Carpet is an ancient but beautiful idea. Modern
carpet traces its roots to ancient times, when cultures passed
hand-tying and knotting skills from generation to generation.
Sixteenth Century brought merchant adventurers and explorers home
to Europe and with them the awareness and desire for rich
textiles and rugs from the East. It wasn't long before the
appreciation of textile floor coverings took off, came to
America, and became one of the most fundamental and beautiful
parts of our modern home interior. Carpet continues to be popular
for many reasons.
Primary flooring choice
easier to install and replace
fashion options to meet every style and decor
warmer, softer and quieter
soft under foot
easy on kids knees
quieter than hard surfaces floors
wide variety of colors, tones and hues
easy to decorate with
hides sub-floor irregularities
can go over a variety of substrates
can go on all grade levels
economical and installation costs less than hard surface
How It's Made
Knowing how carpet is made can be very advantageous. Knowing
the different materials that make up various carpets also helps
you understand and evaluate their performance aspects: why
certain carpets are easier to install, why some wear better,
longer, and why others are easier to care for and clean. It can
also make you a smarter shopper.
thicker is not always better
tight twist in each yarn is better than loose and frayed
firm and dense pile means quality
the more backing seen, the less dense and durable
high traffic areas need lower profiles to avoid matting and
Step 1: Fiber
basic material of makeup
90% is synthetic fiber
rest is natural fiber, mostly wool
made up of 1 of 3 materials: nylon, polypropylene or
created by chemical processes from oil and natural gas
75% is made of nylon
performs the best overall
leader in: appearance retention, fade and heat resistance,
soil and stain resistance, color and styling
highest performance nylon is Type 6.6 for more resistant to
next most common material is polypropylene
introduced in the late 1950's in Italy
BCF represents more than 35% of all fibers
not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon
naturally stain and fade resistant
naturally resistance to moisture
more limited range of color options
most often used in loop pile constructions
third type of material is polyester
introduced to the carpet industry in the mid 1960's
well accepted for bulkiness, color clarity, and good stain
and fade resistance
not as resilient as nylon
can be a good performer
Mohawk makes from plastic bottles
plastic is collected, separated by color, and then ground
used to manufacture the PET carpet fiber
carpets made by Mohawk of PET staple fiber made from 100%
great color clarity, stain resistance, durability
keeps over 3 billion bottles out of landfills
made with DuPont Sonora polymer
DuPont and Mohawk make this fiber into carpet
SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona is continuous filament fiber
highly stain resistant and durable
40% of the fiber made from corn by products
The above three materials make up the majority of synthetic
The other type of fiber used in carpet construction is
While some synthetics are used in the creation of staple
fibers, the original staple fiber used in the making of carpet
The wool used in today's carpet comes primarily from New
Zealand, Argentina, and the United Kingdom.
Since wool is a natural fiber, it ranges
in color from off-white to black, with many earthen tones
Wool doesn't stand up to abrasion and moisture as well as
synthetics, it cleans well and is known to age
Wool is the most expensive carpet fiber, and represents
less than one percent of the U.S. carpet market.
considered a type of carpet construction
actually comes from the name of a group of North African
sheepherders called the Berbers
Berbers produced coarse wool, with color flecks in their
Carpet is made in a 3-part process.
begins with weaving the synthetic or staple fiber into a
primary backing material
usually made of woven polypropylene
main value is to provide a base cloth to hold the yarn
while tufting happens
tufting machine has 800 to 2000 needles like a sewing
machine to pull the yarn through the primary backing material
tufting machine is 12 feet wide, its needles penetrate the
backing and a small hook (looper) grabs the yarn and holds it
holds appearance well
no exposed yarn tips
only sides of the yarn are exposed to wear and stress
known to hold up the best
sometimes the looper cuts small loops creating a cut
length of these pieces called pile height, or
distance between the looper and primary backing
cuts are controlled by a computer, and can be programmed to
cut only some of the loops
this cutting is called cut and loop construction and
creates pattern on the surface
#2 Application of dye
Two dyeing processes
yarn dyeing / pre-dyeing - color is applied to the yarn
prior to tufting
advantages are good side-by-side color consistency, large
lot sizes, uniformity
carpet dyeing - applying color to the yarn after
benefits - greater color flexibility
Carpet dyeing methods
Beck / batch dyeing - stitching the ends together, then
running the tufted carpet loop through large vats of dye and
water for several hours.
