Are you thinking of getting a new carpet for your home? Do you want to replace your old carpeting or cover up flooring that is marked and gouged? Statistically, a homeowner who is interested in carpeting will buy some kind of synthetic fiber carpeting. These types of carpet make up over 90% of the market because they are easy to manufacture, cheap to purchase and more durable than most natural fibers.
However, it is important to realize that there are a wide variety of options for carpeting, with many different price points and different quality levels. Broad generalizations are less useful than reading the label of the specific carpet flooring that interests you.
It can be overwhelming to choose between different carpet styles. Which is the best fiber type? Should you buy a wool carpet? What are the benefits of polyester fibers? Are nylon carpets stain resistant? Should you spend money on a more expensive fiber? Which carpet is the best choice for a bedroom? What about a carpet for high traffic areas?
Another thing to consider is the pace of technological improvements in carpeting and other housewares. Carpet manufacturers are well aware of the drawbacks of their carpets, and they are always looking for ways to improve their performance. A nylon carpet from a couple of decades ago might be less stain-resistant than polyester, but recent nylon carpets could have advancements that make them comparable to polyester.
With these caveats in mind, we will try to give you an idea of the qualities that the best carpets have, and which carpet types are more likely to show these qualities.
Table of contents
- Nylon vs Polyester
- What are the advantages of nylon carpet?
- What are the disadvantages of nylon carpet?
- What are the advantages of polyester carpet?
- What are the disadvantages of polyester carpet?
Nylon vs Polyester
The two most popular carpet materials are nylon and polyester. These petroleum product fibers are produced and used in a similar way, but they have different chemical properties. One of the key differences between the two materials is that nylon contains nitrogen while polyester does not. Both of these materials are great options for clothing, ropes, carpeting, bags, backpacks and many other things that need to be lightweight and strong. They are also heat resistant, but unfortunately they melt when they reach a high enough temperature (but if the temperature in your home reaches that sort of temperature, you’ll have other things to worry about!).
Nylon is the oldest successful synthetic fibers, having been invented in 1935 and used extensively in the following decades. Nylon fibers are soft, stretchy and resistant to abrasion. This means that it doesn’t show signs of wear easily.
Polyester plastic was discovered around the same time as nylon by the scientists who were working on finding a synthetic material for fabric, but the decision was made to focus on developing nylon instead. The first commercial polyester fiber was released in 1941. Like nylon, polyester is strong and stretchy and holds up well to abrasion.
Nylon and polyester share most of their advantages, since they are both similar materials. Synthetic fibers in general are easy to care for, strong, wrinkle resistant, and mildew resistant.
The main reason that polyester is the most popular carpet choice is because of its low price. The main advantage of nylon is its durability and weather resistance. These qualities are not as important in a carpet since an indoor environment is (hopefully) free from weather and heavy abrasion. Nylon gear is great for climbing, camping, hiking and other activities that put a lot of stress on a fabric.
What are the advantages of nylon carpet?
There are many nylon carpet pros. Nylon carpet fibers are very durable. Since nylon is used by the military and outdoorsmen, it will easily hold up in high-traffic areas of your home. It can hold up to crushing and matting very well, so the fibers will keep their height for years. Is is also highly resistant to abrasion, so you won’t get holes opening up in your carpet. Because of its nylon’s durability, it is the best option for hallways, living rooms, playrooms and other heavy traffic areas. You can even put heavy furniture on top of a nylon carpet and it will keep its shape quite well.
Since nylon is absorbent, it keeps its color very well. It is static free, so you won’t get a shock from walking around on nylon carpets in socked feet. It comes in a variety of vibrant colors and styles, with endless options to match your home.
What are the disadvantages of nylon carpet?
The main cons of nylon carpet include the fact that it has a higher price point than polyester. If you have a tight budget, you may want to avoid this material. Nylon can also be vulnerable to stains and spills because of its high absorbance, but this can be mitigated by buying a carpet that has been treated with a stain protection coating. Most nylon carpets have started to get this treatment in recent years. For example, anso® nylon is a recent innovation that gives nylon carpet more natural stain resistance and even more ability to hold up under daily wear.
Nylon rugs are easy to care for, but remember that they should never be put in washing machines!
What are the advantages of polyester carpet?
Polyester carpet is cheaper than nylon, as well as most other materials. This low cost makes it one of the most popular carpet fibers. Polyester carpeting is made up of hydrophobic fiber, which means that has good stain resistance and holds up well to liquid spills. Polyester could be the best type of carpet for active family rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom.
Another advantage of polyester is that despite the fact that it is a petroleum product, it is often environmentally friendly because it is made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate, PET polyester. Usually this comes from recycled plastic bottles. Although people usually think of synthetic carpets as less environmentally friendly than natural fiber carpets, the good news is that these recycled materials keep water bottles and other plastic containers out of landfills.
What are the disadvantages of polyester carpet?
Even though polyester carpet fibers are reasonably resistant, they can’t match nylon’s high resilience. However, an important factor to consider is that much depends on the quality of the manufacturing process. A well-made polyester carpet could be a better option than low-grade nylon carpeting.
Whether you walk into a carpet store or make your carpet purchase online, the bottom line is to choose the most important things for you and your home. The next most important thing is maintaining your new carpet! Remember you can call us for a free quote for all your carpet cleaning needs!