CHOOSING THE RIGHT CARPET FIBER
The fiber you select is critical to the value and performance of the carpet. The fiber is converted into yarn which is tufted or woven to form the pile. There are two classes of fibers: natural, like wool or cotton, and man-made, such as nylon, polyester or polypropylene.
NYLON, which was invented by DuPont, is generally good for all traffic areas. Wear resistant, resilient, withstands the weight and movement of furniture, and provides brilliant color.
WOOL, noted for its luxury and softness, is soft, has high bulk, and available in many colors. Generally, wool is somewhat more expensive than man-made (synthetic) fibers.
POLYESTER, noted for being luxurious and soft when used in thick, cut-pile textures. Has excellent color clarity and retention. Easily cleaned, and resistant to water-soluble stains. Provides many brilliant colors.
POLYPROPYLENE also called olefin is strong, resists wear and permanent stains, and easily cleaned. Notably colorfast because color is added during the fiber production. Resists static electricity (good for computer rooms) and is often used in both indoor and outdoor installations because of its resistance to moisture and mildew. Used in many commercial establishments, and in the home for patios, home-office and game rooms. Many Berbers are made of olefin.
SMARTSTRAND SmartStrand made with DuPont™ Sorona® polymer represents a breakthrough in carpet fiber technology, available exclusively in Mohawk Carpet. Together with DuPont, we have produced a superior type of carpet fiber that combines exceptional durability with permanent, engineered-in stain protection that won’t wash or wear off.
JUDGING QUALITY AND DURABILITY
Depends on three important factors: The type fiber, the pile density, and the yarn twist.
CHECK PILE DENSITY
Press with your fingers to see how easily you push through to the backing, then, with tufts facing outward, bend the carpet into a “U” and see how much of the backing shows. The less backing you see, the denser the carpet. Density refers to the amount of pile yarn in the carpet and the closeness of the tufts. The denser, the better.
Yarn twist, particularly in cut-pile, is critical to carpet performance.
All pile yarns in cut-pile carpets have been heat set for permanence. The tighter the twist, the better the carpet will retain its appearance and durability. Look to see that the cut ends of the carpet pile are neat and tight.
QUALITY CARPET CUSHION IS ESSENTIAL TO THE LIFE OF YOUR CARPET
Carpet cushion is not an option if you want your carpet to be comfortable and you want it to last. Cushion performs many functions that are vital to the performance of your carpet.
TYPES OF PADDING
Fiber, Sponge rubber, and foam are the three major padding used for carpet installation. There are different types and grades within each grouping. Thickness of padding and weight in ounces per square yard are the yardsticks which allow you to differentiate one from another.
The type and amount of foot traffic in a room determines the type of padding you should use. Heavy traffic areas, stairwells, and hallways require padding that are no thicker than 7/16 inch. This padding should be dense and heavy. Don’t use thick, light weight padding in these areas.
If you want a soft, luxurious feel in executive suites or other lightly traveled room, choose a 7/16 Prime Urethane padding. To increase the life of the carpeting, choose a high density padding. Remember, the padding is the foundation for the carpet. It doesn’t make sense to install a flimsy, inexpensive padding beneath an expensive carpet.
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