Tips for buying carpet

Once you decide to put carpeting in your home, you need to decide what type of pile and material you want. Here is some information to help you make that decision. 

Tips for buying carpet

Loop or cut carpet pile

  • There are two types of carpet pile — loop and cut.
  • Loop is formed by yarn stitched in loops, and cut pile is made by cutting the loops.
  • Cut pile is plusher, but not as durable as loop pile, so you may want to protect cut pile with runners in high-traffic areas.
  • Some carpets have a combination of cut and loop pile, and many have pile of both types that is curled or twisted and heat-set for more durability.

Nylon

  • Nylon is used in more than two-thirds of carpets in North America. It's no wonder, since nylon is wear-resistant and resilient, and it withstands the weight and movement of furniture while providing brilliant colour.
  • Nylon resists soils and stains and can stand up to heavy traffic.
  • Solution-dyed nylon is colourfast because colour is added in the fibre production.

Olefin

  • Olefin (polypropylene) is the stuff indoor-outdoor carpeting is made of because it resists wear and permanent stains and is easy to clean.
  • The colour is added when the fibres are made, so it is colourfast.
  • Its only shortcoming is that the fibres crush easily.

Polyester

  • Polyester has a luxurious, soft feel when used in thick, cut-pile textures.
  • It has excellent colour clarity and retention.
  • It's easily cleaned and resistant to water-soluble stains.

Wool

  • Wool is very durable and luxuriously soft and thick.
  • It's available in many colours, but is much more expensive than synthetic carpeting.

Acrylic

  • Acrylic offers the appearance and feel of wool at a lower cost. It has a low static level and is resistant to moisture and mildew.
  • It's commonly used in velvet and level-loop carpets and often in bath and scatter rugs.
  • It's not as strong as nylon.

Blended carpeting

  • Blends of the materials above are also common. Wool-nylon combines the great look and comfort of wool with the durability of nylon.
  • Other good combinations include acrylic-olefin and nylon-olefin.
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