Beck process ideal for small runs, heavier face weight
continuous dyeing - similar to Beck dyeing - carpet is also
run through processes other than dyeing
continuous dyeing - applies color to the face by spraying
or printing, also to create multicolor or patterned effects
screen printing - color is applied through anywhere from
#3 Manufacturing the carpet
finishing process- single production line that completes
the final construction stages
coating of latex applied to dyed carpet's primary and
secondary backing - made of woven synthetic
two parts are squeezed together in a large heated press
and held firmly to preserve shape
shearing- removing loose ends and projecting fibers created
during the tufting process
also helps the yarn's tip definition
inspection - for color uniformity and defects before it is
rolled, wrapped, and shipped
Terms and construction variables
Pile height, or nap
length of the tuft measured from the primary backing to the
shown as a fraction, or decimal equivalent
shorter pile is more durable than longer pile
stitch rate - measure of how close the yarns are together
stitch rate is measured in penetrations, or tufts, in a
given length of carpet, usually an inch.
stitch rate is controlled by the speed the carpet is moved
through the tufting machine
good number is seven to eight tufts per inch
face weight-actual amount of fiber per square yard,
measured in ounces
typical carpet may have a face weight of 35 to 45 oz
density- how tightly the yarn is stitched into the primary
higher density will wear better than low density
Carpet | Styles
Choosing the ideal carpet style is all about knowing the right
combination of aesthetics, performance and budget that meets the
needs of your lifestyle.
Six basic styles of carpet
Textured, Saxony or plush, frieze, cable, looped, and cut
Each style has its own characteristics and performance
Carefully consider all of each style's features, qualities
and conditions in making your buying decision.
great for all areas in the home, especially for active
available in a broad range of prices
formal, traditional and elegant look
smooth, soft, velvet plush look
yarn has uniform twist and finish
good for master bedrooms, dining room or a formal living
not a good choice for high traffic areas or active kids
shows footprints and vacuum marks
cut pile style with a high twist level
each strand of yarn is twisted so tightly that it curls
over at the end
for active areas
has a textured surface with a knobby appearance
durable and wears well
performers well in high-traffic areas
can go anywhere in your home
available in various pile heights for different looks
constructed of thicker, typically longer yarn
very comfortable underfoot
beautiful in a bedroom or living room
better suited for rooms without a lot of activity
can matte and crush with heavy foot traffic
not recommended for stairs, hallways
referred to as a Berber
big bulky yarns produced in a level loop or multi-level loop
made out of olefin fiber
some made with nylon, or a blend of various fibers
very durable because of not cutting the yarn tips
you can see each individual loop
ideal for casual, active family rooms
come in solid colors, Berber fleck, patterns with varying
levels of loops
hides traffic patterns well
may make seams more apparent
backing is more visible on stairs
Cut & Loop
Cut & Loop
combination of cut and looped yarns that create pattern
effects by the variation in surface textures
also referred to as patterned carpet
low profile and thus perform well
sometimes seams are visible
used in casual and traditional rooms
available in many patterns like fun geometrics and formal
distinctive carved appearance and multiple colors
stands up to traffic
Carpet | Before You Buy
Choosing the best carpet is really about knowing the right combination of characteristics, aesthetics, performance and budget to best meet the needs of your lifestyle. For example, looped Berbers and high twist friezes perform wonderfully in high traffic areas in your home, but an elegant Saxony in the same area may show footprints.
available in 12', 15' and sometimes 13' widths
carpet will be seamed unless room is narrower than above widths
seams visible with looped or low-profile patterned carpets
degree of visibility depends on texture, color, lighting and furniture
Backing and Loops
backing may show when carpet bends over stairs depending on texture, color and density.
