Is Carpet a Good Choice For You?
Installing new flooring in your home is one of the most important investments you will make. You have several options to choose from, including carpet, wood, tile and more. There are several things you should keep in mind when making your choice, including how often the floors should be professionally cleaned. Understanding how carpet is made and the many different varieties that are available can help you determine if carpet is right for your home. And of course, if you decide to go with carpeting, you will need to find a quality carpet cleaning company.
Why carpet is a good choice for many
Carpet is easily the most popular flooring type installed in modern homes, with good reason: It’s less expensive, easy to install and you can’t beat the variety of choices available to you. Here are a few reasons why carpet is a fantastic flooring choice for you:
- When it comes to styles, patterns and colors to choose from the possibilities are endless.
- Carpet makes a great sound barrier due to its cushioned surface and walking on carpet is much less noisy than other flooring options.
- During the colder seasons, carpet provides insulation keeping it warm underfoot.
- If the safety of family members is a concern, carpeting offers a non-slip surface that also provides a cushion if breakable items are accidentally dropped.
- Synthetic carpets are generally treated with stain resistant treatments, which makes them easy to clean and maintain.
Types of Carpet Fibers
Synthetic and natural fibers are both used in making carpets. How each room is used or lived in is the best way to determine what type of fiber you should choose. There are five basic types of carpet fiber:
As one of the leading fiber options, wool is the only natural fiber used to make carpets. Preferred for its natural beauty, wool does have natural soil resistance qualities, but is not stain resistant as synthetic fibers. It is durable and when well cared for can last for a long time. It is also considered an eco-friendly floor covering.
Of all the fibers, nylon is the most stain resistant carpet fiber available, when treated. Homes with pets and children can benefit from this carpet fiber as well as those who entertain frequently. Nylon is commonly used in high traffic areas like hallways and stairs.
If you have a more normal level of traffic in your home, polyester provides a luxurious look and feel. It also offers a wide selection of colors and styles to choose from.
While not as durable nylon or polyester, olefin is resistant to moisture, mold, and mildew. It’s not as comfortable to walk on making it best suited for basements and outdoors.
Though not as widely available, acrylic is less expensive than wool and could be used as a synthetic alternative.
Textures of Carpeting
Carpet texture is defined as how the fibers of the carpet are attached to the backing of the carpet. Generally speaking, there are three different types of carpet texture: Loop, cut-pile and cut-loop
As the name suggests, the fibers in loop pile are bent into little loops that are uncut on the carpet surface. Durable and stain-resistant, this texture usually has a low profile and limited cushioning and is considered ideal for heavy traffic areas. Within the loop pile family are:
- Berber is the most popular style of loop carpet and can be constructed as a level-loop or multi-loop carpet.
- Level loop features short loops that stand up well in high traffic areas.
- Multi-level loops mean the tops of the loops vary in height to give a carpet a patterned texture.
Cut pile carpet consists of yarns that are cut at the ends giving them a soft feel that makes them perfect for bedrooms, living rooms and family rooms. The amount of twist in the yarns is the main variance among the styles giving them different levels of durability. There are five basic styles of cut pile carpet:
- Plush has a smooth texture with an elegant appearance.
- Saxony also has a smooth finish, but the fibers are longer with more body. The longer fibers mean footprints linger and furniture creates dents.
- Textured cut pile has fibers of uneven lengths to create a rougher surface consistency.
- Frieze (also known as shag) carpet has long fibers and isn’t recommended for high traffic areas.
- Cable is the most comfortable of all the textures due to its long fibers.
Cut and loop is yet another type of carpet that has a combination of high cut tufts and lower loops in a variety of patterns. Cut-loop carpets offer good performance and are good for hiding dirt and stains but are slightly less durable than loop carpets.
Tufted Carpet Construction
A tufting machine works like an over sized sewing machine with hundreds of needles that insert loops of fiber into the carpet’s backing to form the face pile of the carpet. The majority of residential carpet is manufactured as tufted carpet. The quality and durability of the carpet is most influenced by the twist of the fibers and the density of the tufts. Below is a list of components that go into the construction of a carpet:
Twist refers to how tightly the fiber has been twisted. The tighter the twist, the better the carpet will resist crushing and matting. Most cut pile carpet styles have between 3-6 twists per inch.
The amount, and how tightly packed together the fibers are within the carpet is called density. The closer together the fibers are placed, the denser the carpet will be, and the better it will wear and perform.
Stain Resistant Carpet
The primary factor in determining stain resistance is carpet fiber type: nylon, polyester, olefin or wool. Most manufacturers also apply post-production stain protection treatments to enhance each fiber’s natural stain resistant properties.
There are two popular methods for dying carpet:
Solution Dyed – In order to give the carpet stronger stain and fade resistance, the fiber is dyed before the fiber are woven.
Continuous Dyed – When the post-tufting process is completed, this process is what will achieve solid colors.
When choosing a color scheme for your carpet, consider the walls, window treatments and other furnishings. Bring fabric and color with you when talking to the flooring installation experts.
Once you have your new carpet installed, remember that keeping it looking beautiful will require regular professional cleaning. When you are ready for that first cleaning, give Neato Carpet Care in Phoenix a call!