Our number one goal is to provide your family with superior carpet products that will make your home beautiful, meet your specific performance and budget needs, be easy to care for, and stand the test time.
A&H Flooring, LLC also strives to be good listeners, committed partners in your home improvement project, and strong advocates of great customer service.
But more than that, what truly sets us apart can be said in just five simple words.
A&H Flooring, LLC wants you to know. A&H Flooring, LLC want you to know all about carpet. Whether it’s at our store or here within our website, we want you to understand, learn, experience -- know -- as much about carpet as your family needs to.
We call on our experience to provide you with valuable information, delivered in an easy to understand way, so you make the smartest carpet decisions for you, your family and home.
A&H Flooring, LLC believes that, the more you know about carpet, the more inclined you’ll be to do business with people in the know.
If carpet is a option you are considering, you’ve come to the right place and the right people.
You’re certainly in good company. Carpet has long been the choice of many homeowners. In fact, it remains the most popular floor covering selection.
Read more, and then decide if it’s worth pursuing more information in the other carpet sections.
Carpet is an ancient but beautiful idea. Modern carpet traces its pedigree to ancient times, when cultures passed hand-tying and knotting skills from family to family.
The Sixteenth Century brought business adventurers and explorers home to Europe and with them the awareness and aspiration for rich textiles and rugs from the East.
It wasn’t long before the appreciation of cloth floor coverings took off, came to America, and became one of the most fundamental and beautiful parts of our modern home interior.
Carpet continues to be popular for many reasons. Carpet is still the primary flooring choice for many families. After all, it's relatively affordable, comfortable, generally easier to install and replace than other floor coverings, and it offers more fashion options in colors and textures than any other floor covering option on the market.
Carpet offers you more warmth, softness and is much quieter than any other floor covering.
Today's carpet styles, colors and textures also blend well with any home decor and with a variety of other flooring products. From traditional to country, from casual to formal, you can always find a carpet that will compliment any interior setting and give you years of beauty and performance.
For those who want to know, here’s a list of carpet advantages. Check it out, maybe print it out, and then come explore the other sections on beautifying your home with carpet.
Carpet adds warmth and is soft under feet and easier on children's knees.
Carpet is much quieter than hard surfaces floors.
Carpet comes in a wide variety of colors, tones and hues.
Carpet is easy to decorate with and offers many styles and colors allowing it to be the focus of the room or the perfect foundation for your furniture and accessories.
Carpet can hide many sub-floor irregularities that would not be permitted with hard surfaces floors.
Carpet can go over a variety of substrates and on all grade levels, even concrete slabs in basements.
Carpet is economical and the installation costs are generally less than some of the hard surface products.
Knowledge on how carpet is manufactured. Knowing how carpet is made can be very beneficial. It enables you to understand the product’s materials right from their inception. Remember that these are materials you will be living with, and on, should you choose to have carpet installed in your home.
Understanding the different materials that make up various carpets also helps you recognize and evaluate their performance aspects: why certain carpets are easier to install, why some wear longer, and why others are easier to clean.
Perhaps most important, understanding carpet manufacturing and materials can make you an intelligent consumer, help you determine carpet value and keep you inside of your home improvement budget.
Thicker carpet is not necessarily better carpet. You should look at the construction of the carpet to completely understand how carpet is manufactured. Each yarn tuft should have a tight twist and distant, upright look. A rigid, dense pile is also a sign of a quality carpet. How to check the density? Bend a corner of the carpet and see how much backing shows. The more backing you see, the less dense and durable the carpet.
And for high traffic areas, consider lower pile carpets that won’t have likely to matte or crush.
If you really want to know carpet you must understand the fiber. Fiber is the essential material that a carpet is made. Ninety percent of today’s carpets are made of synthetic fiber, comprised of one of four materials: triexta, nylon, polypropylene or polyester. All three are created by a chemical process that uses oil and natural gas. First, let’s look at the most common synthetic fibers.
