New Carpet: How to choose?by Rusty Simpson on 06/24/11
Being in several customer homes every day, we get to see and care for pretty much every type of carpet you could imagine. Depending on the fiber type and construction of the carpet, we can immediately get a pretty good idea of how easily the carpet will be to clean up and maintain.
So what does this mean for you? Choosing the right type of carpet for your home and family can make a huge difference in how much time and maintenance you're spending to keep your carpet looking clean.
When it comes to carpet fibers, the type you want will depend on the area you are carpeting. Nylon is by far the best selling type of carpet fiber. It tends to be a little more expensive than Olefin or Polyester, but it resists mildew and does well in high traffic areas because it is more wear-resistant and holds the weight/movement of furniture well. Nylon is generally good for all traffic areas.
Olefin (aka polypropylene) tends to resist staining, moisture, abrading and color fading well. However, it does tend to be attracted to oily soils. This might be a good option for a playroom, basement or even an indoor/outdoor area because if its resistance to moisture.
Polyester is stain resistant to most water-soluble stains and is easily cleaned but doesn't stand against wear and tear like the others. For the "green" minded person, this might be a good option because some polyester carpet is made from recycled soda bottles.
Wool fiber is more luxurious and can be pretty expensive compared to sythetics, but it pretty much holds the standard to which other carpet fibers are compared. It has great resilience against traffic and wear, is very soft under your feet. However, wool does not resist stains well and can turn a yellowish color when in direct sunlight for an extended period of time.
Blends are a great way to combine quality characteristics of different types of fiber.
Another important thing to consider is the Cut Pile of your carpet, which basically means how the loops of the fibers are cut and put together. Plush/Velvet is a more formal look for level surfaces. Saxony also has a smooth level finish but you can see the yarn ends so it doesn't look as formal as the Plush look. Frieze, the yarns are really twisted which creates a textured surface. This is a good option to minimize foot prints and vacuum marks. Level Loop means that the yarns are looped and are all the same height. This is more of an informal look, and is common in Berber styles. Multi-level loop pile has loops that are all different heights and they create a pattern effect. Although this is durable, it is more difficult to remove dirt from this carpet, even with regular vaccuming. Cut and Loop is a combination of loops and cut yarn. This can result in many different surface textures.
Quality of the carpet can also be added by the density of pile yarn (the denser the better), the twist of the yarn (tighter twist gives greater durability), and Heat-setting which is the process that basically makes the yarn hold its twist over time.