The Best Carpet Choice For Stairs?
Alan Fletcher - Consumer Advocate
installed on Stairs endures the most abuse. It’s because stairs are narrow and
receive a constant pounding from heavy foot-traffic focused in the center and on
the leading-edge of every step.
children, dogs and cats and especially teenage boys and all their friends is one
carpets installed on stairs tend to wear out faster than carpets installed
in other areas of your home.
Kids and pets love to run up and down the stairs as fast as they
can which is very damaging to the pile surface. Abrasion is the number one cause of
carpet wear and tear.
to Reduce Carpet Wear & Tear on Stairs?
start with, you can choose a more durable "Grade of Carpet" that can
handle moderate to heavy foot-traffic, and select a padding with a higher-density rating to
provide better support for your carpet installed on stairs. Here are
a few options that may
help you choose the right grade and style of carpet and padding for your stairs and other high-traffic areas.
Carpet Fiber for Stairs?
stairs, you can choose almost any carpet style you like as long as the
"grade of carpet" is designed to handle your level of foot traffic, but the most durable
residential carpets are made from 100% Nylon. There are various types of Nylon
fibers available and some are more durable than others. The “soft” Nylon
styles are not quite as durable as the standard Nylon carpet styles.
do I mean by "Grade of Carpet?" Carpet specifications determine the
grade of the carpet you select. That means fiber type, tuft twist, pile height,
pile density and face weight. All this information is available on another page
on my website, but I highly suggest you take the time to Learn
More About Carpet Specifications
the Right Carpet Fiber for Stairs
type of Carpet Fiber you select will determine how long it lasts, how soft it
feels, what colors are available, how easily it cleans and
how much it costs. This is one of the most critical factors homeowners face when
choosing and comparing carpet. There are several carpet fibers available
today and they all have their own unique benefits and pitfalls:
- Two main versions are Stainmaster 6.6 and Anso 6.0 and available in
various "soft" styles.
- also known as Triexta; Smartstrand; and PTT.
Polyester - This is a soft and stain resistant fiber made from recycled
- A soft and yet inexpensive fiber to manufacture which makes it popular for
homeowners who are on a budget.
- Also known as polypropylene. A durable fiber that is inexpensive to
manufacture but difficult to clean.
- A soft and natural fiber derived from sheep, is naturally fire-resistant but very
expensive to buy and more costly to install and maintain.
must compare apples to apples. For example, you cannot compare a NYLON carpet to
a POLYESTER carpet, or a WOOL carpet to an OLEFIN carpet. This would be like
comparing apples to oranges. You have to compare similar carpets and narrow
it down to the one that best meets your needs and lifestyle as well as your
matter what, don't trust any salesperson that says a Polyester carpet is just
as durable as a Nylon carpet. Nylon is the most durable fiber and most
resilient carpet fiber available today. So if you want your new carpet to tolerate
heavy foot-traffic and continue to look like-new for years to come, then nylon
is the fiber you need to select.
You Should Consider a Nylon Carpet for Your Stairs
is a generic name or designation for a family of synthetic polymers first
produced in 1935 by the DuPont Company. As far as fibers go, Nylon is the most
durable and the most resilient of all fibers.
resists matting and crushing of the pile because it is very resilient. A
"Resilient" fiber is
defined as having the ability to return to its original form or position after
being bent, compressed, or stretched. Nylon is the most resilient fiber used to
make carpet today. Resiliency is what keeps a Nylon carpet looking like-new longer than any
costs more than other fibers. Nylon is one of the more expensive fibers second only to wool. I
would consider choosing a Nylon carpet if you have a lot of foot traffic and
longevity was my biggest concern.
Do Tactesse, Caress, Lisse' and other "softer" Nylons hold up as well
as the "standard, non-soft" nylon fibers do?
This is an excellent CARPET question. From my experience, I have found that the
"softer" Nylon fibers are not NEARLY as resilient as a standard denier
Nylon fiber. The thicker the fiber denier, the heavier the filament, the
more durable the carpet will be!
