Pick the Right Carpet Material

21 May 2012

One of the most important parts in selecting carpet is understanding what it's made of, because different carpet fibers have different characteristics. Before you head to the showroom, figure out which type is right for your room's style and traffic pattern with this handy guide.

Pick the Right Carpet Material

WOOL

 
Pros
Hides soil
Strong, elastic and resilient; great for heavy traffic
Responds very well to cleaning, as moisture makes the fiber swell and release dirt
Naturally flame retardant
Neutralizes indoor air contaminants and does not reemit them
Environmentally friendly
 
Cons
High cost
Prone to distortion by excess agitation 
Stains easily, due to its absorbency and ease of dyeing
Very sensitive to chlorine bleach
 
Pick the Right Carpet Material
 
NYLON
 
Pros
Most commonly used fiber; readily available in a wide range of colors and textures
Good elasticity — very important in heavy traffic areas where furniture may be dragged across the carpet
Abrasion resistant, surpassing even wool
Wear guaranties often available
Resilient; can be crushed for long periods and regain its original shape
Responds very well to most professional cleaning methods and treatments
 
Cons
Can have problems with bleaching, fading, urine reactions and so on
Synthetic, so it off-gases
 
 
Pick the Right Carpet Material
 
OLEFIN 
 
Pros
Moisture resistant
Difficult to stain
Great for outdoor applications (pool, stadium)
Chemical resistant; most chemicals and bleaches won’t damage it at all
Fade resistant
Low static
 
Cons
Not a resilient fiber; when crushed it does not regain its original shape easily
Like polyester, extended exposure to oil-based soils may become permanent
Difficult to dye due to its low absorbency rate; almost always solution dyed
Synthetic, so it off-gases.
 
Pick the Right Carpet Material
 
POLYESTER
 
Pros
Very resistant to bleaching, fading and soil-dye reactions
Resistant to water-based stains
 
Cons
Difficult to dye; usually must be solution dyed, which limits the variety
Not resistant to oily stains
Can mat down quickly and will not come back the way nylon does
Synthetic, so it off-gases
 
Pick the Right Carpet Material
 
SISAL 
 
Pros
Can stand up to high traffic; good for stairs
Gives your room a great natural look while adding texture
Biodegradable and nontoxic
 
Cons
Uncomfortable against bare skin
Can be pricey (but generally less so than wool)
Susceptible to moisture damage
Can be difficult to clean

Courtesy Sharing by Houzz

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