Types of Carpeting

Types of Carpeting
On this page we will talk about the different materials that carpets are commonly made from and the benefits and negatives of each type.

Olefin (Polypropylene)
Olefin carpet is generally a lower cost carpet. It has many positive traits however. One is that it absorbs very little moisture and because of that, it is hard to stain. It is also usually solution dyed. Solution dyed Olefin cannot be bleached because the color runs all the way through the fiber, not just on the surface. As for the negative, it has a very low melting point. Olefin can often be melted just by dragging a piece of furniture across it. It also has an affinity towards grease so it attracts grease and oil like a magnet. Olefin also crushes very easily, meaning that traffic lanes will appear flat and matted rather quickly.

Nylon
The most common carpet fiber. Nylon is much more durable than Olefin and also slightly more expensive. It doesn’t have the same attraction to grease but it will stain easier unless treated with a good protectant. Nylon is usually etched and dyed after it is produced so the color is only on the surface and can be bleached. Some solution dyed nylons are now available though to solve this problem. A solution dyed nylon carpet may be one of the most durable carpets made.

Wool
Wool carpet is very expensive but is also very durable. It resists matting and crushing and normal traffic soiling cleans well. It is also very soft to the touch and has a very vibrant color. Some wools can shrink if over wet and staining from some spills can be a problem. Also some may be allergic to wool since it is after all fur. Wool is only available as a staple fiber. With staple fibers the individual tufts are essentially gathered bunches of loose threads and have a tendency to shed.

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