When looking for warmth, softness, affordability and comfort in your home, carpet is an ideal flooring option. Additional benefits of carpet is that it is quieter and has an easier and more affordable installation process. Carpet is still the primary flooring choice for many because of the variety of styles and colours to choose from. There are endless options when it comes to selecting a pattern, texture and colour that perfectly suits your home. Carpets differ from style to style, varying from what it’s made of, how it wears, and the stain resistance. A majority of carpet is made out of a synthetic fibre such as nylon, polyester or olefin, however the rest is a natural fibre like wool.
Wool carpet is made of natural fibres and is not likely to harbour dust/dust mites which is a great property for those with allergies. Wool has a natural stain resistant property called lanolin and also absorbs and releases moisture within the house. It also has a high resistance to smoke and flame. If you are ecofriendly, wool carpet may be the carpet for you as it is a renewable resource and is biodegradable. With many perks of wool carpet, there are some downfalls such as limited colour selection, low resistance to abrasion and the price. Since wool is a natural fibre, this makes the price higher as the fibre is not manufactured but instead sheared off of goats, sheep, and sometimes llamas.
Nylon carpet has benefits that include high resilience, fibre memory, stain resistance, affordability and easy maintenance. Nylon is able to be installed in high traffic areas due to the resilience unlike polyester. The fibre memory allows for the return of the fibre to the original state after being bent and pressed down from furniture or traffic. There are two types of nylon, type 6 and type 6.6. Type 6.6 is superior as it is stronger and more durable. Water does not affect nylon carpeting, and it is resistant to mold and mildew. The downfalls to nylon carpet includes the ability for certain substances to stain the carpet, and the static it creates when walked on. Nylon is easy to clean, but can sometimes stain from food, bleach or strong acids. There is sometimes a treatment that is applied to the fibre during manufacturing that creates more stain resistance and can have anti-static properties.
Polyester carpet has come a long way since first coming on the market creating a poor name for itself. The fibre has developed significantly, it has a high fade and stain resistance and offers a luxurious feeling and has eco-friendly properties all at a more reasonable price. Because of the way the fibre has been manufactured, polyester carpets will often offer a more vibrant colour. Additional benefits of polyester carpets are the resistance to moisture, mold and mildew. Unfortunately polyester lacks in the resilience that nylon does not, which means the warranty is not as appealing. The pile tends flatten or shed, showing where the high traffic areas are. Though there is a high resistance to stains, any oil-based stains will remain on polyester fibre such as the oils on the bottom of your feet.
Olefin or polypropylene carpet is stain resistant, cost effective, and requires easy maintenance. Much like polyester, it is highly resistant to stains with the exception of oil-based stains such as the oils from your feet and it has a low resilience. Unlike other carpets, Olefin fibres are able to resist the effects of acid and bleach. Strong chemical products can be used to clean this carpet without the fear of potentially damaging it. This fibre is also resistant to water, mold, and mildew. It also is highly resistant to shedding, and static. Olefin carpet is not recommended for high traffic or commercial applications because of the low resilience. Even with the easy maintenance, Olefin is hard to keep clean as it attracts dirt.
Plush carpets have a cut pile, but range in the pile height from style to style. This style will often be a uniform colour or have a fleck pattern to it. Saxony carpet is shorter, with slightly twisted fibres and a more uniform colour. It will show direction change of the fibre giving it a slightly different colour and appearance. Frieze carpet has fibre that is longer and highly twisted together which makes this style more durable. It also hides footprints and vacuum marks. Shag carpet is similar to frieze, but the twist is looser. Berber is a looped style or carpet where the fibre is all the same height. This creates a firm and dense surface which is ideal for high traffic areas or commercial applications.
Know your underlay. Underlay comes with many different properties. They can vary in weight, feel and the materials it’s constructed of. 7,8,10lb are offered, where 8lb is our the standard, the higher the weight the more dense it may feel. There are also options such as memory foam or a built in spill guard that are available to make sure you get the underlay that best suits your lifestyle. Sometimes, underlay is available that when paired up with the same brand of carpet will extend the warranty of your carpet and underlay. Not only does the right underlay offer protection, it adds comfort and a luxurious feeling to your home.