When you shop for carpet most of the time you will look at it and run your hand over it. You will see how it feels and you will look for the color you want. The price is a factor as well, but sometimes that is not the case and you go by what your senses tell you. After you get past how it feels and looks, you do need to consider what the carpet is made of. When you refer to what carpet is made of, it deals with what kind of fibers you are getting. There are about 4 different fibers in the carpet field. They are Nylon, Olefin (Polypropylene), Polyester, and Wool.
Wool is the oldest known carpet fiber. It has been dated back 2000 years as a floor covering. You will find it more in area rugs than carpeted rooms. It wears well, feels extremely luxurious underfoot, and it is warm to the feet. Because of its natural crimp, it bounces back very well in areas heavily used. The downside of wool is that it is not cheap and costs a lot more than the other fibers. The colors are not locked in as well as synthetics and can bleed when wet and it can be damaged by cleaners that are not pH neutral.
Polyester has evolved over the years and has become a good & durable fiber. It feels very soft to the hand when you touch it. It is very difficult to stain because of the way it is made. The color is in the fiber itself and not dyed so you will get consistent colors every roll. The only downside is that it doesn't wear as long as wool or nylon. It has made many advances, but not against wear yet.
Nylon carpet is the most popular carpet on the market. You will find it in commercial and residential carpet. It is durable, easy to shape into various strands, accepts dye well, and cleans well. It is the most durable of the fibers so you will see it used for longer lasting carpet. The best commercial carpets use nylon fibers and your higher end carpets use nylon. As technology gets better, the stain resistance has gotten better as well.
Olefin carpet you will see more in commercial carpet. It is used because it is less expensive to make, and wears well against traffic and staining. The main disadvantage is that it isn't abrasion resistant and likes oily stains. If you drag furniture over the fibers, they can make permanent scuff marks by slightly melting the fibers. You won't find this fiber in residential carpet.
In the end, most of the time you will find nylon and polyester as your options when buying residential carpet. Each fiber has its pros and cons. Consider what kind of traffic and wear you will put on your carpet to help determine which fiber to look at. The type of fiber will affect the price as well. Be aware of that so you are not sold something just because of price, but it will be the best product for your home.
Shopping for carpet in the Western North Carolina area? The experts at BPS Southeast are located in Rutherfordton, NC and are happy to help you with any of your flooring needs. Give us a call today.