With so many different colors, materials and designs available, it can be difficult to choose the best carpet for your home. Check out these 3 tips on determining carpet quality.
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Durability: Twist and Density
Replacing old carpet can be a costly pain in the neck. That’s why investing a little more money in durable carpet is usually a smart choice. The longer your carpet lasts, the longer you can wait before replacing it — and the more money you’ll save in the long term.
Durability has a great deal to do with density and twist, two specifications listed on the label. Density simply refers to how close together the strands of fiber are — fibers per square inch. You can judge density by bending it back and seeing how much backing peeks through. Denser carpet tends to last longer because it withstands impact better. It also protects from dirt and stain by making it more difficult for particles to sink through it, keeping soils on the surface and easier to clean
However, twist is the number of times a strand of fiber is twisted per inch. Carpet that has a high twist level of 4 or more will also be more durable and less likely to unravel. Carpet doesn’t have to be dense to be durable, as long as it has a high twist level (and vice versa). Source: Home.HowStuffWorks
Types of Fiber
Carpet fibers are usually one of five materials: Nylon, Olefin, Polyester, Acrylic or Wool. An overwhelming majority of carpet today is made from synthetic fibers, with nylon leading the way.
|Nylon||Accounts for roughly 60% all carpet sold in the U.S. Dye is added to nylon fibers as they are manufactured and so are colorfast. Nylon is wear-resistant, tolerates heavy furniture and is resilient. Available in many colors and styles. Only with the addition of stain-repelling technology, now standard for most nylon carpets, does nylon manage to be stain-resistant. Untreated nylon is susceptible to stains. Nylon is prone to static charge and to fading in direct sunlight.|
|Olefin||Commonly called polypropylene, this thread is strong, wear-resistant, stain-resistant and is easy to clean. This material can be use outdoors because it is moisture and mildew resistant. While not as resilient as nylon, it is more resistant to fading. Not as comfortable on bare feet. Does not have the luxurious feel of some other carpet and seams may be more apparent.|
|Polyester||Becoming more popular is polyester, in part, because of its lower cost. It is not as resilient as nylon and is more prone to fading, staining and pilling than nylon. Not well suited for high traffic areas. Noted for its soft, luxurious feel when used in thick cut-pile textures, polyester is a good value.|
|Acrylic||Has the look and feel of wool but without the cost. Acrylic is not as widely used as other fibers. Acrylic resists static build-up, is moisture and mildew resistant.|
|Wool||The only natural fabric commonly in use for carpet. Wool has a luxurious feel and is very durable. It is naturally soil resistant and stains clean up well. Wool will fade in direct sunlight and is the most expensive fiber.|
|Blends||Various combinations of fibers can improve the overall look, feel and performance of a carpet. Wool/nylon and olefin/nylon are two common blends in use today. Source: AcmeHowTo
Carpet face weight is the weight of the carpet pile per square yard of carpet, measured in ounces. Unfortunately, face weight has been so heavily marketed that many consumers are given the impression that it is the best way to determine a carpet’s durability.
It can be easy to believe that a higher face weight represents a more durable carpet, but this is not always the case because several things influence a carpet’s weight. Source: TheSpruce