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Carpet Fibers

Posted on September 16, 2016 at 9:25 AM Comments comments ()
Several different types of fiber are used to make Carpet, but these are the most commonly used. They are nylon, polyester, olefin (also known as polypropylene) and wool. All of these except for wool are synthetic fibers.
  • Nylon- Most widely used of the synthetic fibers. Offers the best resiliency among the synthetics along with good stain and abrasion resistance.
  • Polyester - Is best at retaining color and won't fade over time. It's also capable of providing a very soft feel though it's not as resilient as nylon and is more prone to crushing and matting.
  • Olefin - are resistant to the buildup of static electricity and retaining good stain resistance & colorfastness. Olefin is resistant to the buildup of mildew from excessive moisture, and are better suited than wool in moist environments like basements.
  • Wool - Wool fibers have a structure similar to a spring which makes it an excellent fiber for high traffic areas. Wool's naturally "scaly" surface resists the accumulation of dirt, but it absorbs moisture more than synthetic fibers and could develop odors in damp or humid settings. It has a softness that's hard to duplicate in synthetic fibers. It is also natural, and environmentally friendly both from a sourcing and disposal perspective

Fibers also come in classes:  Staple or Continuous Filament. 
  • Staple- fibers are shorter in length and are wound together to form the strands of yarn that make up the pile. Sometimes some of these fibers come loose and lay on the surface of the rug or stick to your clothing. Wool is a staple fiber by nature and you'll sometimes see this shedding effect on the surface of a wool floor covering.
  • BCF(Bulk Continuous Filament)- fibers are manufactured in long, virtually continuous lengths. They're made by extruding a material, such as nylon, through a dye. But BCF doesn't have the tendency for shedding like staple fibers, because the pieces of yarn that make up the pile are made from continuous-length fibers, not smaller pieces like staple fibers.

One of the benefits of staple fibers is that they can be made into very fine yarns for more intricate pattern designs, something that is not as easy with BCF.

What does the "Seal of Approval" mean?

Posted on September 3, 2016 at 9:18 AM Comments comments ()
If You Can Measure It, You Can Improve It

This statement is what CRI’s Seal of Approval (SOA) program is all about. We wanted to know how well vacuums, extractors and cleaning solutions worked to clean carpet, so we developed the carpet industry’s only scientific program to test and measure the effectiveness of cleaning products and equipment. The results help consumers make informed decisions and manufacturers improve their products. So, carpets are cleaner, healthier and last longer. Everyone benefits.
What is Being Tested?
There are seven performance attributes SOA products are evaluated on:

  1. Soil Removal Efficacy: How effective is the product at removing soil?
  2. Resoiling: Does the cleaned sample attract soil at an accelerated rate or not? (solutions and systems)
  3. Residual Moisture: Does the extractor or cleaning system remove most of the moisture that results from a wet cleaning process? 
  4. Surface Appearance Change: Does the product leave the carpet minimally changed after multiple cleanings? (vacuums and extractors)
  5. Colorfastness: Does the product cause a color change in the carpet fiber? (solutions and systems)
  6. pH Level: Is the level between 4 and 10 on a pH scale? (solutions and systems)
  7. Optical Brighteners: Does the product contain optical brighteners? None are allowed for SOA certification. (solutions and systems)
Learn How to Submit a Product for Testing

A Little Help from NASA
To make SOA the most advanced test possible, CRI partnered with scientists at NASA. To develop the soil compound used in the testing, hundreds of real-world samples from all over the United States were analyzed. Then, the elements that made up or closely resembled those samples were blended together to create an accurate, measurable and repeatable formula.
Industry-Wide Benefits
The positive effects of the SOA program can be seen at every level of the carpet industry.

: SOA helps consumers make better purchasing decisions by ensuring that the products they choose will work. So carpets get cleaner and last longer. And consumers get a healthier environment in which to live and work – and a maximum return on their carpet investment.

