Carpet continues to be a leading choice in flooring in both the commercial and residential space because of the comfort it provides. It retains warm air longer and is considered an energy conservation benefit. Carpet comes in a variety of materials and styles: wool, nylon, polyester, stain repellent applications, broadloom, tile, stretch-in, area rugs, and commercial walk off mats. Besides finding the best carpet to fulfill your needs, you'll need to consider the pad beneath the carpet. The carpet cushion is considered to be the foundation and will affect the life of the carpet depending on the quality. Leggett & Platt is a premier carpet cushion brand that we use regularly because of the high quality attributes each of their products exhibits.
Similar to other flooring options, carpet is constantly coming out with new bold and stylish trends. Currently on trend are statement looks and environmentally-friendly options. Trends include: recycled carpet, cut and loop carpet because of the variety of patterns and textures, custom carpet tile rugs, statement colors and multi-colored carpets, carpet tile patterns, and geometric carpet patterns.
Why Choose Carpet Flooring?
- Aesthetic value. Carpet often enhances a room by using color, patterns, and pile heights.
- Insulates floors and can help save energy.
- Overall comfort factor. Carpet gives a “softer” feel to its environment and is easier on the feet.
- Sound insulation. Carpet absorbs sound so it can quiet a space or building.
- Cheaper flooring option. Generally, carpet is less expensive than other flooring types.
Which Fiber Should I Choose?
Nylon and polyester are two of the most popular materials in the carpet industry. They both have pros and cons however the reigning choice comes down to needs, budget, and environment.
Nylon is known as being very durable due to its resilience from compaction, which makes it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas. Nylon is typically solution dyed meaning the color goes all the way through the fiber, like a carrot, so it is very resistant to fading. However, sometimes this can increase the probability of staining since nylon doesn't naturally repel liquids, but treatments can now be applied to increase stain resistance. Nylon is generally a more expensive fiber but the lifespan of the carpet is about 10-15 years.
Polyester is considered to be less durable than a nylon fiber because it isn't as resilient and will break down from foot traffic in less time than nylon. Polyester's claim to fame is its resistance to staining. It is a hydrophobic fiber which means it generally repels liquid. Polyester is typically a more cost effective choice, however you will experience a shorter life span than a higher quality fiber, such as nylon.
Key Carpet Terms
When selecting a carpet, some important things to understand are the wear rating, gauge, and twist density. The wear rating of a carpet refers to how resilient it is. This rating will give you a better idea of how the carpet will perform in a low, medium, or high traffic area, depending on how it is rated.
The gauge is the number of needles per inch across the width of the carpet. For example, a 1/8 gauge means there are 8 stitches per inch or 1/10 has 10 stitches per inch. The higher this number, the denser the carpet.
Twist density refers to the number of twists in the yarn per inch. The more twists, the more resilient the carpet will typically be.
Different Types of Carpet
Makes up the majority of residential carpets. This type begins as a loop but is then cut to create a cut pile.
A cut pile carpet made of twisted yarn tufts, which creates a textured surface. This often creates a casual look that will hide wear and tear more than other styles.
Loop pile yarns are looped and fastened to the backing. This carpet type is very durable and usually a good choice for high-traffic areas.
Typically contains up to 7-9 twists per inch, creating a curled appearance. The fibers flop, concealing dirt, footprints and even vacuum marks. The frieze carpet fibers that are loosely constructed are generally known as "shag".
Large, uncut loops of natural-tone fibers in different sizes make for a highly stain-resistant carpet. This type isn't ideal for pet owners however, because pets claws can snag on the fibers.