Choosing Carpet Part 3: Carpet Quality
In the last two months, we’ve discussed carpet materials and carpet styles to determine what type of carpet options will best meet your needs for appearance, use, and durability. But before you make the investment on buying new carpet, it’s important to also consider the quality of the carpet. A poor-quality carpet, even at a low price, is probably still not a good deal in reality. Here are some tips to find the best quality carpeting for your money.
Signs of Quality Carpet
Each carpet sample in a store should have a label on the back (or a spec sheet available) describing the carpet specifications, such as pile density rating, pile face weight, carpet fiber material, pile height, and color name or number. It will likely also give the manufacturer’s name and the carpet style name, as well as the type of stain protectant with which the carpet was treated (if applicable). If you’ve already decided on the color and material you want in your home, the label still provides a lot of valuable information to help you choose a good-quality carpet.
- Check the density. Pile density ratings are determined through a calculation involving pile face-weight and pile height. Thicker fibers that are closer together, or more densely packed, will give a carpet a better durability. Density can range from 1000 to 6000. On the label, look for a density rating of at least 2000. You can feel the density of the carpet for yourself simply by folding the carpet over. If the backing is easy to see between the fibers, the pile density is low and the carpet will lose its springiness very quickly.
- Check the face weight. Face weight, measured in ounces per square yard, can range from 20 to 80. The higher the weight, the better the quality of the carpet. Generally, carpet shoppers should look for at least 34 ounces per square yard or higher for better resilience. (Note that this number is not the same as the total carpet weight, which also includes the weight of the backing.)
- Check the tuft twist rating. Carpets are made up of lots of small fibers which are twisted together and heat set to help them stay in place. Like curling hair, the more tightly the fibers are twisted, the longer they will stay in place. The tuft twist rating tells customers how many twists per inch the carpet fibers have. Look for a rating of five or higher (five twists per inch). Frieze carpets are known for their high tuft twist ratings, which is part of the reason for their durability.
- Check for risk of shedding. Carpet fibers can be made either with one extremely long fiber, called a continuous filament, or shorter strands that are then spun into longer yarn threads, called staple fibers. Staple fibers can be a nightmare for some new carpet owners because they tend to shed immensely over the first few months, even up to a year. To avoid this, look for labels of CF, BCF, or CFN. If none of these labels are present, the carpet is probably staple.
Installing and Maintaining
Once you’ve chosen your ideal carpet sample and looked for a warranty if you want one, make sure you get multiple estimates from different carpet installers on both your square footage and total cost of installation. Make sure you don’t skimp on the pad beneath the carpet, either. Once the new carpet is in place and the hard work of research and installation is done, take a few minutes to think about carpet maintenance. Call Royal Carpet Cleaning for all your carpet cleaning needs, including sealing to help the brand new carpet keep its new look for even longer.