rubber Flooring

Rubber flooring has typically been associated with commercial, industrial and sport uses. Today’s advances in modern technology have made the use of attractive rubber for floors both possible and desirable for use in the home. Rubber is now available in great textures, colors and designs. Now, not only does rubber look good, it also has several advantages.


Give me a new look!

Resilient and durable, today’s rubber has a completely new look. One can now buy rubber floors in colors other than standard black. In addition to being extremely durable, rubber is also water resistant, easy to clean and adaptable to many surfaces. Rubber is very resistant to normal wear and tear and is an excellent sound insulator. With proper care, your rubber flooring will last for a very long time.

Recyclable

Rubber is 100% recyclable, making it environment-friendly.

Suitability

Rubber floors are hypoallergenic and are water, mold and bacteria-resistant. For these reasons, it is most often used in basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages and recreation rooms.

Rubber flooring is very easy on the feet, which is the main reason that it was previously most widely used in gyms, bars and restaurants. You probably wouldn’t want to use it in the kitchen, as the combination of grease and rubber makes for a safety hazard!

Do-It-Yourself

Even the most novice DIYer can install rubber flooring. For the most part, you pick it out at the manufacturer and have it cut to your rooms’ dimensions. It comes in either tiles or rolls. The tiles are the easiest to install, while the roll version requires a bit more precision. Some companies make the tiles so that they install by a click-and-lock mechanism. Rubber is not easily damaged, though you do have to be careful when handling sharp objects, because it marks easily.

Below are some key points to be aware of when installing rubber flooring:

1. ONLY use a polyurethane adhesive if the rubber needs to be glued down

2. The subfloor should be level, clean and DRY

3. Seal the seams with a urethane seam sealant if using a rolled flooring product

4. Allow the area to dry at least 24 hours before using the floor

5. Be sure that the rubber is cut with precision

Maintenance

Although rubber is fairly low maintenance, you still need to keep them clean. Removing surface dust with a broom or damp cloth. You can clean rubber flooring with a mop and mild household detergent. Some rubber manufacturers will supply you with a special rubber cleaner. Make sure that you don’t drop any sharp objects on the floor, to reduce the risk of marks and cuts.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Rubber Flooring

Advantages

  • Very durable material.
  • Water and heat resistant.
  • Good sound insulator.
  • Comfortable to walk and stand on.
  • Good for wet areas.
Disadvantages

  • Relatively expensive.
  • Can be slippery if wet
  • Needs to be maintained regularly.
  • Marked easily by sharp objects.
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Misc

Resilient Flooring

Resilient Flooring Guide

Historically, resilient flooring has had a special place in the minds of aspiring homeowners, with good reason – resilient is very affordable and durable. It can withstand moisture and is often mold and bacteria resistant. Resilient materials are widely available.

You can often find them at your local hardware store, where you can also get instruction on installation. Resilient encompasses a small range of flooring including Vinyl FlooringRubber FlooringCork Flooring and Linoleum Flooring.

Why the Name Resilient?

If you do not already know, resilient is both durable and beautiful. Most resilient flooring is manufactured using natural ingredients. Newer methods of manufacturing and advances in the materials used for producing resilient flooring provides it with the resilience which was unheard of at the time when it was originally invented. It has an ability to bounce back to its original shape under stress such as dragging of tables and heavy objects being dropped on it.

What Is It Made of?

Nowadays, resilient flooring comes in a wide variety of natural and synthetic materials, fillers and colors. It is either sold in tiles or as sheets. The tiles come in various sizes depending on the manufacturer.

Resilient materials are tested as per standards established by the statutory body American Standard Testing and Materials, ASTM. The quality standards are set very stringently (there was probably no standardization when resilient flooring was first introduced in 1863) and tested in multiple aspects for ensuring that they adhere to recommendations.

Why Is Resilient So Popular?

Although many other types of flooring materials, both man-made and natural are quite popular, perhaps none offers the unique combination of versatility, durability and affordability as resilient. You will find resilient being used everywhere, from the fancy department stores to the local gym. Now, both homebuilders and flooring manufacturers have begun recognizing renewed public interest in this flooring material. Here are some more points to prove that resilient is becoming popular again.

1. Easy to lay and quick to set, unlike other conventional floorings or epoxy flooring.

2. You have a choice of multiple materials, colors and patterns that will be tough to find with conventional flooring.

3. Resilient is ecologically friendly and non-damaging to the environment even when disposed of. Most resilient materials are biodegradable.

