Unbiased Carpet Buying Information for Homeowners
2021 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 the carpet dealer or manufacturer refuses to give you any information at all! Here's what homeowners need to know:
First lets consider these four main carpet specifications:
Face-Weight x 36 ÷ Pile Height = Pile Density
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.
Pile Density x Pile Height ÷ 36 = Face Weight
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.
36 ÷ Density x Face-weight = Pile Height
(36 ÷ 2160 X 30 = 0.499998 (0.5))
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.
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.
Calculate Carpet Specifications
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. If the carpet you are considering only has a pile height of 1/2" then the tuft twists you count will need to be doubled to get the one inch total of twists. For example, if you can count 3 twists on a 1/2" tuft, then the tuft twist rating is 6. But if you only count 2 twists, then the tuft twist rating would be 4. This is because the Tuft Twist Rating is based on the number of twists per lineal inch of tuft. Most carpets have tufts that are less than an inch so you have to take that into consideration. Use a small rubber band to practice counting Tuft Twists. Watch my silly YouTube video below to see what I mean. https://youtu.be/KcoNIE8b1Ls
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 try to call the manufacturer and ask for it or you can ask the salesperson to get it for you.
Now you have three of the carpet specifications you need, and from there you can calculate the Pile Density you need using the formulas shown above.
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©2021 Alan Fletcher - All Rights Reserved.
All content is the opinion of the author.