How to Choose Your Carpet Color

Small blue carpet sample held in hand surrounded by other samples

The Spruce / Michelle Becker

Carpeting can be one of the most difficult components of decorating because there are so many decisions to make: the style of carpetfiber type, pattern, quality, and finally, color.

Color is often the hardest decision for customers. It can be tough to visualize the color in a large space, judging from a tiny swatch. A color change can have a dramatic effect, and sometimes even though a change is desired, it can be a bit scary.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to deciding on a color of the carpet, then read on for some tips and suggestions to help you out.


Watch Now: 6 Tips for Choosing the Right Carpet Color

What Color to Choose First?

Which part of their room’s decor should you select first, when you are starting from scratch? For the main living spaces in the home, such as the family roomchoose the sofa color first. The reason is that the selection of fabric colors is often more limited to sofas than with carpet or paint. Many sofa styles are offered in a choice of only four or five (or fewer) colors unless the sofa is being custom made. Therefore, if not chosen first, it can be difficult to find a sofa in the style you like, that matches the carpet you have already chosen.

Once the sofa is selected, then choose the carpet, and finally the paint. Again, this is because the paint has a virtually unlimited color selection. Start with the element that is most restricted in choice, and save the component with the biggest selection for last.

Use the same logic in other rooms, such as bedrooms. In this case, options for bedding are pretty vast, so choose the carpet color first. Since bedding is a smaller investment and relatively easy to change, you may want to select the paint color before choosing the bed covering.

Neutral Colors for Carpet

There is a reason why neutral colors are the biggest sellers in carpeting. Carpet has a big impact in a room, and bright colors in a large expanse can be overpowering. Also, replacing the carpet is expensive. Unless you have the resources (and patience) to replace your carpet every few years as trends change, you are best to keep the color on the floor neutral. Use the brighter or bolder colors in other, less expensive elements of the room: paint on the walls (much easier and less costly to change than the carpeting), cushions on the sofa, bedding, and smaller accent pieces such as lamps and framed art.

Current trends favor neutrals in earthy hues, including warm grays and the ever-popular beige. Neutrals don’t have to be boring. To make sure your carpet still has personality despite the neutral color, opt for texture in the carpet. Friezes or cut and loop styles provide depth and character to your carpet while keeping it subtle enough to avoid turning it into the focal point of the room.

Berber Flecks

Another great way to incorporate personality into your carpet is to choose a flecked color instead of a solid color. Technically speaking, these flecks of color in a carpet are known as Berber, even though most people use the term Berber to refer to a looped style of carpet. Typically, carpets with Berber flecks are found in neutral colors with darker neutrals used for the flecks.

In addition to being visually appealing, Berber flecks are quite practical, as they can help to hide any bits of dirt or lint that may be found on your carpet in between vacuumings. You may want to consider a flecked color if you dread the thought of seeing anything out of place on your carpet.

Lifestyle Matters and Carpet Color

Your lifestyle and the way how the carpeted room will be used are huge considerations in carpet color. A busy household with kids, pets and working parents doesn't usually lend itself well to white carpets, which can show soiling more easily than other colors.

Keep in mind that very light and very dark colors show far more undesirable debris than mid-tones. While a dark color may be great at hiding stains, it will show lint and dust more than other colors. A carpet that is neither too light nor too dark will be the best color for masking these issues.

Choose Your Carpet Color Wisely

The carpet color can alter the entire feel of a room, so be sure to select your color carefully and wisely. Think about how trends may change over the years, and be sure that the color you love today will still appeal to you down the road.

Once you’ve narrowed down the color choice, it’s time to start looking at samples.

  • How do you choose the best color carpet for your home?

    Grab some different colored carpet samples and bring them home to see how they look in the room's lighting where the carpet is to be installed. Look at your life situation: kids and pets can be a deciding factor on the color of carpet you choose, too. Neutral colors are always a good and safer choice to consider, as they don't go out of style. In the long run, the color choice is what you like and prefer.

  • What type of carpet is the most durable and easiest to keep clean?

    A carpet made from nylon is a good choice for durability and ease of cleaning. It's a good option for homes with pets and children.

  • How long does carpet last?

    Carpet has an average lifespan of five years but can last longer depending on the quality and usage. If it's in a highly trafficked area, the carpet could last as little as three years. When a carpet starts looking worn down and ratty, it's probably time to consider replacing it.