4. Resilient is highly cost effective compared with other conventional flooring.

5. The average life of resilient can be expected to be from 10-20 years, which is very high considering the low cost.

6. Many resilient floor materials are bacteria and allergen-resistant.

To top it all off, most resilient is do-it-yourself friendly. Resilient can be installed by anyone, whether you are a novice (with a little instruction) or a seasoned handyman! Our articles on How to lay Vinyl Flooring and Cork Floor Repair will give you all the information you need.

Today there are any number of designs available in resilient, so take a while to discover what’s available – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

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Misc

Porcelain Tile – Porcelain Floor Tile

Porcelain Floor Tile

Porcelain tile flooring has become very popular for use in homes recently. Porcelain tiles come in a wide range of sizes and colors. They are man made by compressing dust at a very high pressure and as a result are extremely water resistant and hard. They are primarily used in kitchens and bathrooms. They are the most expensive of the floor tiles due to their durability, and also because the color goes all the way through the porcelain.

You can get porcelain tile in the glazed and unglazed versions.

Flooring Fact


Because of its waterproof qualities, porcelain tile flooring is especially suited to wet areas. It is heavy so always make sure your base floor is able to safely carry the additional load.


Durability

Porcelain tiles are beautiful in any color. They are water resistant even without being sealed. Properly installed, porcelain flooring will last a lifetime.

Suitability

Porcelain flooring is very easy to keep clean. It is smooth and non-porous. Because of its hardness and its resistance to moisture, it is most often used in bathrooms and kitchens. In both of these areas, porcelain can be used on the walls as well as the floor.

Porcelain tiles are very hard and durable but the side effect is that it can feel hard and cold underfoot. For this reason, many homeowners like to use area rugs in the kitchen and bathroom to offset the cold feel of the floor or even better, the addition of under floor heatingwill allow you to show off your floor and still have warm feet!

Do-It-Yourself

You can easily install Porcelain tile flooring yourself if you are of modest DIY skills. Because porcelain floor tiles come in relatively large sizes, installation for the DIY’er can be even easier.

You do need to be careful though, because porcelain tiles can be rather heavy. It is easy to drop the tiles and if you do, they will break. If you are unsure about your ability to install porcelain tiles, you can make a trip to your home hardware store for pointers. Alternatively, if you are apprehensive about the project, then hire a contractor.

Below are some tips on installing porcelain flooring:

1. Make sure the subfloor is clean, dry and SOLID

2. You can install porcelain tiles over a vinyl floor

3. Use a wet diamond saw for cutting tiles

4. If the existing floor is ceramic or any other type of tile, it will have to be removed

5. Use an adhesive specially made for ceramic; apply with a notched trowel

6. When applying the adhesive, work with a small section of floor at a time (give yourself about 30 minutes per section)

7. You need to allow the floor to dry at least 24 hours before grouting.

Maintenance

Porcelain tiles are easy to maintain. Simply sweep the floor thoroughly and clean with a damp mop and mild household detergent. Don’t use abrasive cleaners or brushes with hard bristles – even though it is a fairly hard material you can still scratch the porcelain surface.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Porcelain Floor Tiles

Advantages

  • Very durable material
  • Water, allergen and bacteria resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Does not need sealing
Disadvantages

  • Very hard and cold underfoot
  • Porcelain tiles are heavy
Categories
Misc

Pergo Flooring, the most popular laminate on the market

Pergo Flooring

Article Summary: Pergo Flooring is one of the most popular flooring products available today, with it’s patented CertainSeal pre-glued click together system it make s D-I-Y floor installation a breeze. Here’s a brief company history and some featured products.
Pergo
 has been around for over 120 years but not always as a flooring manufacturer. It started off life making vinegar and gradually moved towards making laminates for table and bench tops. It was not until 1977 that Pergo developed a type of laminate flooring. It soon established itself as a quality flooring manufacturer and expanded it’s operation to the U.S. in 1994.

Pergo grew from an initial 107 stores selling their flooring products to a huge 850 stores in less than a year. Pergo flooring was manufactured in Garner, North Carolina and their headquarters is in Raleigh, North Carolina. Today Pergo is one of the largest laminate flooring producers in the world, with sales of over $250 million per year. Pergo sells its laminated flooring product through speciality flooring retailers, Home depot and Lowe’s. Pergo has the biggest market share of any of the major laminate producers. You can be sure that Pergo flooring is a quality product and that the company is dedicated to maintaining and improving it’s products continually to ensure a top quality product.

