Replacing flooring in your home is a great way to change the look and feel of any of your rooms this fall. Although carpet, in the past few years, has not been as popular as hard surface floors (hardwood, laminate, or tile); there have been major advancements in carpet technology that can make replacing the carpet in your home an inexpensive, long-term investment.
TYPES OF CARPET:
SAXONY (Velvet or Plush): A more formal cut pile that tends to do well in low traffic areas, such as dining rooms and bedrooms. Saxony is soft under foot but will show traffic patterns and vacuum marks.
TEXTURED: Also a cut pile like Saxony carpet but with a tight twisted yarn placed at different angles that reflect light differently, resulting in a textured, slightly two toned look, appearance. Textured carpets are the most popular style of carpet and are recommended for any room in your home. It also shows no traffic pattern or vacuum marks.
LOOP: Often referred to as “Berber” and are generally made of Olefin, but there are also Loop carpets made of Nylon, Polyester, Triexta or a blend of various carpet fibers. Loops are available in solid colors, Berber fleck or pattern. There is also a Cut and Loop carpet, which is the combination of short tight cut pile and looped yarn creating unique patterns (thus patterned carpet). Loop carpets are very durable, fashionable and can be used in a casual or traditional setting. The multi-color and fleck loops are effective in hiding soil and stains in high traffic areas. Loop carpet is NOT recommended for homes with pets, their nails could get caught in the loops injuring your pet or pulling the yarn causing a run in the loop.
FRIEZE: (Not your grandmother's shag!) Very durable with casual comfort, high twisted, loose pile carpet. Some have flecks of other colors, there’s the barber-pole look, the spaghetti loose twist and solids. Very different from a cut pile carpet, Friezes does not show traffic patterns or vacuum marks. Highly recommended for active families, the multi-color and loose construction carpet hides soil and spills that occur between vacuuming. Frieze performs great in hallways and on steps with the spring back twist.
NYLON: Is the most popular fiber. It was invented by Dupont in the 1930’s and is solution dyed (the color is mixed in the solution, causing the color to dye the fiber all the way through once the fiber is extruded -- similar to a carrot is orange inside and out). Nylons are mostly noted for their strength, durability, resists wear and abrasion. With excellent yarn memory twist, which allows the carpet to spring back after being bent and crushed when walked on. Although Nylon is best known for wear, they are not at the top of the list for lasting stain protection. The stain protection is applied on the fiber as the carpet is produced and then applied again topically. The topical stain protection allows spills to bead up and stays on the surface of the carpet and does not penetrate through. There are several well-known stain protections “Wear-Dated with Advanced Repel Technology” and there are also unbranded stain protection (which makes the carpet a little less expensive). Nylons offer very bright and sophisticated colors with a higher price point.
POLYESTER: Less expensive than Nylon but also less durable, even though they have improved in recent years. Polyesters are known for their stain resistance mainly because they are made from (some 100%) recycled plastic bottles. The plastic bottles are chipped into pieces, extruded into fibers and made into carpet. Mohawk Industries alone recycles over 3 billion pounds of plastic each year, reducing waste to our landfills. Polyester carpet is also treated with a topical stain protector (branded and unbranded). This fiber is very soft, has exceptional color clarity and is very affordable. Polyester is ideal for bedrooms and actively used rooms, but not hallways or steps.
TRIEXTA: Better known as Smartstrand is a fairly new fiber invented by Dupont. A unique semi-crystalline (spring like) molecular structure provides Smartstrand with an incredible resiliency, in addition a stain protection built into the fiber (never wears or washed out). As proven in two “Smartstrand Challenges.” The first took place at the Birmingham Zoo, Smartstrand carpet (light beige) was installed in the living quarters of a Rhino for two weeks. After the two weeks, the carpet was vacuumed and cleaned professionally using the recommended hot water extraction method, returning the carpet to its original appearance. The second challenge was at the Dallas Zoo, installed same as before, but his time there was an Elephant, Camel and a Rhino – same two weeks, same cleaning method and again back to its original appearance. In conclusion, Smartstrand promotes the idea that if their carpet can withstand the abuse from several 7500 pound animals, it can certainly stand up to every day traffic and activities of any family. An additional bonus, Smartstrand is inherently soft (some soft as silk) due to the lack of topically applied chemicals for stain treatment (remember, stain resistance built into fiber). Last but not least, the Triexta fiber is a very green product. Its renewably-sourced polymer is manufactured using 37% bio-based corn oil. For every 7 square yards of carpet produced, a gallon of gasoline is saved.
OLEFIN (Polypropylene): Olefin carpet is ideal for any room where there could be a moisture or humidity problem, such as basements, recreational rooms or screened-in porch. In addition to low moisture absorption, Olefin is a very strong fiber with many more attributes such as stain, mildew, abrasion, chemical and sunlight resistant. Many Berbers and commercial carpets are made with Olefin.
Padding is as important as or possibly more important than the carpet fiber you choose. The performance of your carpet is also based on the grade of pad installed under the carpet (base grade pad = base grade performance). UPGRADING your pad is actually more important than upgrading your carpet. I recommend no less than an eight pound density pad, even better is an eight pound pad with a moisture barrier that prevents spills from seeping down from the carpet to the pad. Without the moisture barrier, spills eventually seep down into your pad, you clean your carpet to get rid of the stain. The stain will be gone but will return in a few weeks because the stain went into the pad, became dormant and when you cleaned the carpet the moisture goes down into the pad (activating the stain) causing the stain to wick back up.
When selecting the color of your carpet keep in mind that you might want to change your color scheme or even may be planning to sell your home in the near future, so chose a color that is very versatile and appealing to your possible buyer. We offer a 60 day satisfaction warranty on most of our carpet so if it is not the perfect color, we can fix it!
If you like this article and would like design help on your kitchen, bathroom, flooring or other home improvement projects, visit our showroom in the Wildewood Shopping Center in California, MD. You can call our showroom at 301-866-0337 and request a FREE, no-obligation, DESIGN CONSULTATION and ESTIMATE with one of our design specialists.
BathroomBedroomCalifornia MarylandCarpetDesignDesign ConsultationDurable FlooringFlooringFloorsFreeFrieze CarpetHome RemodelHome Remodel ProjectHome RemodelingHome RenovationHouseInexpensive FlooringKitchenLoop CarpetMarylandMeasurementMohawk CarpetMohawk FlooringPaddingReplacing FloorSaxony CarpetSmartstrandSouthern MarylandSouthern Maryland FlooringTextured Carpet