Carpet Durability Factors That Affect Longevity
Imagine lying on the floor. You settle in, trying to find your comfortable space. You close your eyes, breathing deeply.
Picture it two different ways:
- You’re lying on carpet
- You’re lying on hardwood
Two different feelings.
We love our hardwood. But sometimes, the best thing is carpet. It’s soft, warm, and comfortable. In some rooms, it’s the best choice.
Yet if you are looking at carpet, durability is a factor. Why choose a carpet that wears down almost from the start?
Durability impacts longevity. The more durable it is, the longer it will last.
And ultimately, that’s the goal.
When most homeowners start the process of shopping for carpet, it’s usually with a color in mind. Maybe it’s replacing what’s currently there. Or improving a color already in place.
But there is so much more to selecting a carpet and ensuring it’s durable for the long term. With a bit of knowledge, you can look past the color and dig deep into selecting the characteristics that will work right for your room.
The type of fiber used to create a carpet is a huge factor in overall quality. Different fibers have different characteristics. Some work better in certain situations than others. Common fibers include:
Nylon – It’s the most popular and versatile fiber used in carpeting. Nylon is durable, stain-resistant, and resilient, which bounces back after being crushed. Nylon carpets can be found in a variety of colors and styles, making them an ideal choice for high-traffic areas.
Polyester – Polyester fibers are known for their soft feel and vibrant colors. They are also resistant to moisture, mildew, and staining, making them a popular choice for use in homes with pets and children. However, polyester is less durable than nylon and may not hold up as well under heavy foot traffic.
Olefin (Polypropylene) – Olefin is a low-cost, lightweight fiber resistant to moisture, stains, and fading. It’s often used in outdoor and indoor/outdoor carpeting, as well as in low-traffic areas. Olefin is less durable than nylon or polyester and may crush or mat over time.
Acrylic – Acrylic fibers are similar in appearance and feel to wool and are often used in carpet blends to add softness. They are also resistant to moisture, staining, and fading, making them a popular choice for use in homes with pets and children.
Wool – Wool is a natural fiber that is soft, durable, and hypoallergenic. It’s also naturally flame-resistant and has good insulation properties. Wool is at the top of the cost pendulum, and may be more challenging to clean and maintain than other synthetic blends.
Type of carpet
It’s not just the type of fiber that matters. It also depends on how the fibers are woven together and used to create the final carpet. Carpet is designed and sold under several different types, including:
Loop Pile – Loop pile carpeting is made from uncut loops of fiber woven together to create a flat and dense surface. Loop pile carpet is durable and well-suited for high-traffic areas. It is also easy to clean and maintain and can be found in a range of colors and patterns. However, loop pile’s advantages also have a downfall – it can be prone to showing footprints and vacuum marks.
Cut Pile – Cut pile carpet is made from fibers cut at the surface, creating a plush and luxurious feel. Cut pile carpet comes in a variety of styles, including velvet, Saxony, and frieze. It is well-suited for low-traffic areas, such as bedrooms and living rooms. Cut pile carpet is also more prone to matting and crushing than loop pile carpet.
Cut and Loop – Cut and loop carpet combines cut and loop fibers to create a unique texture and pattern. Cut and loop carpet can be found in a range of styles, and is well-suited for a variety of spaces, including high-traffic areas. It is durable and easy to clean, but may show footprints and vacuum marks depending on how it’s created.
Berber – Berber carpet is made from loop pile fibers and has a distinctive, flecked or multi-tone appearance. It is often made from durable materials, such as nylon, and is well-suited for high-traffic areas. Berber carpet is also easy to clean and maintain, but may be prone to showing footprints and vacuum marks.
Saxony – Saxony carpet is a type of cut pile carpet with a smooth, velvety surface. It is often made from luxurious fibers, such as wool or high-end synthetics, and is well-suited for low-traffic areas, such as bedrooms and living rooms. Saxony carpet is soft and plush, but may mat or crush over time.
Face weight refers to the amount of fiber per square yard of carpet and is one factor that can impact a carpet’s durability. The higher the face weight, the more fibers there are and the denser the carpet will be. Generally, a carpet with a higher face weight is more durable and better able to withstand heavy foot traffic.
Carpet density refers to how closely the individual carpet fibers are tufted and sewn together into the carpet backing. If carpets are equivalent in other ways, the density factor can indicate a more durable carpet.
Fiber twist refers to the number of times the fiber is twisted together, measured in one-inch increments on the carpet. This gives you a carpet twist number, often called a turns-per-inch (TPI).
Carpet backing secures the fiber tufts and gives the carpet additional strength and durability. In almost all cases, the backing will not impact the quality of the carpet. However, carpet padding will. Padding is used as a support system for the carpet. If a carpet doesn’t have a proper cushion, it will likely crush, mat, or fail faster. When deciding between upgrading carpet or padding, move to a better carpet pad for better results.
Want the best carpet possible?
There’s so much more to selecting a carpet than looking at style and color.
If you want a carpet based on durability, with longevity as one of your primary goals, look closer at how the carpet was constructed. Dig deeper into the overall production process, and select based on high-quality materials.
Have additional questions? Just ask. We’re here to help you select the best carpet to suit your needs.