Pergo Chronology – taken from pergo.com

1923 – Perstorp Industrial Group began producing laminate surface.
1977 – Laminate flooring concept was developed.
1984 – Launch of the first laminate floor in Sweden.
1985 – Opening of the first laminate flooring factory, Trelleborg, Sweden.
1989 – Pergo Original brand introduced.
1994 – Pergo laminate flooring introduced in the United States.
1995 – Introduction of Pergo in the Asia / Pacific.
1996 – Flooring factory opens in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
1997 – Launch of high-quality commercial grade product, Pergo Publiq.
1999 – Introduction of Pergo Living, Pergo Select and Pergo Preferred sub-brands.
2000 – In January the company name was officially changed from Perstorp Flooring to Pergo, Inc.

Pergo Flooring product range

Categories
Misc

Oriental Rugs – Oriental Area Rugs

Oriental Rugs

Article Summary: Whether you buy your Oriental rugs from a local store or over the Internet, you should go equiped with at least some knowledge of what makes a good quality rug. This series of articles should help you.

Walking around the streets of Istanbul, Turkey a few years ago, I walked past a small Oriental rug retailer. The owner saw me looking into his shop and within seconds I found myself being dragged into the shop, surrounded by litteraly hundreds of rugs, each one hand made. For the average tourist, the first reaction would be, “Con”. That too was my first reaction, until I opened my eyes to what lay inside the small shop.

Once I had recovered from the initial shock, I began to take notice of some of the rugs that were scattered all around me. Whether the rug merchants of Turkey have earned their reputation as scamsters and vagabonds is debatable, certainly their haggling tactics put most people off straight from the start, but here I thought I would just open my eyes and see for myself. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. The quality of rug was astounding and the sheer quantity made me realize just how big the Oriental rug business really is.

Buying Oriental rugs is certainly not like buying used cars. A “lemon” is certainly much easier to spot, but only if you have a basic knowledge of what to look for in a rug, apart from pure aesthetics. One thing to remember about such dealers is that they know their business inside out. The business is characterized by dealers with years of experience and knowledge, and they know that a happy customer is often a repeat customer so it is not in their interest to scam people.

Where to look for an Oriental Rug

For most people a trip to Turkey just to buy a rug isn’t a practical solution, so the first port of call should be the local Oriental rug dealer. You can buy rugs with confidence from big department stores too, Macy’sBloomingdale’sMarshall Field and Jordan Marsh all sell rugs that you can be reasonably assured will be of good quality. These retailers have been making a living selling fine rugs for many years and would not intentionally mislead a customer. However, you will probably find that the actual salesperson has little real understanding of the product they are selling, so you still need to be knowledgeable.

You may find more factual information in smaller stores and specialist retailers. Some of these have specialist brochures and pamphlets that explain the facts to you in layman’s language, catalogs to give you an idea of their range, and other specially written articles of interest about Oriental rugs. Another great source of information is the annual Oriental Rug Retailers of America exhibition (lucky for US citizens). This organization was formed in 1968 and its purpose is to “bring high standards and ethical practices to a business fraught with itinerant sales and misinformation”. Enough said!

Unfortunately, demand for imitation Persian and Oriental rugs is as high in America as the real thing. Retailers therefore meet demand and probably sell as many of these “fakes” as the real thing. The point here is that because of modern home styling, sometimes a real Oriental rug just won’t fit in with the existing decor of the home, but an imitation can almost always be found that can be specially made-to-order. The bizarre thing is that these rugs end up costing almost as much as the real thing ($2000 to $8000 for a 8′ by 10′ (2.4m by 3.0m) copy). You can pick up the genuine article for not much more than this, and over the long run the uniqueness of the genuine Persian rug will always outlast that of any copy.

Auction Houses are another source of Oriental rugs. Houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s have specialist departments that look after this type of sale, so you can be reasonably well assured that what you see is what you get. You can often inspect the goods prior to purchase and get catalogs and brochures with detailed information about each rug. If buying from an auction, be aware that most charge a buyers premium which can be substantial, so look for the auction sale conditions before making a purchase.

A word of warning – avoid the so-called “flying carpet” auctions. These are advertised in local papers as being overstocked, seized imports, liquidated stock, etc. They are most often than not just scams to fleece an unsuspecting public of their cash, and they succeed in doing so far too regularly.

The remaining sources consist of the usual sources; antique shops, flea markets, private ads, house sales, deceased estates, the list is endless. Once you track down a good source of Oriental rugs, you then need to go through the next stage, the Buying Process – Identifying Oriental Rugs.

For some more area rug ideas, examine Persian Carpets and Silk Carpets.

How Area Rugs are Made makes and interesting read and Area Rug Care is important if you already own some rugs.

