What You Need to Know to Make the Right Carpet Selection for Your Home, Part 1

Carpet - the single most effective means of adding comfort, warmth, and luxury to any home. But with so many carpeting choices on the market, which is the right carpet for your needs?

And that is the key! Choosing carpet that best fits your needs, for the purpose intended. Whether luxurious carpet to enhance room dècor, or the most durable carpet for high traffic areas. The best quality carpet for the best price!

This 2-part article explores different options available in residential carpet. The various carpet fibers and carpet pile nap options, and the benefits of each.

Carpet Fibers

If you view home carpet as an investment, the right fiber composition should be your primary consideration when making a purchase. Of course, carpet pile and color are also important. But carpet durability should supersede aesthetic appeal.

Carpet fiber types include:

  • Nylon carpet fiber - the most durable and resilient synthetic fiber of all. It is no surprise that nylon carpet is one of the most popular choices; especially for high traffic areas. It resists abrasions and is easy to maintain. On the down side, nylon carpet fades in direct sunlight. Note: some manufacturers offer green options; recycled nylon carpet for eco-friendly minded persons.
  • Olefin carpet fiber - another durable option, olefin is both stain and fade resistant. It also resists moisture and is nearly static free; a great choice for pet owners. Of course, when it comes to nylon vs olefin, nylon is the more resilient of the two, and easier to clean and maintain.
  • All wool carpet - luxurious in look and feel, wool carpet benefits include exceptional warmth, good durability, long life, and it recovers quickly from indents. And natural wool is non-toxic; a big selling point for many persons. Though wool carpet prices run high, it is considered the best carpet available. Unfortunately, it is a less-stain resistant than other types of carpeting and requires special carpet care. It may not be suitable for certain areas of the home. Note: there are also more economically priced nylon wool and polyester wool blend carpets.
  • Acrylic carpet fiber - although it resembles wool in softness and appearance, acrylic wall to wall carpet prices are much lower. Acrylic carpet products are made from a type of plastic. They are better at handling moisture than wool, dry faster, and are mold and mildew resistant. However, acrylic less durable than many other types of carpeting. Probably not the best choice for active households.
  • Polyester carpet fiber- a popular choice in home carpet because of its luxurious appearance and affordability. Polyester carpet is available in soft, thick cut-pile construction, and won't fade in sunlight. Newer polyester carpet is better at resisting stains than older styles; it also resists stretching and shrinking and is quick drying. However, it is not as resilient as nylon and not the best choice for high traffic areas.
  • Sorona carpet fibers - a polymer product made from corn; a green option with environmental benefits. These modern carpet fibers are manufactured by Dupont™. Dupont Sorona carpet is affordable and available in a wide array of trendy colors. It also has a reputation for being one of the most durable carpet fibers available, with permanent stain resistant properties engineered right into the fibers. Making it one of the hottest carpeting choices available today.

Another newer type of carpet to consider is fusion bonded carpet. Fusion bonded carpet construction consists of “bundles” of yarns implanted in a base layer of polymeric latex adhesive, and then heat-fused in place. The yarns are either left looped, or cut in a tufted pattern.

Since attaching yarns to the back this way means less buried fiber, carpet yarns can be more closely packed. This produces a plusher carpet with enhanced yarn density - a better suited choice for high traffic areas, and great for stairs.

Choosing carpet is much easier when the various types of carpet fibers are taken into consideration. Other important factors include carpet pile and backing. Both are covered in "Carpet - What You Need to Know to Make the Right Carpet Selection for Your Home, Part 2.”

Posted by: Lori
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