Choosing a new carpet can be confusing

I am often asked to help with the bewilderment of picking out a new carpet. So many choices in fiber types leave the average home owner very confused..

I Hope this helps.


Overall, nylon has the most strengths & the fewest weaknesses. It will burn, it will fade, (unless solution dyed) can be stained, can become matted & crushed but not as easily as most other fibers, especially if vacuumed regularly and professionally maintained on an annual basis. Dupont’s solution-dyed Nylon is the best Nylon fiber.

Polyester & Olefin

Polyester and Olefin (polypropylene) are widely used in rental grade and berber style carpets.  They are the least expensive and will last the least amount of time. They’re OIL LOVING Fibers so they absorb no moisture but plenty of oil/grease/soot.  Don’t use near kitchen or garage or homes with pets with oily coats.
They do not easily fade from sunlight, bleach or pool/hot tub chemicals.
Great for damp basements, water-based spills from little kids & young pets but terrible for oil based stains.  They burn easily, not for smokers/ fireplaces.  They crush down quickly – not good for stairs or wheelchairs. In a few years they will look dull & gray in traffic paths.  This look cannot be cleaned away as the fibers will become “scratched” or abraded – frieze style will hide that the best.


Wool, the most expensive, will last for decades if cared for on a regular basis. It does not burn easily. It cleans up well but stains more easily.
It does not crush easily. It absorbs a lot of moisture & so is bad for damp basements.
It fades easily & is dissolved by bleach, & other harsh (like pool/ jacuzzi) chemicals .


Lay carpet samples over Pad, on a hard surface & select carpet by testing with your feet NOT your hands. A Pad that is too thick or soft will shorten the life of your carpet and should be avoided especially in homes with heavy furniture (indents easily formed). They should also be avoided in homes occupied by seniors or drunks as they become even more unsteady.
“Trackless” carpet does not exist ! REPEAT AFTER ME – it does not exist !!
To reduce footprints, brush carpet samples in every direction, stand back to observe & pick samples that exhibit the least amount of shade change when viewed from all angles.  We recommend a BCF yarn as opposed to a Staple yarn, carpet especially for pet owners.  Staple yarns behave like Velcro in gripping pet & human hair that won’t vacuum away.  A high twist count will also help on this issue.
By insisting on an installer who uses a power-stretcher as required by the CRI 104 code, you will get the best installer – See  Knee kickers result in carpet that is more likely to ripple and lose it’s stretch over time.  Loose or poorly installed carpet will ripple when wet but in most cases settle back down as it dries.

Original post by  Mike on

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