Carpet Cleaning Manufacturers
: By using the test results to see product strengths and weaknesses, manufacturers get a better idea of what they need to improve. That leads to more effective products going to market. For their efforts, the manufacturers gain the added credibility a Seal of Approval label provides.

Carpet Cleaning Professionals
: Using Seal of Approval products helps cleaning professionals gain SOA certification. The certification differentiates them against the competition. It also helps them do their jobs better, which means more satisfied customers, more repeat business and better word of mouth.

Copywrited by CRI----visit: for more information.

Green Label Pad---What does that mean?

Posted on September 3, 2016 at 9:15 AM Comments comments ()
Green Label Cushion Testing Protocol And Product Requirements

CRI established the Green Label program to test for volatile organic compounds in cushion used under carpet.  This program helps the carpet manufacturer, installer and end user identify and utilize low-emission cushion.

Cushion products that meet the current emissions criteria can display the program’s green and white seal.  Products are retested regularly for continued compliance, so specifiers seeking a low-emitting cushion can confidently select one bearing the Green Label.

Cushion products are characterized as prime polyurethane, bonded polyurethane, mechanically frothed polyurethane, rubber-hair, rubber–jute, synthetic fiber, resinated or coated synthetic fiber, rubber and rubberized polyurethane.

Cushions are tested for total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), formaldehyde and 4-phenylcyclohexine (4-PCH).

Criteria are based on a maximum emission factor as follows:

TVOCs:       1000 µg/m · hr BHT       300 µg/m · hr Formaldehyde       50 µg/m · hr 4-PCH       50 µg/m · hr

For additional information, contact the Carpet Cushion Council at (484) 687-5170 or at

What does the "Green Label Plus" Symbol on Carpet Really Mean?

Posted on September 3, 2016 at 9:14 AM Comments comments ()
Green Label Plus: A Higher Standard For Indoor Air Quality

Today, indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important environmental consideration, especially since we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors. In 1992, CRI launched its Green Label program to test carpet, cushions and adhesives to help specifiers identify products with very low emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Subsequently, CRI launched the Green Label Plus programs for carpet, adhesives and cushion. These enhanced programs set higher standards for IAQ and ensure that customers are purchasing the very lowest emitting products on the market.  Using scientifically established standards, the Green Label Plus program symbolizes the carpet industry’s commitment to a better environment for living, working, learning and healing.
​​Quick facts

  • Green Label and Green Label Plus ensure that customers are purchasing  the lowest emitting carpet, adhesive and cushion products on the market.
  • CRI designed the Green Label and Green Label Plus programs for architects, builders, specifiers and facility managers who want assurance that carpet, adhesive and cushion products meet the most stringent criteria for low chemical emissions.
  • Green Label Plus represents the fourth time the carpet industry has voluntarily enhanced the IAQ standard for its products.

  • UL tests carpet, adhesive and cushion samples using the most up-to-date, dynamic environmental chamber technology.  The test methodology was developed in cooperation with the U.S. EPA and has been adopted by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as D5116 - Standard Guide for Small-Scale Environmental Chamber Determinations of Organic Emissions from Indoor Materials/Products.

​Green Label merges with Seal of Approval for vacuum certification

CRI’s Green Label vacuum certification program has merged with​ Seal of Approval program to combine the stringent standards of carpet cleaning effectiveness and indoor air quality into one program.
I’s leadership in the best practices of environmental responsibility. Look for the CRI Green Label Plus logo as proof that the product has been tested and certified by an independent laboratory and has met stringent criteria for low emissions.

  • UL tests carpet, adhesive and cushion samples using the most up-to-date, dynamic environmental chamber technology.  The test methodology was developed in cooperation with the U.S. EPA and has been adopted by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as D5116 - Standard Guide for Small-Scale Environmental Chamber Determinations of Organic Emissions from Indoor Materials/Products.

Copyrighted by the CRI website.  Go to for more info.

What's the big hype about LVP & LVT??