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Misc

Oriental rugs – How to Buy Oriental Rugs

How to Buy Oriental Rugs – The Buying Process

Article Summary: How to Buy Oriental Rugs. Having learned where to source your Oriental rugs, you now need a process whereby you can effectively screen potential purchases and at the end of the day end up with a unique, collectible and valuable rug. This article explains that process.The Buying Process

No matter where you buy your oriental rug from, you will probably want to haggle to get the price down, regardless of what price is being asked. While some people love to haggle, others hate it – and often pay too much for their reluctance. If you are buying from a small store, or larger retailer you should always make an offer on a rug you like, rather than paying the full asking price. If you really don’t want to haggle, take a friend with you who isn’t quite so reluctant. Quite often a dealer will be happy for you to take a particular rug home with you so that you can see it in-situ. Use this time to do a bit of research about similar rugs in different stores. Compare prices, quality, age and condition.

Identifying Oriental Rugs

Buying Specifics:

If buying from a dealer, does he have professional trade qualifications, for example a reputable trade organization like the Oriental Rug Retailers of America? How long has he been in the business? What guarantees will he give you and are they in writing? Can you exchange the rug at a later date if you change your mind?

One of the biggest factors affecting a rug’s value is condition. Partially this will be determined by the age of the rug, but in some cases it adds something to the ‘genuineness’ of the rug. Other things to look out for include the age, price, color and integrity of the fabric. The integrity of the fabric relates to whether the rug has been altered at some stage during its life. It is quite common for rugs to be lengthened, shortened, or widened. If this is the case, look for another rug as the value won’t be much at all. Also the rug should not be loosely woven, always look for a nice tight weave. Unfortunately rugs do rot if left in damp conditions. By twisting and gently pulling a rug you will be able to hear any tell-tale tearing or “popping” noises, a dead giveaway.

Something needs to be said about repairs. A repaired rug is not necessarily a bad thing. Some collectors go out of their way to find these types of rugs, because they think that they have a more genuine air about them. Try to find some repaired rugs and ask a trusted seller what their opinion is.

Colors of rugs are of course to a certain extent in the eye of the beholder. However, whatever colors you like make sure that they are rich and vibrant, not washed out and dull looking. Clean, sharp colors in a rug indicate that the rug maker has used good quality dyes as against colors that are dull lifeless, which may indicate the use of either poor quality dye or even a chemical painting process.

Fading is not as serious, but should not detract from the overall look of the rug as far as clarity goes. Faded rugs are sometimes “touched-up” by using felt tipped marker pens. You will have to inspect closely to see this but be on your guard, it does happen.

The Dyeing Process of antique rugs uses vegetable dyes that today may well have faded a bit or even run, but compared to modern techniques that use synthetic dyes, they are much more valuable. The tried and tested method to test for chemical dyes is to wet a white handkerchief and in various spots over the rug, gently rub the hanky. If no color comes off the rug, there should be no problem.

If you are looking at a pile rug, separate the pile and look deep down into the base of the pile. Is it the same color as the top? If it is you can be fairly certain that the rug has not been painted chemically. Expect an old rug to have worn in spots, but definitely not over the entire rug surface. This would indicate that the rug has been artificially aged and should be avoided.

As you search for a rug that you like you should familiarize yourself with the designs that you most like. Examples of this include the Persian rug that will often have a center medallion, while rugs from Tabriz, Isfahan, Kerman, Kashan and Nain are characterized by flowing designs that have mixed patterns spread over the rug. Caucasian rugs often have a center medallion with geometric patterns around.

There are two trains of thought when it comes to buying for the first time. One is to admit to the dealer that you know very little about carpets and rugs and will rely on their honesty to guide you. The other is to admit nothing and bluff your way to a bargain buy. Our advice is unless you know and have recommendations for a particular dealer, never admit that you are a rank beginner. No matter how nervous you are, by first getting to know a few facts, you can convince any dealer that you know what you’re doing. Just be yourself, throw in a few choice rug-related phrases and you will be treated with a lot of respect – at the end of the day the dealer wants you to buy from him!

If you set eyes on a rug that you simply must have – and we’ve all done it! – try to keep your excitement from the seller. Keep your calm and concentrate on the job at hand which is securing the rug at the best possible price, without offering ridiculously low prices.

There is such a thing as “buyer’s remorse”. After buying any product, not just rugs there are always questions like, “Did I pay too much?”, “Is the rug genuine?”, “What if I find something else?” If you see a rug you like and it meets all your expectations, buy it. There are always remedies for serious matters of misrepresentation by a seller, even months later. However, pricing is a much more difficult thing to correct after purchase and if you seriously overpay for a rug you may well have to resign yourself to the fact that you just made a mistake.

Now go out and buy an Oriental Rug!