looped carpet can snag at a seam or transition
pile reversal, or shading, is a normal
consider window treatments and furniture placement to minimize
higher quality carpet = greater pile density
tighter twist construction results in better durability
easier to replace or update décor with carpet rather than hard surface products
adds value to any home
feels warm underfoot
reduces household noise
once installed it will often look lighter than the sample
color affects the apparent size of the room
lighter colored carpet visually expands the size of the room
darker carpeting brings the walls closer together, creating intimate feelings
neutral colors are best for frequently changing the decorating schemes
neutrals are good for rooms with a lot of existing furniture
neutral colored, good carpet is good for resale
check warranty for stains
stain protection is an important consideration
carpet products have with different stain protection levels
warranties help guard against stains
with quality comes increased stain protection and warranty coverage
it is important to understand what is covered by the warranty
determines how a carpet feels underfoot
not just about feel
quality helps preserve the look
can extend the life and comfort
provides protection against wear and tear
sold using quality specifications, not color specifications
color of the sample in the store may not be the same as installed
Reading the label
become familiar with product specs warranties on the labels
protect your investment today and tomorrow
Know the entire cost of ownership
this is one component of the entire project cost
ensure there are no budget surprises with final cost
ask for the total cost of the project to be calculated
Potential additional expenses:
Demolition/disposal of old floor covering
Materials required to complete the installation
In addition to the total project cost, be sure to also consult the manufacturer's warranty and care guide for directions on how frequently the carpet should be cleaned and the cost to clean it.
Carpet | Installation
Being knowledgeable and prepared for the big day when the new
carpeting will transform your home is very important. Being
ready for the installation of your carpet will make the entire
process go faster and more efficiently. Knowing what to expect
and being prepared will also be a lot less stressful on you,
your family and your home.
Use a professional - some of these basics follow:
seaming diagram is the installers' "blueprint" for overall
layout, seam placement and transition
professionals know how to deal with seams best
seams are inevitable
professionals excel at minimizing and hiding seams
professionals insure seams are placed away from pivoting
traffic, and not perpendicular to doorway openings
some styles show seam tape more than others, called
telegraphing or peaking
peaking is seen more in low cut pile and looped carpets
a tight seam can still be seen
sometimes extra carpet is ordered to better match patterns
at the seams
when two different flooring products meet like carpet to
professional installers will try to match the surface
heights to minimize transitions.
What to know and do before installation day
Furniture is step one
remove all furniture
additional charges occur for moving furniture
empty the contents of china cabinets, closets
Know what to do with your present floor
consider removal of old floor covering, sometimes messy and
if you remove it, do it at least one day before for cleanup
and floor preparation
leave tack strips in place
pull the staples out of the floor from the original pad
painted baseboards, woodwork and paint may need retouching; this is your responsibility
may need preparation for new carpet - leave this to the
doors may not clear the new carpet and swing freely
a professional can remove doors and re-hang, if possible
occasionally doors will need to be trimmed, this will be your responsibility
installing new carpet will produce waste
materials are usually collected by your installer and left
at your trash collection site
hauling away is usually an additional cost
What to know and do during installation day
Be prepared to be at home the day of installation and be
available in case the installation crew has questions. Your
presence will insure that the correct carpet is installed in
the right areas.
some installers may not be able to give you an exact time
be flexible and keep in touch with your retailer/installer
installers use tools and techniques that can make the work
make sure that children and pets are kept out of the work
prior to the completion of the installation, walk-through the
job with the chief installer
this gives you the opportunity to ask questions about final
What to know and do after installation day
for odor sensitivity, good ventilation is important
some of the chemicals and adhesives in carpet can smell
for 48 to 72 hours
be prepared to provide the room with adequate ventilation
Fixing post-installation problems
shedding is a natural part of a new carpet
frequent vacuuming for the first few days should help
sprouting is the small tufts or loops that are visible
use small scissors to trim the loose fibers flush with the
for wrinkles or ripples, a re-stretch maybe needed
Find Stair Runners at A.J Rose Carpets and Flooring!
If you’re ready to give your home a refreshing new look with an additional touch of comfort in the atmosphere, it may be time to invest in stair runners. Runners are perfect for increasing your house’s congenial feel and can even protect your family by covering the stairs’ smooth and slippery surface.
