In a previous article, we discussed different types of flooring, specifically vinyl, laminate, and hardwood. When it comes to comfort though, nothing beats carpet. In this article, we will go over the different types of carpet and how they compare to other flooring options in terms of cost, durability, and other considerations.
Nylon remains as the most widely used material for carpets due to its softness, durability, and resistance to stains. While it is also the most expensive material for carpets next to wool, it also lasts the longest and is the most resistant to stains. This is why a whopping three quarters of carpets are made with nylon.
Conversely, polyester is probably the cheapest material used to make carpets. It also has the shortest life span of approximately five years. This is because it is not a resilient fiber, meaning every time it gets stepped on, it does not really recover. However, this material is also the most capable of being made in and retaining the most vibrant colors. Polyester is hypoallergenic, and often made with recycled PET bottles. Carpets made with this material may be ideal when you want a splash of color or for areas that you expect will be subject to stains. They may also be a cost effective option for areas that see little foot traffic.
Polypropylene (also called olefin) is an extremely durable fiber, but is also not very resilient. It can be highly stain resistant when treatment is applied, but can look dingy when dirty. Propylene carpets with a tighter weave will last longer (more on this later), and are wheelchair-friendly.
Wool is the cream of the crop when it comes to carpet material. It makes for the softest carpets, while also being all natural, a good insulator, and fire resistant. However, this also means that it is the most expensive carpet material. It requires professionally cleaning using special methods to properly care for this type of carpet. There are also established brand names in wool carpets that can demand a premium for their products, so prices can vary widely even within the same category. Wool carpets are worth the investment in terms of quality. However, if you have children or pets, you may want to consider other options as you will have to expect accidental (or intentional) stains and damage.
Types of Pile
Carpet pile refers to the finishing of the carpet fibers on the surface. Uncut pile, also called “loop” or “berber,” retains the original loops of the sewing of the carpet fiber. Uncut pile is more durable and resistant to dirt, stains, and indentations, but is usually less soft and can snag unsuspecting pets and children.
There are many different types of cut pile. Saxony is the most widely used, which makes for the fuzzy surface known by most. However, it can be more prone to flattening and taking imprints of feet and vacuum cleaners. It can also wear down faster and stain easier. A textured cut pile is more suited for heavy foot traffic. It lasts longer but is not as soft as others. A compromise can be a frieze cut pile, which has curls spread out randomly across the surface. It is better at hiding footprints, dirt, and thinning, so it is also suitable for areas that experience high foot traffic. Plush carpet pile is the most luxurious, but is also the most high maintenance. It is very soft so it shows footprints and scuffing more, and also wears down faster.
Carpet vs. Other Flooring Options
If purely for comfort, carpets will always win hands down. However, they come with practical drawbacks, such as higher prices and more intensive maintenance. In this regard, it makes sense to have professionals take care of everything. Carpets, even area rugs, can be significant investments, and their care should not be scrimped on to make them last their full life span.
Karpet & Flooring Mart has been in the business since 1965 and we know how to install carpet and keep them in top shape. That’s why we offer a lifetime labor guarantee. Contact us today for all your carpet and flooring needs!