Choosing the best carpet type is about more than just looks. Carpets come in many fiber types, and piles, and with various levels of stain resistance. In general, synthetic carpets are much less expensive than natural fiber carpet such as wool or cotton.
Top Considerations When Choosing a Carpet Type
1. Know the Maintenance Requirements
All carpets need maintenance, but some materials need professional cleaning and care. Kids’ rooms and households with pets need a low-pile and stain-resistant carpet which you can find in nylon and triexta fibers.
2. Compare the Carpet Padding Options
The carpet padding material is as crucial as the tufted material. You want firm and dense padding for high-traffic areas to cushion against the floor. Thick padding also extends the lifespan of your carpet.
Installing a carpet without padding may void its warranty. The most common padding options include foam, fiber, and rubber.
3. Check the Warranty Terms
Check the wear and appearance retention warranty terms when picking a carpet. Fade resistance and stain and soil warranty terms are also worth considering. Some notable brands offer fade resistance and installation warranties.
The best carpeting companies offer a 10-20-year warranty on texture retention. Under this warranty, the carpet should keep its appearance under normal foot traffic. High-quality carpets tend to have such warranty conditions.
4. Consider the Installation Criteria
Before installing a new carpet, you need to remove the existing one and clean the subfloor. The rooms should be clear of any furniture or obstructions. Hiring a professional is ideal for wall-to-wall carpeting.
5. Check the Pile Type
Most carpet piles are either woven or tufted. Interlocking the carpet fibers creates a flat, seamless woven rug. Woven carpets are durable because their fibers are interwoven and difficult to pull out.
Manufacturers make tufted carpets by punching threads through the backing to secure them. A tufting machine anchors fiber tufts to the backing material.
6. Consider the Carpet’s Construction
There are many different styles of carpet available, each with its perks and downsides. The main carpet styles are plush, Berber, patterned, and textured.
- Berber carpet is made from loops of thick fibers. The chunky yarn creates a textured, informal look. It’s durable and low-maintenance, making it ideal for high-traffic areas.
- Plush carpets have cut fibers that create a soft, velvety surface. It’s luxurious and comfortable but can be difficult to clean.
- Textured carpet fibers are twisted or curled in different directions. The twisting creates a multi-dimensional surface. It’s versatile but may show footprints more than other carpets.
- Patterned carpet combines different colors and textures of fibers to create versatile designs. Patterns add visual interest to a room. But, patterned carpets are more difficult to match with furniture than solid-colored carpets.
7. Carpet Fiber
Carpet fibers come in natural and synthetic varieties.
- Wool: Wool is a soft, resilient natural fiber that’s also stain-resistant. It insulates and regulates room temperature. But wool is expensive and needs regular maintenance.
- Sisal: Sisal, made from agave plant leaves, is popular for its durability and stain resistance. But, it is harder than other natural fibers and may wear out faster.
- Jute: Like sisal, jute is durable and resistant to stains but softer than sisal. It may also wear out faster as a result.
- Nylon: Nylon carpets resist stains, fading, and wear and tear but aren’t as supple as natural fibers. Nylon carpeting can be pricey too.
- Polypropylene: A synthetic fiber that’s moisture-resistant and durable. Polypropylene carpets are ideal for basements and bathrooms. But, polypropylene may not be as soft or comfortable underfoot as other synthetic fibers.
- Polyester: Polyester is silky, colorfast, and stain-resistant. It’s cheap and easy to maintain, but it may wear out faster than other synthetic fibers.
- Pad: An underlay that makes a carpet comfortable to walk on and minimizes stress on the flooring. Carpet padding is made from foam, felt, or synthetic fibers.
- Pile: The height of fibers from the carpet surface to the backing. Deep or high pile carpets have long fibers, while low pile carpets have short fibers.
- Grade: The quality score of a carpet. Low-end grades are cheaper but last for 3-5 years. Medium and high-end grade carpets last longer but are pricier.
- Backing: Secures the carpet fibers and adds to the structural strength. Manufacturers use primary backing to tuft the yarn, then cover it with a secondary backing. A coating is applied on the carpet’s back, referred to as “unitary backing.”
- Density: Density is how close together the carpet fibers are. A carpet with a higher density is thicker, so you can’t feel the carpet backing when brushing your hand through. A high-density carpet is a better quality carpet.
- Berber: Berber carpet is a loop pile carpet that’s either hand-made or manufactured. Common Berber carpet materials are nylon, polypropylene (olefin), and wool.
- Fluffing: The process of unflattening carpet areas. You could use heat from a steam iron, a blow dryer, or a carpet cleaner to make your carpet fluffy again.
- Carpet face weight: The weight of the carpet pile per square yard. The ideal carpet face weight for residential flooring ranges between 35 and 60 ounces. Carpets with a high face weight are suitable for high-traffic areas.