Posted on May 14, 2016 at 5:51 PM Comments comments ()
Few flooring materials have stormed the industry ramparts like luxury vinyl tile. In commercial as well as residential settings, LVT is expanding options for designers and specifiers alike.  Luxury Vinyl Tile is something of a newcomer to the floor covering scene, yet it’s growing like wildfire: it’s today’s “It” category.

This interest has been driven first by styling and the opportunity for new looks, whether it’s a look inspired by natural materials, textiles or abstract concepts. But interest has only grown as designers and facilities managers have discovered LVT’s quality, durability, superior performance, low maintenance, lower life cycle cost, and ease of installation. 

The questions I hear all the LVT better than Laminate.  Well, it depends on the use. Where LVT out shadows laminate is in durability and flexibility.  Because LVT’s composition includes PVC, the product is much more resistant to damages in addition to being water and scratch resistant.  Plus, improved embossed techniques give LVT a much more realistic look than laminate.

Carpet Types: What Is The Best Carpet For Your Home

Posted on February 13, 2016 at 1:13 PM Comments comments ()
Finding the best carpet for your home starts out simple and quickly becomes complicated. You know you want something that will look good in your home, feel great, and most importantly, stay that way for years to come. So you go to the local carpet store or home center and that's when it gets complicated.

Unlike shopping for cars or clothes, a lot of different carpet styles look very similar, yet prices vary and there's a reason for that. The fiber that is used to make the yarn that is then made into carpet is where the difference starts. How that fiber is made into yarn is the second determining factor and how it is then tufted (sewn) into carpet is the next key difference.
More than 90 percent of today's carpet is made of synthetic fiber—nylon, polyester, triexta, or polypropylene. While each fiber has somewhat different characteristics, they are all made basically the same way. (This also includes carpets made from "Natural" fibers, such as wool and sisal.)

Once the fiber has been extruded it is bundled together and twisted into a yarn and then heat set to lock in the carpet fiber's shape. Hundreds of needles arrayed across a machine sew the yarn into a backing. Later, a second backing will be attached to give it additional strength and stability.

How well the carpet will perform depends on how well the yarn is made and how densely the carpet is tufted. The general rule is that the more filaments twisted into a yarn, the stronger it will be and the denser the carpet is (more tufts per square inch), the better it will perform. Keep in mind though that the longer the pile height, the more likely a carpet is to crush (think of traffic paths or marks where furniture has been placed on top of the carpeting).

Carpet Types
Carpet is manufactured with cut pile tufts, loop pile tufts or a combination of both.

Cut Pile Carpets, depending on the type yarn, can look smooth (Saxony) or slightly textured (textured saxony or textured plush) or as though the surface is covered by very curly ends (frieze). Cut pile carpets are extremely versatile and are commonly used in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, dens and great rooms. The more textured or twisted yarns the less they will show foot prints and vacuum cleaner marks.

Cut pile carpets are constructed from either staple fibers or bulk continuous filament (BCF). Staple fibers can cause pilling at first after installation. That is because staple yarns are made up of short cut fibers that are spun together just like wool.
  • Saxony styles are more traditional and can show footprints and vacuum marks.
  • Textured Saxony styles are versatile and more casual than Saxonies. They help hide footprints and vacuum marks.
  • Friezé styles are more informal, but very durable and minimize footprints and vacuum marks.

loop-carpet, Berbers

Loop Pile Carpet has a knobby appearance made by each tuft being brought back into the backing. Loop pile carpets are generally more durable than cut pile styles. Loop pile carpet can be made up of level loops (all the same height) or multi-level loops to form a pattern or add more texture.

patterned-carpet-sampleCut and Loop Carpets (also called cut & uncut) feature a combination of both loops and cut pile yarns that are used to create patterned designs. Patterned carpets can help hide traffic patterns in a room as well as give the floor a more interesting visual appearance. For example, a family room or rec-room may be the perfect place for a patterned cut and loop carpeting, especially if the room gets a lot of traffic.

