Carpeting | Commercial

Warmth and comfort under foot

Carpet is still the primary flooring choice for many. After all, it's relatively inexpensive, comfortable, generally easier to install and replace than other floor coveings and offers more fashion options in colors and textures than any other floor covering option on the market.

There is no doubt that carpet offers homeowners more warmth, softness and is much quieter than any other floor covering. Todays carpet styles, colors and textures blend well with any home decor and with a variety of other flooring products. From traditional, to country, to formal you can always find a carpet that will enrich any interior setting and give you years of performance.

Advantages

A few advantages to using carpeting in your home.

  • Carpet adds warmth and is soft under feet and easier on children's knees.
  • Carpet is much quieter than hard surfaces floors.
  • Carpet comes in a wide variety of color tones and hues.
  • Carpet is easy to decorate with and offers many solid color tones for rooms with patterned wall coverings.
  • Carpet can hide many subfloor irregularities that would not be permitted with hard surfaces floors.
  • Carpet can go over a variety of substrates and on all grade levels, even concrete slabs in basements.
  • Carpet is economical and the installation costs are generally less than some of the hard surface products.
Carpet Construction Types

A brief overview of the common carpet construction types sold in floor covering stores.

SAXONY
  • Smooth, soft cut-pile surface
  • Versatile in performance & in appearance.
  • Works well with traditional rooms
  • Used a lot in formal areas

  • TEXTURED SAXONY
  • Textured surface helps hide footprints
  • Great casual appearance
  • Extremely popular style
  • Ideal for active families, used in any room

  • VELVETS
  • Fine, tip sheared surface
  • Elegant style, very formal
  • Not as popular as some of the other styles

  • FRIEZE
  • Textured surface, with knobby appearance
  • Extremely durable, and long wearing
  • Great for active rooms
  • Not as popular as some of the other styles

  • CUT AND LOOP
  • Distinctive carved appearance
  • Cut and loops give a variety of surface levels
  • Multi-colors helps hide stains, and traffic
  • Can really spice up a room
  • Fits a variety of room settings

  • MULTI-LEVEL LOOP
  • Several different levels of loops
  • Creates a unique looking pattern effect
  • Has a casual appearance
  • Very durable, hides traffic well

  • LEVEL LOOP
  • Loops are all the same height
  • Usually made with Olefin fiber
  • Casual appearance, but extremely durable
  • Great for active family rooms, or basements
  • Special Note About Berbers: Berbers are really big bulky yarns that are either produced in a level loop, or multi-level loop carpet construction. Although many Berbers are made out of olefin fiber, some are made with nylon, or a blend of various carpet fibers.

    Carpet Fibers

    Nylon - This is the most popular synthetic carpet fiber used today. It offers tremendous value, performance, and ease of maintenance. Nylon provides brilliant colors and hides soil and traffic well.

    Olefin - This fiber is also called polypropylene, and is extremely popular in Berbers and level loops. Olefin carpets are highly stain, static, mold, and mildew resistant. They can be used for indoor or outdoor carpets, including outdoor turf. Their resistance to matting and crushing are not as good as a nylon fiber.

    Polyester - Gives excellent color clarity with a soft feel to the carpet. Lacks the durability of a nylon carpet.

    Acrylic - Has a real wool look and appearance. Used mainly in level loops, bath mats, and some velvet carpet styles. Offers good mold and mildew resistance with low static levels.

    Wool - Wool has been used for floor covering for as long as rugs have been hand woven. It is the fiber by which all other fibers are judged, and is the fiber of choice for discerning customers. Worldwide, wool is less than 15% of total carpet volume. Virtually all handmade area rugs, most woven carpets, as well as the majority of patterned carpets for quality homes or heavy contract use wool fiber.

    Carpet Buying Tips

    Many homeowners choose carpeting because it is warm, and soft under foot. When you select a carpet you generally buy it with the expectations that your new carpet will look just like the sample in the store for many years. Having some general knowledge about the different characteristics of carpeting will help you choose the best carpet to meet your expectations.

    Below are a few things to help you understand why certain carpets perform better than others.

    YARN TWIST - When it comes to carpet "tighter is better". In general terms, the tighter the twist the longer the carpet will perform before it begins to crush and matt. By taking lots of fine fiber strands (called filaments) and spinning them into a tightly twisted yarn and then locking them all together with heat you get a much more resilient yarn for making carpet.

    SHORTER NAP - The height of the carpet's nap is also important to the overall performance of the carpet. The higher the yarn stands above the backing of the carpet the more difficult it is for the manufacturer to make the carpet crush and matt resistant. So the shorter the pile height the more crush resistant and the longer the like-new appearance of your carpet will last.


    STITCHES PER INCH - Like most fabric materials, carpet that has more yarn (or stitches) per inch will also be more crush and matt resistant. Some carpets are so dense that it is nearly impossible to push your fingers in between the yarns. Obviously, the carpets where the yarns are so crowded and packed together will have a easier time resisting crushing.