Triexta is the "Best" in this owner's opinion. This fiber is known as SMARTSTRAND (trademark) when marketed by Mohawk. Mohawk recently received FTC approval to market this fiber under its own class. This PTT fiber will now be know as TRIEXTA. In the future you will see more about this name change. This fiber is even stronger than PET polyester, and has better colorfastness and clean ability features than PET. PTT is as colorfast as solution dyed nylon. This fiber is extremely soft, and yet behaves better than staple nylon, especially in a shag construction.
If you have kids and pets, and are going to be in the home more than 10 years, PTT is a good choice; especially the 3GT Sorona Dupont Polymer offered in some Mohawk carpets. By the way, PTT is just one step away chemically from 4GT polymer that is used to make tough auto parts. Triexta will indeed be a fiber for the future. The newest triexta is called “silk” and is the softest fiber on the planet.
Nylon is close second. Almost 75% of carpet today is made of nylon and, compared to the other fibers below, it performs the best overall. Nylon is the leader in: appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance, and color and styling. The highest performance nylon is Type 6.6, which has a tighter molecular construction, making the carpet more resistant to stain penetration.
Polypropylene is popular and naturally resistant. This is one of the most color fast fibers on the market. It also is one of the most naturally stain resistant. Thus, this fiber is best suited for indoor-outdoor carpet in both loop and grass styles. It performs well in wear tests if the profile of the pile height is super low.
Polyester’s performance satisfies many. This is a new type of polyester fiber that has this long chemical name: Polyethylene Terephthalate, but still falls in the class of fibers known commonly as polyesters. This PET fiber, however, is “not your daddy’s polyester”. This fiber has natural and permanent stain resistance. PET fiber is stronger than the old polyester and has better abrasion resistance. Unlike the old polyester, the PET product has a higher melting point and is more resistant to abrasion. The fiber is made from PET chips, some of which come from recycled plastic containers, hence the name “pop bottle carpet”. Recycling does not affect the quality if the fiber, thus this product could be a future fiber that could be recycled over and over.
3-step process for the manufacturing of wall to wall carpet. There are essentially three steps to making carpet. The first step is tufting.
Tufting begins with the method of weaving the synthetic or staple fiber into a primary backing material. The primary backing is usually made of woven polypropylene, and its key value is to provide a foundation to hold the yarn in place while the tufting happens.
The tufting machine looks like a large sewing machine. It has anywhere from 800 to 2000 needles working together to pull the yarn through the primary backing material. The typical tufting machine sits about 12 feet wide, and as its needles penetrate the backing, a small hook called a looper grabs the yarn and holds it in place. This process results in what is called loop pile construction.
Here, an alternative step may occur. In some carpet styles the looper then rocks back against a knife, where the small loops of yarn are cut, creating what we call a cut pile carpet. The length of these cut pieces of yarn is referred to as the pile height, and is basically the distance between the looper and the primary backing.
These precision cuts are controlled by a computer, and are sometimes programmed to cut only some of the loops. This method of selectively cutting, called cut and loop construction, creates a recognizable pattern on the surface of the carpet.
Here are some things you need to understand when you begin the process of making a carpet purchase decision.
Pile height, or nap, is the length of the tuft measured from the primary backing to the yarn tips. It’s usually shown as a fraction, or sometimes its decimal equivalent. Usually shorter pile heights are more durable than longer pile heights.
The stitch rate of a carpet is the 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. The stitch rate is controlled by how fast the carpet is moved through the tufting machine. Seven to eight tufts per inch is a good number, while three or four is pretty poor.
Face weight is determined by the actual amount of fiber per square yard, and is measured in ounces. A typical carpet may have a face weight of 30 to 40 ounces as an example.
Finally, density is a measure of how tightly the yarn is stitched into the primary backing. Higher density carpet will typically wear better than low density carpet.
Step two: Dyeing the carpet The carpet is now taken through one of two dyeing processes.
The first method of dyeing is called yarn dyeing, or sometimes pre-dyeing, where the color is applied to the yarn prior to tufting. The advantages of all yarn dyeing methods include good side-by-side color consistency, large lot sizes, and uniformity.
The second method involves applying color to the yarn after the carpet has been tufted.
This method is called carpet dyeing. There are several carpet dyeing methods in use, each producing a distinctive end result.
The first technique, often referred to as batch dyeing, involves stitching the ends of the carpet together, and then running the tufted carpet loop through large vats of dye and water for several hours.
