When you’re choosing carpet, there are five important factors to consider. A well-made, high quality carpet will give you long-lasting beauty and easy care wherever you use it. Yet when you’re looking at samples in a store, how do you know what to look for? In this article, I’ll focus on 5 factors that affect quality. Then you’ll be able to choose which product is better for your Oregon home and your lifestyle.
What do you want out of your carpet?
Before diving into the 5 factors that affect quality, decide what you want out of your carpet.
Do you want a carpet that’s going to get you through those Portland, OR winters? Those wet days filled with puppy paws and dirty feet? Or are you less concerned about durability and more concerned about softness?
What’s your style? Plush, pattern, frieze? Do you like thick carpets? Do vacuum marks and footprints bother you? Do you prefer a solid color or are you mad for flecks? Think up the ideal carpet for your Oregon home. Got it? Okay, now let’s find the quality carpet for you.
Quality carpet – 5 factors to look for
Five factors define the quality of the carpet you choose: fiber type, density, yarn twist, carpet weight and pile height. Let’s review each one.
1. Carpet Fiber Type
Fiber type is the “foundation” of quality carpet. The type of fiber will affect how well a carpet performs over time and how well it holds up against pets, dirt, and heavy traffic. The five major carpet fibers that make up most carpets include:
- Nylon – the most durable and stain resistant fiber when treated with stain protection.
- Polyester – a fiber known mostly for its luxurious look and feel.
- Olefin or Polypropelene – a fiber that offers good stain and moisture resistance.
- Triexta or SmartStrand – a type of polyester with superior stain resistance, softness and durability.
- Wool – a naturally beautiful, soil resistant, durable and eco-friendly fiber.
2. Carpet Density
Density or thickness depends on two things: how close the tufts of yarn are to each other (known as pile yarn spacing) and the height of the tufts present in a square yard of carpet. Generally, a denser carpet makes for a higher quality carpet.
To check carpet density, run your hands through the carpet. Denser carpet is more difficult to get your fingers through than thinner carpet.
3. Carpet Yarn Twist
Carpet yarn twist relates to how tightly the pair of yarns in each carpet tuft is twisted. Higher quality carpet generally has a tighter twist.
To determine twist, look for turns per inch (TPI), which is often expressed as #/inch. A tighter twist will have a higher number.
4. Carpet Pile Height
Pile height is the distance from the carpet backing to the top of the carpet tufts. In this case, carpet quality based on pile height depends on personal preference regarding carpet style and practicality.
For example, a plusher, deep pile carpet will show tracks and vacuum marks but also tends to be considered softer on your feet. A lower pile height on the other hand is firmer and less likely to show track marks or furniture indents.
5. Carpet Face Weight
Face weight tells you how much fiber is in the carpet. As you may have guessed, face weight depends on the pile height and density. A denser carpet is going to use more fiber and have a heavier face weight. Generally, when more fiber is used, the cost increases.
To find out the face weight of carpet look for its weight (in ounces) per square yard. A square yard equals nine square feet of carpet. Do not confuse this with the total weight of the carpet, which includes the carpet backing
Still not quite sure which carpet is right for you?
That’s okay, there’s a lot to choose from! Stop by our store to talk with our project consultants about what you need out of your carpet. They’ll help you find the carpet that fits your Oregon home, your style, and your budget.
Learn more about how to find quality carpet
Here are several resources with more information about carpet and how to assess the quality of carpet:
- How Carpet is Made from the WFCA.
- Five important carpet buying tips
- Selecting the right carpet from the Carpet & Rug Institute
What do you think makes for a quality carpet? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,