Interior designer, Taniya Nayak
Courtesy of Mohawk Carpeting

Meet the Expert

With a successful interior design firm, Taniya Nayak Design, LLC.,  and the title of expert design member on HGTV's Designed to Sell, Taniya Nayak is at the forefront of the nation's top interior designers. She helps add a fresh, clean look to both commercial and residential spaces, and specializes in renovating homes so that they're ready for the market. We chatted with Nayak to get her best advice on choosing the right carpet or flooring for your home.

Neutral living rooms with luxurious Mohawk carpeting.
Courtesy of Mohwak Carpeting

The Right Carpet

Picking the right carpet can be a big decision. What advice do you have for home owners who want to add carpet to their home?

Taniya Nayak (TN): It is a big decision, but one that often yields no regret. The color and texture are something that your local vendor can help you pinpoint based on your traffic, style, and budget. Be prepared and have answers to these questions before you select your carpet. What is the purpose of the carpet? What overall look and feel do you want? And think about size options from wall-to-wall, custom cut, and/or custom bound.


A vibrant turquoise rug makes a statement in this living room.
Lisa Romerein; see the room: Green-and-Blue Living Room

Hot Trends

What are the latest trends with home carpeting? Are there any popular textures or colors that stand out for 2011?

TN: Color is a big thing in 2011. People are being more adventurous with color in their carpet and using it as a focus in the room. A lot of plums, teals, and other jewel-toned colors have become popular. I suggest keeping most of the room muted with whites and grays if you decide to go with a bright carpet. This will help keep it sophisticated, but still add a pop of fun.

Mohawk carpet can help resist pet stains.
Courtesy of Mohawk Carpeting

High Traffic and Pets

What advice do you have for home owners who need carpet for high trafficked areas or who have pets?

TN: These can be two separate issues. Pets can increase traffic, but they can also cause stains. You could choose a product with a topical stain resistant like nylon, or a type of Mohwak carpet called SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona®, which addresses both problems. For high traffic areas, SmartStrand® springs back and doesn't show wear. For possible pet stains, which are covered by the warranty, the stain resistant is built in so it doesn't wash or wear off.

Plush, soft carpet is perfect for children to play.
Courtesy of Mohawk Carpeting

Kid-Friendly Carpet

What would you suggest to a new parent who wants a carpet that will be gentile on a child's sensitive skin?

TN: Look for carpets that are made from a natural fiber like wool, or that don't have topically applied softeners or stain resistants. Since softness is a big deal, be sure to touch lots of different carpets and see what feels best to you.

A family enjoys spending time together on their Mohawk carpet.
Courtesy of Mohawk Carpeting


Protecting the environment is on everyone's minds these days. Do you have any carpets that are environmentally friendly?

TN: We're seeing a big push for eco-friendly, and there are a couple of things to remember when looking for "green" carpet. First, ask if the carpet is recyclable or made from recycled content. I suggest going with ones made from recycled content. Ask whether the carpet is made from renewable resources. Great options include wool, sisals, and woven grasses, or a carpet made in part from a plant, like Mohawk's SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona®. It offers high performance and is partially made from corn.

Try using the same type of carpet in bedrooms on the same floor.
Courtesy of Mohawk Carpeting

All or Nothing?

Different rooms in the house serve different purposes. Would you suggest that home owners get the same carpet throughout their home or should it vary room to room?

TN: It depends on the layout of your home. Many people will keep similar carpet for each of the bedrooms if they are on the same floor. Try using one carpet, but choosing different shades for each room. When it comes to living space (the living room and dining room), I would go with completely different carpet, one that could withstand more traffic but was still cozy enough to cuddle up in front of the fireplace on.

Keep the carpet looking new in your bedroom.
Courtesy of Mohawk Carpeting

Keep It Clean

Once the carpet is in the house, the biggest problem is keeping it clean. What are your tips for keeping carpet looking like new?

TN: Find a carpet with a good warranty and stain and soil protection. There is a difference. It's also a good idea to get the carpets steam cleaned every year to maintain freshness. Many manufacturers actually require this to keep the warranty valid. Make sure your cleaning company is CRI certified for warranty compliance.

An area rug is a good solution to protect hardwood flooring.
Laurey W. Glenn; see the room: Asian-Inspired Living Room

Finishes For Your Lifestyle

Mohawk offers many flooring options like laminates and hardwoods, including bamboo. What are the main things home owners need to consider when choosing what flooring is right for them?

TN: Be sure to select a finish that works for your lifestyle. Try a durable bamboo floor for high activity. If there isn't as much activity, perhaps a darker, espresso finish. Scotch Guard protection helps keep allergens to a minimum and keeps the finish looking new for a long time.

Laminate flooring looks similar to hardwood, but can offer more benefits.
Lisa Romerein; see the room: White Modern Bedroom

Hardwood or Laminate?

What advice do you have for someone deciding between hardwoods and laminates for their home? What are the benefits of each kind of flooring?

TN: Nothing beats the beauty of hardwoods, but laminates offer a lot of technical advantages. Traffic is one of the biggest issues. If you have pets or high traffic, you may want to go with a laminate. The finish warranties on most hardwoods address the finish wearing off, but not dulling. Also, hardwoods aren't impervious to dents, so if that is a concern, go with a laminate.

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