Of the four primary fibers used in carpeting, nylon is probably the most widely used fiber in modern carpets.? It is tough and resilient.? Nylon is also very soil resistant.? Polyester fibers are the softest available.? It accepts coloration very well, which explains why many vibrant colored carpets are available in polyester.? Olefin fibers are very strong.? It is extremely stain resistant, as often the color dyes are actually heated and fused into the actual fiber.? Wool is??a high cost natural fiber that accepts colors well.? It does however, stain more readily.? Wool carpeting is considered by some to be the most luxurious carpeting available.? It?is also ?the most durable of all fibers.??
Face weight of a carpet is a measurement of how many ounces of fiber are present in each square yard of carpet.? For the most part, the more weight, the more carpet you are receiving.? Sub standard carpet can be “fluffed” to make it look denser, but the best way to measure this is by actual weight, not appearance.
Fiber density is a measurement of how close the fibers are next to each other.? The greater the density, the better, as your carpet should withstand a greater amount of abuse.
Durability is a very subjective measurement.? The answer to that has as many answers as there are homes to be installed in.? Every home has different exposures to wear, soiling and care.? Carpet manufactures actually do perform “walk test” on carpets they make.? A carpet sample is subjected to 20,000 steps in a test area and then compared with a new carpet sample to examine for shedding, matting, crushing and overall appearance. After these things are measured according to industry standards, a rating is assigned.? The rating scale is from 1 to 5, 5 being perfect.? As you might imagine, no carpet has yet to receive a 5. No carpet after 20,000 steps will look like a piece not walked on at all.? Carpets that are rated 2.5 and above should provide normal durability, when carpets rated at 4.5 or higher,they can have tanks driven across them.
Padding for carpeting is very much misunderstood.? Many times we think the thicker the better.? Not at all!? A thin, firm pad is the best. In fact, manufacturers have very strict guidelines with respect to padding.? Never install a pad thicker than 7/16 of an inch.? Thick padding allow the backing of a carpet to flex too much.? This can lead to product failure.?
All of these items should be disclosed on the back of a carpet sample.?? If not, keep shopping.