CARPET BUYERS GUIDE
Determine Carpet Quality Even though color may be the first consideration, quality should be a major factor in choosing the right carpet for your home. Quality plays a big role in the longevity of your carpet. To determine quality, you should check the carpet’s pile or yarn for texture, depth and density.
Carpet Pile “Pile” is the yarn on the top surface of the carpet. Long-wearing carpet has a closely packed, dense pile attached firmly to the backing of the carpet. Therefore, carpets which have a firmer, fuller feel have a greater longevity. A good way to check the density of the carpet’s pile, is to bend back the corner of the carpet. The more you see the carpets backing, the less durable your carpet will be and the less fiber there is to walk on. Different types of piles have different degrees of durability.
CARPET BUYERS GUIDE – Common Carpet Pile Types or Styles
Cut – The pile loops are cut to expose the ends of the yarn. There are four basic cut pile styles:
Frieze – A frieze pile is very highly twisted with a firm, lean feel and appearance. This is a good choice for areas of high traffic – kids rooms, family rooms, halls, foyers, and stairways. Other than possibly a loop pile, a frieze pile does provide the best resistance to appearance change.
Saxony/Saxony Plush – The tufts are usually under one inch high, and a better Saxony plush has tightly twisted yarn tufts that don’t flair open. In fact, you can easily see the tufted ends. Saxony has a larger pile which tends to give a less formal look to a room. Saxony Plush is the same as Saxony but with a smaller yarn which gives a room a very formal look.
Textured Saxony – The durability of a textured Saxony pile generally falls between that of a Saxony and a Frieze. This pile has a greater twist than a Saxony and therefore reduces footprints and vacuum cleaner marks.
Velvet Plush – This is a carpet that shows shading from vacuuming. Typically, there is little tuft definition and it has an extremely smooth surface which looks to many people like velvet. Individual tufts are tightly packed, creating a very dense pile which is both rich and soft. It’s perfect in living rooms and bedrooms with moderate to light traffic.
Loop – Instead of cutting the loops, carpet mills leave the loop uncut with no visible ends, providing very good resistance to matting and crushing. There are several looped styles of carpet available:
Level Loop Pile – The loops are of equal height, making the carpet very durable and resistant to matting, often used in high traffic areas. Berber is the most popular residential carpet of this style. It is usually made of an untwisted yarn which is low in profile and typically has a multicolored appearance.
Multilevel Loop Pile – Usually has two to three different loop heights to create pattern effects. It’s looped structure provides good durability.
Cut and Loop – Cut and loop carpets have both cut and loop piles and usually have a sculptured pattern which is multicolored.
CARPET BUYERS GUIDE – The PAR Rating system
The PAR Rating system is an industry scale endorsed by The Carpet and Rug Institute and measures a carpet’s likelihood to change from its original appearance due to matting. It is rated on a scale from 1-5, with a high number representing the least change and therefore higher quality. Generally, the denser a carpet is tufted, the higher its PAR will be.
Fiber is a major component in determining a carpet’s durability There are 5 basic fibers that are used in carpet construction, each with their strengths and weaknesses.
Nylon: One of the most popular pile fibers used. It is wear-resistant, resilient, withstands the weight and movement of furniture, and provides brilliant color. Ability to resist soil and stains. Generally good for all traffic areas.
Polyester: Noted for luxurious, soft “hand” when used in thick, cut pile textures. Has excellent color clarity and retention. Easily cleaned, and resistant to water soluble stains.
Polypropylene (Olefin): Strong, resists wear and permanent stains, and is easily cleaned. Resists static electricity and is often used in both indoor and outdoor installations because of its resistance to moisture and mildew.
Acrylic: Offers the appearance and feel of wool without the cost. Has low static level and is moisture and mildew resistant. Commonly used in velvet and level loop constructions.
Wool: Noted for its luxury and performance, wool is soft, has high bulk, and is available in many colors. Generally, wool is somewhat more expensive than synthetic fibers. And in some cases may aggravate allergies for some people.
CARPET BUYERS GUIDE – OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS:
Carpet made from fiber which has a luster is shiny in appearance, reflecting a rooms light. Carpet is produced in a variety of luster’s, ranging from bright to dull.
A good carpet pad will add years to your carpet and is key to your comfort under foot. The carpet pad not only creates a softer walking surface, it also helps absorb noise, prevents carpet from sliding and insulates cold floors. Different materials are used to make carpet pad. Foam rubber and Urethane are the most common – both are durable, non allergenic and mildew resistant. Foam rubber cushions are often available both in flat and waffle styles
It is best to choose an pad based on the room’s intended use.. The denser the pad, the better the carpet will perform. A thin, super soft pad is less effective than a fairly firm one. A firm, dense pad should be used in rooms with heavy traffic, while a carpet pad with less density can be used in rooms with lighter traffic.
Thank you for reading the carpet buyers guide. We hope you found this information useful and that it will help you to better select the carpet that’s right for your home or business.