Getting new carpet can be a fun and exciting way to change up the look and feel of your home. It’s just figuring out where to start your carpet research that can be a bit of a daunting task. It is important that the carpet you select fits all of your needs for the space and will last for years, particularly if the carpet is going in a high-traffic area of your home, like a hallway or family room.
As you start your research for great high-traffic carpet options, we recommend comparing different carpet types to ensure you find the best fit for your home and budget. Before we dive into common carpet types, let’s first explore what to look for in carpet fibers for quality so you can make a more informed carpet selection decision.
Carpet Types and Quality
The twist of carpet fiber is determined by how the fiber filaments are spun into yarn, and how the yarn is then turned upon itself. The tighter the twist, the more resistant the carpet will be to changes in appearance or texture. Carpet twist is a critical factor in determining the quality and durability of carpeting. It refers to the number of times the fiber is twisted over a one-inch length. A higher twist count means greater resilience and a more substantial feel underfoot. Generally speaking, a carpet with a twist of 3.5 to 6 twists per inch is considered excellent. Investing in a carpet with a higher twist count ensures a long-lasting, attractive, and comfortable addition to any home or office space. For high-traffic areas of your home, a tighter twist is likely the way to go.
Carpet density is a measurement of how tightly the carpet fibers are stitched into the backing. The higher the density, the more durable the carpet tends to be. With higher density values, carpets are better able to withstand heavy foot traffic and resist wear and tear over time. You can check carpet density by pressing your fingers down on the carpet to see how much of the backing you can reach. The less backing you reach, the denser the carpet. As you explore carpeting for a high-traffic area, it is important that you find carpeting that is higher in density to prevent wear.
Carpet Fiber Types
Carpet composition is an important aspect to consider when choosing the perfect carpet for any high-traffic area. It’s also helpful to know that the majority of carpets are made by using one of four primary fibers: wool, nylon, polypropylene (also known as olefin), or wool blends. Each fiber type has unique characteristics, such as durability, stain resistance, and softness, that can affect your carpet’s performance and longevity. Understanding the composition of your carpet will help you decide and choose a carpet that fits your needs and lifestyle.
Below are five types of carpet we sell at Denver Carpet and Flooring and why these types could be the ideal fit for the high-traffic space in your home.
Nylon carpet fibers are some of the most durable and resilient synthetic fibers available, making them an excellent choice for areas of high traffic, especially if you have kids and/or pets. The secret to nylon’s durability lies in the hydrogen molecule that is part of its structure. Even when the fibers flatten due to frequent use or weight, a simple steam cleaning can help them bounce back to their original shape. Nylon is also surprisingly resistant to soil and stains, even though it is highly absorbent. To maintain its appearance and longevity, it’s important to clean up spills promptly. However, with proper treatment, nylon carpets can be highly resistant to stains, making them a great choice for households that are prone to spills or high traffic.
One of nylon’s key advantages is its affordability. There is a nylon carpet available at every price point, making it an easy option for many homeowners. While Nylon type 6 is a popular choice, Nylon type 6,6 is often preferred (despite being more expensive) due to its superior colorfastness and resistance to static.
Nylon Carpet Pros:
- Soil Resistance
- Easy to Clean
- Budget Friendly
Nylon Carpet Cons:
- Less Stain Resistance (Unless Treated)
- Synthetic (Not as Eco Friendly as other options)
Wool is the go-to natural fiber for carpeting across the world. It’s a premium, biodegradable material that is highly durable and resistant to dirt and flames. The microscopic scales in wool fibers prevent dirt from getting embedded in the carpet, while its non-flammable properties make it a great choice for homes with fireplaces. However, wool requires professional cleaning and may not be as stain-resistant as other fibers. In the event of spills, it’s important to act quickly to minimize damage.
What’s interesting is that wool’s absorbent properties can actually benefit your home. If you live in a humid climate, a wool carpet can absorb excess moisture in the air and release it when the air is drier, helping to maintain optimal humidity levels indoors.
Wool Carpet Pros:
- Dirt Resistance
- Flame Resistance
- Acts as a Humidifier
Wool Carpet Cons:
- Requires Special Cleaning
- Less Stain Resistance
- More Expensive
Polyester carpeting is another popular natural fiber choice for carpeting in high-traffic areas of the home. It is among the most stain-resistant carpets because it is composed of closed-cell fibers that prevent stains from adhering.
Polyester fibers are also an eco-friendly option requiring just half the amount of energy used to create the same quality of nylon fiber. Because of the lower production cost, polyester is a budget-friendly carpet option but with a vibrant and upscale appearance.
The downside to polyester is its durability compared to nylon or wool. While technological improvements have reduced the gap, it is not naturally as durable. If you go with polyester, it is important to find a dense, high-twist polyester carpet to ensure the fibers will last for years to come.
Polyester Carpet Pros:
- Stain Resistance
- Budget Friendly
Polyester Carpet Cons:
- Not as durable as other fibers
Polypropylene Carpet (Olefin)
Polypropylene also referred to as olefin, is a synthetic fiber with a wool-like appearance. Unlike other carpet types mentioned, polypropylene is hydrophobic, meaning it is naturally very stain resistant; however, it attracts oils making it low in soil resistance.
Olefin has a lower cost of production than other common fiber types, so it is often the most budget-friendly option of all, even polyester. The low cost also means often lower durability; however, as the fibers will not last as long as other common carpet types.
Polypropylene has quick-drying and mold-resistant qualities, making it a good choice for damp basements. The low soil resistance; however, makes it a more difficult carpet choice for high-traffic areas like hallways, living rooms, and kitchens.
Polypropylene Carpet Pros:
- Stain Resistance
- Mold Resistance
- Budget Friendly
Polypropylene Carpet Cons:
- Less Soil Resistance
- Absorbs Oils
Triexta is the newest type of carpet fiber in the industry. It is considered a subclass of polyester, but it is more durable and softer. It also is more eco-friendly than polyester because it is created with biotechnology based on the fermentation of corn glucose rather than petroleum.
Triexta can be used to create many different qualities of carpet. While considered often close in durability to nylon, nylon is still superior in resiliency because of its unique ability to bounce back from pressure. Like Olefin, triexta is hydrophobic making it incredibly stain-resistant.
Because triexta is still such a new carpet fiber, it is hard to know with certainty how it will stand against some of the more common fibers used in high-traffic areas. So far, however, it has been a popular budget-friendly choice and reviews have been positive on the durability front.
Triexta Carpet Pros:
- Stain Resistance
Triexta Carpet Cons:
- New to Market
- Less Resilient
By understanding how to discern the best carpet as you shop, you will discover that finding quality carpet for high-traffic areas of your home can be an easier, more budget-friendly process than you envision. The experts at Denver Carpet and Flooring are knowledgeable, available and happy to assist with your search. Explore your carpet options more in-depth by contacting us today at (720) 500-6330.