Carpet is a soft surface floor covering that adds style, comfort, and warmth to any room in a house. It has sound absorbing qualities and comes in a variety of patterns, sizes, textures and colors. Carpets are not all made equal and there are many different fibers that can be found within the industry. The most common fibers are triexta/smartstrand, nylon, polyester and olefin.
Which Product is right for your room?
Smart Strand, Triexta, Sorona, whatever branding you find it under, it is the new kid on the block. And a personal favorite with Supreme Floor Covering. With a wear similar to nylon, and stain resistance that’s better than polyester, Smart Strand has found a place for any room in your home. It is the first major new fiber since Stainmaster nylon first came out in 1986. First introduced by Mohawk in 2004 it has taken a large part of the market from nylon and has created a carpet that is stylish, soft, and easy to clean. Mohawk has also cornered the market by being the only manufacturer to use Smart Strand. There are many styles to choose from with new colors and textures added every year. The two biggest benefits to Smart Strand is its texture retention and it’s stain resistance.
Nylon became a high performing industry standard with the introduction of Stainmaster Nylon in 1986. Since that time nylon carpets have dominated as the hardest wearing carpets on the market. Industry leaders such as Mohawk and Shaw incorporate nylons into higher end, customer friendly carpets for homes that require a carpet to survive. Mohawk has the Wear Dated brand of nylon, and Shaw owns the Anso brand. Stainmaster nylon can be found with carpet manufacturers everywhere and is one of the top recognized brand names in the business. Nylon’s best characteristic is its heat setting, or its ability to retain its shape which is what gives it a great look for years. Nylon’s down side is its fade and stain resistance. For this reason nylon is always treated with a topical or some other form of stain resistance to protect it. A large portion of commercial carpets are made from Solution-Dyed or Space Dyed nylons which makes them more resistant to bleaching agents and adds stain and soil resistance to the carpet.
Polyester carpets have undergone the largest overall changes in the carpet industry over the last ten years. Polyester is cheap to produce and can be made into a huge variety of bright, rich colors. Because it is largely made from recycled plastic bottles it has a “green” story to it which makes it an attractive alternative for families. Most polyester is rated well below the foot traffic ratings that nylon has. This is where construction of a carpet becomes valuable. Even a densely constructed polyester will outperform a loosely constructed nylon. And the polyester will clean easier and retain its overall color longer. Currently polyester is the best priced fiber on the market with the most styles and colors to chose from.
Olefin or polypropylene are oil based fibers that are mainly used for berber, or looped style carpets. Olefin is cheap to produce, wears hard, has great fade and stain resistance, and is often referred to by customers as the carpet that wears like iron. While this is true, olefin is rarely used in any other style of carpet other than looped because it has little memory retention. The lower and tighter olefin is, the better it wears.