Acrylic, polyester, wool, oh my! When shopping for carpet, there are several options and many things to consider.
Going to the carpet store and seeing and touching carpet samples is going to help you decide what carpet best suits your needs and help you better understand the different types available. Before you make a decision you want to make sure you have considered the different types of carpet and fibre and how well they clean, wear, and which room they would be best suited in.
One of the first choices to make is between tufted and woven construction. Most carpets are tufted, consisting of rows of machine-punched yarns held together by adhesive and a backing. These are said to last around five and seven years. Woven carpets, made on a loom, are usually longer lasting around 20 to 30 years.
Another aspect to consider is the fibre type. Most carpet contains one of six pile fibres: nylon, polypropylene (olefin), acrylic, polyester, wool, or cotton. Carpet pile fibres significantly impact carpet performance. How the pile is cut and shaped contributes to its look and feel. For example, nylon is the most popular fibre and is a good choice for all traffic areas because it is durable and static free, maintains fibre height, and resists soiling, staining, and mildew.
Next, it is important to determine the quality of the carpet you are purchasing which can be determined by the twist level, the density and the face weight. The higher or tighter the carpet yarns are twisted, the better the carpet. Density measures how tightly the fibres are attached to the carpet backing. The closer together the fibres are attached, the less wear to each individual fibre, and the longer the carpet will last. Face weight measures the number of ounces of fibre per square yard of carpet. The higher the face weight the better the carpet.
When comparing prices remember to determine if the price includes the carpet padding, which is the most essential accessory in carpeting. Good padding will absorb the pressure of foot traffic, provide additional insulation and prevent buckling or wrinkling of the carpet.