The term "new carpeting" is nothing more than a cheap legend. There is no such thing as "new" in relation to the word "carpeting." For any of us who have followed that dream, we know that it's simply a myth. Of course there are those who already know this, but for those among us who are just waiting for the chance to flush the equivalent of an inexpensive used car down the toidy, listen up.
It matters not if your abode is a mansion or a shack. It has flooring of some type. Whether it's wood, tile, linoleum, or dirt, all are more easily kept pristine than a carpet. Even area rugs can be taken out and beaten righteously. Of the "throw" variety, they can just be tossed in the wash to come out fresh and clean, but not new.
Once the household has decided to mortgage their souls and splurge on that dandy Berber, it's too late. You can talk Scotchguard all you want, but the fact is, unless this stuff is shrink-wrapped in the latest aerospace technology, it isn't safe. Allow me to share my own experience.
After 11 years in my teensy little house, we needed to expand or move. It was cheaper to expand, so we did. The idea for new carpeting was mine, and an afterthought. Because we were going to carpet the addition, it only made sense to rip out all the old too. The selection process was difficult, although I knew enough about our inhabitants to know that a plush pile would drive me to suicide and that a lovely Berber wouldn't hold up. What we really needed was Industrial Grade Commercial carpeting of the highest quality. That price tag was $41 a square yard, installed, at a big discount. I fainted at the cost.
It was time for a reality check. After much haggling between myself and my spouse, we settled on a tightly woven short pile residential grade at $17 a square yard in an attractive Sea Foam Green. It was a very pretty color of carpet, though not when our own faces took on that pallor over the price. Did I say we got this at a discount?
It was four days until Christmas and we were in a hurry to wrap things up because we'd done nary a thing for the holidays. We have a 7 year-old who still fervently believes in St. Nick. That frosty morning the installers came just after hubby left for work. These two were very professional gentlemen and worked exhaustively to get the job done.
My heart swelled as the house was transformed into beauty as they gathered up their tools and took out the scraps. That's when it happened. The assistant knocked over his coffee-all over my new carpet. I flew as if possessed to soak up the brown liquid as it lay suspended like a bubble. The Scotchguard was working, but the carpet was no longer new. The installers hadn't even left before the first splotch had appeared. No one could see it, but I knew it was there just the same.
The furniture was moved back in its proper place, but my mood was no longer festive. It was already blighted. All I had hoped for was to have the carpet "new" long enough for someone else to see it. Then things began to escalate.
Crumbs of food, like Cheese Doodles«, that tend to stain began to appear in the vicinity of my daughter. Try as she might to deny her culpability, the orange stain around her mouth and on her fingers kind of gave it away. Too, the crumpled bag of said junk food clutched behind her back didn't help. I, like a zealot from tales of old, vacuumed away with enough enthusiasm to nearly strip the threads from their backing.
Hubby too, joined in. He must have had a spasm in his hand on Christmas Eve and dropped his cola which spread out like an explorer rabid for new territory. I dropped, blotted, washed, and then rolled about on the carpet as if possessed. After 17 years of wedded bliss, even he looked at me in a new light. "But this is my new carpet," I howled and whined.
Finally, Spike, our old tom, took matters into his own paws. He began to expel hairballs, something in his nearly 12 years he has kept to himself. He refused to deposit them on any of the tile flooring. It had to be on the CARPET. This he did while we were away during the day toiling to pay for all of this. They weren't dry hairballs either. Just enough to potentially change the color from Sea Foam Green to something less than lovely.
It was over and I knew it. I had fully expected to encounter dirt, dust, and, of course, cat hair, but I wasn't ready for my own visceral reaction to the sullying of my carpet. I, as na´ve as I am, anticipated that my carpet would retain that newness for a period of time. Let's say until after Christmas. Was 5 days too much to hope for?
Let's face it, carpets can be vacuumed, spot cleaned, and scrubbed with heavy steam cleaners, but they are only new for less than the life-span of a May Fly at maturity. I am here to tell you, if you harbor that dream of "new" carpeting, don't. Go ahead. Buy it, install it, but treat it like the old one because it won't remain virginal and none of us live that way. Believe me, I tried and it nearly killed all of us, especially the cat.