We introduced you the basics of choosing your dream cozy carpet earlier on. This time, let’s look at quality, carpet ratings and upkeep.
How to Determine the Quality of Carpet
The quality of a carpet is largely determined by the way the yarn is woven and dyed. These are the common types available in the market:
- Tufted carpet: Uses a specialised multi-needle sewing machine to stitch yarn through a primary backing fabric, then adhered to a secondary backing fabric. It is a cost-effective, fast way to produce carpet.
- Woven carpet: Made on looms that weave the yarn along the backing. This method is expensive but harder-wearing. You can also get custom designs.
- White fibre dyed: The carpet fibre starts off white and goes through a dyeing process. Although this allows for more choices of colours, the colours tend to fade easier.
- Solution fibre dyed: The colour runs through the whole yarn, which gives it greater UV resistance and colour fastness
Another thing to look out for is the density of the carpet. Density refers to the amount of pile yarn in the carpet and how close the turfs are to one another. An easy way to check the density is by bending the carpet sample in a U-shape with the tufts facing out. The less carpet backing you see, the denser the carpet. A dense weave is preferred but you should choose a carpet you can afford.
Durability of Carpet: ACCS Stars Carpet Ratings
The level of foot traffic in areas you wish to have carpet flooring is a major factor to consider. Always check the ACCS ratings, in which the carpet is tested and rated according to its suitability for use in varying traffic levels at a residential home.
The yellow and blue residential ACCS rating system are administered by the Carpet Institute of Australia. Testing and classification are undertaken by independent and credible experts, with six stars being the best quality.
- Star Rating 1 (Light Duty): Suitable for bedroom with light traffic flow
- Star Rating 2 (Medium Duty): Living room or entertainment area with light to medium traffic flow
- Star Rating 3/4 (Heavy Duty): Hallway, stairs or other areas with heavy traffic flow
- Star Rating 5/6 (Extra Heavy Duty) Areas with extra heavy traffic flow
Carpet ratings indicate the minimum quality of carpet you need for a particular area. It is advised that you choose the highest quality carpet based on your budget so the appearance can last for longer.
For the staircase, make sure your choice of carpet has a stairs rating as well. Staircase with carpet flooring is subjected to concentrated wear, so look for a minimum of 3-star carpet ratings with the stairs icon.
Another label you might find when you are choosing your carpet flooring is the ACCS environmental certification. Carpets must comply with standards in VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions, noise reduction and thermal insulation. There are 4 ECS levels, with Level 4 being the most environmentally friendly option.
What is Underlay for Carpet?
You will need to choose the underlay for your carpet to further aid the longevity. Underlay helps to absorb sound, cover minor bumps and holes in the floor and provide thermal insulation. Just like carpet, the material’s durability and quality will be reflected in its density and weight. You will probably choose between foam underlay and rubber underlay, stand on it to test that it feels firms but comfortable.
Maintenance and Upkeep for Carpets
Looking after your carpet is relatively easy – make sure you vacuum regularly (once or twice a week) and treat spills or stains as they happen. Use paper towels to absorb liquid spills, and avoid rubbing and scrubbing your carpet when it’s wet. If you can, get a professional steam clean at least every two years – this helps revive the pile and removes inground dirt that can damage the carpet pile at the base.
Shedding describes the small fibres the carpet sheds in the first few weeks or months of use. As the carpet settles the condition will become less noticeable, to the point where the release of these fibres stops. Cut pile carpet and wool carpet are more prone to shedding, regular vacuuming should help resolve this problem.
Fuzzing appears when the fibre particles on the surface of carpet, it means the carpet fibres are starting to loosen. Fuzzing is more apparent in areas where feet are shuffled such as under tables and in front of lounge chairs. This is can be corrected by a professional carpet cleaner shearing away the fuzzing on the installed carpet.