Tips For Buying Carpet - Carpet Types For Each Room

Which carpet fiber should you choose before you buy carpet again?

Tips For Buying Carpet

Smart Tips For Buying Carpet

Here's a good read on the most popular synthetics and the characteristics of each. Manufacturing the many kinds of plastic us humans use in everyday products gets very complicated. It's quite interesting though to realize there is a carpet type for each room in the house. Each type of carpet fiber has a purpose. Read on...


Each room in your home serves a different purpose. One has more food, one has more traffic, one gets laid on constantly by pets and perhaps the living room is full of windows and the daily sunlight is fading it fast. No doubt the quality and weight per oz. of the carpet fiber gets better with each added dollar per yard but that’s just part of the solution...

Carpets come in a variety of fiber types and texture today. Which carpet fiber cleans best? Which carpet fiber resists wear and severe traffic zone damage? Which carpet fibers are more stain resistant?  Which carpet fibers resist color fade through the years? Today’s blog article will explore the top three carpet fibers and their characteristics as they relate to cleaning and maintenance. Use this information when looking and touching those carpet samples at the store remembering that choosing the right carpet fiber for each type of room is just as important. Understanding the modern day maintenance issues of existing carpets will save you many replacements for years to come!

Hopefully these carpet buying tips leave you with a little more insight on how to shop for carpet and rugs.

There are many fibers and carpet types used in today’s carpet manufacturing process. 

     However, I will tell you about the three widely used ones for today. These will also be the ones you will most likely be familiar with but here are more details about each one...

  • Olefin (also called polypropylene) has become extremely popular in recent years. The first and foremost attraction to olefin is the price. Olefin is generally less expensive than other fibers although not always. The second appeal is that the fiber will not absorb any liquid. If you were to take a yarn from an olefin carpet and place it in a glass of water, the fiber would float on the top of the water.
Nylon and wool would not, since each would absorb an amount of water. The point is that when something is spilled on olefin carpet, it will not be absorbed into the carpet fiber. The Tremendous Value is that permanent staining from spillage is reduced. In addition, olefin carpets are solution dyed, which means that the color is introduced to the molten plastic mixture before the fiber is made.

This characteristic can also present unique cleaning challenges. Sometimes when spillage occurs, it runs down the side of the yarn into the backing of the carpeting. Many times this can cause deep down wicking problems as the spill gets trapped in the backing of the carpet. It’s always best to remove any spill with a dry thick white towel immediately. This action will keep soils from building up in the backing and wicking back up over time.

The second challenge with olefin is a characteristic that is often overlooked: Olefin fibers are less resilient than others. Simply put, if this type carpet is at a very busy doorway your traffic zone is going to wear a very noticeable trail real soon. It simply scratches and crushes the fibers away as daily traffic uses it.

The third interesting characteristic of olefin is that it is an “oil loving” fiber. In other words, in the same way it repels water-based soil, it absorbs and accepts oil based soils. That means spots from lamp oils, lotions, body oils, food oils, etc, are very difficult to remove from olefin carpets.. This can be especially important coming outside of a kitchen area, for example.

  • Nylon has definitely been the most widely used fiber in the residential environment, and for good reason. Nylon is very resilient, has good dry soil resistance and doesn't present as many cleaning challenges.

Nylon is also very resistant to spillage. Since most residential nylon is not solution dyed but dyed after the carpet is made, it is not impossible to stain. However, if the spot is removed in a timely manner, one can expect excellent spot removal results. Residential nylon carpets are also treated with a fluorochemical such as 3M Scotchgard, or DuPont Teflon which helps tremendously with dry soil resistance and stain resistance. Just one thing to remember, walking on soiled carpet day after day will start to wear down any protection built into the fiber. So clean those traffic zones regularly.

  • Wool is more resistant to foot traffic and wear zone damage than any other fiber. This is the reason that you see Oriental rugs that have lasted for so many generations. Wool hides dry soil naturally and is not as affected by it for quite some time. Another wonderful aspect of wool is that it is a great insulator. In the winter months your home will be warmer inside and in the summer it will be a little cooler. However, the cheaper wool stains easily so it may not be the choice where children and pets are present.

I hope this leaves you a little better informed when deciding what type carpet to replace in your home, business, restaurant or office. I’m Allen Blankenship, owner and operator of a professional carpet and upholstery cleaning service for over 25 years. While serving Huntsville Alabama and surrounding areas all those years I've learned a lot about stretching one’s dollar on carpet replacements. With today’s economy many lower income apartment complexes simply can’t afford to replace carpet every 3, 6, or 12 months anymore. That’s where I come in..aka The Carpet Guy :) I patch, remove tough kool-aid stains (or least fade them), re-glue separated carpet backing to fiber sheet, re-stretching, re-seam loosened seams, professionally clean them…what ever it took to help the property owners get through one more tenant.

So, if you happen to be reading I hope these tips for buying carpet was informative and helpful in deciding which type of carpet fiber is best for your rooms. Also if you live in the Huntsville Alabama area, I’d love to have your carpet cleaning business!

  • Professional Carpet Cleaning
  • Professional Upholstery Cleaning
  • Auto Interiors (Upholstery and Carpet cleaned)
  • Wall to wall Carpet Repairs, Carpet Stretching and Carpet Patching
  • Odor Control
  • Emergency Water Extractions
  • Carpet Dryers
  • Carpet Stain Guard Protection
  • Upholstery Stain Guard Protection

My hope is that this article will give you a better understanding of which type of new carpet should be purchased for each type of room in your home. Never buy carpet till you know which room gets more traffic, more food spills, more sunlight ect.

P.S. If you're in the Huntsville Alabama area and looking for a great carpet store to buy carpet, I have one just in mind for you. Great prices, great service! Drop me a comment below :)

Allen’s Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Service

Huntsville, Alabama USA