Carpet for Your Home

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Finding the best carpet for your home starts out simple and quickly becomes complicated. You know you want something that will look good in your home, feel great, and most importantly, stay that way for years to come. So you go to the local carpet store or home center and that’s when it gets complicated.

Shopping for carpet doesn’t have to be complicated. At Wholesale Carpets and Flooring in McHenry County, we make it easy to shop for carpet with our experienced and professional assistance.

Our customers love us for carpeting and flooring!

Free In-Home Estimates. Call 847-639-1855.

Unlike shopping for cars or clothes, a lot of different carpet styles look very similar, yet prices vary and there’s a reason for that. The fiber that is used to make the yarn that is then made into carpet is where the difference starts. How that fiber is made into yarn is the second determining factor and how it is then tufted (sewn) into carpet is the next key difference.

More than 90 percent of today’s carpet is made of synthetic fiber—nylon, polyester, triexta, or polypropylene. While each fiber has somewhat different characteristics, they are all made basically the same way. (This also includes carpets made from “Natural” fibers, such as wool and sisal.)

Once the fiber has been extruded it is bundled together and twisted into a yarn and then heat set to lock in the carpet fiber’s shape. Hundreds of needles arrayed across a machine sew the yarn into a backing. Later, a second backing will be attached to give it additional strength and stability.

How well the carpet will perform depends on how well the yarn is made and how densely the carpet is tufted. The general rule is that the more filaments twisted into a yarn, the stronger it will be and the denser the carpet is (more tufts per square inch), the better it will perform. Keep in mind though that the longer the pile height, the more likely a carpet is to crush (think of traffic paths or marks where furniture has been placed on top of the carpeting).

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Wide selection of carpeting and flooring. The installation team did an expert job. Very pleased with the results.
— Brad S.
 

How is carpet made?

 
 
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Knowing how carpet is made can be very advantageous.

Knowing the different materials that make up various carpets also helps you understand and evaluate their performance aspects: why certain carpets are easier to install, why some wear better, longer, and why others are easier to care for and clean. It can also make you a smarter shopper.

Our customers love us for carpeting!

Free In-Home Estimates. Call 847-639-1855.

Carpet Facts:

  • thicker is not always better

  • tight twist in each yarn is better than loose and frayed

  • firm and dense pile means quality

  • the more backing seen, the less dense and durable

  • high traffic areas need lower profiles to avoid matting and crushing

About Carpet Fiber

  • basic material of makeup

  • 90% is synthetic fiber

  • rest is natural fiber, mostly wool

About Carpet Synthetic Fibers

  • made up of one of three materials: nylon, polypropylene or polyester

  • created by chemical processes from oil and natural gas

About Nylon Carpet

  • performs the best overall

  • leader in: appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance, color and styling

  • highest performance nylon is Type 6.6 for more resistant to stain penetration

About Polypropylene Carpet

  • next most common material is polypropylene

  • introduced in the late 1950’s in Italy

  • not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon

  • naturally stain and fade resistant

  • naturally resistance to moisture

  • more limited range of color options

  • most often used in loop pile constructions

About Polyester Carpet

  • third type of material is polyester

  • introduced to the carpet industry in the mid 1960’s

  • well accepted for bulkiness, color clarity, and good stain and fade resistance

  • not as resilient as nylon

  • can be a good performer

About PET Carpet

  • made from plastic bottles

  • plastic is collected, separated by color, and then ground and melted

  • used to manufacture the PET carpet fiber

  • carpets made by Mohawk of PET staple fiber made from 100% recycled material

  • great color clarity, stain resistance, durability

  • keeps over 3 billion bottles out of landfills

About SmartStrand Carpet

  • made with DuPont Sonora polymer

  • DuPont and Mohawk make this fiber into carpet

  • SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona is continuous filament fiber

  • highly stain resistant and durable

  • 40% of the fiber made from corn by products

About Wool Carpet

  • The wool used in today’s carpet comes primarily from New Zealand, Argentina, and the United Kingdom.

  • Since wool is a natural fiber, it ranges in color from off-white to black, with many earthen tones between.

  • Wool doesn’t stand up to abrasion and moisture as well as synthetics, it cleans well and is known to age gracefully.

  • Wool is the most expensive carpet fiber, and represents less than one percent of the U.S. carpet market.

About Berber Carpet

  • considered a type of carpet construction

  • actually comes from the name of a group of North African sheep herders called the Berbers

  • Berbers produced coarse wool, with color flecks in their yarns

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Discovery / Science Channel's "How It's Made" Carpets episode

Carpet is made in a 3-part process.