You don’t have to add or replace carpets in every room to create a more comfortable atmosphere – simply opt for a runner! Visit our flooring center near Boston, MA, to explore the vast selection of stair runners we offer. Our expert installation staff is ready to upgrade your living space.
Here at A.J. Rose Carpets and Flooring, we offer runners from six companies:
With our staff of carpet experts, we’ll create custom runners for your home and install them flawlessly. We use two different methods of installation – Hollywood and waterfall. The Hollywood arrangement involves tacking the runner to each stair, which requires more attention to detail but looks neater. If you choose the waterfall installation, the carpet edges are overlaid and folded over.
Hollywood vs. Waterfall Stair Installation
There are two simple procedures for installing carpet on your stairs. These methods are called the Hollywood and Waterfall approaches. Before we begin discussing the installation methods, you may need to know these terms: treads and risers. Treads are the portion of the stairs your feet step one. The risers are the back of the stairs that are perpendicular to the treads.
This installation method involved tacking down the carpet directly to the staircase. You will be able to see the outline and detail of the treads and risers. This particular approach tends to require more detailed work than the Waterfall installation, but ends up looking clean and more tailored.
This is the more common approach for stair installation, especially if the carpet material being installed is a thicker product. This involves laying the carpet over the edge of the tread and straight down the riser so it meets the next tread.
Carpet | Maintenance
New carpeting can be elaborate and elegant, cool and contemporary or tasteful and traditional. It's one of America's most popular floor covering choices, enhances virtually any room and it can add value to your residence. Keeping that feeling, and your carpet in beautiful condition, is a challenge if you don't know the proper steps of maintenance.
We want you to know that with the care guidelines below, your new carpet can stay attractive for many years, and many bare-foot crossings to come.
place walk-off mats wherever there are entrances to your home
buy a quality vacuum and use it regularly
use a machine with a good beater bar and maximum suction
if your vacuum uses bags, be sure to change them frequently
Carpet cushion plays an important role in preserving the look and feel of your carpet
don't vacuum over loose yarn or try to pull out the snag
rearrange your furniture periodically
treat stains as soon as possible
cleaning by a reputable, professional cleaner is suggested approximately once a year to protect your investment
read the care and maintenance literature provided by the manufacturer because different fibers, styles and finishes can each have their own unique guidelines
Glossary of Carpet Terms
For definitions of other terms not listed here, please go to these sections: Carpet,
How It’s Made, Styles, Before You Buy, Before Installation, and Maintenance.
The primary backing material of carpeting is usually made of woven polypropylene
and its main value is to provide a base cloth to hold the yarn in place while the
A looped style carpet is often referred to as a Berber. Berbers are big bulky yarns
with characteristic color flecks that are either produced in a level loop or multi-level
loop carpet construction. Although many Berbers are made out of olefin fiber, some
are made with nylon, or a blend of various carpet fibers.
A style of carpet constructed of thicker, typically longer yarn that is better suited
for rooms without a lot of activity. It can matte and crush with heavy foot traffic
so it is not recommended for stairs, hallways and other busy areas in your home.
Commonly called padding, this is the layer of material that lies between the carpet
and floor. It’s carpet cushion, not the carpet itself, that determines how
a carpet feels beneath your feet and helps preserve the look while providing it
with tougher protection against wear and tear.
Carpet Dyeing (Continuous Dyeing)
Also called Continuous Dyeing, color is applied directly to the carpet face by spraying
or printing. This process is also used to create multicolor or patterned effects
in the carpet.
Small loops of yarn are cut, creating what we call a cut pile carpet. The length
of these cut pieces of yarn is referred to as the pile height, and is basically
the distance between the looper and the primary backing. Selectively cutting, called
cut and loop construction, creates a recognizable pattern on the surface of the
A measure of how tightly the yarn is stitched into the primary backing. Higher density
carpet will typically wear better than lower density carpet.
Is determined by the actual amount of fiber per square yard, and is measured in
ounces. A typical carpet may have a face weight of 35 to 45 ounces for example.
Fiber is the basic material that a carpet is made of. Over ninety percent of all
of the carpet made today is made up of synthetic fiber. The rest is natural fiber,
most commonly wool.
