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What Is The Best Type Of Carpet To Buy ?

Posted by on in About Carpets
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What Is The Best Type Of Carpet To Buy ?

What Is The Best Type Of Carpet To Buy?


First, remember I do not sell carpets and this is my opinion based upon my years of cleaning carpets and issues I see as far as benefits or problems with certain types of carpets.

For simplicity, I will keep this discussion limited to carpets that you would purchase for wall-to-wall installation and not used as area rugs. If you do have specific questions regarding area rugs, please feel free to e-mail me at Alec@Alecscarpetcleaning.com and I will be happy to guide you in the right direction if I can.

Carpets have two main factors as far as composition. The face yarns and the backing. The backing usually is never thought of when someone buys a carpet but it should be a consideration. The backing gives a carpet the structural support that based upon its composition will greatly affect the long-term life of a carpet.  The backing is usually composed of either a synthetic material such as nylon or natural fibers like cotton and jute. From my understanding, manufacturers will usually determine which material is used in the backing solely based upon the cost of the raw materials. 

I find that natural fibers have a few characteristics that can be a negative factor with carpets.  Natural fibers will expand and contract more than synthetic material and that could cause buckling of a carpet during humid times. This buckling will be a factor in causing premature wear. Of more concern, is if the jute backing ever gets wet from either a spill or over-cleaning with water penetrating the backing which can be a very common problem when using a truck mount cleaning system. Once the jute gets wet, it will bleed reddish-brown lignin. This by-product can cause staining on the face yarns, which if they are composed of natural fibers, the staining can become permanent. You can read more about staining in one of our other blogs about staining,  http://alecscarpetcleaning.com/blog/entry/stains-on-carpets.

The face yarns are also composed of either natural or synthetic fibers. A large part of the cost of the rug will be based on the face fibers that you select. In summary, typically natural fibers are warmer and softer while synthetic fibers will be more cleanable and wear longer. Below are some more detailed characteristics of different fibers to consider.


 Nylon: Known for its durability. A good choice for heavy traffic areas.

            Pro's ...... great resiliency

                    ...... wide range of colors

                    ...... relatively colorfast

                    ...... easy to clean with great results

                    ...... no attraction to oily soils

             Con's ..... easiest of synthetic fibers to stain with typical food and beverage spills

                     ...... will lose color in presence of bleach ( laundry room, outdoor swimming pool )

Olefin: known for durability and strength ( much less than nylon ) and can mat down easily

              Pro's ..... water resistant

                      ..... colorfastness is excellent 

                      ..... chemical resistant

              Con's ..... poor resiliency, abrade (turns fuzzy), and " uglies out " rapidly

                      ..... after cleaning, old stains tend to wick back to the surface

                      ..... low melting point ( don't drag furniture across this rug, the friction causes heat )

                      ..... attracts oily types of soil

Polyester: right behind nylon in demand

               Pro's ..... soft to the touch                 

                       ..... colorfast

                       ..... semi-resistant to bleaches and chemicals

                       ..... not attracted to acid dyes (wine, coffee, tea, urine, vomit )

               Con's ..... poor resiliency

                       ..... attracted to oily soils

                       ..... after cleaning, old stains tend to wick back to the surface

Wool: A very desirable fiber due to its' overall appearance 

                Pro's ..... naturally resilient

                        ..... resist abrading (fuzziness)

                        ..... wide range of colors

                        ..... being a natural protein fiber, it has a warm feeling

                        ..... fire resistant

                        ..... hides soiling well

                        ..... repels moisture

                        ..... easy to clean, if experienced with natural fibers

                Con's ..... expensive fiber

                        ..... dissolves in chlorine bleach

                        ..... stain removal can be difficult 

                        ..... does not react well with strong chemicals. which can limit cleaning results

                        ..... color loss, both bleeding and crocking (excess color rubbing or wearing off)


 There are many other fibers also but these are the most common. If you have questions about these or any of the other fibers do not hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to point out more detailed information on them. You can e-mail me at Alec@Alecscarpetcleaning.com or call our office at 781-871-1415. 



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Guest Tuesday, 23 April 2024