#1 Tufting

  • begins with weaving the synthetic or staple fiber into a primary backingmaterial

  • usually made of woven polypropylene

  • main value is to provide a base cloth to hold the yarn while tufting happens

  • tufting machine has 800 to 2000 needles like a sewing machine to pull the yarn through the primary backing material

  • tufting machine is 12 feet wide, its needles penetrate the backing and a small hook (looper) grabs the yarn and holds it in place

Loop pile construction

  • holds appearance well

  • no exposed yarn tips

  • only sides of the yarn are exposed to wear and stress

  • known to hold up the best

Alternative step

  • sometimes the looper cuts small loops creating a cut pile

  • length of these pieces called pile height, or distance between the looper and primary backing

  • cuts are controlled by a computer, and can be programmed to cut only some of the loops

  • this cutting is called cut and loop construction and creates pattern on the surface

#2 Application of dye

Two dyeing processes

  • yarn dyeing/ pre-dyeing -color is applied to the yarn prior to tufting

  • advantages are good side-by-side color consistency, large lot sizes, uniformity

  • carpet dying – applying color to the yarn after tufting

  • benefits -greater color flexibility, lower co

Carpet dyeing methods

  • Beck/ batch dyeing- stitching the ends together, then running the tufted carpet loop through large vats of dye and water for several hours.

  • Beck process ideal for small runs, heavier face weight products

  • continuous dyeing -similar to Beck dyeing – carpet is also run through processes other than dying

  • continuous dyeing – applies color to the face by spraying or printing, also to create multicolor or patterned effects

  • screen printing – color is applied through anywhere from 1-8 silk-screens.

#3 Manufacturing the carpet

  • finishing process- single production line that completes the final construction stages

    • coating of latex applied to dyed carpet’s primary and secondary backing

    • secondary backing – made of woven synthetic polypropylene

    • two parts are squeezed together in a large heated press and held firmly to preserve shape

  • shearing- removing loose ends and projecting fibers created during the tufting process

  • also helps the yarn’s tip definition

  • inspection – for color uniformity and defects before it rolled, wrapped, and shipped

Terms and construction variables

Pile height, or nap

  • length of the tuft measured from the primary backing to the yarn tips

  • shown as a fraction, or decimal equivalent

  • shorter pile is more durable than longer pile

  • stitch rate – measure of how close the yarns are together

  • stitch rate is measured in penetrations, or tufts, in a given length of carpet, usually an inch.

  • stitch rate is controlled by the speed the carpet is moved through the tufting machine

  • good number is seven to eight tufts per inch

  • face weight-actual amount of fiber per square yard, measured in ounces

  • typical carpet may have a face weight of 35 to 45 oz

  • density- how tightly the yarn is stitched into the primary backing

  • higher density will wear better than low density

 
 

Styles of Carpet

Carpet is manufactured with cut pile tufts, loop pile tufts or a combination of both.

Cut Pile Carpets

Cut Pile Carpets, depending on the type yarn, can look smooth (Saxony) or slightly textured (textured saxony or textured plush) or as though the surface is covered by very curly ends (frieze). Cut pile carpets are extremely versatile and are commonly used in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, dens and great rooms. The more textured or twisted yarns the less they will show foot prints and vacuum cleaner marks.

Cut pile carpets are constructed from either staple fibers or bulk continuous filament (BCF). Staple fibers can cause pilling at first after installation. That is because staple yarns are made up of short cut fibers that are spun together just like wool.

  • Saxony styles are more traditional and can show footprints and vacuum marks.

  • Textured Saxony styles are versatile and more casual than Saxonies. They help hide footprints and vacuum marks.

  • Friezé styles are more informal, but very durable and minimize footprints and vacuum marks.


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Loop Pile Carpet

Loop Pile Carpet has a knobby appearance made by each tuft being brought back into the backing. Loop pile carpets are generally more durable than cut pile styles. Loop pile carpet can be made up of level loops (all the same height) or multi-level loops to form a pattern or add more texture.

Combination (Cut and Loop Carpets)

Cut and Loop Carpets (also called cut & uncut) feature a combination of both loops and cut pile yarns that are used to create patterned designs. Patterned carpets can help hide traffic patterns in a room as well as give the floor a more interesting visual appearance. For example, a family room or rec-room may be the perfect place for a patterned cut and loop carpeting, especially if the room gets a lot of traffic.

Color is added to carpet in two basic ways. The fiber can be “solution dyed“, which means the color pigments are mixed in with the liquid polymers producing fiber strands that are colored all the way through—just like a carrot. Or, the carpet fibers are made first into white synthetic fibers, then topically dyed which leaves the color on the surface of the fibers—like a red radish. Since the color goes all the way through the solution dyed fibers, any solution dyed carpeting will have superior fade and bleach resistance. This can be important if the room has a lot of sunlight coming through the windows and you are worried about fading.

For resilience (the ability to stand up to traffic), nylon is the best carpet fiber. But, nylon is inherently prone to staining which is why most nylon carpets are coated with stain and soil resistant treatments that may need to be replaced eventually after repeated cleanings.

Through advancements in carpet technology polyester has made great strides as a carpet fiber, especially P.E.T. (polyethylene terephthalate) polyester fibers. The fiber is made from P.E.T. chips and some from recycled plastic containers. P.E.T. fibers are much stronger than the old polyester and offer much better performance and stain resistance.

Recently a new fiber has been created called Triexta and was been approved by the FTC in 2009 as a new fiber type. Triexta is a PTT polmer, also known as (poly trimethylene teraphthalate), and offers exceptional durability, softness and stain resistance. Fibers made from triexta are used in carpet, apparel fabrics and automotive flooring.

Polypropylene (also referred to as: olefin) is a type of solution dyed fiber that is naturally stain and fade resistant, but has the poorest performance of all the carpet fiber types when it comes to resiliency. The best performing construction for polypropylene carpets is a very tight loop in a low-to-mid pile height.

A Word About Soft Carpets

There is a growing demand for carpets with a very soft hand, often referred to as “soft carpets”. Soft carpets can be constructed from either nylon, Triexta or P.E.T. polyester fibers and each fiber type offers certain advantages. All the major residential carpet brands and retailers offer a wide array of soft carpeting styles today. Some soft carpets are so soft they require special vacuum cleaners. This is where your local, specialty carpet retailer can really help guide you through the selection process. See the WFCA’s carpet store locator for highly trained, local carpet retailers that have the experience and industry knowledge to help you select the best carpet for your specific situation.

What is the Best Carpet for Bedrooms?

The best carpet for a bedroom depends on whose bedroom it is. A master suite or a guest room will likely not have a lot of traffic or a lot of soiling and or staining. A child or teen may be much harder on their bedroom carpet.

For an adult bedroom, just about any fiber in a plush or texture style will perform well. The new soft carpets are a good choice for a luxury feel underfoot. If you are on a budget, soft polyester might be a good choice.

A kid’s bedroom, with a greater likelihood of spills and soil, calls for a stain resistant nylon, or an inherently stain resist polyester carpet fiber.

Keep in mind that solid color carpets are less forgiving of soil, stains or any little crumb dropped or bit of lint. Carpets with a multi-color construction for a heather or tweed look will not show small bits as much and pattern carpets are also much more forgiving.

What is the Best Carpet for a Living Room?

Your lifestyle and personal taste are key factors in choosing the best carpet for living rooms. In busy families with children and pets, the living room will get the most use. To be ready for staining, it is best to have a solution dyed or stain treated product with some type of odor treatment in these rooms. The weight of furniture is also a consideration.

Formal living rooms are well served by classic cut pile saxonies or a sophisticated cut and loop patterned carpets. A textured plush carpet will work well for a more casual lifestyle.

What is the Best Carpet for Family Rooms?

Family rooms in active households with kids and possibly pets demand carpets that are stain and soil resistant and constructions that can standup to a lot of traffic. Dense textures and loop pile products will handle the traffic.

Multi-colored, textured looped carpet styles are a great choice for active areas, such as family rooms, because they will be more forgiving of tracked in debris and everyday mess.

What is the Best Carpet for Dining Rooms?

Triexta, P.E.T. polyester carpets with inherent stain resistance, solution dyed nylon carpets, or nylons with advanced stain resist properties are recommended for dining rooms. Products that feature anti-microbial and other topical treatments are also advised to protect against spills.

What is the Best Carpet for Hallways & Stairs?

Stairs and high traffic areas can be covered in a low, dense pile carpet. Because it is the most resilient fiber, nylon products are recommended in pulled down textures or level loop constructions. The bottom of the stairway and the top landing can be extremely tough on carpeting because that is where people usually turn their feet which causes additional stress on carpet. This is where a low profile, extremely densely packed carpet can really add to the life expectancy of the carpet.

What is the Best Carpet for Basements?

Carpets made of polypropylene in a dense, multi-color loop or level loop constructions are a good choice for basements. It is also recommended to use a good quality carpet cushion underneath the loop pile carpet to help the overall life and performance of the carpeting.