Continuous dyeing is a similar process to batch dyeing, but involves running the carpet through several processes in addition to just the dye application. Continuous dyeing applies the color directly to the carpet face by spraying or printing. This process is also used to create multicolor or patterned effects in the carpet.
Screen printing is another common method of carpet coloring, where color is applied through anywhere from one to as many as eight silk-screens.
The major benefits of carpet dyeing, that is dyeing the carpet after the tufting process, are greater color flexibility, and lower cost.
The last step: The finishing process. This process is normally a single production line that finishes the final stage of the carpet construction.
In the finishing process, a coating of latex is applied to both the tufted, dyed carpet’s primary backing, and also to secondary backing. Secondary backing is typically made of a woven synthetic polypropylene material.
The two parts are squeezed together in a large heated press, where they are held firmly to preserve their shape.
Shearing, one of the last stages in the manufacture of carpet, is the process of removing all of the little loose ends and projecting fibers that might have been created during the tufting process. It also helps achieve the yarn’s tip definition of the finished carpet.
Finally, each carpet is carefully inspected for color uniformity and other manufacturing defects before it is rolled, wrapped, and shipped.
A carpet style for everyone. Have you ever heard "knowledge is power?" Certainly, when it comes to carpet styles, knowledge is priceless, stylish and advantageous.
There are many carpet choices, patterns, colors, textures and price points and this can be a daunting task even for the most experienced shopper.
If you know the basic styles you will be armed with a firm foundation in which you can begin your carpet-shopping voyage.
A&H Flooring, LLC will try and help you learn all about the wide selection of carpeting on the market today. You’ll realize the beautiful yet sensible styles, the elegant and easy-care types – the entire field of carpet choices available for every room.
The main thing to remember is this: choosing the best carpet style is all about knowing the right blend of aesthetics, performance and budget that meets the needs of your lifestyle – emphasis on you.
So check out the subsequent carpet style information and let A&H Flooring, LLC help you understand all about the carpet styles that will be perfect for your home.
The six common styles of carpet: textured, saxony or plush, frieze, cable, looped, and cut & loop.
Each style has its own characteristics and performance capabilities. You should carefully consider all of each style’s features, qualities and conditions when making your buying decision.
Textured: For those who want a casual look. This is a very popular cut pile carpet that has alternating twists of yarn creating a two-tone appearance.
The textured surface of this carpet does a great job of hiding footprints and vacuum marks.
This carpet creates a more casual ambiance in the room.
Textured carpets are great for all areas in the home, they are perfect for today’s active families and are available in a wide range of prices.
Saxony: For the family looking for the plush look and feel. For a more formal, traditional and stylish look, consider the beautiful saxony.
This style has a smooth, soft, velvet plush appearance and a luxurious feel. Each yarn has a consistent twist and finish, making this carpet the ideal solution for a master bedroom, formal dining room or a formal living room.
This style is not a good choice for high traffic areas or rooms with active kids. Also be aware that this style does show footprints and vacuum marks.
Frieze: The "New" shag choice for durability. For an active area, a frieze carpet may be the way to go. This is a cut pile that has a very high twist level, meaning each strand of yarn is twisted so tightly that it appears to curl at then ends.
This creates a textured surface with a knotted look, and a carpet of high toughness.
These carpets perform tremendous in high-traffic areas and can be installed anywhere in your home. They also hide footprints and are available in various pile heights that create a variety of different looks.
Cable: The relaxed carpet style. Cable style carpet is constructed of thicker, normally longer yarn.
This style is very comfortable and stunning in a bedroom or living room.
However, keep in mind that this style is better matched for rooms without a lot of activity.
It can matte and crush with heavy foot traffic so it is not recommended for stairs, hallways and other busy areas in your home.
Looped: when the focus is on activity. A looped style carpet is often referred to as a berber. Berbers are really big bulky yarns that are either manufactured in a level loop or multi-level loop carpet construction.
Although many Berbers are made out of olefin fiber, some are made with nylon, or a blend of various carpet fibers including Triexta.
Looped carpets are very durable. This is the result of not cutting the yarn tips. You can see each individual loop.
