Advantages of Carpet Flooring
Carpet can offer more versatility,comfort, ease of maintenance and health benefits than other flooring options. It is also more "budget-friendly" than
most other choices and there are styles to coordinate with every décor.
Characteristics of Carpet
Here are some general terms for understanding how carpet is made and how to judge carpet quality.
The measure of how long your carpet will look and feel good. Ideally, carpet will retain its original texture and appearance for years to come. Durability depends on finding the right balance of three important factors defined below:
During carpet manufacturing, natural or synthetic fiber is converted to yarn and tufted, or locked into a backing to form the pile or surface that you walk on. There are five major types of carpet fiber - nylon 6,6, nylon 6, polypropylene (olefin), polyester, and wool; the most popular being nylon. Ideal for carpeting, nylon 6,6 is a man-made fiber that is wear-resistant (soil and stain resistant). Its natural properties allow for a very wide range of colors and color blends and the newest fibers offer the look
- and feel of wool, but with much less maintenance and expense.
The twist of the fiber is the way the fiber filaments are spun into yarn, and how the yarn is in turn twisted upon itself. Twist is usually locked into the fiber with a steam or heat-setting. The tighter the twist, the more the carpet will resist changes in appearance and texture.
Density describes the amount of pile in the carpet and how close the tufts are to one another. In general, the more dense the carpet the better the quality. Check density by pressing your fingers on the carpet and trying to reach the backing. It will be difficult to reach the backing of a very dense carpet. With the tufts facing outward, bend the carpet into a U shape to see how much of the carpet backing shows. The less backing you see, the more dense the carpet.
The Selection Process
How is the room going to be used?
- Is there light or heavy room traffic in the room?
- Is the room the center of activity for family or entertaining?
- Is there direct access from outside?
What You Should Know:
By asking these questions, we can gauge which grade and style of carpet would work best for your home.
Try to give a detailed picture of your expectations for the carpet. Is it important that the carpet stand up to pets, running children and bustling activity? Or are you mainly concerned about how it will look and feel in a formal living room that doesn't get a lot of use?
What to ask yourself:
- How much use will the room get? (This is a consideration because a heavily used room may not be the best place to install white or very light-colored carpet.)
- Are kids going to be playing down on the floor? Or is it a formal room that doesn't get much use? (Again, lighter colors my create more maintenance but another factor the dealer is trying to consider is whether you should choose carpet made with BCF fiber like STAINMASTER® so that children playing on the floor will not find themselves covered in loose fibers shed from staple products.)
- Is it a small room or a large room? (Smaller rooms can be made to feel larger by selecting a lighter colored carpet while larger rooms can be made to feel cozier by using a mid-to-darker colored carpet.)
- What are the lighting conditions in the room? (Rooms with plenty of natural light will show the true color of the carpet while rooms on the north side of a house may need a lighter shade of carpet to keep them from feeling darker than they are.)
What You Should Know:
You should always remember to bring swatches of fabric from drapes and furniture, wallpaper samples, and paint chips with you when you are selecting carpet. That way you can consider a range of colors that will match your existing décor. Remember that color can also affect your mood. Warmer colors often make you feel energized while cooler tones provide a sense of calm.
When considering color, remember the lighting in the carpet store is not the same as the lighting conditions in your home and samples should always be taken home before finalizing any selections.
- Here's an overview of the steps involved in carpet construction.
Bulked Continuous Filament (BCF)
Continuous strands of nylon are formed into yarn. They are also texturized to increase their bulk and to change from straight into kinked or curled fibers. This increases the "bulk" of the final carpet and makes the twist in yarns more permanent producing better wear resistance. And because BCF (Bulked Continuous Filament) fiber is one continuous strand of fiber, it will not shed loose fibers like staple fibers will, causing the owner to constantly vacuum to remove them.
Each carpet fiber is twisted around more fibers to produce a yarn for the carpet pile that is more wear resistant. The tighter the twist, the more the carpet will resist crushing, matting and changes in texture.
- Heat Setting
After the fiber is twisted, it is treated with heat to lock in the twist. The result: carpet fibers that won't easily unravel or crush under heavy foot traffic.
The heat-set fiber is fed through needles and then stitched or tufted into the primary carpet backing. The density of a carpet is determined by how much yarn is used and how close the tufts are to one another.
The tufted carpet is saturated with liquid dye then treated with a solution to set the color.
The dyed carpet is now saturated with a unique soil and stain resistant coating engineered to bond specifically with STAINMASTER® 6,6 nylon. While other fibers are protected by a stain resistant treatment as well, their treatment must be re-applied after every cleaning while STAINMASTER® protection is guaranteed to last for years without reapplication. The result is a carpet that has the long lasting ability to repel dirt and resist stains.