Carpet & Rugs

Tips on Purchasing New Carpet

Selecting Your Carpet
Selecting a carpet is an important process because it’s a decorating investment you’ll want to enjoy for years to come. That’s why STAINMASTER carpet brand America trusts most, wants you to be able to make a btter-informed decision. This guide will give you basic information on carpet fibers and construction, how to judge quality and performance, and how to determine which carpet is best suited for each room or area.

So, leaf through this page and you’ll soon understand the jargon of carpets. And, most important, you’ll gain the confidence to help select the best carpet for your decor, budget, and lifestyle. For additional information on selecting the carpet just right for you, please log on to

Construction Basics
The specific construction or manufacturing method of a carpet affects both its appearance and performance. Most carpet is made by one of four methods: tufted, woven, needle-punched, or hand-knotted.

Tufted Carpet
Tufted carpet is made on a high-speed machine that stitches big loops of yarn through the backing fabric. A latex coating locks the loops in place, and then a secondary backing material is applied for strength and stability. Over 90 percent of the broadloom carpet made in North America is tufted. It’s efficient and less expensive to produce than woven carpet, and offers consumers a complete range of styling.

Woven Carpet
Woven carpet construction is similar to woven fabric. The pile, weft, and warp yarns interlace on the loom, allowing for wide versatility of design. Velvet plush, Axminster, and Wilton Carpets are all woven.

Needle-punched Carpet
Needle-punched carpet is made by punching layers of fiber through a mesh fabric by thousands of barbed needles. The results is a felt-like carpet. This type of carpet was developed first for indoor-outdoor use. It’s relatively durable but limited in available styles.

Hand-knotted Carpets & Rugs
Hand-knotted carpets and rugs have been made (mostly in wool) for centuries, primarily in the Middle East and China. Commonly referred to as Oriental rugs, they follow distinct traditions of color and pattern and are usually very expensive.

Choosing The Right Carpet Fiber
STAINMASTER carpet is made of 100% premium nylon fiber and created by the world’s finest mills to make beautiful carpeting following precise specifications.

Carpet fiber and how the carpet is constructed affect the appearance, performance, and value of your carpet. During manufacture, fiber is converted into yarn, which is tufted or wooven to form the pile-the surface you see and walk on.

Retailer’s carpet samples are labeled to identify fiber content. Most carpet styles are made entirely of one fiber type-nylon, olefin, or polyester. Some styles may contain blends of these fibers.

There are two fiber classes-natural, such as wool, and man-made, such as nylon, olefin, and polyester. Each has differnt characteristics. The following can help you make the right choice for your needs.

Nylon continues as the ideal carpet fiber. Its many attributes combine to provide outstanding durability, performance, resilience, and appearance. Nylon lends itself to an unlimited variety of styles and colors at reasonable prices.

Polyester fiber produces carpets that are soft to the touch but not as reslient as carpets of nylon. Polyester is best suited for low traffic areas.

Olefin ( also called polypropylene) is often used in indoor/outdoor carpet and in loop-pile carpets. Due to its relatively low resilience, its use should be restricted to areas of low traffic.

Wool of course, is a natural fiber and presents a beautiful appearance in carpeting. However, wool may not be as resilient as man-made carpet fibers and is quite a bit more expensive.

Judging Carpet
A knowledgeable salesperson can explain the relative merits of differnt carpets. There are also some general guidelines to help you determine the durability of a carpet and how well it will keep its original good looks.

Durability depends on three important factors: The type of fiber, the yarn and twist, and the pile density. Choosing a carpet based on any one of these factors can be misleading. It’s important to select the right balance of all three.
First, choosing a strong, resilient carpet fiber such as nylon; this is the strongest, most resilient carpet fiber used today. Second, carpet with tight yarn twist will resist changes in appearance and texture. And third, the density of the pile is important for good resiliency to strict standards for these factors to help assure outstanding performance and lasting beauty.

Look at Twist
Yarn twist, particularly in cut-pile, is critical to carpet performance. All pile yarns in cut-pile carpets have been heat ser for permanence. The tighter the twist, the better the carpet will retain its appearance. Look to see that the cut ends of the carpter pile are neat and tight.

Check Pile Density
Press on the carpet 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.

Some Practical Guidelines
Light-colored carpets will show soil more than dark colors, and dark colors will show lint more than light colors. The appropraite color carpet can help disguise soil tracked in from the outside since the colors of dirt, sand, and clay vary widely.

Tweeds, pebbled textures, and patterns are good choices for room where spills and soiling are likely to be a problem.

Final Color Selection
In selecting your final color, it’s wise to look at large carpet samples in your home-both by daylight and by lamplight in the evening. The color you choose in the store may appear completely differnt in the room with your furnishings and under differnt light sources.

*Information from the “Carpet Selection Guide-STAINMASTER Carpet”