5 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Carpet

carpet in primary bedroom

Amy Leferink at Interior Impressions

When is it time to think about replacing the rugs or carpeting in your home? To get the lowdown, we asked experts to chime in about both types of flooring solutions. Below, they discuss the merits of rugs and carpets, respectively, and highlight key signs to look out for in your home.

carpet in bedroom

Cathie Hong Interiors

Dealing With Carpet

Allie Mann, senior designer at Case Architects & Remodelers, is a proponent of working with carpet. "Carpet is an ideal flooring material for bedrooms, playrooms, and basements because it absorbs airborne sound, and provides significantly more insulation than a hardwood floor covering," she explains. Still, not all carpets are created equal, and you will want to base your selection on the room where it will live. When it comes to bedrooms, natural wool or synthetics like nylon will provide the most comfort underfoot.

"Nylon is considered one of the most stain-resistant carpet fibers available and a great choice in homes with pets and children," Mann adds. And feel free to install this type of carpet in other rooms of the home, too. "Synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester are great choices for basement carpeting because they tend to retain less moisture than natural fibers," Mann explains. However, even the best carpet will eventually need to be replaced. "Obvious signs like fading, wearing from high traffic, age, and foul odor are cues not to be ignored," Mann says. "It is best to deep clean your carpet at least once a year for best performance." Below are a few additional factors to look out for when determining whether it is time to replace your carpet.

Your Carpet is No Longer Plush

This may be because you did not install a carpet pad, Mann explains. "This will help maintain the life of your carpet and make it feel more plush underfoot." Carpet padding density ranges between 3 to eight pounds, and Mann suggests going with an option that is eight pounds or higher.

Your Carpet is Over 15 Years Old

If you've had your carpet for 15 years or longer, it has seen its fair share of wear and tear and will likely need to be replaced. "There can be debris and dirt buildup in the fibers that no amount of cleaning will completely resolve," Mann says.

carpet with rug on top

Amy Leferink at Interior Impressions

Dealing With Rugs

With regard to rugs, keep in mind that purchasing a quality piece from the start will prevent you from having to make additional purchases frequently. "Well-made rugs, when cared for, can last a lifetime (and beyond)," Ben Hyman, CEO and co-founder of Revival, says. Putting in a bit of effort every now and then will pay off in the long run. "This requires monthly maintenance— sweeping, gentle vacuum, shaking rugs out— rotating them so they get even wear, and having them professionally cleaned every three to five years," Hyman explains. "If you do these things, hopefully, you never have to worry about replacing them."

What are the main reasons you may need to replace your rug? "These include stains that won’t come out, odors that won’t go away, and visible damage or wear," according to Ruggable's chief product officer Rob Vera.

Fading or Stains

Color change, in the form of fading or stains, may be one reason why you wish to replace your rugs. "The wear and tear from shoes or people walking on the carpet over time will show fading in certain areas," Callie Rippolone, of Callie Rippolone Design, says. "You might have stains that you have had removed multiple times and unfortunately will no longer come out even with a professional cleaning." If you anticipate that your rug will experience a decent amount of wear and tear in your home, you may wish to opt for a washable rug from the beginning. As Vera says, "Washable rugs can extend the life of your rug so you’re less likely to need a replacement— unless you want to swap it out for a new style, of course!"


Smell is also a clear giveaway that your rug needs to be replaced. But, unfortunately, getting smells out of your rug at home may not be so simple. "It’s possible to deep clean some rugs, but this can be costly and typically requires a professional," Vera explains. "However, this professional path does not guarantee that your rug will be restored to its original condition, and you should be especially cautious when dealing with delicate vintage pieces." If that beautiful antique rug is smelling far from pleasant, it may be time to part with it for good.

Visible Damage or Wear

Wear and tear is not only aesthetically displeasing but may make it difficult to walk atop your rug. "If wear and tear is the main issue, it is best to replace the rug to avoid any tripping hazards," Vera cautions. After all, rugs should serve to make your home cozier and more functional, not cause accidents!