Looped carpets are ideal for casual, active family rooms and come in solid colors, berber fleck and patterns with different levels of loops.
This carpet hides traffic patterns well but may make seams more evident and its backing is more visible on stairs.
Still, this is a great all-purpose carpet, a long lasting performer and very popular in homes across the country.
Cut & Loop: patterned to stand up to living. Cut & Loop is a combination of cut and looped yarns that crate patterns by the variation in surface textures.
This style is also referred to as patterned carpet. Like looped styles, these carpets are low profile and thus perform well, although, seams may be more visible.
Cut & loop carpets are very stylish today, they’re used in casual and traditional rooms and are available in many patterns including cool geometrics.
Their distinctive carved appearance and multiple colors do a good job of hiding stains and standing up to traffic.
A few things you should know before you go. The more you know about something, the better able you are to make an informed decision.
That goes for buying carpet as well. If you know the in's and out's of carpet construction, that's a good start. But knowledge about carpet details and characteristics can be invaluable.
It’s a fact. Choosing the best carpet is really about knowing the right combination of characteristics, aesthetics, performance and budget to best meet the needs of your lifestyle.
For example, looped Berbers and high twist friezes perform wonderfully in high traffic areas in your home, but an elegant Saxony in the same area may show footprints. Isn’t that good to know?
The goal at A&H Flooring, LLC is to help our customers become intelligent before one square yard or foot is installed or delivered to your home.
Below is a few tips to help you get started on your next flooring project.
Seams and seams, no wants them but we need to understand them. Carpet is available in 12’, 15’ and sometimes 13’6" widths.
Unless the room to be carpeted is narrower than these widths, the carpet will be seamed.
With looped or low-profile patterned carpet you may have visible or peaked seams.
The extent of a seam's visibility depends on quality, color, lighting and furniture arrangement.
Important information about carpet backing on stairs and berber loops. Be aware that, as carpet is "rolled" or installed over stairs, its backing may show depending on texture, color and density.
Plus, you should know that looped carpet can snag, particularly at a seam or at a carpet transition.
Every carpet installation should be carefully planned. The nap of all carpets run in one direction.
Pile reversal, or shading, is a normal characteristic of many cut pile style carpets.
This can be particularly obvious with plush carpet.
Durability equals quality. Carpets with higher quality will typically have superior pile density, and tighter twist , which will result in better durability. Another consideration is that it’s easier to replace or update a home’s décor with carpet compared to other hard surface products. Dollar for dollar carpet offers significant styling advantages, and adds value to any home. Carpet also feels warm under your feet and reduces household sound.
Color rules. You should know these. Color has a big impact on any room in the home. Carpet covers a large area of any room, so it’s important to keep some basic rules in mind when selecting your carpeting.
An important consideration about carpet color is that once a carpet is installed in a new home, it will often look lighter than the sample you saw in the store. This is a natural optical effect and you should be aware of this when making a carpet color selection.
Another thing to keep in mind is how the color of carpet affects the apparent size of the room. Lighter colored carpet will visually expand the size of the room. Darker carpeting will seem to bring the walls closer together, and create a more intimate feeling.
Neutral colors are the best choice if you expect to frequently change the decorating scheme, or if you’re trying to incorporate a lot of existing furniture. Using a neutral colored, good quality carpet is a good idea if the home will be resold any time soon. It’s easier for a prospective buyer to imagine their furniture in a room that is decorated with neutral colors.
Check your warranty for stains. Stain protection is an important consideration in any carpet purchase.
Carpet products come with different stain protection levels and warranties that help guard your carpet against stains.
As you increase the quality of carpet, stain protection also typically increases, as does the manufacturers warranty coverage.
With this in mind, it is important to understand exactly what is covered by the warranty of your specific carpet as warranties do vary.
Understand what’s beneath it all. One of the most important considerations in choosing the right carpet for your home has to do with where you can’t see – beneath the surface of the carpet.
Carpet cushion, the layer of material that lies between the carpet and floor, can make the difference between a good feeling carpet and a great one.
It’s carpet cushion, not the carpet itself that determines how a carpet feels beneath your feet. However, carpet cushion isn’t just about feel. A quality carpet cushion helps preserve the look of the carpet, and can even extend the life and comfort of a carpet, providing it with tougher protection against wear and tear.
