Quiz: Understanding Your Carpet Label

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About This Quiz

Are you installing new carpet in your home? There is much to consider when purchasing carpet: color, durability, stain resistance, weave, material, thickness. Luckily, all the information you need is contained in the label. Take our quiz to see if you are savvy carpet label reader.

How many types of carpet weave are there?

There are four types of carpet weave: frieze, saxony, plush and loop.

What is the most common process used to make a carpet?

Carpets are usually made through tufting. They can also be woven on looms.

What does density refer to?

Density refers to how close together the strands are, also known as fibers per square inch.

What twist level indicates durability?

Twist is the number of times a strand of fiber is twisted per inch. A twist level of more than four indicates durability.

What is the difference between face weight and total weight?

Face weight refers to the amount of fiber in ounces per square yard; total weight includes the weight of the carpet backing. Don't confuse face weight with twist and density; take all three into consideration when assessing durability.

Which is the most popular type of fiber?

The most popular fiber is nylon because it's durable, easy to clean, reasonably stain-resistant and moderately resistant to fading in the sun.

Which is the most expensive type of fiber?

Wool is the most expensive but considered to be the best in terms of appearance and comfort. It will fade in sunlight, does not do well with mildew and mold and will wear down faster than some synthetics.

What is a disadvantage of a acrylic carpeting?

Acrylic looks and feels like wool, but it tends to pill and fluff. It's a little more expensive than nylon.

What criteria are used to obtain a Performance Appearance Rating (PAR)?

Home Depot applies a test that determines what the carpet will look like after a year of normal traffic from a family of four. The scores range from 1 to 5, with 4 or 5 indicating a high level of durability.

How seriously should you take the Performance Appearance Rating (PAR)?

Ratings tend to oversimplify matters. Don't rely solely on the rating; take the density and twist into consideration, too.

What does Teflon and Scotchgard technology do to liquids spilled on carpets?

Teflon and Scotchgard cause liquids to form beads, so that if cleaned up immediately, it won't stain.

How does a StainMaster carpet work?

StainMaster neutralizes the electric charge on the carpet, so that food spilled won't be attracted to the opposite charges in the carpet and become permanently embedded in the carpet.

What do manufacturers do to make their product resist stains?

Manufacturers treat their products with chemicals to make them resist stains. Some materials and constructions are naturally more resistant than others.

How reliable is the Carpet and Rug Institute's Green Label?

Some experts say it's not rigorous enough; others say it's not necessary. The best precaution against a buildup of noxious chemicals is to air out the carpet in a well ventilated room for a few days before and after installation.

Which notorious chemical is put on carpets?

There are a number of different types of allegedly carcinogenic chemicals used on carpets: formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, benzene and 4-phenylcyclohexene.

How can you prevent your carpet from harboring germs?

Dust, toxins from cleaning products and germs can get trapped in carpets. Ventilate carpeted rooms well and vacuum them regularly to get rid of these unwanted particles.

How many times warmer does carpet keep a house than hardwood?

Carpet keeps a house 10 times warmer than hardwood does. A number of elementary school reported that by installing carpets, they saved between $ 2,000 and $ 8,000 in heating costs.

How can you determine a carpet's R-value if it's not written on the label?

A carpet's R-value is its thermal resistance rating, i.e. how warm it will keep the room. You can work it out by multiplying its thickness in inches by 2.6.

What should you keep in mind when deciding which size carpet to buy?

You'll need more square footage than the actual room size so you don't come up short on the width or length.

With regard to warranty, what should you always do?

Always read the fine print of the warranty because there will be strict stipulations, such as percentage of wear and evidence of proper maintenance (like cleaning receipts), before a warranty can be taken advantage of.

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