The way they make
a standard nylon fiber softer is to make the strand thinner. By doing so, I
firmly believe that a lot of the fiber resiliency is compromised. This thinner strand creates a
carpet that is much more softer to the touch but as a result may be more susceptible to matting and
crushing of the pile.
Don't take this the wrong way, I'm not steering you away from buying a
soft nylon, but if you want to have the absolute most durable and most resilient
nylon for the money, I suggest you buy a carpet made with a standard denier
Nylon fiber, and steer away from a softer product.
Denier is the measurement of
the strand diameter.
is easily understood for those who gone fishing and used a nylon filament
fishing line. The thicker the line is, the stronger it is. When
fishing for Trout, fishermen may use a thin 4-pound test line. For bigger fish
like Steelhead or Salmon, a thicker 6, 8 or 10-pound nylon test line may be
Denier is the measurement of the diameter of the extruded fiber
Some carpet fibers are
purposely manufactured thinner to make a carpet that
feels softer to the touch, but in doing so some of the strength, durability or
resiliency may be sacrificed. A carpet made with a standard
(heavier) Denier Nylon fiber will be more durable and more resilient than a carpet made
from a thinner strand as is commonly used in today's branded "Soft Nylons".
My Article: Lifestyle Often
Dictates Best Carpet Choice
PTT (AKA Smartstrand® by Mohawk™)
you want a carpet that is durable, soft and resist stains, Sorona®
may be the fiber you are looking for. Sorona
has permanent stain resistance that is engineered into the fiber and will
never wear or wash off. But remember, no
carpet is completely
also known as Triexta or PTT was developed by DuPont™.
It is a polymer derived from corn. It is said to have the best anti-stain
properties and cleans easier than any other fiber. They also say it is very
durable. Sorona™ is clearly more durable
than PET or Polyester, but is it as durable as Nylon? I don't think so.
I do believe that Sorona
may resists stains and clean a little bit easier than Nylon, but the durability
and resiliency of Nylon is hard to beat. Either way, Sorona may be the fiber you
need for your busy home and lifestyle when stain resistance is the utmost
is not a new fiber, it was invented back in the 1940's and was deemed too
expensive to manufacture at that time to be able to compete with other carpet
fibers like Nylon. Carpet prices have increased enough over the past 20 years to
allow Sorona™ to be manufactured at a
has a line of carpet styles using the Sorona fiber and they have branded it and
call it Smartstrand®TM.
and Sorona® are a trademark and a registered trademark of E.I. DuPont de
Nemours and Company.
made of Polyester or PET Polyester! Polyester
is one of the least-costly fibers to manufacture... A
thick polyester carpet may look nice and feel super soft to your hand, but the
polyester fiber is not very resilient and it does not a make a long-lasting
tend to mat down quickly, and that has always been the main problem with carpets made from this fiber.
When you walk on a carpet, with each and every footstep you bend, stretch and compress the
and with polyester, the tufts soon begin to fall over.
Once Polyester fibers are crushed, they
don't spring back to their original upright position.
This is why most new carpet warranties for polyester carpets do not cover ANY claims against matting
or crushing of the pile.
of false claims about Polyester!
be fooled by carpet salespeople who recommend carpets made from polyester and
say it is just as durable as nylon. It may be
acceptable for you to buy a carpet made of polyester as long as you know EXACTLY
expect and not pay a lot of money for it.
I wouldn't expect to get a life-span of more than 5 years on any residential
grade polyester carpet, regardless of its
specifications or warranty claims. I might consider choosing a carpet made of
polyester if I wanted to spend as little as possible on a carpet that looks nice
for a very short amount of time, less than 7 years at best in a low-traffic
made of Olefin (also called
is a very strong fiber. It is often used to make Berber carpets, commercial
carpets and outdoor grass carpets. Olefin wears well and has good stain
resistance when an anti-stain treatment is applied. Olefin also has good
anti-static properties. However, Olefin is not easy to keep clean and tends to
look dingy when soiled. Olefin also has poor resiliency so smaller-looped Berber styles
tend to wear much better than do larger-looped Berber styles.
looped carpets wear very well, as the loops tend to be very small which leaves
little room for the loops to become matted or crushed. Wheelchairs roll easily
over commercial level-loop Olefin carpets that are glued-down without padding,
and may be a good choice for handicapped areas, hospitals and retirement home
applications. When comparing Berber carpets made of Olefin, choosing a style
with smaller loops and a
tighter weave will provide a much more durable carpet.
