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Carpet Specifications

By Alan Fletcher - Consumer Advocate


Sometimes locating all the carpet specifications you need to help you make wise and informed carpet-buying choices can be difficult, if not nearly impossible, depending on where you are shopping for carpet. 


Some carpet manufacturers are reluctant to freely provide carpet specifications to their dealers and their customers. When it comes to Pile height, Pile Density and Face-Weight... if you can find or even closely guesstimate two out of three of these specifications you can still extrapolate the third specification... Mathematically!


Below I explain in detail what you need to do, and how you can quickly and easily figure out all the carpet specifications you need, even if they refuse to give you any information at all!

Here's what consumers need to know:


First lets consider these three main carpet specifications:


  • Pile Height:

  • Pile Density:

  • Face-Weight

Rule 1: 

Face-Weight x 36 Pile Height = Density

(e.g.) (30 X 36 0.50 = 2160)

In this example, what we know is that the face weight is 30 ounces and the pile height is 0.5 (one half inch). We can now use Rule #1 to determine the Pile Density Rating.

Rule 2: 

Density x Pile Height 36 = Face Weight

(e.g.) (2160 X 0.50 36 = 30)

In this example, what we know is that the Pile Density is 2160 and the pile height is 0.5 (one half inch). We can now use Rule #2 to determine the Face-Weight in ounces.

Rule 3: 

36 Density x Face-weight = Pile Height


(e.g.) (36 2160 X 30 = 0.499998 (0.5))
In this example, what we know is that the Pile Density is 2160 and the Face Weight is 30 ounces. We can now use Rule #3 to determine the Pile Height in decimals, which can quickly be converted into a fraction of an inch using the chart below.


 If you want your carpet to last longer, I recommend a carpet pile height of less the 3/4". On stairs, I recommend a carpet pile height of 1/2" or less and a padding thickness of 7/16" or less and a pile density rating of at least 8-pounds or more. 



Decimal to Inches (fraction) Conversion Table

0.0625     =     1/16 
0.125       =     1/8
0.1875     =     3/16
0.250       =     1/4
 0.3125    =     5/16
0.375       =     3/8
0.4375     =     7/16
0.500       =     1/2
0.5625     =     9/16
0.625       =     5/8
0.6875     =     11/16
0.750       =     3/4
0.8125     =     13/16
 0.875      =     7/8
1.0000     =     1" 




The Tuft Twist Rating is based on the number of twists per lineal inch of tuft.


This one inch tall Tuft has 7 twists and is a sign of a well-made carpet. Frieze styles have tufts similar to this and cost starts about $30 per square yard on average.



This one inch tall Tuft has 4 twists and is not as good. This is a sign of a lower-grade carpet. Inexpensive Plush and Textured Plush styles often have tufts similar to this and range from $12 to $18 per square yard. More expensive Carpets have higher Tuft-Twist and Pile Density ratings and are designed to last longer and be more durable.



Using Math to Calculate Carpet Specs.


It is not difficult to guesstimate the Tuft-Twist of a carpet you are considering. Tuft twist is really quite simple to figure because you can count the twists yourself. 


Let's assume you don't know what the Pile Height is of a carpet you are interested in buying. With a simple ruler you can measure the pile height yourself.


Most carpet samples show the carpet Face-Weight or it can be obtained from the manufacturer. You can call the manufacturer and ask for it or you can ask the salesperson to get it for you. 


Now you have three of the specifications you need. And from there calculate the other specifications you need: Pile Density.








More information:


Carpet Specifications Explained

Understanding Carpet Specifications




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