    CARPET CUSHION - A good quality carpet cushion will extend the life of any carpet, regardless of the quality of the carpet. Carpet cushion serves a vital purpose which is often overlooked. Good quality carpet cushion acts as both a shock absorber and a spring which helps improve a carpet's overall performance. Review the carpet manufacturer's cushion recommendations prior to purchasing a carpet.

    CONTINUOUS FILAMENT NYLON (CFN) - If you see on the back of a carpet sample a label that says "CFN", or "BCF", that means this carpet is made from continuous filament nylon. Continuous filament nylon starts out as one long continuous strand before made into yarn. The other type is called staple nylon, which means each fine filament starts out as a short strand about 8 inches long before it is spun into yarn and then tufted into carpet. Both BCF and Staple yarns are used to tuft carpets. BCF stands for "bulked continuous filament" yarn. This yarn is comprised of a given number of filaments or continuous strands of nylon that have been extruded and pulled together into yarn bundles. These bundles are then texturized into a kinked or curled configuration to increase bulk and cover. At this point, if desired, the BCF yarn may be heat-set to lock in the twist before being tufted into carpet.

    Staple refers to a fiber in the natural unprocessed state that has not yet been turned into yarn. Bales of Staple fibers, each about 8 inches long, are shipped to the carpet mills, where they are processed into spun yarns. At this point, if desired, the Staple yarn may be heat-set to lock in the twist before being tufted into carpet.

    Shedding is probably the biggest difference cited between carpets made with Staple and BCF. Shedding is a normal characteristic of most new carpeting.

    There are two types of shedding. Many carpets are sheared as one of the final steps in the manufacturing process. Although large vacuums are employed to remove these loose fibers, some of the cut fibers will fall into the carpet pile, causing minor shedding when the carpet is first installed.

    Because of the essential and unique characteristic of any spun yarn, carpets made with wool or man-made Staple fibers will not have all the fibers anchored into the carpet backing. A small percentage of these fibers will be removed by vacuuming during the first few months after the carpet is installed. The length of time the carpet will shed depends on the pile height and type and frequency of vacuuming. This normal loss of fiber will not affect the durability and performance of the carpet, as the amount of fibers removed is very small compared to the total amount of fibers in the carpet.

    LOOPED CARPETS - From level loops to berbers there is an important factor to look for when buying a crush resistant looped carpet. This is the density of the loop and how much free space is in the middle of the loop. The more filaments that are packed in the yarn and the tighter the loop the better the performance will be.

    Carpet Padding

    Carpet without high-quality padding is only half the package. The right padding makes carpet feel richer, thicker, softer and warmer – in other words, more luxurious.

    Benefits of Quality Padding
    Good carpet padding helps to muffle noise throughout your home. A thinner padding may be incapable of dampening the sounds of foot traffic and other unnecessary noise. A substantial cushion will soften footsteps and muffle echoes.

    Padding acts as a shock absorber. Without a substantial cushion underfoot - either a flimsy one or worse yet, no cushion at all - carpet is hard, unyielding and uncomfortable to walk on. A good grade of padding keeps the heel of your foot from hitting against a hard floor or slab.

    Quality padding will also extend the life of your carpet and make it easier to clean. Dirt grinds down carpet fiber and shortens a carpet's lifespan. A quality cushion makes cleaning more efficient because it raises carpet off the floor and provides an air space so carpet can "breathe." Quality cushioning lets more air come up through the carpet, thus carrying more dirt along with it.

    Padding will also help insulate your home and prevent heat loss through your floor. It may even lower your utility bills!

    Good quality padding also protects carpet backing - the material that holds the carpet together. Industry studies have shown that a quality cushion can increase the useful life of a carpet as much as 50% or more.

    Types of Padding
    There are three basic types of padding - foam, rubber and fiber. Each type is further subdivided into two or three varieties. Each variety has characteristics which make it useful for particular types of carpet. Each variety also has grades that vary by density, thickness and the amount of force it takes to compress the cushion.

    Density is one of the most important parameters of any type of padding. Density equals the weight divided by thickness and is measured in pounds per cubic foot. All types of padding can be made dense (more material) or light (more air), or any grade in-between. They can be soft, firm, resilient or supportive according to the type of room and expected traffic on the carpet they support.

    Durability
    When selecting your padding, it’s a good idea to factor in the durability required of your carpet. Will there be a lot of two or four legged foot traffic? These factors affect the quality of the cushion that will work best for you.

    Touch
    Do you prefer a firm or a soft feel underfoot? The grade of the carpet cushion you choose will affect whether the carpet gives under weight or remains stable.

    Chemical Emissions
    Consider that many home furnishing are produced from chemical synthetics. The Carpet and Rug Institute and the Carpet Cushion Council entered into an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to initiate a program to lower volatile chemical emissions from carpet and padding. Emissions are very low to begin with, but with this program in place, every possible technological step is taken to reduce them still further and reduce the irritation to even the most sensitive customers.

    To be sure you are getting products with low emissions, select carpets and cushions which display the “Green Label.” This is your assurance that the product you purchase is monitored by the Air Quality Testing Program.

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