Color is added to carpet in two basic ways. The fiber can be "solution dyed", which means the color pigments are mixed in with the liquid polymers producing fiber strands that arecolored all the way through—just like a carrot. Or, the carpet fibers are made first into white synthetic fibers, then topically dyed which leaves the color on the surface of the fibers—like a red radish. Since the color goes all the way through the solution dyed fibers, any solution dyed carpeting will have superior fade and bleach resistance. This can be important if the room has a lot of sunlight coming through the windows and you are worried about fading.

For resilience (the ability to stand up to traffic), nylon is the best carpet fiber. But, nylon is inherently prone to staining which is why most nylon carpets are coated with stain and soil resistant treatments that may need to be replaced eventually after repeated cleanings.

Through advancements in carpet technology polyester has made great strides as a carpet fiber, especially P.E.T. (polyethylene terephthalate) polyester fibers. The fiber is made from P.E.T. chips and some from recycled plastic containers. P.E.T. fibers are much stronger than the old polyester and offer much better performance and stain resistance.

Recently a new fiber has been created called: Triexta and was been approved by the FTC in 2009 as a new fiber type. Triexta is a PTT polmer, also known as (poly trimethylene teraphthalate), and offers exceptional durability, softness and stain resistance. Fibers made from triexta are used in carpet, apparel fabrics and automotive flooring.

Polypropylene (also referred to as: olefin) is a type of solution dyed fiber that is naturally stain and fade resistant, but has the poorest performance of all the carpet fiber types when it comes to resiliency. The best performing construction for polypropylene carpets is a very tight loop in a low-to-mid pile height.

A Word About Soft Carpets

There is a growing demand for carpets with a very soft hand, often referred to as "soft carpets". Soft carpets can be constructed from either nylonTriexta or P.E.T. polyesterfibers and each fiber type offers certain advantages. All the major residential carpet brands and retailers offer a wide array of soft carpeting styles today. Some soft carpets are so soft they require special vacuum cleaners. This is where your local, specialty carpet retailer can really help guide you through the selection process. See the WFCA's carpet store locatorfor highly trained, local carpet retailers that have the experience and industry knowledge to help you select the best carpet for your specific situation.

What is the Best Carpet for Bedrooms?

The best carpet for a bedroom depends on whose bedroom it is. A master suite or a guest room will likely not have a lot of traffic or a lot of soiling and or staining. A child or teen may be much harder on their bedroom carpet.

rs-best-bedroom-carpetFor an adult bedroom, just about any fiber in a plush or texture style will perform well. The new soft carpets are a good choice for a luxury feel underfoot. If you are on a budget, soft polyester might be a good choice.

A kid's bedroom, with a greater likelihood of spills and soil, calls for a stain resistant nylon, or an inherently stain resist polyester carpet fiber.

Formal living rooms are well served by classic cut pile saxonies or a sophisticated cut and loop patterned carpets. A textured plush carpet will work well for a more casual lifestyle.

What is the Best Carpet for a Living Room?
Your lifestyle and personal taste are key factors in choosing the best carpet for living rooms. In busy families with children and pets, the living room will get the most use. To be ready for staining, it is best to have a solution dyed or stain treated product with some type of odor treatment in these rooms. The weight of furniture is also a consideration.
Formal living rooms are well served by classic cut pile saxonies or a sophisticated cut and loop patterned carpets. A textured plush carpet will work well for a more casual lifestyle.

What is the Best Carpet for a Family Room?
Family rooms in active households with kids and possibly pets demand carpets that are stain and soil resistant and constructions that can stand up to a lot of traffic. Dense textures and loop pile products will handle the traffic. Multi-colored, textured looped carpet styles are a great choice for active areas, such as family rooms, because they will be more forgiving of tracked in debris and everyday mess.

rs-best-dining-room-carpetWhat is the Best Carpet for Dining Rooms?

