At Dalton Carpet Outlet we understand that our customers usually only shop for carpet a few times in their life. Knowing this we understand that our customers are not always aware of all the options available to them and the feature and benefits each option has to offer.  That is why we firmly believe in providing an education to our customer. Helping them to make the best informed decisions to meet their needs.  

There are two main things that affect the cost and performance of carpeting.  First is the type of fiber that is used to make the carpeting. Today we know there are four main carpet fibers used to make carpeting. They are Olefin, Polyester, Nylon, and SmartStrand (Triexta). Each fiber has features that offer different advantages to the consumer. Here is a breakdown for features and benefits of each fiber:

Olefin  
Olefin fiber is only found in a looped Berber carpeting. The reason why olefin is only found in looped construction is because it is not an inherently durable fiber. Knowing that a loop is stronger than a straight line, it was found that olefin fiber could be used in Berber constructed carpet.  You are probably asking, “Well, if it isn’t durable, then why even use it?” That is a great question and it is for one reason alone: COST. Olefin is a very cost-effective fiber that is made from readily available petroleum. Given the strength Olefin gains by being looped in Berber carpet, Olefin will actually tend to wear very well. But because it is a petroleum-based product, it very susceptible to staining, especially oil-based stains. This staining would come from the oils on the bottom of your shoes, oils from bare feet, or oils in the hair of pets. Because of these characteristics, it is found that you see traffic patterns, not from wear, but rather, traffic patterns of dirt. In summary, if you are looking for a durable-wearing inexpensive carpet, then olefin fiber may be the product for you.

Polyester
Polyester fibers have come a long way in the last ten years with the help of new technologies in the manufacturing processes.  These processes have helped to improve both the quality and the cost of producing the fiber. These improvements in polyester have caused it to currently make up roughly 70% of the carpeting manufactured today. One of the improvements in the technology that allows polyester fibers to accept a wide variety of colors, giving this fiber an advantage over other types when it comes to strong color visuals and design. As for the performance of polyester in terms of stain resistance and wearability, there are some advantages and disadvantages. Polyester has a molecular structure that has smooth cylinder-like construction. This composition allows nowhere for dirt and stains to penetrate and gives polyester great stain-resistant properties. The downfall of polyester’s smooth cylinder construction is a tendency to lay or mat down faster than its competitors, like nylon or triexta. When it comes to staining and cleanability, there is another important factor to be aware of. Today, two dyeing processes called “conventional dyeing” and “solution dyeing” are used.  With conventional dyeing, the fiber starts out as white fiber. It is then submerged in a dyeing solution, allowing it to soak up the dye. The process, however, causes this fiber to be colored on the outside and white on the inside, like the look of a radish. Solution-dyed fibers have the color added while the fiber is in the liquid state before it is extruded into a fiber, allowing the color to go all the way through the fiber, similar to the look of a carrot. The two main advantages of solution-dyed fibers are that they will not fade with heavy sunlight exposure and they can be very aggressively cleaned for spot treatment of stubborn stains. Most manufacturers allow the use of 25% bleach to water solution to clean tough stains. To sum it up, if you are looking for a fiber to protect against staining and have the ability to have a huge selection of colors and design all at a great price, then polyester will be a great choice for you. 

Nylon
Nylon fibers have been around for quite some time and have been used to manufacture for almost as long. Nylon has proven to be a time-tested winner for the flooring industry. Nylon, when compared to its competitor polyester, has proven to be a better carpet in the wearability category. This comes from its molecular structure being more of a zigzag-like structure and giving it a spring-like characteristic. The durability of nylon fiber allows it to be used in a wide variety of commercial situations.  However, the zigzag creates jagged edges. Giving places for the dirt and stains to penetrate. To combat nylon’s susceptibility to staining, manufacturers will coat the fiber with a chemical like Stainmaster or Shaw R2X. These coatings will help to protect the fiber from getting penetrated by dirt and stains. The disadvantage is after four to six professional cleanings, the protection has been removed. This is also why professional carpet cleaners, for a price, offer to add Scotchguard protection back onto your carpet to help protect it. If you are looking for a carpet that is going to give you superior performance for wearability and resistance to showing traffic patterns, then nylon is the choice for you.

SmartStrand/Triexta
As the newest to the carpet industry, Triexta, an advanced fiber that was created by the great minds at Dupont, is the hidden gem. It is very unique in its properties in that it gives us the best of the qualities of nylon and polyester. Triexta has the ability to provide a wearability comparable to nylon and a stain resistance superior to polyester. The reason for the superior stain resistance is because of a product called “Forever Clean.”  This stain defending product is used to encapsulate the fiber and grab on using Nanoloc technology. With this technology, no matter how many times you clean the carpet, the stain defending properties will not wear off. It also allows most stains to be cleaned with water and a paper towel. This fiber truly is the product of innovation and technology.  When you are looking for a fiber that is going to check all of the boxes then this is a fiber to consider.

Now the second main thing that is going to affect the performance and price of the carpet you choose will be how much of these fibers they use to construct the carpet. This is measured by something called face weight. The easiest way to explain this is the thicker and softer the carpet feels, the better it is going to perform and the more it is going to cost.

We hope this information will help you to choose with confidence the correct carpet to fit your needs. If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to any of our six locations and speak to one of our Factory Trained Flooring Specialists.