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Choosing Carpet Materials

Choosing a carpet for your various flooring needs comes with several decisions, such as color, style and materials in the carpet. Learn about different carpet materials, such as recycled carpet, and which are best for you and your space.

Types of Materials in Carpet

When choosing a carpet, you'll need to know the different carpet material options. Common carpet materials include:

  • Nylon: The most popular choice for carpet materials, nylon is durable, good at fighting stains and cost effective.
  • Olefin: Also called polypropylene, olefin is stain resistant and low in static electricity. It also maintains its color, prevents moisture damage and can be cleaned with strong chemicals without damage. However, it is not as durable as nylon or wool carpet materials.
  • Recycled polyester: Also known at PET, this recycled carpet is an affordable alternative to wool and is environmentally friendly. Made of recycled products like plastic soda bottles, PET has built-in stain and moisture resistance, keeps its color and is very soft. It is stronger than olefin and can be as effective as nylon carpet at a lower cost, though nylon is still the stronger of the two.
  • Wool: Wool is more expensive than other carpet materials, but is the softest and most luxurious carpet fiber. It is flame- and stain-resistant, long lasting, environmentally friendly and durable. Wool is also a natural water repellant.

Less prevalent carpet materials are acrylic, cotton, leather, linen and silk, but these are typically less practical, harder to find and must be custom-made.

Choosing a Carpet For You

No carpet material is perfect for every person or every space. Nylon is the most popular carpet material--more than 70 percent of carpet is made from nylon--and nylon Tactesse® is a stronger and softer version, but comes at a higher price. Wool is good for softer surfaces, while olefin is typically used as a commercial grade surface and can be rough on bare feet.

Your budget, along with the type of area to be carpeted, will be the key determining factors in selecting the best carpet materials for your space.

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