Triexta, P.E.T. polyester carpets with inherent stain resistance, solution dyed nylon carpets, or nylons with advanced stain resist properties are recommended for dining rooms. Products that feature anti-microbial and other topical treatments are also advised to protect against spills.

What is the Best Carpet for Hallways and Stairs?

carpet-stairs, Stair RunnersStairs and high traffic areas can be covered in a low, dense pile carpet. Because it is the most resilient fiber, nylon products are recommended in pulled down textures or level loop constructions. The bottom of the stairway and the top landing can be extremely tough on carpeting because that is where people usually turn their feet which causes additional stress on carpet. This is where a low profile, extremely densely packed carpet can really add to the life expectancy of the carpet.

What is the Best Carpet for Basements?

Carpets made of polypropylene in a dense, multi-color loop or level loop constructions are a good choice for basements. It is also recommended to use a good quality carpet cushion underneath the loop pile carpet to help the overall life and performance of the carpeting.

Why Homeowners Love Their Luxury Vinyl Tile Floors

Posted on January 28, 2016 at 3:35 PM Comments comments ()
Luxury Vinyl Tile floors are designed to capture the timeless look of natural stone tile flooring, wood planks and ceramic tile floors, while providing an extremely durable and comfortable surface for everyday living. Luxury Vinyl Tile comes in many extremely fashionable designs ranging from contemporary to rustic and many feature deep embossing for stunning realism. Many of the designs can be installed with grout or without grout, for a true stone or ceramic tile appearance.

LVT Benefits & Features
Incredibly realistic photo replication of natural materials 
  • The look and feel of nature’s best materials at a lower cost are a reality of Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring manufacturing
Inherent safety features 
  • Vinyl flooring satisfies Green building standards and earns LEED points in commercial applications. Meets requirements of commercial flammability codes, slip resistant requirements…and a menu of other safety codes
Ease of maintenance 
  • Simple damp mopping is the recommended cleaning procedure for LVT floors
Excellent selection of sizes, shapes
  • The size options vary by manufacturer, but many styles are available in 12 x 12”, 18 x 18”, 12 x 24” sizes, and planks in standard (3 x 36” 4.5 x 36) and extra-large widths (7 or 9’ widths).
Naturally water resistant
  • LVT floors are inherently water resistant and fairly impervious to wet spills.  It’s important to install over flat, dry, approved substrates so that no water seepage occurs beneath the floor.
Scratch, stain, dent and scuff resistant
  • Specialized wear layers - most common are 20 mil; some up to a 40 mil layer. Then the floors are coated with urethane to enhance durability
Cost effective 
  • Economics factor favorably into the specification of Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring for both commercial and residential applications, giving the look and feel of rich, natural materials at a lower cost
Exceptional durability
  • Since most luxury vinyl tile flooring is also constructed to withstand commercial wear and tear, its ideal for residential high-traffic areas as well as other areas of the home.  Warranties vary by manufacturer, but it’s not unusual to see 20-25 year warranties on brand name luxury vinyl tile flooring.
More resilient than other hard surface floors
  • Because there are multi-layers of vinyl in luxury vinyl tile flooring as well as a resilient backing as the foundation, LVT tiles and planks have more resilience underfoot.  It’s easier to stand on for long periods of time AND as an added benefit, it tends to be warmer underfoot than ceramic.
Amazing aesthetics
  • There has been a stunning transformation in the design aesthetics of LVT in the last five years.  If you are linking it to “industrial” looking floors, this is where you need to throw away your misconceptions and do some research.  This may be the one biggest factor that has caused interior designers to stand up and take note of the new brand of LVT.  The realism of the total look, INCLUDING distressed wood finishes, stone and slate tactile surface textures, and even woven textiles imbedded in the wear layers, are grabbing attention.

