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Carpet Material and Cut Make a Difference

Carpet is a great choice for many of the rooms in your home. If you don’t like the idea of your feet hitting a cold, hardwood floor in the winter months, this alternative option probably appeals to you. There are many design options to choose from, and you can find something for virtually every room in your home.

Material – What’s it made out of?
You can choose from synthetic and natural fibers. Some of the most common are:
– Nylon: This material is soft, strong, and resistant to stains, so there’s no surprise that it is one of the most popular materials. Nylon is used in about 75% of manufactured carpets.
– Polyester: This type of fiber holds color well and resists fading. It’s also hypoallergenic. The main problem with this material is that it’s easily flattened with repeated use, making it a bad choice for high traffic areas.
– Polypropylene: This type feels similar to nylon material. It’s strong and resists stains, mildew and shedding.
– Wool: This is the softest, most natural and enduring fiber. However, if you have low-grade wool, you may have a problem with stains. High-grade wool is usually expensive. Sometimes, manufacturers will combine wool with other fibers so that you get the benefits of all types.

Pile – How dense is it?
A carpet is made by looping material through backing material. The pile is the result of how the loops are left – either intact or cut at different angles. Some typical styles include:

Uncut – In this pile, the loop is left intact. This type is usually very durable, easily cleaned, and stain resistant. It also doesn’t show footprints easily. That means it is a great choice for busy areas, such as a family room or kid’s play area. The downside to an uncut pile is that they are usually not as soft as other kinds, and the loops mean that sometimes things such as pet claws can snag easily.

Cut – When the loops are cut, you get a nice looking carpet that is easily cleaned. However, footprints and other signs of wear may show more easily, which means this type may need to be replaced more often than other styles.

Saxony – This type is made of individual fibers standing straight up for a soft, fuzzy surface. However, impressions in the fibers from feet and vacuums show easily. It is also not very durable, nor is it resistant to staining. This carpet looks nice, but should be used in the lower traffic areas of your home.

Textured – This style doesn’t show footprints or other impressions as much as the other cut piles. The individual strands are twisted into spirals and set by heat. This type is great for medium to high traffic rooms.

Frieze – This pile is made by the individual fibers being tightly twisted and kinked so that they curl randomly across the surface. It hides dirt and footprints well, and is known to be durable. This type is great for high traffic areas.

Plush – This style feels just like it sounds – a soft, velvety cut made from short, densely packed fibers. Even though it looks great, it is known to wear easily, so you wouldn’t want to use it in a room that is used often.

You will probably select a different style of carpet for bedrooms, a kid’s room, the living room, and other areas of your home where there will be varying kinds of activity. Ask your home store or flooring professional about the different types they have available, and always consider your family’s needs.

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