Installing carpet in your home is a significant investment, and the last thing you want is to purchase carpet that begins to wear and show signs of age far too quickly. When you choose correctly, you will enjoy a soft, plush surface that adds aesthetic value to your home, and with proper maintenance, can remain fresh-looking for years. Here is a quick guide to measuring carpet durability so you can make the right choice.
A carpet’s performance refers to how well it maintains its original look and feel over the course of time. This depends on how the carpet is used, what it is exposed to, and how well you maintain it. Construction is also a crucial factor in performance and refers to how well the carpet was built, which has a direct impact on how durable it is. If you want a carpet that looks new and fresh for years after the installation, durability is an essential consideration.
- Fiber type: This is the foundation of durability. The main carpet types are nylon, blended fibers, olefin, and polyester. Nylon fiber is Number 1 for durability because it is best for withstanding crushing and abrasion.
- Carpet twist: This relates to the number of times the tufts are twisted together in a one-inch length. The higher the number, the more durable your carpet will be. Aim for a carpet with a twist of five or higher.
- Density rating: This refers to the number of individual tufts found in every square yard and depends on how closely packed the fibers are when tufted into the backing of the carpet. A higher number means there are more tufts packed into every square yard, which makes it more durable and more expensive. Density is important because the tightly packed barrier acts as an effective block against stains. Preventing dirt and liquid from deeply penetrating the material means the carpet will be easier to clean. Typically, you want a density rating of 2,000 or higher. A quick test involves bending the carpet sample back; if you can easily see the backing, it is a low-density carpet.
Is Your Carpet Up to PAR?
PAR stands for Performance Appearance Rating and is known as a standard measurement of carpet durability. This makes it easier to compare and contrast different carpet types. The PAR score takes into account the density, fiber, stain resistance, and construction of each carpet, while the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) endorses a “walk test.”
PAR values indicate the amount of change you can expect in the surface appearance of your carpet during the year. The rating is based on the typical traffic one would expect in a four-person household. You should only consider a carpet with a PAR score of four or five, as this is deemed to be a high-performance score.
When choosing a durable carpet, make sure there is a good manufacturer warranty, an indication the carpet creator is willing to stand behind its product. Read warranty information carefully, and don’t settle for anything less than the best in durability when choosing carpet.