Also, understand that carpet cushion is sold using quality specifications, not color specifications. The color of the sample you see in the store may not be the same color as the carpet cushion installed in your home.
The label makes for valuable reading. Be sure to become familiar with all of the product specifications and warranty coverage on the back labels of the carpeting you’re purchasing. Doing so will protect your investment today and tomorrow.
Get on top of the bottom line. Know the entire cost of ownership. The “cost per square foot” of your carpet is just one component of the entire project cost. To ensure there are no surprises, and the carpeting you select fits within your overall project budget, be sure to ask us to calculate the total cost of your floor covering project. Here’s a list of potential additional expenses you may incur:
Removal/disposal of old floor covering.
Sub-floor preparation. Depending on the condition of the sub-floor, it may require additional work.
Carpet installation. Determine the cost per square foot to install it.
Materials required to complete the installation. Your new carpet may require additional materials to install it properly, like adhesives, moisture barriers, metal transitions, baseboards, etc.
In addition to the total project cost, you should also know the manufacturer’s warranty and care guide for directions on how frequently the carpet should be cleaned and the cost to clean it.
There’s a lot to know and keep in mind before you buy your carpet, but it’s well worth the effort. If you’re a smart and knowledgeable carpet shopper it will pay off in many ways, the best of which will be carpeting you’re pleased to come home to.
What to know and do before your carpet is installed.You’ve learned all there is to know about carpet, shopped smart, made your best choice, and now it’s just a matter of waiting for the installers, right?
You know better, of course. The next step is to be knowledgeable and prepared for the big day when the new carpeting will transform your home.
Being ready for the installation of your carpet will make the entire process go faster and more efficiently.
Knowing what to expect and being prepared will also be a lot less stressful on you, your family and your home.
Our best advice is to go with the pros. Carpet installation is a skill that is developed through years of experience, so using professional installers is just plain smart. Also, understanding the basics of carpet installation will increase your knowledge of the process and enhance your confidence in the professionals working in your home. Some of these basics follow.
The seaming diagram is the installers’ “blueprint”. This shows the overall layout of the carpet, the correct placement of seams and transitions, and assists them in the preparation and cutting of the carpet.
Nobody knows how to deal with seams better than the professionals.While seams are inevitable, it’s the professionals who excel at minimizing and hiding seams. They call on years of experience and tried and true methods. Case in point: they’ll insure seams are placed away from areas subjected to pivoting traffic, and not run seams perpendicular to doorway openings.
Some carpet styles can show the placement of the seam tape more than others. This is referred to as telegraphing, or peaking, and it is particularly noticeable in low cut pile and looped carpets. A seam may be excellent and considered ‘tight’ but can still be seen.
You should keep in mind that, occasionally, additional carpet must be ordered to better match patterns at the seams, which will add to the cost.
The pros know what to do about transitions. When two different flooring products meet – say, carpeting and a hardwood floor – it’s called a transition. Your professional installers will try to match the surface heights of various flooring products to minimize transitions.
What to know and do before installation day. Furniture is step one. Remove all furniture and other objects and materials from the areas to be carpeted. Some installers will move your furniture, but there may be an additional charge for doing so.
Before moving, you’ll also need to empty the contents of china cabinets, closets and the like.
Know what to do with your present floor covering. Please consider how your old floor covering will be taken up and disposed of. This can be a time consuming and messy task. We would be happy to discuss removal options with you.
If you prefer to remove your present floor covering, do it at least one day prior to installation to allow for cleanup and floor preparation. If removing old carpet, please leave tack strips in place and pull the staples out of the floor from the original pad.
Consider your options regarding the trim. You should know that, in many cases, moldings and baseboards need to be removed for carpet installation. Your installer may do this but at an additional charge and they will probably not be responsible for damage or breakage due to dry or brittle wood.
Painted baseboards, woodwork and paint may need retouching after the installation is complete. If necessary, this is your responsibility.
Seek advice on your sub flooring. Your existing sub floor may need to be prepared to receive the carpet, or a new subfloor may be required. This is a job best left to the professionals and, again, we can help you with these decisions.
