Carpet is the top floor covering choice in the United States.  It is soft underfoot, forgiving of less than perfect subfloors, available in thousands of colors, weaves and textures, dampens sounds and can be budget friendly.  The most important factor in choosing carpet for your home is to understand your lifestyle and select carpet that will hold up in areas where it will get the most wear.  Carpet does not wear out, carpet “uglies out”!

More than ninety percent of the carpeting on the market is made of synthetic fibers.  Fibers have different qualities, so it is important to match the material to the expected wear.

  • Nylon is valued for its ability to rebound.  Even with wear, it returns to how it is supposed to look.  It holds color well, is naturally resistant to stains and is easy to clean.
  • Polyester is known for its softness, color clarity and its stain and fade resistance.  Though, it is not as resilient as Nylon, it is an economical choice, used most often in thick cut pile and textured styles.
  • Polypropylene is naturally stain and fade resistant, though it has a tendency to attract oily soils.  It is the second leading fiber choice, but comes in a limited color range.   This fiber is generally used in looped pile carpet, such as berbers, because it is not very resilient.
  • Natural fibers or non-synthetic choices are wool, sisal, jute, sea grass, silk and cotton.  Wool is the best overall performer, offering rich color and durability.  It also cleans well.  However, it is the most expensive fiber.

There are five basic styles of carpet on the market; Saxony, Looped, Frieze, Textured and Cut and Looped.  With any carpet style it is important to take into account lifestyle, foot traffic, fiber, face weight, pile, density, twist and durability rating.  Lastly, carpet cushion (link to cushion) will protect your investment.

  • Saxony or plush is the most luxurious choice.  Each yarn of this type of carpet has a uniform height and finish, offering a smooth look and soft feel.  This style is notorious for showing footprints and vacuum tracks.
  • Looped means the yarn tips of the carpet are looped, not cut, providing a round surface that is extremely durable.  Berbers are the best example of looped carpet, which are ideal for high traffic areas.
  • Frieze carpets have a cut pile and perform well in high traffic areas.  Each strand of yarn is twisted tightly and easily bounces back.  This style hides footprints and vacuum tracks very well.
  • Textured carpet has alternating twists of yarn, creating a two-tone appearance.  It provides a casual look and wears well.
  • Cut and Looped carpet styles are created through the combination of some cut yarns and some looped yarns.  With its carved appearance, it can be found in casual and formal settings.  This carpet holds up well in high traffic areas and the texture helps to hide stains.
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