With today’s advanced flooring technologies, carpet is softer, stronger, and more stain-resistant than ever before. Carpet comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles and is a key design element for your room remodel.
Since carpeting is one of the largest investments you’ll make for your home, doing some basic research, comparing, shopping, and working with one of our reputable sales people, will all help you buy carpeting that fits your needs. It will also give you confidence that you’re getting a quality product for a good price. There are two simple steps to take when purchasing carpet:
#1: Check the fiber
Carpet is made using four main types of fiber: nylon, Triexta, polyester, and wool. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right fiber type for your home and lifestyle will determine the performance you receive from your new carpet.
Nylon outperforms all other fibers in durability, resilience and easy maintenance. This is a good choice if you want your carpet to last a decade or longer, for high-traffic areas, and in homes with kids and pets. Besides stain resistance, there are other reasons why nylon fiber has the largest market share of the man-made fibers. Nylon carpet comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. It is very resilient. This means that when you walk on it, the fibers “bounce back”. Nylon is tough- it wears well. Besides resisting stains, it cleans easily. It has low static levels. You can use it in any type of home and anywhere in the home — low traffic rooms, high traffic areas, budget homes, fancy homes.
Trietxa is a newly classified fiber derived partly from corn sugar. It has excellent, permanent anti-stain properties (nylon must be treated with stain protectors over its life span). It also has good resilience, but it’s too soon to tell whether it will match the durability of nylon in high-traffic areas. Because of its superior stain resistance, this is a good choice if you have young kids or pets. It is available in a huge range of colors and styles. And it is as resilient as nylon fiber while generally lower priced.
Polyester (or PET) has a great “green” story. Most of the polyester used in carpets is made from recycled bottles. In fact, billions of bottles each year are diverted from landfills, melted, and turned into carpet fiber! Polyester is stain resistant, very soft and luxurious underfoot, and is available in deep and vibrant colors. However it’s harder to clean, tends to shed and isn’t as durable as nylon. It’s best used in low-traffic areas (like bedrooms) and in households without kids or pets. A nice, cushy choice if you like to exercise on the carpet. Polyester carpet fiber has a few drawbacks. It does not have the same resilience as nylon. Once badly crushed, it will not “bounce back” like nylon.
Wool, used in rugs for centuries, is the only natural fiber used in wall-to-wall carpeting today. It is the fiber to which all the others are compared. Wool is soft and luxurious, it wears and cleans well, and its fiber structure hides dirt. It also comes in a wide variety of styles and colors and is hypo-allergenic. Wool is scarce and therefore can be expensive. It is common to see wool blended with other fibers, such as nylon or acrylic, so that you still get the characteristics of a wool carpet with a lower cost. Unfortunately, though it can cost more, wool stains easily. It also must be made in heavier weights as compared to the synthetic fibers to wear equally as well.
#2: Check the style
Loop carpet consists of yarns that are looped and uncut on the carpet surface. The pile height can vary from low, tightly constructed to a more luxurious high-level pile. Loop carpet has strength and inherent soil-hiding capabilities. Its shadings also resist traffic patterns, while making colors appear rich. This carpet type is ideal for heavy traffic areas.
A combination of high cut tufts and lower loops create a variety of sculpted patterns. Patterned carpet is often tough and durable, offering good performance in areas that see a lot of activity. Patterned carpet also adds a dimension of texture within a room and hides traffic patterns.
Friezes are often called ‘Twists’ and include Shags and Cables; which are extreme versions of a Frieze. Highly twisted yarns give frieze carpets a contemporary look and make them a smart choice for any active part of your home. Best of all, they’re less likely to show vacuum marks or footprints than other cut pile styles
Plush carpet is sometimes called velvet because of the velvet or velour appearance usually obtained by using high-density construction. This type of carpet provides a more formal appearance than other cut pile constructions. A plush carpet has a dense, deep pile. They are subject to revealing vacuum cleaner sweeper marks and footprints due to light reflection. Delustred (non-shiny) yarns may reduce this shade variation.
Textured cut piles also may be called “trackless” or “foot-print free”. These names describe the tendency of this construction to show fewer footprints and sweeper marks than other cut pile constructions. These constructions are obtained by a kinked or curled yarn. This curling of the fiber reduces light reflectance, thus reducing the appearance of footprints.