Be prepared with a door plan. When carpeting is installed, there’s always the possibility that the doors, especially closet doors, basement and bedroom doors, may not clear the new carpet and swing free. Another thing to keep in mind is how the color of carpet affects the apparent size of the room. Lighter colored carpet will visually expand the size of the room. Darker carpeting will seem to bring the walls closer together, and create a more intimate feeling.
Some installers will remove doors in order to install the carpet and re-hang them if possible. They probably won’t shave or cut down doors to insure clearance. You may need to arrange for a qualified carpenter to provide this service after the installation of your new carpet.
Be clear about the clean-up. Installing new carpet will produce waste.
Usually these materials are collected by your installer and left at your trash collection site. Check with your retailer before the day of installation so you’re clear about the clean up, if there are added costs to do so, and ask about the plan for carpet remnants.
What to know and do during installation day. Installation day requires your presence.Be prepared to be at home the day of installation and be available in case the installation crew has questions. Your presence will insure that the correct carpet is installed in the right areas. Because it is difficult to estimate the length and circumstances of each job, some installers may not be able to give you an exact time of arrival. We suggest you be flexible and keep in touch with your retailer/installer.
Keep your family safe. Your installers will use a variety of tools and techniques that can make the work area hazardous. Please make sure that your children and pets are kept out of the work area on installation day.
Don’t forget the walk-thru. We recommend that, prior to the completion of the installation, you walk thru the job with the chief installer. This will give you the opportunity to ask questions and be clear on any final details.
What to know and do after installation day. Be ready to clear the air. If you are sensitive to odors, good ventilation should be established. Some of the chemicals used in the construction of carpet, as well as the adhesives or hot melt seaming tapes, can have an odor for as long as 48 to 72 hours after installation. So be prepared to provide the room with adequate ventilation.
Fixing post-installation problems. Shedding is a natural part of a new carpet. Frequent vacuuming for the first few days should remove any loose fibers from the carpet’s surface.
Sprouting refers to small tufts or loops of carpet that become visible after the installation. Use a small pair of scissors to carefully trim the loose fibers flush with the surface of the carpet.
Finally, if wrinkles or ripples appear in the carpet, it may be necessary to re-stretch the carpet. Please contact us to have this done professionally.
Someone once said, “Most new things are good looking, the challenge is to keep them that way.” We say knowing how to maintain them is the answer.
Take the floor covering you’re considering – carpet. New carpeting can be elaborate and elegant, cool and contemporary or tasteful and traditional. It’s one of America’s most popular floor covering choices, enhances virtually any room and it can add value to your residence. The feeling can’t be beat either.
Carpeting is warm, cozy and inviting. It’s the flooring that welcomes stocking feet and worships bare feet.
And who doesn’t equate a thick carpet and roaring fire with the essence of home?
But keeping that feeling, and your carpet in beautiful condition, is a challenge if you don’t know the proper steps of maintenance. And that’s why we created this section.
We want you to know that, with the care guidelines below, your new carpet can stay attractive for many years, and many bare-foot crossings, to come.
Step one is entrance protection.
Place walk-off mats wherever there are entrances to your home from high-soil areas like backyards, garages and so on. A few dollars invested in these mats can prevent a lot of dirt and grime from being tracked across your beautiful new carpet.
This tool is a must. A good vacuum cleaner can be your carpet’s best friend. Buy a quality vacuum and use it regularly.
There have been significant improvements to vacuum cleaners in the past few years, making them easier to use, and better at doing their job.
They’ve gotten lighter in weight, higher in suction, and loaded with convenience features.
There are even unattended robotic vacuums that can do the work while you’re sleeping!
Thorough vacuuming removes loose dirt and dust from the fibers. Over time these particles dull your carpet’s appearance; frequent vacuuming maintains the beauty of your floor covering and extends its life.
Know where to concentrate. High traffic areas may need more vacuuming more often. Use a machine with a good beater bar and maximum suction. And get attached to using the cleaner’s attachments. They make it easier to clean the tight spots – along walls and up and down the stairs.