This is a cut pile style that has a very high twist level, meaning each strand of
yarn is twisted so tightly that they actually curl over at the end. This creates
a textured surface with a knobby appearance, and a carpet of high durability and
very good wear-ability.
A small hook called a looper grabs the yarn and holds it in place. This process
results in what is called loop pile construction. Loop pile products hold their
appearance very well. Since there are no exposed yarn tips, only the sides of the
yarn are exposed to wear and stress. Generally speaking, low profile loop carpet
stands up to heavy traffic best.
The application of weight (like a high traffic area) on an installed carpet produces
this visual effect. See Cable.
(See Pile Height)
A synthetic fiber. Almost 75% of carpet today is made of nylon. Nylon is the leader
in: appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance, and
color and styling.
Cut or uncut loops of yarn that create the surface of carpeting.
Also called the nap, pile height is the length of the tuft measured from the primary
backing to the yarn tips. It’s usually shown as a fraction, or sometimes its
decimal equivalent. Usually shorter pile heights are more durable than longer pile
A common synthetic material well accepted for its bulkiness, color clarity, and
good stain and fade resistance. While not as resilient as nylon, Polyester fiber
carpet constructed with today’s new technologies can be a good performer.
Another common synthetic material used in carpet manufacturing, sometimes referred
to as olefin. Today it represents more than thirty-five percent of the total fibers
used in the carpet industry. While polypropylene is not as resilient or resistant
to abrasion as nylon, it is naturally stain and fade resistant. Polypropylene is
most often used in loop pile carpet constructions.
Saxony has a smooth, soft, velvet plush look and a luxurious feel with a uniform
twist and finish. This style is not a good choice for high traffic areas or rooms
with active kids. Also be aware that this style does show footprints and vacuum
Another common method of carpet coloring, screen printing is where color is applied
through anywhere from one to as many as eight silk-screens.
One of the last stages in the manufacturing of carpet, shearing is the process of
removing all of the little loose ends and projecting fibers that might have been
created during the tufting process. It also helps achieve the yarn’s tip definition
of the finished carpet.
Shedding is a natural part of a new carpet. Frequent vacuuming for the first few
days should remove any loose fibers from the carpet’s surface.
Refers to small tufts or loops of carpet that become visible after the installation.
Use a small pair of scissors to carefully trim the loose fibers flush with the surface
of the carpet.
The measure of how close the yarns are together. Stitch rate is measured in penetrations,
or tufts, in a given length of carpet, usually an inch. The stitch rate is controlled
by how fast the carpet is moved through the tufting machine. Seven to eight tufts
per inch is a good number, while three or four is pretty poor.
Man-made, using chemical compounds versus natural materials. Over ninety percent
of all of the carpet is made up of synthetic fiber – usually one of three
materials: nylon, polypropylene or polyester. All three are created by similar chemical
processes using oil and natural gas.
A very popular cut pile carpet that has alternating twists of yarn creating a two-tone
appearance. This carpet creates a more casual atmosphere in the room and is available
in a broad range of prices.
When two different flooring products meet – say, carpeting and a hardwood
floor – it’s called a transition. Professional installers try to match
the surface heights of various flooring products to minimize transitions.
The first step in the manufacturing of carpet. Tufting begins with the process of
weaving the synthetic or staple fiber into a primary backing material.
When selecting carpet, you want a tight twist in each yarn, not loose and frayed
at the end.
The coat of sheep and the original staple fiber used in the making of carpet. Since
wool is a natural fiber, it ranges in color from off-white to black, with many earthen
tones between. Although wool doesn’t stand up to abrasion and moisture as
well as synthetics, it cleans well and is known to age gracefully. Wool
is the most expensive carpet fiber, and represents less than one percent of the
U.S. carpet market.
One of two dyeing methods used in the manufacturing of carpet. Yarn dyeing, also
called pre-dyeing, is where the color is applied to the yarn prior to tufting. The
advantages of all yarn dyeing methods include good side-by-side color consistency,
large lot sizes, and uniformity.
A second dyeing method used in the manufacturing of carpet involves applying color
to the yarn after the carpet has been tufted.