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More Carpet Questions & Answers

2021 by Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate



Q. Does face-weight have any bearing on the quality of carpet? How is this gauged?


Reply: Face-Weight does have bearing on the quality of carpet but not with every type of carpet. Let me explain. face weight is the amount of fiber that is used to make the carpet. I am sure that you have seen thin carpets and thick carpets, the thicker the nap (fibers) the higher the face weight. Just because a carpet is thicker doesn't mean it will last longer or wear better. the key is in the fiber itself. 


Nylon is the toughest, longest lasting, most durable, resilient, easiest cleaning fiber of all. A thin carpet made of nylon is just as good as a thick carpet made of Polyester, because the nylon fiber is far more durable. On the other hand, Polyester is a fiber that is not as resilient, not as easy to clean and not as durable fiber as nylon. The carpet manufacturers have to make polyester carpets of high face weight in order to try to make it last longer, and be more durable. It generally doesn't work out well.

My suggestion to you is to buy a carpet made of nylon, of the best quality you can afford in order to get the best bang for your buck. Stay away from polyester carpets at all costs! They just don't last.

As far as how they gauge the face weight of carpets, you need to know that there is a lot of confusion about how each manufacturer determines their actual face-weight. Unfortunately I cannot give you the formula because they all use different methods. Some use just the weight of the fibers, others use the weight of the backing and the fibers. When I look at a carpet I want to see tightly twisted tufts, closely packed together like a dense forest, and difficult to see the backing when I spread the tufts apart with my fingers. The height of the carpet you select is personal preference and budget. 


Learn more about Carpet Specifications



Q. I would like to know about the P.E.T. carpet made by Mohawk.  


What are your opinions on this new fiber?  I have a very active home (4 inside dogs, 2 kids, traffic, traffic, traffic) and I am considering purchasing this carpet for my living room and hallway.  What do you think?



Reply: Thank you for your question! This is one of my favorite questions to answer, as this is not a new fiber at all! P.E.T. (Polyethylene Terephthalate) is polyester produced from recycled soft drink bottles, and has been available for years. Here is my take on this fiber:

While polyester is a very soft synthetic fiber, and it is available in wonderful colors, polyester fibers will mat down quickly. It sounds to me like you really need a carpet that is durable and cleans easy.
The main problem is that it will easily crush. That means in areas where there is heavy traffic, like down the hallway, polyester carpet will mat down quickly and never come back to its original appearance. In your case, with kids and pets I bet within six months you would be very unhappy with your polyester carpeting. not to mention that it is hard to clean!

Do not listen to the advice of carpet sales people who recommend polyester, no matter what they say!
Because polyester is so cheap to make, carpet manufacturers have tried for years to make a good carpet out of polyester, with limited success. every year they come up with some new technique that they claim will make polyester more durable. It hasn't happened yet.

What I do recommend is for you to buy Nylon! Nylon carpet is more expensive than polyester, but it will tolerate an incredible amount of abuse. It cleans easily and won't mat down like polyester. Buy a continuous filament 100% nylon carpet and you will be much happier in the long run! Carpet Fibers, Nylon, Sorona®, Polyester Smartstrand®, Stainmaster®



Q. I have several animals and want to buy carpet for my home.


I am looking at a tight loop Berber carpet that is 90% olefin and 10% nylon. It is Mohawk rough house brand and is supposed to be stain resistant and kid resistant. I have several animals but no kids and live alone. The installer is providing a 6 lb pad. I am also installing the carpet over concrete. 


Is this a good choice? If not, what is an affordable choice? Also is there some kind of padding to put over concrete to keep the cold out? I have no basement but my home is built on a concrete slab. Thanks for your help!



Reply: Well, there are several things we need to discuss regarding your carpet needs. First, pets and Berbers are a no-no.  Why, Because their nails, running, and scratching will snag your Berber in a hurry. It is expensive and sometimes impossible to repair. Second, Berbers require a 1/4 inch thickness, 6 to 8 pound padding. Any thicker than 1/4 inch and you risk voiding the warranty and stretching out your carpet prematurely. You claim your installer is providing a 6 pound pad but you don't say how thick it is.

Carpet manufacturers create carpets to endure specific consumer requirements. Carpets designed for the traffic created by children is different from the traffic created by pets. Comparing kids to pets is not a valid comparison and you should not relate the two on a similar basis. Don't choose a carpet that claims to be kid proof and assume that it will hold up equally as good for your pets. You will not be able to substantiate a valid claim if need be.

In your case, and I only know a little bit about you and your pets, I suggest you go with a Nylon, commercial grade, dense, cut-pile carpet with anti-stain treatment, and use a 1/4 inch, 8 pound, moisture-barrier rebond-type padding. No, it is not a soft luxurious carpet, but it will last you a whole lot longer and will be quick and easy to clean. Pet accidents will tend to bead-up on top of the carpet instead of immediately soaking into the carpet, giving you more time to clean up the mess before it becomes soaked-in and undetectable. Also, this type of carpet will endure heavy traffic and still look like new again after it has been cleaned.



Question: Thanks so much for your wonderful site, I was definitely comfortable with choosing nylon after reading what your comments were regarding nylon. One decision down! However, now I not can not decide between a Lisse' (which I am told is a frieze) with scotch guard from the Horizon line by Mohawk, or a 100% nylon cut pile carpet by Gulistan. I am told both have a 50oz fiber weight. And are scotch guarded. This carpet will go in 3 bedrooms, A master & 2 children's rooms. We have 3 kids and a toddler. The Lisse' is the one I like best however, it worries me because I can easily run my fingers through and see the base of the carpet. I thought that was a no no. Yet, I am told the twist on this one is much tighter than the cut pile, even though the cut pile is very tight and short. 


Our rooms are very small and there is no room to periodically change the walk patterns. I want durability and easy care, and a nice classic look. We will probably be in this home for at least an other 10 years. We also need to put new base boards in the rooms. There were none in the room to start with. Do we do this on top of the old carpet? Pull the old carpet back and attach base boards as close to the floor as possible? or Wait and put them in after the new carpet is installed? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!


Reply: While I love a frieze, it sounds to me like this plush style would be the best way for you to go. A shorter, tighter nap is what will hold up to your traffic scenario. As far as baseboards, they may be installed prior to installing the carpet if they are left up off the floor just far enough to be able to tuck the carpet underneath it (usually about 1/2 inch will do), or you may wait and install the molding after the new carpet is in.


Learn more about Carpet Styles


Q. We are in the process of purchasing a new home from Engle Homes. A typical builder with cheap cheap carpet as "their" standard. We opted to have no carpet installed by Engle and purchase our own better carpet. 


Will installers typically come out to measure first before quoting or can you give them a ballpark sq. footage? What about stairs?, Is that extra cost? How do you determine a good installer versus a poor installer?


Reply: Installers charge by the square yard (or square foot) and usually include a "per stair" charge as well. You would be wise to have prospective installers come by and measure up your new home, thereby knowing exactly where you stand, make sure you understand where the seams will go, and get a chance to take a closer look at the installer before hiring him. Ask for references. Visit this page: All State Verify Contractor License Requirements - Workers Compensation 


Important Info:


Make sure you print out my free "Before You Buy New Carpet Checklist"



Where to Buy New Carpet?

Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealers


It's hard to find an honest and reputable carpet dealer! That's why I have created a special list of hand-picked carpet retailers who I believe are reputable, locally owned, give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. Don't take chances...  See who I recommend near you!



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