Carpet flooring is extremely versatile. With so many materials and fiber options, it can be overwhelming to shop for what you need. By understanding more of the details, it will make it easier for you to choose what’s best for your home.
Determine Important Features
There are a few features that you may want specifically with your carpet based upon what goes on in your home. If you have pets or small children, this needs to be taken into consideration because it will impact for traffic as well as the likelihood of spills or stains. It is also a good idea to consider a few other things:
- Time frame for having carpeting installed
- Color preferences
- How long you want the carpet to last
- Budget for flooring
Terminology for Carpeting
Shopping for carpet flooring can be difficult if you are unaware of certain terminology used. At Alliance, our goal is to simplify the process by identifying terms for you.
- Density: This is the measurement of how closely the strands of fibers are packed next to one another. When there is a higher density level, the carpet is stronger.
- Fiber: The carpet material itself is referred to as the fiber. Single fibers will be spun to create two, three, or four-ply yarn which is then attached to the carpet backing.
- PAR rating: The rating stands for Performance, Appearance, and Retention. The scale is 1-5 with 5 being the carpeting that can most easily retain its appearance.
- Pile: Otherwise referred to as face or nap, it is the height of the fiber.
- Texture: Every type of carpeting has a texture, which references how the fibers are cut, twisted, or looped. It will impact of the look and feel of the carpet and impact its durability.
- Twist: This measurement refers to the number of times a fiber has been turned in a 1 inch liens. When there are higher twist counts, it is more resilient against foot traffic.
- Weight: The weight of the carpet is measured as an ounce is per square foot. There are two weeks to be aware of. Face weight is the amount of fiber on the carpet’s surface while total weight includes latex and backing. A high face weight is a quality indicator. Tip: Be sure that when you compare weight, you are doing so with similar materials, such as olefin to olefin, not olefin to wool.
Carpet Flooring Construction
Berber offers uncut loops of fibers in varying sizes. It can be made from an array of materials such as nylon or wool. It is highly stain-resistant and is denser than many other carpeting. Animals with claws can snag the fibers, however.
Frieze features a short, twisted pile that can be used in high traffic areas. It can be used for commercial purposes as well as in bedrooms and other residential areas. The fibers are twisted in different directions, making it easy to hide footprints, vacuum tracks, and other marks.
Pattern combines cut and loop pile so that there are various textures and patterns available to you. The pattern will often appear as though it has been cut into the carpet and may include several tones within the same color family. Color changes will also help to disguise traditional wear and tear.
Plush carpeting features closely-packed yarns so that there is a soft finish on the surface. It is considered very elegant and works in formal settings. It has the tendency to show seems, vacuum marks, and footprints.
Shag has a long, cut pile that is known for being extremely soft. It’s ideal for where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic as it can be cumbersome to vacuum.
Textured includes two-toned yarn and will provide an uneven surface that is also very soft. It provides a casual aesthetic and the tight-twist construction will resist dirt and debris, making it popular for rooms that are prone to stains, such as dining rooms and family rooms.
Carpet Flooring Fibers
The carpet fiber is important as each material has characteristics that offer unique features for your carpeting.
- Acrylic: Acrylic is similar to wall in comparison to other synthetics. It is made primarily for commercial use. It offers a high level of clean ability and is resistant to soil, static, mildew, and moths. It is also less likely to fade in sunlight in comparison to polyester or nylon.
- Nylon: This is the most commonly used to carpet material. It is the strongest, making it ideal for high traffic areas. It is also durable, easy to maintain and clean. It is bull soil and mildew resistant and many people choose it because it’s non-allergenic. One downside is that it may pill.
- Olefin: Olefin also goes by the name polypropylene. It is highly resistant to moisture, water damage, and mildew, which is why it was originally created for outdoor carpeting and for use in basements. It is widely used and has a reputation for being durable. It has a wall-like appearance and feel. It’s extremely colorfast due to it being dyed prior to being made into a fiber.
- Polyester: Polyester is stain resistant and available in many colors and textures. It’s non-allergenic and can resist moths and mildew. It is susceptible to shedding and piling and it is not quite as durable as nylon.
- Triexta: This material is one of the newer yarns and has become popular with families that own children or pets. It has quickly earned a reputation for being durable and stain resistant.
Choosing Carpet Padding
Once you choose the carpet you want for your home, it’s also important to explore carpet padding. This is a cushioning layer that is placed between the bare floor and the carpet. A good cushion will insulate from cold temperatures as well as noise. It can also increase the life of the carpet.
It’s always a good idea to follow manufacturer guidelines based on the kind of carpet you are getting as some carpeting requires specific types of padding.
Caring for Carpeting
You can extend the life of your carpet significantly with proper care. Vacuuming on a regular basis will get rid of surface level dust and debris so that it doesn’t have a chance to dig deep into the carpet fibers.
Annual or semiannual professional cleaning will also be beneficial. Shampooing the carpets will help to remove the odors and any stains that may have accumulated.
Additional care involves rearranging furniture so that you don’t develop a long-standing traffic pass. Curtains and blinds should also be close to during daylight hours to minimize the carpet’s exposure to direct sunlight.