Most carpet shoppers choose on color and texture. Those are important decisions, but you need to expand your qualifiers. With so many different carpet grades, colors and styles to choose from, acquiring a little knowledge is key. Select the wrong grade or quality and you may find your new carpet is hard to clean, stains easily, mats down, fades out or wears out in a hurry. Think about how a carpet will withstand the foot traffic and use in any given space in your home. It is important to know what makes a carpet the best choice for each room of your home. The various fibers and how they are used in carpet dictate how easy the carpet will be to clean (spot cleaning and regular maintenance cleaning), and how long it will last and retain its original texture and color. Each fiber and carpet has it’s “pros and cons.” Here is a helpful breakdown for you:

The four main fiber types in modern, broadloom carpet:

  • Nylon (about 60 percent of market)
  • Olefin (about 30 percent of market)
  • Polyester (about 10 percent of market)
  • Wool (less than 1 percent of market)
Nylon and Durability: Synthetic Fiber


  • Great resiliency (stands up to traffic)
  • Accepts wide range of colors (limitless colors you can buy)
  • Relatively colorfast (holds onto the colors after dyed by the manufacturer)
  • Easy to clean (with excellent results)
  • Not attracted to oily soils

  • Easiest of synthetic fibers to stain with typical food and beverage spills, and acid dye spills such as Kool-Aid (fabric protection helps fight this problem)
  • Will lose color in presence of bleach, especially chlorine

  • Nylon is known as a durable fiber. It’s a good choice for heavy traffic areas.
  • Nylon carpet may be a good choice to install in a heavily-used living room, hallway, stairs, etc.
  • Perhaps not best suited for bathrooms or areas where moisture is a concern, and especially when chlorine bleach might be used, such as a room close to an outdoor swimming pool, as the chlorine can be tracked onto the carpet.
Olefin and Stain Resistancy: Synthetic Fiber


  • Water resistance (including water-based spills and acid dye spills, such as Kool-Aid)
  • Colorfastness (will not lose color because the color in olefin is “locked in” due to solution dyeing at the mill)
  • Chemical resistance (you can use very strong cleaning solutions when cleaning or spotting olefin)

  • Mats and degrades faster than nylon
  • After cleaning or spot cleaning, tends to “wick” (soils move to the surface as it dries)
  • Attracted to oily soils

  • Although olefin does not have the “strength” of nylon and tends to mat down and wear faster, it has some excellent qualities.
  • Olefin is a good choice in areas where moisture is prevalent, such as in a basement or around a swimming pool.
  • It’s naturally stain resistant, which means it’s a good choice when kids and Kool-Aid are in abundance.
  • Olefin is a poor choice for areas where oils and greases will be prominent, such as in a room close to a garage or right off a city street or paved parking area, or even rooms with high pet travel, as the oils from their skin can cause stubborn soiling over time, and the high foot traffic causes matting of the fibers.
Polyester: Synthetic Fiber


  • Good “hand” (soft to touch) – which is why it’s often in upholstered goods
  • Colorfast
  • Semi-resistant to bleaches and chemicals
  • Naturally stain resistant
  • Not attracted to acid dyes, such as Kool-Aid

  • Poor resiliency
  • Attracted to oily soils
  • After cleaning or spot cleaning, tends to wick (soils move to the surface as it dries)

  • Polyester is a good choice for low-traffic areas (bedrooms, etc), and areas that have spot and stain concerns.
  • It’s not the best choice for heavy traffic lanes, such as hallways, entryways and living rooms.
  • Because it has a soft hand, it’s often chosen due to texture.
Wool, the Warm Textile: Natural Fiber


  • Wears well, long life
  • Accepts wide range of colors
  • “Warm” fiber (gives warmth to the room)
  • Fire and flame resistant
  • Hides soils
  • Repels moisture

  • Price (expensive fiber)
  • Dissolves in chlorine bleach
  • Some cleaning and stain removal is difficult
  • Does not react well with strong cleaning chemicals, which can hinder some cleaning projects
  • Color loss is of some concern

  • Although wool holds a very small market share at less than 1 percent, still billions of yards of carpet are produced each year.
  • Wool is a favorite fiber for many, and is durable enough to last many years.
  • A solid choice for most rooms in a home, but the pricey enough to be a barrier for many.
Being well informed is always the best way to save money. Have more questions about choosing the best carpets for your home? At Country Flooring Direct, we know carpet! Our highly trained and experienced flooring professionals will guide you to the best carpetselections to enhance the beauty and comfort of your home. Looking for hardwood flooringtoo? Country Flooring can help. Stop in and visit us at our showroom today, or call to set up an appointment for our free, in-home service.

Our Showroom: 552 Hwy. 70 | Pegram, TN 37143

Phone: (615) 646-0366 or (615) 587-9604

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