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Judging Carpet Quality

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A Conklin Bros. / Abbey flooring consultant can explain the relative merits of different carpets. There are also some general guidelines to help you determine the durability of a carpet and how well it will keep its original good looks.

Durability depends on three important factors: The type of fiber, the yarn twist, and the pile density. Choosing a carpet based on any one of these factors can be misleading. It’s important to select the right balance of all three.

First, choose a strong, resilient carpet fiber such as nylon; this is the strongest, most resilient carpet fiber used today. Second, carpet with tight yarn twist will resist changes in appearance and texture. And third, the density of the pile is important for good resiliency and appearance.

Look at twist. Yarn twist, particularly in cut-pile, is critical to carpet performance. All pile yarns in cut-pile carpets have been heat set for permanence. The tighter the twist, the better the carpet will retain its appearance. Look to see that the cut ends of the carpet pile are neat and tight.

Check pile density. Press on the carpet with your fingers to see how easily you push through to the backing. Then, with tufts facing outward, bend the carpet into a “U” and see how much of the backing shows. The less backing you see, the denser the carpet.

Some practical guidelines. Light-colored carpets will show soil more than dark colors, and dark colors will show lint more than light colors. The appropriate color carpet can help disguise soil tracked in from the outside since the colors of dirt, sand, and clay vary widely.

Tweeds, pebbled textures, and patterns are good choices for rooms where spills and soiling are likely to be a problem. The more pattern & texture the better it will disguise problem areas.

Final color selection. In selecting your final color, it’s wise to look at large carpet samples in your home. The color you choose in the store may appear completely different in the room with your furnishings and under different light sources.

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