Armstrong LVT

Polyester Carpets

Posted on March 8, 2015 at 11:09 PM Comments comments ()
Polyesters are not the same these days as what they were in the past.  They have come along way in the past 5 years.  They are more durable, softer and come in a wide range of colors and styles.  All manufacturers:  Shaw, Mohawk, Beaulieu, Dixie, Southwinds, Godrey Hurst, and name a few, have polyester carpets.  Just like Nylon, pile height, weight and density are all important factors when purchasing a polyester carpet. 

Polyester carpets are inherently stain and fade resistant.  That is one reason they have become so popular these days.  They are extremely easy to clean and tend to be a good choice for playrooms and bonus room where stains can be a concern.  I would recommend a polyester of at least 45-50 ounce weight for an active family. 

While not as inherently resilient as nylon, polyester carpets will perform well if constructed well.  So choose a polyester carpet with a higher pile and medium-high density to ensure maximum appearance retention and long-term wear.  You can also refer to the durability ratings on the back of carpet samples to help you assess how a carpet will stand up to traffic.
If you’ve never considered polyester carpeting before, you might want to look at Shaw’s New ClearTouch carpets which are made of a new type of polyester called PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate).  This new polyester hits all the check marks for performance.  ClearTouch carpets feature:

  • exceptional softness
  • natural and permanent stain resistance, including pet urine stains
  • improved strength and better abrasion resistance
  • excellent appearance retention and long-term wear
  • 25% recycled content from recycled soda and water bottles

The new PET polyester carpets pack in a lot of performance for the money! They are a great choice for children’s bedrooms & playrooms as well as for people who don’t want to put a lot money into their carpet.  We highly recommend you choose a PET polyester with low-medium pile and medium-high density to ensure maximum appearance retention and long-term wear.

New Carpet Tiles

Posted on June 25, 2014 at 4:29 PM Comments comments ()
Looking for a new twist on Carpet?  Well, carpet tiles may be the way to go.  There are so many new styles and colors out now.  It's not just for commercial spaces.  Carpet tiles will still run you a little more than a mid grade broadloom carpet, but the benefits out weigh the cost.  Damage a broadloom carpet and you are stuck with ugly carpet or a patched carpet.  With carpet tiles, you can just pop out the damaged carpet piece and install a new one...easy!  Carpet tiles will start in the $18-19 sq yd price (or $2-2.50 sq ft price) range.  And carpet tiles are much more durable than broadloom.  They are very low tight piles that can withstand wear and tear. 

So, next time you are looking for something different and durable, give carpet tiles a chance.

Misperception About Carpets & Allergies

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 8:28 AM Comments comments ()
Clearing the air..(from the Carpet and Rug Institute Website)
Asthma and allergies:  Although we might not normally associate carpet with improved indoor air quality, it does have a very positive effect. Gravity causes common household particles, such as dust, pollen and pet and insect dander, to fall to the floor.  Carpet fibers trap the particles, reducing their continued circulation in the air.  Proper cleaning with CRI-approved vacuums effectively removes dust and allergens from the carpet, locks them in the machine and helps keep them out of the air we breathe. 
A misperception is that people with asthma and allergies should avoid carpet in the home.  But much of today’s carpet is made from harmless materials found in clothing and other everyday fabrics, such as polyester, nylon, triexta, and olefin fibers, which don’t trouble most people.
Mold and VOC misperceptions: Other misperceptions about carpet involve mold and the emission of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. In fact, it is very hard to grow mold on carpet. Mold grows in any moist environment where dirt and dust provide nutrients.  When carpet is kept clean and dry, mold simply cannot grow on synthetic fibers.
Carpet is also wrongly linked to high VOC levels.  Scientific studies show that new carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs into the indoor environment, and that these emissions dissipate very quickly.  The low-level VOC emissions and the harmless odor from new carpet disappear within the first 48 to 72 hours after installation and even sooner with open windows or doors.
The Carpet and Rug Institute offers Green Label testing and certification to indicate carpet, carpet backings, cushions and adhesives that emit low VOCs.