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Choosing A Carpet Type That Is Right For You (Nylon, Triexta, PET)

When you are trying to decide on carpeting for your home, you may be surprised by just how many choices you have! Carpets come in different types of fibers like Nylon, Triexta (SmartStrand), and PET. Different carpet fibers offer different pros and cons – some carpets are more durable than others, so a large family and high foot traffic won’t damage the fibers like it might others, some carpets cost more and may not fit within your budget, or the layout of your home may require you to consider different options. 

This step-by-step guide to choosing carpets will help you pick out the right type of carpeting for your needs and give you the information that you need to compare different options. Understanding basic carpeting terms can help you understand your options and make better decisions. 

  • Fiber – Carpets are made out of two main types of fibers:
    • Natural fibers – Natural fibers might include silk, wool, cotton, flax, and many other all-natural materials. Research natural fibers to identify your preferences. Some natural fibers are more expensive than others, some are better quality. Some are much easier to clean, and some repel dirt and stains better. Know your carpets before making a final decision.
    • Synthetic fibers – Nylon, polyester and triexta (SmartStrand) are just some synthetic fibers of carpets. Typically, these synthetic fibers are going to cost less – and they are going to be found in homes and businesses more often. 
  • Ply – Ply refers to the number of fibers that are woven together to create the strands of the carpet. In the carpet industry, carpets will be identified as two-ply, three-ply, four-ply, etc. The “ply” speaks of the thickness of the carpet. 
  • Pile (Face or Nap) – These three terms are commonly used in reference to the height of the carpet fibers. Common lengths that you will probably hear when researching carpet are ¼ inch (low), ¼ – ½ inch (medium), and ½ – 3/4 inch (high/plush).
  • Density – The density of a carpet expresses how close the fibers are. Carpets with a higher density feel better and are stronger. 
  • Face Weight (Weight) – The face weight is a measurement of the carpet fiber (in ounces). The face weight doesn’t hold a lot of value when choosing carpets for your space.
  • Texture – The texture, or feel, of a carpet depends on how the carpets are created and there are many different kinds of textures available to choose from. 
    • Cut Pile Textures – Cut pile textures are versatile, durable, and soft. These are more popular choices of carpet fibers and there are a variety of choices:
      • Frieze/Shag
      • Plush/Velvet
      • Saxony
      • Textured Plush
    • Loop Pile Textures – Loop pile carpet is not a suggestion for homes with pets, BUT it does resist stains better than other carpets because of its density. There are a variety of loop pile textures:
      • Level Loop
      • Patterned Loop
      • Cut and Loop
    • Twist – Strands that are wound around each other are called “twist” fibers. They are perfect for high-traffic areas like business offices or homes with a lot of children. They are tough fibers and won’t wear away quickly.

Get Started

Carpets are an investment for home and business owners. You want to choose carpets that look good, feel good, and work with your own unique situation. Understanding why you are choosing the carpets can help you care for them in the future, helping them last longer. When picking out fabric, be sure to ask yourself several questions. 

  1. Will it work with your budget?
  2. How much do you need?
  3. Do you anticipate high foot traffic, potential spills/stains, or pets?
  4. Will the carpets be in an area exposed to direct sunlight?
  5. What is most important to you: durability, stain resistance, cost, texture?

Popular Synthetic Fibers – Compare And Contrast

Cost is a concern for most homeowners. Though you want to make sure your carpets are nice and comfortable, you also want to be sure that they are affordable and will work for your family’s needs. The chart below compares the different elements of popular synthetic fibers.

FeatureNylonOlefinPolyesterTriexta/SmartStrand
Price Per Square Yard(does not include padding or installation)$20-$45$15-$35$15-$35$20-$45
Softxxxx
Durablexx
x
Long-Lastingxx
x
Stain Resistantxx*x*x
Static Resistant
x

Heat Resistant

xx
Moisture Resistantxxxx
Hypoallergenicxxxx
Avoids Fading
xxx
Maintains its shapex

x
Conceals dirt and grimex

x
Good for high traffic areasxx
x
Easy to cleanx
x

* except for oils

Consider Cleaning Needs

As a leading carpet cleaning company in Niagara, we have a deep understanding of how different carpet fibers respond to professional cleaning. Some carpet fibers are harder to remove stains from, some are more prone to breaking and wear. Here are a few tips when considering your carpet cleaning needs. 

  • Polyester is more prone to wear and will damage easily in high-traffic areas. 
  • Olefin works better in businesses that see a lot of foot traffic. They aren’t as complimentary in homes. 
  • Triexta (SmartStrand) is less expensive than nylon and has a good reputation like nylon. It is durable and strong, great for spaces that see a lot of traffic, and maintains aesthetic value well. 
  • Nylon is known to be long-lasting, soft, and durable. Nylon is the number one choice of synthetic fiber carpet for many people in the industry. Some nylons aren’t as high-quality as others, so be sure to get specific when choosing which type to pick – but in general, nylon is a great purchase for any homeowner.
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