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How to Choose the Right Carpet

People often complain that the carpet simply does not last. They purchased a carpet, and three years later it looks terrible.

The truth is, most of these people are buying the wrong kind of carpet. I have cleaned a 12-year-old, high-quality carpet that was well-loved by Schnauzers (the Schnauzers loved to urinate on it). When I was finished, the carpet looked great. I have cleaned a three-year-old, low-quality carpet that was treated with much greater care. When I was finished, the carpet was clean but still looked tired. The fibers had been so distorted by wear that they looked dingy even after they had been cleaned.

As I frequently tell people, Rainbow Restoration can take the dirt out, but we can’t put the wear back on your carpet.

Because of their construction and the materials with which they are made, many carpets simply last much longer than others. There are many excellent sources of information available on the durability of carpets. Carpet manufacturers and industry associations publish numerous scientific studies on the subject. Here I offer the anecdotal observations of a carpet cleaning professional.

Stay away from Poly. Your Aunt Polly is undoubtedly a great lady, but any carpet that evokes her memory is not going to help you. Many carpets are made from Polypropylene, Polyethylene, and Polyester. They all wear very rapidly. Also, oil loves to bind to these synthetic fibers. Olefin fiber is very similar and should also be avoided.

Nylon carpets are fairly durable and usually moderately priced. Acrylic carpet is also very durable, but more expensive. Wool carpets are the most physically durable carpets available but are considerably more expensive.

Carpets with heavy face weights are almost always more durable than carpets with lighter face weights.

Unless you have a very special reason, never purchase Berber carpet. I have seen some offices with a very high-quality Berber that worked well. I have also seen very few Berber wool carpets. But over 99% of the Berber carpets I have seen have worn very poorly. This includes carpet that was installed as premium floor coverings on Daniel Island. They looked very nice during the showing but quickly wore out over the years.

Finally, consider investing in a quality carpet pad. The heavier-weight pads will help your carpets last longer. They are also kinder to your feet.

High-quality carpet, of course, will cost you more. However, it looks nicer when first installed, and will look far nicer in three years.

Regardless of the quality of the carpet that you purchase, remember, that they will all last longer with proper maintenance. The IICRC recommends that most homes have their carpets professionally cleaned once a year.

Rainbow Restoration of Charleston cleans carpets in Charleston, North Charleston, West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, the Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island, James Island, Johns Island, Wadmalaw Island, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island. You can call us to make an appointment.

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