If your vacuum uses bags, be sure to change them frequently for maximum cleaning efficiency. Some newer model vacuums have been designed without bags, making the chore of vacuuming even simpler, and more time saving.
The cushion is critical. Remember that carpet cushion plays an important role in preserving the look and feel of your carpet. Investing in a good carpet cushion prevents your carpet from matting and crushing underfoot, as well as offering its own level of soil and stain protection. A good carpet cushion also provides ventilation between the carpet and the floor, making vacuuming easier, and more efficient.
Treat snags carefully and surgically. Looped carpets can snag, especially at a seam or a carpet transition. Don’t vacuum over loose yarn or try to pull out the snag. Treat it as you would a loose thread on an expensive blouse. Carefully snip the yarn flush with the carpet and without catching any surrounding loops.
Understand the issues of weight and sunlight. Another important and often overlooked way of keeping your carpet in top condition is in the placement of heavy furniture. Heavy furniture can compress, or crush the carpet pile, and leave noticeable indentations that won’t be discovered until you redecorate or move. So rearrange your furniture periodically.
Carpet that is near windows and patio doors can be subjected to harmful ultraviolet rays. These rays can deteriorate the carpet’s appearance and ability to withstand wear. If possible, be sure to use window treatments that offer some protection against sunlight.
Apply this knowledge to spills.Treat them as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more the stain will soak into the fibers. Immediately blot up as much of the liquid or debris as possible with a dry cloth or paper towel. Don’t rub or scrub the area with a rag, this damages the fibers and may create a permanent scar.
Use warm, not hot, water to rinse the stained area completely. Hot water can set the stain and make it difficult if not impossible to remove. Press clean cloths deeply into the carpet to take up moisture until the stain no longer appears on the cloth. If a stain remover is needed, blot up excess moisture before applying, work gently and do not over apply the stain remover.
Next, thoroughly rinse the area with warm water, then absorb the excess dampness with a clean cloth. After your carpet has dried, vacuum to restore its texture and appearance.
Thorough cleaning calls for the pros.Unfortunately, time and traffic will take its toll on your carpet. To protect your investment, cleaning by a reputable, professional cleaner is suggested approximately once a year.
Call on their knowledge, equipment and experience to do a more thorough job of removing stubborn stains and embedded soil. But only use the pros when necessary as too much commercial cleaning can cause your carpet to lose its built-in protection and damage it.
The manufacturer knows. Read their materials.Keep in mind that carpet should be treated like a textile product. Be sure to read the care and maintenance literature provided by the manufacturer because different fibers, styles and finishes can each have their own unique guidelines.
Backing/Primary Backing The primary backing material of carpeting is usually made of woven polypropylene and its main value is to provide a base cloth to hold the yarn in place while the tufting happens.
Berber A looped style carpet is often referred to as a Berber. Berbers are big bulky yarns with characteristic color flecks that are either produced in a level loop or multi-level loop carpet construction. Although many Berbers are made out of olefin fiber, some are made with nylon, or a blend of various carpet fibers.
Cable A style of carpet constructed of thicker, typically longer yarn that is better suited for rooms without a lot of activity. It can matte and crush with heavy foot traffic so it is not recommended for stairs, hallways and other busy areas in your home.
Carpet Cushion Commonly called padding, this is the layer of material that lies between the carpet and floor. It’s carpet cushion, not the carpet itself, that determines how a carpet feels beneath your feet and helps preserve the look while providing it with tougher protection against wear and tear.
Carpet Dying (Continuous Dying) Also called Continuous Dyeing, color is applied directly to the carpet face by spraying or printing. This process is also used to create multicolor or patterned effects in the carpet.
Cut Pile Small loops of yarn are cut, creating what we call a cut pile carpet. The length of these cut pieces of yarn is referred to as the pile height, and is basically the distance between the looper and the primary backing. Selectively cutting, called cut and loop construction, creates a recognizable pattern on the surface of the carpet.
Density A measure of how tightly the yarn is stitched into the primary backing. Higher density carpet will typically wear better than lower density carpet.
Face Weight Is determined by the actual amount of fiber per square yard, and is measured in ounces. A typical carpet may have a face weight of 35 to 45 ounces for example.
