Why Choose Carpet?
Carpet is the foundation of your decorating. It can enhance a room with causal simplicity, or create a showcase for formal elegance. The style and color selection is so vast, you can find carpet to complement any décor. With carpet you can capitalize on the psychological affects certain colors have on mood. Think about bright, cheerful colors for children; soothing tones for older members of the family. It can also help when designing home offices and family rooms. Carpet makes the floor a place to sit, to play and to relax. Nothing feels nicer on bare feet than to shuffle through a lush, thick carpet. Regular, but simple vacuuming, quick attention to spills and professional cleaning every 12 to 18 months is all it takes to keep up appearances. In the cold weather, carpet retains warm air and in the heat, it stays cooler. It’s a great non-slick walking surface that prevents slips and falls. It ensures that seniors and toddlers find sure footing. Carpet absorbs sound within a room and acts as a sound barrier between floors.
The best-selling type of carpet is textured cut pile. Cutting looped carpet fibers at the top creates cut pile with yarn bundles standing straight. Preshearing cut pile several times creates a luxurious appearance. Cut pile is less resistant to crushing than other types of carpet.
Saxonies are tightly twisted cut piles that are heatset straight. Saxonies consist of two or more fibers twisted together in a yarn. They provide a soft texture for formal and informal areas. Saxonies show every footprint and vacuum-cleaner mark. These carpets have medium durability.
Textures are the best-selling carpets and work well in informal areas (such as family rooms and children’s bedrooms) because of its soft feel. Textures are tightly twisted and texture heatset for medium durability. They have a multi-colored look that disguises tracks and footprints.
Velvets/Plushes are lightly twisted and have a uniform color. They are softer and more level than textures. This type of carpet is ideal for formal areas (such as formal living rooms and master bedrooms) because of its luxurious appearance. Velvets/Plushes show every footprint and vacuum-cleaner mark.
Frieze is a highly twisted cut pile carpet suited for high traffic, informal areas. It has short fibers that tend to curl in different directions at the surface to hide footprints and vacuum marks.
Cut and loop pile combines cut and looped fibers. It provides a variety of surface textures or sculptured effects for medium durability. Cut and loop pile carpets are available in solid or multiple colors. The different levels in this type of carpet can hide dirt and footprints in formal and informal areas.
Level loop pile is made by weaving even loops of yarn into carpet backing at both ends. This type of carpet is very durable and track resistant because of its strong loops. Higher loops create a more luxurious appearance. Level loop piles with short and densely packed loops are easy to clean. They prevent dirt from filtering into carpet. This type of carpet is ideal for high traffic areas.
Berbers are increasing in popularity faster than any other type of carpet. Berbers limit footprints and vacuum tracks in informal areas. Berbers can have thicker yarns than other level loop pile carpets for high durability. These loops can retain dirt and may be damaged from snags. Berbers come in expensive wool fibers or less expensive nylon, olefin, or nylon-olefin fibers.
Multi-level loop pile is like level loop pile except that the loop heights vary (usually two to three different loop heights). This carpet creates an appearance of random texture. This type of carpet is good for high traffic areas but the smaller loops can sometimes hold more dirt.
Nylon is the most popular fiber (about 90% of residential carpets and 65% of all carpets). Nylon is a good choice for all traffic areas because it is durable and static free, maintains fiber height, and resists soiling, staining, and mildew. Nylon fibers, which are dyed after production, maintain color. Nylon comes in continuous or spun fibers. Spun carpet is made of short lengths of fibers that are spun together. These continuous fibers are less likely to unravel.
Olefin (polypropylene) is the next-best seller after nylon (about 80% of commercial carpet). These fibers are colorfast because the production process involves mixing polypropylene with dyes. Olefin works best in loop carpets such as Berbers. It is strong (resisting abrasion), mildew resistant, moisture resistant, and easy to clean (bleach can be used safely in some cases). However, olefin can be easy to crush depending on the pile. This fiber is good for indoors and outdoors (e.g. artificial sport turfs).
Some carpet is made from recycled material. PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) carpet is made from recycled plastics of consumer packaged goods (typically soda and other rigid containers). PET carpet is durable, water resistant, and static resistant.
This fiber is known as SMARTSTRAND when marketed by Mohawk. PTT is as colorfast as solution dyed nylon. This fiber is extremely soft, and yet behaves better than staple nylon, especially in a shag construction.
Wool is luxurious, strong, and stain resistant. It maintains its fiber height. Softest most luxurious carpet , Hides soil better than other synthetic fibers, Does not melt or catch fire.
Provides warmth and buffers noise
A firm and resilient carpet cushion is necessary to form a good foundation for your carpet, increasing its comfort and extending its life by acting as a shock absorber when someone walks on the carpet. The cushion, or pad, helps buffer sound and provides increased insulation, making a room quieter and warmer.
When selecting cushion, check the carpet manufacturer’s requirements for thickness and density. Improper selection of carpet cushion can negatively affect carpet appearance, cause wrinkling and buckling, cause separation of the carpet seams and can cause a breakdown of the carpet structure itself. Improper cushion selection also may void any applicable carpet manufacturer’s warranties. A general rule of thumb for most residential carpet applications is to choose cushion no more than 7/16 inch thick and no less than 1/4 inch with 6 pounds per cubic feet density. If the carpet is a Berber or a low profile carpet, choose a cushion no more than 3/8 inch thick with 8 pounds density.
Carpet cushion is made primarily from polyurethane foam, fiber or rubber and is available in a variety of styles and constructions to fit your needs. The type and thickness of cushion you need varies according to traffic levels and patterns. For example, bedrooms, dens, lounge areas and other rooms with light or moderate traffic can use thicker and softer cushion, while living rooms, family rooms, hallways, stairs and other heavy traffic areas require thinner, firmer cushion.
Match the cushion to the carpet
Residential cut pile, cut- loop, or high-level loop carpet requires a resilient, firm cushion with a thickness of 7/16 inch and no less than 1/4 inch with 6 pounds per cubic feet density. Types of cushion may be various polyurethane foams, including the very common bonded foam product often referred to as “rebond,” fiber, or rubber.
Berber carpet or thinner loop or cut pile carpet is made with large, wide loops, and it has been found that a stable, low-flexing, cushion foundation is necessary. A thicker, softer cushion is not acceptable. Cushion thickness should not exceed 3/8 inch for these type products. Again, check with the carpet manufacturer to see if a specific cushion is required.
Carpet brands with links to their websites: