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Carpet Flooring Types & Factors to Consider While Selecting

Carpet is one of the most popular floor coverings used today because of its variety of colors, patterns, textures, touch, costs, installation techniques, and clean ability.

It is a textile floor covering of upper layer of pile (fiber) attached to a backing layer.

Carpet is made from natural or synthetic materials or a blend of natural/synthetic materials and can provide flooring that is both visual and tactile.

It can reduce noise impact and all the flooring materials can have a direct impact on indoor air quality.

carpet flooring
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Advantages of Carpet Flooring

  • Varieties of styles, patterns, and colors
  • Absorbs sound and less noisy
  • Soft on the hard flooring surface
  • Non-slip flooring
  • Insulating properties provide warmth
  • Most economical
  • Easy to install
  • Recyclable

Disadvantages of Carpet Flooring

  • Regular maintenance
  • Very sensitive-easily attract dust and insects
  • Traps moisture and allergens
  • High maintenance cost

What are the Factors to consider while selecting carpet:

  • Strength
  • Carpet fibers – Face fiber type and density, Fiber treatments, Color Retention
  • Carpet Types, construction, backing, cushion, Installation Method
  • Visual factors – Color, pattern, texture, etc.,
  • Cost factors – Initial material cost, installation charges, maintenance costs, life cycle costs, etc.
  • Resistance factors– Soil resistance, moisture resistant, Flame resistance, Heat resistance, abrasion resistance.
  • Absorbance actors – Sound absorption, Moisture absorbency.
  • Resilience
  • Static control
  • Energy consideration

1.Strength

  • The ability of a fiber to withstand abrasion and wear is referred to as strength.
  • All manufactured fibers are strong, and nylon is the strongest.
  • The strength of a carpet determines how long it will last-but not how long it will look good.
  • Polyesters and olefins are nearly as strong as nylon, making them both, like nylon, well suited for heavy-traffic areas.

2.Carpet Fiber Types

a) Nylon

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  • Most popular carpet fiber, soft and durable.
  • Resistant to stains and abrasion, pet friendly.
  • Highly resilient
  • Soil resistant and stain resistance due to non-porous fibers
  • It is no allergenic and is resistant to mold, mildew, and moths.
  • Resistance to ultra violet fading
  • It is prone to static buildup and often treated to resist this feature.

b) Acrylic

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  • It is similar to wool in appearance.
  • An outstanding characteristic is solution dyeability.
  • Resistant to abrasion, soiling, and fading caused by sunlight.
  • Cleans exceptionally well and has good crush resistance but some pillage.
  • It ranks second to nylons in quantity production.

c) Polyester

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  • Mostly made from recycled plastics and plastic bottles.
  • Resistant to water-soluble stains
  • Color clarity and retention of color properties.
  • Nonallergenic
  • Not suitable for high traffic areas

d) Olefin

candlflooring.com
  • Good stain and moisture resistance
  • Suited for loop pile construction
  • Not as resilient as nylon
  • Polypropylene is the best-known specific type of olefin. It is predominant in needle-punched carpets and popular for kitchen and indoor-outdoor carpets.
  • Ease of care and its nonabsorbent nature are polypropylene’s outstanding characteristics.
  • Most stains lie on the surface, making it the easiest fiber to clean.
  • It is completely colorfast. however, it has poor resiliency, which can lead to crushing.

e) Triextra

homedepot.com
  • New synthetic fiber
  • Derived from petro chemicals and natural corn sugar
  • Durable and stain resistant
  • Better lifetime than nylon and polyester

f) Sisal

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  • Sisal is made from the agave plant and has strong woody fibers, often used to make twine and rope.
  • It does not build up static or trap dust. However, it can expand or contract with humidity levels.

g) Wool

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  • Favored for natural beauty, finest carpet fiber.
  • Warmth, a dull matte look, durability, and soil resistance
  • Takes colors beautifully, cleans well, retains its appearance for years. however, it can wear down with heavy traffic loads.
  • Easily dyed
  • Excellent resilient
  • Naturally flame retardant.
  • Wool carpet is very expensive and is used in high-quality spaces and residences.

Fiber Treatments

  • Stain Resisting
  • Antistatic Treatments
  • Antimicrobial Treatments

3.Colors

  • Many varieties of colors are available such as beige, browns, blues, grays, browns, tans, whites, yellows, multi-purples, red, etc.
  • A neutral or subdued wall-to carpet color can allow for changing color schemes or serve as backdrop for other distinctive furnishings.
  • Unusual colors, patterns, or bold designs are not as versatile as neutral colors; however, they are exciting and create a strong visual impact.
  • Multilevel and multi color carpets show less soiling than plain, one-color carpets.

4.Types of Carpet Flooring

a) According to size

  • Carpet Roll
  • Carpet Tiles

Carpet Rolls :

professionals.tarkett.com
  • The Carpet is generally cut from a large roll that ranges in width from 27″ to more than 18’, with 12′ being the most common size produced.
  • “Broadloom” is a term frequently used to identify roll goods more than 54″ wide.

Carpet Tiles:

  • Carpet tiles or modules are a popular alternative to roll carpeting, especially in commercial applications.
  • These tiles are generally 18″ or 24″ square and can be glued directly to the floor with a permanent or releasable adhesive, or laid freely with gravity holding them in place.
carpetlandonline.com

b) According to Pile Height

Pile height is the height of fibers of carpet excluding backing layer.These are classified as

  • Low pile carpet – It has short fibers that are flat and dense. Suitable for high traffic areas.
  • Medium pile carpet – It has fibers taller than low pile carpet and suitable for moderate traffic and dirt areas.
  • High pile carpet – It has long fibers and less dense as compared with low and medium-pile carpet. Suitable for fewer traffic areas.

5.Types of Carpet Construction

Commercial carpet flooring depends upon the type of construction Methods.

Few Definitions

  • Twist
    • Refers to how tightly the fiber has been twisted.
    • The tighter the yarn is twisted, the better the carpet stands
  • Density
    • Refers to the amount and distance between the fibers.
  • Pile Style/Carpet Textures
  • a) Cut Pile
    • Consists of yarns that are cut at ends
    • Soft and plush
  • b) Loop Pile
    • Consists of yarns that are looped and uncut at the surface
    • Loop piles can be level or textured
    • Suitable for high traffic areas
  • c) Cut-Loop
    • Combination of cut and loop pile yarns
    • Slightly less durable than loop piles
    • Forms different patterns like a grid, lattice, basket, weave, etc.
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a) Tufted Carpet

It is made by inserting tufts of yarn into a primary backing. This is the fast and inexpensive construction used for commercial purposes.

Tufted construction ; Image Courtesy Maryland State Dept. of Education

b) Fusion bonded carpets

They are constructed in facing pairs with the pile embedded in the backing on each side. Then cut apart to create cut pile. They are used for heavy traffic such as airport terminals.

from The Graphic Standard Guide to AR

c) Needle punched construction

Formed by hundreds of pointed needles punching through webs or blankets of fiber to mesh them together permanently.

from The Graphic Standard Guide to AR

d) Knitted Construction

Knitted carpets are produced on a machine similar to that for textile knitting. They use more face yarn than tufting.

from The Graphic Standard Guide to AR

e) Woven carpets

They are made on looms, the original construction method. It is a much slower and expensive process, but long wearing and most dimensionally stable than other types.

from The Graphic Standard Guide to AR

Types of Dye Techniques:

Solution Dyeing

  • Consists of adding dye to synthetic carpet fiber material before the yarn is extruded.
  • This method is the most colorfast and resistant to chemicals, gasses, bleaches, and sunlight.

Continuous Dyeing

  • Involves applying dye to the open face of a carpet and setting it by steam injection.
  • This is the least expensive dyeing method, but it is less colorfast and uniform.

Piece of Beck Dyeing

  • Consists of running a white carpet with primary backing through a large, shallow dye at before the secondary backing is applied.

Print or Contact Dyeing

  • Can be used on almost any type of pile.
  • This technique produces good colorfastness and penetration.

6.Soil Resistance

  • Carpet appearance for carpet flooring is destroyed by soiling more often than by any other single factor.
  • Nylon is the most soil prone, which produces an overall dull appearance early in the carpet’s life. However, nylons such as Antron have special soil-hiding characteristics and fiber shapes.
  • Pilling and static conductivity (the ability of a fiber to conduct electric charges) are also major soiling factors.
  • Nylon pills easily and holds onto these pills because of its unusual strength.
  • Acrylic pills because of the soft nature of the fiber, but pills can be easily vacuumed away before soil has time to set.

7.Moisture Resistance

  • All manufactured fibers resist moisture, some a great deal more than others.
  • This factor determines the fiber’s capacity to accept dyes, its stain resistance, and its maintenance characteristics.
  • Nylon, with the greatest tendency to absorb moisture, takes the widest range of colors and can be dyed using the largest variety of processes.
  • Polyesters and acrylics both dye well, using various techniques.
  • Olefin, the least absorbent fiber, has the most limited dyeing capabilities.
  • An absorbent fiber that dyes easily could also stain rapidly.
  • Polypropylenes are very difficult to stain, while nylons stain more rapidly than another manufactured fiber.
  • Whether the material is moisture resistant or absorbent also influences carpet cleanability.
  • Since olefin is very nonabsorbent, it can easily be maintained by using everyday methods of care, such as vacuuming.
  • However, nylon, polyester, and acrylic carpets need periodic specialized cleaning, such as wet or dry shampoo or steaming, to retain their original look.

8.Resilience

  • Matting and crushing are governed by fiber resilience, the ability of a fiber to spring back to its original pile height and shape.
  • Carpet textures do much to determine resiliency.
  • Acrylic is the most resilient fiber, which accounts for its popularity in high-pile styles.
  • Nylons and densely constructed polyesters also spring back well.
  • Olefin regains its shape very slowly, so mills limit its use to low-height carpet construction.
  • Fibers have different densities or abilities to cover the square footage.
  • Olefin, a high-bulk yarn, offers the greatest coverage, with acrylics and nylons following closely.

9.Heat Resistance

  • Manufactured fibers do not actually burn but tend to melt or stick at different temperatures.
  • Modaacrylics, the most heat resistant of all, will not support combustion but will shrink at high temperatures.
  • Polyester is claimed to be self-extinguishing, and polypropylene is the least heat resistant of any of the manufactured fibers.

10.Static Electricity

  • The level of static electricity generated by a carpet is determined by the electrical properties and absorbency of its fibers.
  • Static electricity can be controlled during the manufacturing stage by adding compounds to the polymer solution before extrusion or by weaving metallic fibers into the floor covering to drain the charge continuously.
  • Static electricity could be a serious problem with carpeting in spaces where computers and other types of electronic equipment are housed.
  • Carpet specifications will indicate whether it has been treated for static electricity.

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