A Guide to Carpeting Types
Prior to shopping for carpet in Santa Clarita, establish a series of pre-answered questions for you to simplify the buying process. When do you need it? In-stock and special order carpets are available subject to your time frame. How long do you want the carpet to last? Different fibers offer different durability levels depending on your foot traffic. What’s your budget? A well-planned carpet budget accounts for all 3 stages of carpet installation: carpet, padding, and installation. Below is a quick reference guide to carpet choices available to help make your buying experience a bit easier.
Common Carpet Terms
Fiber: The carpet fabric itself. Single fibers are twirled together to create 2, 3, or 4-ply yarn, which is then attached to a woven backing.
Pile: The height of the fiber. Pile is also called “face” or “nap.”
Density: The measure of how closely packed the strands of fiber are to one another. The higher the density, the stronger the carpet.
Weight: Measured in ounces per square yard. Face weight refers to the amount of fiber on the surface of the carpet, while total weight includes the backing and latex as well. High face weight is a good indication of quality.
Texture: The style in which fibers are looped, twisted, or cut. This determines the look and feel of the carpet and plays a large role in its durability.
Twist: Refers to the number of time fibers turn in a 1-inch length. Higher twist counts are typically more resilient and better resist crushing.
PAR Rating: A 1-5 rating scale for performance, appearance, and retention. The higher the number, the more easily it retains its appearance.
Cut Pile fiber ends are cut evenly. There are several types of cut pile:
Saxony: A popular carpet of dense, level-cut pile clipped to about 1/2 inch high. The closely packed yarns give a soft, smooth surface that is perfect in formal settings. A smooth-finished saxony is often referred to as plush. Saxony carpet can show seams, footprints, and vacuum marks.
Textured: This isn’t as densely tufted as Saxony, but also has a very soft feel. Two-toned yarn and an uneven surface give it a casual look suited for any room. Its tight-twist construction helps resist soil, so it’s a good choice for family rooms. This is the most popular carpet option.
Frieze: Carpets have a short, durable, twisted pile fiber well suited for busy areas. It’s often used for commercial purposes. The fibers of a frieze carpet curl in different directions, so they hide footprints and other common carpet marks. Frieze yields a somewhat informal look.
Loop pile yarns are looped and fastened to the backing. These are very durable carpets and usually a good choice for high-traffic areas. There are two types of loop pile carpeting:
Berber: Features large, uncut loops of natural-tone fibers varying in size and usually made from wool, nylon, or olefin. It’s denser than most other carpets and highly stain resistant. This is not a good choice for homes with pets as their claws can snag on the fibers.
Level Loop: Contains tufted, uncut loops of equal height, resulting in a very smooth surface. It’s durable, easy to maintain and a great carpet for high-traffic areas and informal rooms. Level loop, however, is known to be harder and stiffer than the other carpet options.
Carpet fibers are made from either natural materials like wool, or synthetic materials like nylon, olefin, acrylic, or polyester. Each material brings unique characteristics to carpet.
Nylon: The most common carpet material. It’s the strongest fiber, making it an excellent choice for heavy-traffic areas. It’s also the most durable of the synthetics, easy to clean and maintain. Nylon is soil- and mildew-resistant, resilient and non-allergenic. However, some nylon may pill and be prone to static.
Olefin (Polypropylene): Originally designed for outdoor carpeting and basements due to its resistance to moisture, mildew, and water damage, staining, pilling, shedding, and static. Now it’s more widely used for its durability and wool-like feel and appearance. Olefin is dyed before it’s made into a fiber and therefore is colorfast, though some olefin can flatten and fade in direct sunlight.
Polyester: Not as durable as nylon, but it is stain resistant. Polyester offers a wide selection of textures and colors and, while it’s susceptible to pilling and shedding, it’s non-allergenic, sheds moisture, resists moths and mildew, and cleans easily.
Triexta: A newer carpet yarn noted for its durability and stain resistance. It’s another good carpet option for households with children or pets.
Acrylic: The closest to wool of any of the synthetics. Acrylic is manufactured primarily for commercial use. It offers soil resistance, excellent cleaning capability, and resistance to static, moths, and mildew. Acrylic is available in a wide choice of colors and is less likely to fade in bright sunlight than nylon or polyester.
Wool: offers a deep, rich look and feel with excellent resilience and durability. It’s naturally stain resistant and its tightly packed fibers resist dirt. For these reasons, wool carpet tends to be more expensive than the synthetic options.
As you can see, choosing the right carpet type for your needs can be quite a big job. While this guide may give you a bit of insight into the vast options available, there is still a lot of extra considerations that go beyond what has been listed above. Let the professionals at SCV Floorsmith in Santa Clarita help you get exactly what you need to fit your budget. We offer design services and a showroom full of carpet samples in every type, style, color, and finish that you can imagine. Visit our website for a free estimate!