Understanding Carpet Specifications

If you’re in the market for a new carpet or rug, you might be a little confused as to what specifications you should be on the lookout for. Luckily it’s not as difficult as you might think – on every carpet there should be an easily locatable manufacturer’s label. This label varies in terms of what information it provides, but in general it should show the type of fiber, pile density, face-weight, and finally pile height. All the aforementioned will affect your carpets lifespan, strength, and overall appearance. Let’s take a look at at each one in detail so you can make the best choice:

Type of Fiber

This is the material the fibers of the carpet are constructed out of.The first decision you need to make is whether to go for natural, man made, or a blend. You can choose anything from wool to nylon, seagrass to silk. Blends are a good choice if you want to make up for any weaknesses a fiber may have.

Pile Density

The density of your carpet or rug will give you a good indication of its durability. It’s calculated by multiplying the carpet face weight by 36, then dividing that number by the pile height. The more dense the carpet, the stronger it will be. Other factors will affect the fibers’ performances of course, but this should still give you a good idea. Your ideal density should be 3000, with higher trafficked areas needing more in the region of 5000.

Face Weight

The face weight of a carpet is the weight of the material per square yard. It does not include the backing material, (the total weight). A heavier pile doesn’t always mean a high quality carpet, but it should still be an informing factor. It’s most useful when comparing two carpets which seem comparable in every other way.

Pile Height

Next you should look at the height of the pile. This is the length of the fabric, with shorter fibers being stronger and longer being more comfortable. The label will additionally show the color, manufacturer, as well as any stain treatments.