Not all carpets are created equally and the difference between high and low grades of carpet has only gotten greater. During the middle part of the 20th century it was expected that all carpet would last several decades thanks to the use of nylon as the material for its construction. Even the lowest grade available at the time would still easily last 10 to 20 years.
However, as the call for cheaper housing has grown, so have the selections of lower grade carpeting with the use of other materials. While you can no longer just pick a favorite color and expect high quality, you can still get carpet that meets your needs when you do a bit of research. To help with carpet selection, let’s look at carpet grades and their ideal uses:
Low Grade Carpets: Often employing polypropylene, a synthetic resin, low grade carpets have one primary advantage: they’re cheap. Typically included in the price of building, they are also referred to as “builder grade” or “apartment grade.”
These carpets make sense when you don’t plan to stay in your home for very long, as they typically only last from 3 to 5 years. Additionally, the synthetic fibers that make up these carpets are hard to dye and are, therefore, offered in less choices.
Medium Grade Carpets: These carpets provide a bit more versatility and increased longevity with a lifespan of six to twelve years. They also have more color options and have a better texture and feel.
High Grade Carpets: Typically made of stain resistant nylon or wool, high grade carpets have a far better feel, color selection and lifespan, with many lasting up to 20 years.
What Goes Into Determining the Quality of Carpet?
Along with general longevity, the quality of carpet is determined by a range of factors, including the types of materials used in the fibers and the construction. To better understand what you’re paying for, and why, here are some terms to know:
Tuft Twist: This refers to the number of times that carpet fibers are twisted around each other. The more twists, the better able the carpet is to retain a new appearance for longer.
Pile Height: This is simply how high the carpet is. It’s worth noting that the pile height does not include the height of the backing. While a higher pile might have a nicer feel initially, it’s shorter piles that are resistant to matting, easier to clean and will retain their look for longer.
Pile Density: Along with the type of fibers, density is the most important factor in determining cost and quality. Simply put, it’s how densely packed fibers are in your carpet. More densely packed fibers are better able to withstand being crushed and will last longer.
Face-Weight: This refers to the weight of the fibers that go into making the carpet. While a higher weight indicates a longer lasting product, this number is most relevant when comparing carpets made of the same fiber. For example, a low-grade polypropylene product could weigh more than a high-grade nylon simply because that’s the nature of that material.
Getting the Carpet That’s Best for You
If you are building a new home and plan to live there for an extended time, it can often be more cost effective to work with a builder who will install custom, upgraded carpeting. Not only will you save the money and hassle of installing new carpeting in a few years, you’ll have access to a greater color selection.
At Arbor Creek homebuilders, carry a wide range of customization options which you can choose upfront to speed the building process and reduce costs. To get started customizing one of our floor plans, contact us at 1-866-462-6526.