There are literally thousands of different types and styles of carpet to choose from, and it’s overwhelming to all of us. Just because a carpet looks great and feels nice to your hand doesn’t mean it is good quality or it is durable!
In order to choose or select new Carpet without getting ripped off… You need to know something about Carpet Specifications.
Sometimes locating all the carpet specifications you need to help you make wise and informed carpet-buying choices can be difficult, if not nearly impossible, depending on where you live and where you plan to shop for carpet. Some carpet manufacturers are reluctant to freely provide carpet specifications to their dealers and their customers.
When it comes to Pile Height, Pile Density and Face-Weight this might not be a big problem if you can find or even closely guesstimate two out of three carpet specs, then you can easily figure out the third specification…Using simple mathematics!
Understanding Carpet Specifications is the key to buying new carpet wisely! Here is what homeowners need to know about choosing new Carpet by understanding the importance of obtaining Carpet Specifications for any carpet you plan on purchasing.
This is “critical information” that every homeowner needs to know to help determine how durable a carpet is; to help determine value; and able to meet their needs, goals and lifestyle.
The Carpet “Specification” Label
On the back of almost every retail Carpet Sample there should be a manufacturer’s label that shows the Type of Fiber used to make the carpet pile; the Pile Density Rating; the Face-Weight of the pile; and the Pile Height.
This is must-have information that every homeowner needs to help determine how durable the carpet is, to help determine its value; and determine whether or not it would be a suitable choice to meet all your needs, goals and lifestyle.
There should also be other information shown on the manufacturer’s label too, such as: the type or brand of anti-stain treatments that may have been applied (e.g., Scotchgard); The manufacturer’s brand name (e.g., Shaw, Mohawk, Beaulieu); the carpet style name (e.g., Enchanted Evening II) ; and the color name or color number (e.g., Emerald Forest Green or EFG-124). You will also find the warranty limits.
Carpet Specifications are often hard to locate. How to find them!
Once you find a carpet you like, you need to have full access to the specification before you buy. If the label is missing, or does not provide all the information you need, then you need to ask the salesperson to provide you with a manufacturers “Carpet Spec Sheet”. This is a one-page report from the carpet manufacturer that provides all the carpet specifications regarding the carpet style in question. The carpet salesperson may have to call the manufacturer to ask for it, or call their local carpet mill representative to request the specifications you need. This can be difficult, time consuming, frustrating and challenging.
Question from a reader: I’ve tried to follow your advice and look for the right Face-Weight, Pile-Density and Tuft-Twist to last 10-15 years. The only places that I can find who have these specifications listed on their carpet samples are the big box retailers. The local carpet retailer near me doesn’t list the carpet specifications on their samples. The salespeople might know the face-weights but often don’t know the Tuft-Twist or Pile Density. Why don’t all carpet dealers post carpet specifications on their samples?
Many locally owned carpet dealers do list all or some the carpet specs on their carpet samples, but some do not list any at all. They might think the customer should select their new carpet based on price, color and perhaps a durability rating like Shaw’s PAR Rating System. I firmly believe it’s very important for homeowners to have complete access to all the carpet specifications. It’s the only way to determine the grade or quality level of the carpet in question, and to be able to determine if the carpet would be a good choice based on the homeowners individual needs, goals, lifestyle and budget.
Not all locally-owned dealers are honest and reputable, I am sorry to say, and some carpet salespeople are reluctant take the time to provide their customers with carpet specifications because it can be a “hassle” to do so. The problem is partly due to private labeling, retail competition, and partly due to salesperson laziness.
Some carpet retailers simply don’t want you to be able to shop around for the lowest price (comparison shop) so they limit the amount carpet information available to the customer. They may even change the style and color names to make it difficult to compare prices with other local retailers.
How is Carpet Graded?
Carpet is graded by the quality and configuration of the materials used including; the Fiber Type; the Fiber Face-Weight; the Tuft Twist Rating; the Pile Density Rating; the Pile Height; and how well it is constructed overall (Including Dye methods; Backing systems; and Manufacturing processes). Determining which carpet is the absolute best choice for a particular application can be quite difficult for even a seasoned carpet professional.
The Pile Density Rating is the Key to Carpet Durability.
The Density rating is determined by pile yarn weight, pile thickness and pile height. Think of it like a densely wooded forest where the trees are thick and packed closely together. Dig your fingers into the pile of the carpet. Are the fibers tightly packed or can you easily see the carpet backing? The more densely the tufts are packed together the more durable the carpet will be. Pile Density is the key to having a carpet retain its like-new appearance longer.
Pile Density ratings range from 1000 to 6000 and is determined using a mathematical formula based on the Pile Height and the Fiber Face-weight.
Here is the formula:
Fiber Face-Weight x 36, divided by pile height (in decimal form) = Pile Density.
For example: a 35-ounce face-weight carpet with a half inch (1/2″) pile height would have a pile density rating of 2520
(35 x 36 divided by .5 = 2520).