Most Popular Carpet Styles?
Which Carpet Style Should I
style carpeting is usually made from one solid color and has a smooth, flat pile
During manufacturing, the tufts of this type of carpet are sheared to make the
pile surface perfectly flat and smooth. Plush is one of the most popular carpet styles used in homes
apartments today. You
can find practically any color imaginable. When made of nylon this type of
carpet cleans easily and is very durable if properly maintained. Plush carpets
will show footprints and vacuum marks. You can choose from Nylon,
Smartstrand or P.E.T polyester, or polyester fibers with this popular carpet
style. What Carpet FIBER Should I Choose?
TEXTURED PLUSH CARPET STYLES
Plush style carpet often has more than one color of yarn and has varying tuft
height, thus reducing footprint and vacuum marks. It comes in many colors and
has about the same cost as an even pile height plush style.
This is a good
carpet for kids, and when treated with a anti-stain chemical is easy to maintain
and spot clean.
High-Low Carpet Styles
(Sculptured Carpet Styles)
style carpets have both cut and looped tufts creating a multi-colored sculptured
Generally this style is made with a high cut-pile fiber and a low loop-pile tuft
with a variegated design. This style of carpet hides stains and dirt better
than most carpet styles.
popular carpet style is usually made using two or more colors to help hide dirt and show
less vacuum marks and footprints. The color usually varies in shade from light
to dark and is rich in appearance. Landlords like using this style of
carpet in apartments and rental properties as it hides dirt well and is very
durable when made of nylon.
FRIEZE CARPET STYLES (my favorite)
style carpets have very tightly twisted tufts which helps it wear like iron. The tufts
are not straight like a plush style, rather they are crooked, or wiggly in
appearance. I think it makes any room look elegant. It is often used in heavy
traffic areas and provides reduced footprint and vacuum marks. Frieze
carpet styles made from nylon are some of the most durable carpet styles
styles are typically more
expensive than plush or textured plush styles. Nylon Frieze styles would be a
smart and highly durable option for your home.
SAXONY CARPET STYLES
is a cut pile carpet with a relatively dense erect tuft configuration. Saxony has well-defined
individual tuft tips, this means it is easy to see each tuft on the surface of
the carpet, giving it a rougher look or appearance.
Similar to a plush
LOOPED BERBER CARPET STYLES
Berber Styles have become quite popular in recent years because of its elegant appearance.
In some styles the tufts are looped and aligned in rows for a clean uniform look.
In other Berber styles there may be a pattern.
choosing this carpet be sure to select one with smaller loops to get the best
wear. Large-looped Berbers tend to collapse quickly
and look worn-out sooner. Looped Berber styles may be prone to snags which is difficult to repair. For
this reason those with small children or active pets my want to avoid a looped
about Berber Carpet Styles
CUT-PILE BERBER Carpet Styles aka "California
"California Berber" style is not a looped Berber like most of you have seen, in fact it is
more like a frieze. It does not have any loops because the loops have been cut
which is why they call it a "Cut-Pile" Berber. It has a similar appearance
of a Frieze style carpet but has a multicolored appearance, a speckled
Buying a Cut-Pile
Berber style made of Nylon is the best way to go if you
want it to last the longest. Usually the main color is off white (or a
lighter shade) with colorful highlights and flecks of deep blues, reds and green
colors throughout. Beautiful!
and Loop" Carpet Styles
and Loop" is another wonderful style to consider. There are literally thousands of beautiful
patterns to choose from and makes for a beautiful and elegant carpet in any residential
is a collage of "Cut and Loop" styles to give you an example of a few
patterns that may be available.
hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I
created my own special hand-picked list of locally-owned carpet and flooring
stores. They give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff,
provide honest measuring and use qualified installers. Any
Recommended Carpet Stores Near Me?