Heather Scott Home & Design is an award-winning interior design firm and sophisticated boutique based in Austin, TX. Our blog shares the tasteful home accessories, furnishings and gifts that you can find in our retail boutique. We also feature our design projects, industry trends and expert tips that hope to inspire homeowners to create the stylish & chic home of their dreams.

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Learning “All About Carpets”
November 22, 2013 in Uncategorized | one comment

You probably don’t know this, but I get daily emails from PR companies asking me to feature a certain topic or product.  99.9% of the time I just hit the delete button because I am not interesting in selling anybody anything on my blog.

But, I am interested in educating myself and you, so when a book mentioned in one of these emails caught my eye, I asked the PR company to send it on.

The book is simply called “All About Carpets: Everything You Need to Know, A Consumer Guide”  by Glenn Revere.  There is an older version, but this one has been revised and updated.  You can purchase it here on Amazon for less than $15.

The reason I was interested is because I am often recommending carpet as part of my job and it is important for me to be educated on it.  Most of the vendors I work with haven’t seemed to want to educate me.  They just say “Trust me, you want this type” or “They are all the same, even if the price is different’’.  I’m not comfortable with that and really want to understand why something is better.

On top of that, though, there is more.  I know, for example, wool carpet is ‘the best’, because I have been told so and it is the most expensive.  But, it probably isn’t ‘the best’ for a playroom, right?  So, I’ve been trying to learn ‘all about carpet’ for awhile now.  How convenient for me someone has written a simple book on it!

Here are some key points I learned from the book and wanted to share with you for when you are considering purchasing or recommending carpet:

#1: Wool Carpet- accounts for approx. 3% of carpet sales

Wool carpet

Source

Advantages:

  • Very soft
  • Very resilient- it springs back to shape, even if furniture marks are made on it
  • The rough surface hides dirt, making it look cleaner
  • Wears well
  • Dyes easily, making it better for color depth, especially with very light or very dark colors
  • Is color fast; soil and dirt clean out easily

Disadvantages:

  • Most expensive, but can be most economical because it will last 20 years and still look good
    • Staining- wool absorbs moisture, so it will quickly absorb spills.  It can be treated with products like Scotchgard to help repel spills

    A couple of other notes on wool, not from the book: wool is a non-allergenic fiber and dust mites will not survive in wool carpet.  It can also improve air purity, especially versus nylon.

    #2- Nylon Carpets: Most popular type, approx 65% of production

    Nylon Frieze style carpet

    Source

    Stainmaster is the best known nylon brand.

    Advantages:

    • Low priced
    • Wears better than wool, “given equal face weights”
    • High abrasion resistance- foot traffic will not cause the fiber to wear out.  What does cause the fibers to wear is when the carpet gets dirty and is not cleaned.  The grit will actually cut the fibers away from the carpet, which are then sucked away with the vacuum
    • Non-allergenic- mold or mildew can not grow
    • “Stain blocking” feature- stain resistant but not stain proof
    • Cleans easily

    Disadvantages:

    • Is a more coarse fiber, but it has gotten softer of late with technology
    • Not very green, but becoming more so with recycling centers now accepting used carpeting

    #3- Polyester

    Polyester Patterned styled carpet

    Road Test - Easel - Carpet

    Source

    Advantages

    • Costs less than nylon
    • Practically fade proof
    • Can feel soft
    • Naturally resists staining
    • Cleans well with hot water extraction

    Disadvantages

    • Overcoming a bad reputation from the 1960’s for not holding up, flattening down, getting “ugly”
    • Has a lower resistance to abrasion (fiber’s “ability to withstand wear”)

    #4- Olefin/Polypropylene

    Outdoor rug

    outdoor striped rug

    Advantages:

    • Does not absorb water (often used in outdoor rugs)
    • Outstanding fade and stain resistance
    • Can spot clean with bleach and not harm the color
    • Strong fiber- resists abrasion
    • Moisture and mildew resistant

    Disadvantages:

    • Tends to flatten down (you will notice most outdoor carpets feature very flat fibers)
    • Low melting point- friction from the wheels of a toy car run back and forth over the carpet could cause it to melt

    This book is full of other topics as well, such as rug pads, styles and installation tips, all of which is really helpful if you are in the market or want to learn more.  For now, I trust you will feel a bit more ‘educated’ as it pertains to the various types of carpeting after reading this post.  Furthermore, what better time of year to discuss this topic with Thanksgiving dinner less than a week away.  If your family is anything like ours, we will be testing how well carpets clean by 4pm next Thursday!

    Thanks for following my blog and Scott and I would like to wish each of you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!