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Nylon vs. Polyester, and other fiber questions

Is nylon better than polyester?

This is the most common question we are asked, and it should be the easiest to explain, except for all of the bad information out there.  We focus on a "whole-carpet" approach to picking a quality carpet.  We consider all factors to make sure you pick a great carpet, not just a great fiber.   Below are 5 factors you should consider. 

If you're taking the time to pick a good carpet, you should spend almost an equal amount of time picking a quality installer.  Installation should be considered half of your carpet equation; a good carpet in the hands of a bad installer equals a bad carpet. 


Carpet Fibers: 

The biggest take away from this discussion should be simple:  You are looking for a quality carpet, not just a quality fiber.  If you get caught up in over-analyzing ONLY THE FIBER, then you can wind up with a great fiber but a terrible carpet.  It happens all the time, think back to your first apartment, or you first house with base grade carpet, or a cheap hotel, it's not fun to think of but those usually install nylon carpets. 

What fibers are offered?

Its not always poor installation.  It could be, but consider some other possibilities: 

  1. Nylon 
  2. Polyester
  3. Olefin / Polypropolene
  4. Wool

How to decide what carpet is right for you:

  1. Density:  A good carpet will have a dense structure that forms a nice flat surface.  Imagine setting a cinder block on top of the carpet, you want the carpet to support the weight of the brick.  The more traffic in your house, the more bricks you should imagine. Density is made up of the weight and height of the fibers.
  2. Color:  Believe it or not, the color you choose will help with the overall appearance of your carpet.  Obviously, a lighter color carpet will show stains and soiling more than a carpet that is darker.
  3. Twist:  A good carpet will have more twists in the fiber that are visible to the eye.  This helps with memory, so the fibers will "spring" back into shape after it is walked on.
  4. Fiber:  Nylon is preferred as it is a stronger fiber.  Polyester comes from recycled plastic bottles, and therefore it is about 20% cheaper. Wool is natural, usually soft, and very renewable.  Olefin is terrible, always. 
  5. Construction:  Cut Textured, Patterned Loop, Berber, Frieze, Shag, and cut pile berber are all types of carpets.  Each one has its own strengths, and you should choose a construction that meets your needs.
  6. Price:  Face it, sometimes we want to drive a Mercedes but we should only afford a Toyota.  And my favorite truck of all time is a Toyota, so don't read that as a diss.  Toyota's often go 300,000 miles and do it with style. 


Topical Treatments

Shaw offers R2X, what we consider to be the best topical treatment on any fiber.
Mohawk now offers Forever Clean, a nano-particled product.

Branded Carpet Fibers

cleartouch carpet fiber

Stainmaster is still the most recognized brand of nylon fiber.

Anso Nylon, made exclusively by Shaw, is another great brand of nylon.

EverTouch Shaw carpet fiber

Wear-Dated is now a brand of both nylon and polyester and is owned by Mohawk carpets.