What Makes One
Carpet Better Than Another?
quality is determined by several factors including: the
type of materials used; the amount of fiber face-weight; and how
well the carpet is constructed overall.
Here is some
information you need to know before you begin shopping and before you make your final carpet selection.
me explain a little about Carpet Specifications and where you can
locate or obtain all this crucial information as you begin shopping for new
carpet for your home.
The Carpet "Specification" Label
On the back of every carpet sample
there should be a manufacturer's label that shows the name of the manufacturer; the Type of
Fiber used to make the carpet pile; the limited warranty information and the
carpet style and color names.
The label might reveal which anti-stain or anti-static treatments have
been applied. It may also include the Pile Density Rating, Pile height,
Face-Weight and the Tuft Twist rating, but in most cases these specifications are NOT listed on the
They don't want you to ask too many questions. They just want you to choose your
new carpet based on the color, the style, the feel and the price. Which is, the
absolute worst way to select a new carpet for your home and will usually end in
you being unhappy with your carpet selection a some point down the road.
5 key Carpet "Specs" are the critical information you
MUST have access to, to help you determine how durable the carpet is
and whether or not it would be a good choice for your needs, goals and
Sadly, many carpet manufacturers either don't
provide complete information on the labels or retailers may remove, alter or refuse to
provide the information that consumers need to make wise and
informed carpet choices.
My Free Carpet
Foot- Traffic Test - To see what grade of carpet you need to
is it so difficult to comparison shop for carpet?
Most carpet stores carry the exact same carpet
brands, styles and colors as other nearby carpet stores. Some carpet retailers
may not be willing to provide you with the carpet specifications to make it harder for you to comparison shop.
They don't want you to shop for a lower price on
the exact same carpet down the street. In their mind, it's not fair for their
commissioned salesperson to spend hours helping a customer find the perfect
carpet... then for that customer to buy the exact same carpet down the street
because it was a few dollars cheaper.
While I do understand their frustration
with dealing with customers who shop around for the best deals, I believe all
consumers deserve to have full and complete access to the carpet
If your carpet retailer is not willing to
provide you with all the carpet specs, then you might consider shopping somewhere
else. Bear in mind that the salesperson will often have to call the carpet maker
to gain access to the "spec sheet" and it could take a day or two to
gather all the information for you. Be patient!
How To Shop For Carpet?
You should take your time shopping for carpet
and gradually narrow down your selection to just a few carpet types that you
really like, that may be suitable for your needs and that are within your price
range. Then before you make your final choice, ask the salesperson to provide
you with a spec-sheet for each of those carpets you are considering.
Labels on Carpet Samples
problem you may encounter when shopping for carpet at home improvement stores
like Lowe's or Home Depot, is that they have placed private labels on all
their carpet samples. They have deliberately changed the style and color
names to prevent you from being able to comparison shop at other local carpet
this means to you is that if you find a carpet that you really like, you will
have a very hard time finding the exact same carpet at another carpet store.
This is a sneaky trick that prevents you from determining if their prices are
fair and reasonable. I consider "private labeling" a Carpet Scam!
are good that the same carpet is available at other local carpet stores
in your area but are selling under a different style and color name. Using
private labels is how they prevent you from comparing their prices with other
nearby carpet retailers.
is also how they can get away with charging you more for the carpet, padding and
installation. They try very hard to take away your right to shop around to find
the best deal. Are their prices fair?
How would you know if you are unable to
comparison shop? For this reason and many others, I do not recommend buying
carpet or flooring from any home improvement store.
Consumer Carpet Buying Mistakes
What is the PAR Rating?
Many carpet manufacturers have a durability
scale they use to inform consumers. It is usually based on a number from one to
five, with five being the most durable. I don't like their rating systems
because I don't think it is an accurate true-to-life calculation. I suggest you
take my free carpet foot traffic test to see what grade of carpet you might need
for your home.
my free Carpet
Foot Traffic Test
The Tuft Twist
What is a
strands or "filaments" are grouped together
to form tufts and twisted while heat
is applied to "set" the fibers permanently, hence the term "heat
set". The tighter the filaments are twisted the more durable the carpet
This tuft has 7 twists and is a sign of a well-made carpet.
I have used green and white to better show the twisting of the tuft. In this
example the tuft is one-inch long (tall).
only has 4 twists and is not as good and
is a sign of a lower grade of carpet
The Number of Tuft Twists is an important key to
making sure your carpet retains its like new appearance longer. Frieze styles
always have a higher Tuft Twist rating (usually over 6) and is why Frieze
styles are well-known for their durability and retaining a like-new appearance longer
than most other carpet styles. (I am referring to Frieze styles made of 100%
What makes a Carpet look or appear worn out?
Carpets with a low Tuft Twist
to 5) are more likely to untwist or “blossom”
at the yarn tips
more quickly... thus creating a worn out or
matted down appearance.
example shows a single tuft that has unraveled thereby making the carpet look
matted down and ugly looking. Nothing can be done to repair a carpet when this
cannot be re-twisted. Carpets with a lower Tuft Twist
rating tend to "blossom"
more quickly and as a result will appear worn out much more quickly.
is why it is important to choose a new Carpet with a higher Tuft Twist rating.
It will resist untwisting of the tuft; retain its like-new appearance longer and
tolerate a higher level of foot traffic.
new carpet side by side,
you must consider the Tuft Twist to help determine which carpet may be the
simple chart to better understand how carpet
quality is determined in part by the number of twists each tuft has. Most frieze
styles have a high tuft twist rating of at least 6 or more. That's one reason
why frieze carpets tend to wear better and last longer than many other