Fiber Fiber is the basic material that a carpet is made of. Over ninety percent of all of the carpet made today is made up of synthetic fiber. The rest is natural fiber, most commonly wool.
Frieze This is a cut pile style that has a very high twist level, meaning each strand of yarn is twisted so tightly that they actually curl over at the end. This creates a textured surface with a knobby appearance, and a carpet of high durability and very good wear-ability.
Loop Pile A small hook called a looper grabs the yarn and holds it in place. This process results in what is called loop pile construction. Loop pile products hold their appearance very well. Since there are no exposed yarn tips, only the sides of the yarn are exposed to wear and stress. Generally speaking, low profile loop carpet stands up to heavy traffic best.
Matte/Crush The application of weight (like a high traffic area) on an installed carpet produces this visual effect. See Cable.
Nap (See Pile Height)
Nylon A synthetic fiber. Almost 75% of carpet today is made of nylon. Nylon is the leader in: appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance, and color and styling.
Olefin See Polypropylene.
Pile Cut or uncut loops of yarn that create the surface of carpeting.
Pile Height Also called the nap, pile height is the length of the tuft measured from the primary backing to the yarn tips. It’s usually shown as a fraction, or sometimes its decimal equivalent. Usually shorter pile heights are more durable than longer pile heights.
Plush See Saxony.
Polyester A common synthetic material well accepted for its bulkiness, color clarity, and good stain and fade resistance. While not as resilient as nylon, Polyester fiber carpet constructed with today’s new technologies can be a good performer.
Polypropylene Another common synthetic material used in carpet manufacturing, sometimes referred to as olefin. Today it represents more than thirty-five percent of the total fibers used in the carpet industry. While polypropylene is not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon, it is naturally stain and fade resistant. Polypropylene is most often used in loop pile carpet constructions.
Saxony Saxony has a smooth, soft, velvet plush look and a luxurious feel with a uniform twist and finish. This style is not a good choice for high traffic areas or rooms with active kids. Also be aware that this style does show footprints and vacuum marks.
Screen Printing Another common method of carpet coloring, screen printing is where color is applied through anywhere from one to as many as eight silk-screens.
Shearing One of the last stages in the manufacturing of carpet, shearing is the process of removing all of the little loose ends and projecting fibers that might have been created during the tufting process. It also helps achieve the yarn’s tip definition of the finished carpet.
Shedding Shedding is a natural part of a new carpet. Frequent vacuuming for the first few days should remove any loose fibers from the carpet’s surface.
Sprouting Refers to small tufts or loops of carpet that become visible after the installation. Use a small pair of scissors to carefully trim the loose fibers flush with the surface of the carpet.
Stitch Rate The 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. The stitch rate is controlled by how fast the carpet is moved through the tufting machine. Seven to eight tufts per inch is a good number, while three or four is pretty poor.
Synthetic Man-made, using chemical compounds versus natural materials. Over ninety percent of all of the carpet is made up of synthetic fiber – usually one of three materials: nylon, polypropylene or polyester. All three are created by similar chemical processes using oil and natural gas.
Textured A very popular cut pile carpet that has alternating twists of yarn creating a two-tone appearance. This carpet creates a more casual atmosphere in the room and is available in a broad range of prices.
Transition When two different flooring products meet – say, carpeting and a hardwood floor – it’s called a transition. Professional installers try to match the surface heights of various flooring products to minimize transitions.
Tuft/Tufting The first step in the manufacturing of carpet. Tufting begins with the process of weaving the synthetic or staple fiber into a primary backing material.
Twist When selecting carpet, you want a tight twist in each yarn, not loose and frayed at the end.
Wool The coat of sheep and the original staple fiber used in the making of carpet. Since wool is a natural fiber, it ranges in color from off-white to black, with many earthen tones between. Although 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.
Yarn Dying One of two dyeing methods used in the manufacturing of carpet. Yarn dyeing, also called pre-dyeing, is where the color is applied to the yarn prior to tufting. The advantages of all yarn dyeing methods include good side-by-side color consistency, large lot sizes, and uniformity.
Yarn Dying-Beck A second dyeing method used in the manufacturing of carpet involves applying color to the yarn after the carpet has been tufted.