Carpeted floors are favorites in the household because they can easily create a cozy and luxurious atmosphere in any room in your home. Carpet is simple to maintain, easy on the wallet with the lowest total cost, quick to install, and is versatile enough to match the decor of any room. It is also the best choice for those who prefer warm and cozy areas and sound-insulation for their floors.
However, with the vast array of carpet qualities, types, and styles, the task of getting the right carpet to perfectly match a room and your needs can be daunting. Most homeowners are not acquainted with the factors affecting carpet selection and performance so they can end up with the wrong purchases if not helped by professionals.
Understanding what is important to consider when buying carpet will not only help individuals choose the right material for their carpeting; it also results in a good investment and the most cost-effective decisions.
The most important aspect of carpet for the long-term is its durability. There is more to durability than just the brand and the way a carpet feels. A carpet's durability is directly related to:
- The thickness or density of the carpet
- The fiber it is made from
- The way a carpet is constructed
When looking for the most durable carpet for your budget you must consider the following:
- Carpet density is how close the fiber strands of a carpet are to each other. The denser the carpet the longer it will stand up straight and the less it will "crush". However the denser the carpet, the less soft it will be (there are nice dense carpets on the market that are still soft). You will have to decide if long term quality or softness of the carpet is more important. Or choose a carpet that is dense but still soft and get the best of both worlds.
Fiber Types of Carpet
- Wool Carpet – The most expensive of all carpet fibers. It is very durable, green (eco-friendly), and soft, but usually double or triple the cost of the more common types of carpet fibers and cost-prohibitive for most people.
- Nylon Carpet – This fiber is considered by industry experts to be the most durable for foot traffic. It is soft and comes in a large variety of styles and colors. Since it is a fiber it is prone to stains. To combat the stains most of the nylon carpets that we sell are treated with an R2X stain treatment system. It is a stain treatment that encapsulates the entire fiber and backing. When a stain occurs it beads up like mercury and you can use a wet paper towel to blot it up. When you are finished, even if you have a white carpet, you will see no remnant of the stain at all. Most of the nylon carpets that we sell carry a Lifetime Pet Stain Warranty.
- Polyester Carpet – When constructed in a Continuous Filament Platform this fiber is a nice "bang for your buck" alternative to nylon. You will get more carpet at a better cost. Most of these carpets are made with recycled beverage bottles so they are green (eco-friendly) and inherently stain resistant. Most of the Continuous Filament Polyesters are treated with the same R2X as the nylons, despite the natural stain-resistance of polyester.
- Solution Dyed Polyester – A carpet that is made a color instead of white and then dyed. Because of the way it is constructed your color selections are limited. However, if you can find a piece that you like within the color lines that are available, this carpet is one of the best values on the market today. It is almost stain proof, bleach resistant, UV resistant, made with very little oil (less dirt build up), color fast, green (eco-friendly), and all for less than the cost of comparable products. A great choice for anywhere in your home.
- Triexta – A glorified polyester carpet product that is manufactured exclusively by Mohawk. It is naturally stain resistant, however they do not treat it in any way with stain blockers.
- Olefin – A more basic carpet fiber made from plastic that is very stain resistant but not as soft as some of the other fibers and will crush quickly.
When purchasing carpet for any area in your home, stain resistance is very important. Stain resistance can mean many different things when purchasing carpet. Here is a quick summary of stain resistance and carpeting:
- Inherent Stain Resistance – Carpet that has inherent stain resistance is made with a fiber that does not absorb (or absorbs very little) foreign liquids. The most popular of these types of carpet is Solution Dyed Polyester followed by a Continuous Filament Polyester. The best inherently stain resistance carpets come with a stain treatment on them as well to help prevent any stains from absorbing into your carpet.
- Stain Treatment – All carpet is ultimately a fiber. When treated with a stain treatment, whether it is a stain resistant fiber or not, the carpet is better equipped to repel stains. There are 2 different types of stain treatments:
- Whole Fiber System Stain Treatment – A stain treatment that bathes the entire fiber and backing is the best type on the market. One of these is R2X. It encapsulates the entire fiber system and backing, eliminating stains that would otherwise come back after a cleaning because the backing is stained.
- Topical Stain Treatment – just treats the tips of the fiber. This type of stain treatment wears off pretty quickly and is not a quality product for the long-term.
The better the stain treatment on your carpet, and the less oil that is used in the manufacturing process, the better your carpet will repel dirt and the less dirt will be able to build up – extending the life of your carpet fibers and the look of your carpet.
Price of Carpet
Budget – One of the most important words when making a purchase. Usually the price of the carpet is directly related to the quality of it, however, that is not always the case. Once you get above a certain benchmark of cost per square yard you are spending more on style than quality. One thing to watch out for are very stylish carpets that cost a lot of money but are made with lower quality fibers. Another red flag are carpets that feel nice but are made poorly (there are quite a few of these on the market).
It is a good idea to work with an honest and reputable company that practices no pressure sales to make sure you know what you are purchasing and that you are getting a fair price. You can always call us with questions, no matter who you are buying the carpet from.
Remember, the best price is not always the best deal.