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  • Writer's pictureSqueak Knights Team

Choosing between Natural and Synthetic Wall to Wall Carpets

Updated: Nov 2, 2019

Residential grade carpet flooring comes in two main fiber types: Natural and synthetic fibre.

“Natural” is something that sounds more positive, trustworthy or healthy. However, in this article we will look into some little known facts which may effect your buying decision when it comes to natural fibre carpeting.

How to choose carpet material

Common Problems with Natural Fibre Broadloom

Cost: The labor-intensive manufacturing of natural fiber used to manufacture natural broadloom is expensive. To you this translates into higher relative prices per square foot.

Poor Moisture Resistance: We do not recommend natural fiber products in a basement where moisture or a leak can occur. These can cause mould or shrinkage respectively.

How natural is “natural” really? If you are choosing natural fiber because it's “natural”, have a closer look at the chemicals that are used to preserve the fibres. In the old days, we used mothballs to preserve our wool sweaters in the summer to protect it from moths. Unfortunately, these days to preserve natural fibre carpets, especially wool carpet relies more on heavy preservative chemicals with high off-gassing and possible VOCs.

Stains: Natural fibre wall to wall carpet is more prone to hold stains and is more work to maintain. Certain stronger cleaning agents can not be used with natural fibres. Consult with your carpet cleaning company and learn more about the differences.

Shedding: Natural carpets will shed. This may cause allergic reactions. Airborne fibre may trigger respiratory problems as you may have wool allergies .

Selecting the Right Synthetic Fiber Carpet for your Floor

Nylon, Polyester, Olefin (polypropylene) are the three most common synthetic fibres readily available in the market. Each has a recommended application and advantage:

  • Nylon: : Nylon fibre is recommended for high traffic areas and provides the best stain resistance. Recommended applications include stairs, hallways, living room and dining room.

  • Polyester: Great for low traffic areas such as bedrooms, closets and dens. A lower pile, higher density Polyester carpet would work with higher traffic areas as well.

  • Olefin: (Polypropylene) is a great option mainly for basements, shared areas, commercial application or for inexpensive carpeting in your home.

Carpet Maintenance

No matter which carpet you choose, the following will help you understand how to best maintain your carpet. Any carpet will wear, here is what to avoid in order to make it last longer:

  • Friction: Excessive friction is one of the main causes of obvious signs of aging. Wearing shoes or slippers with hard soles, dragging furniture or other heavy objects will speed up this process.

  • Soil: Usually carried indoors by pets or outdoor shoes, soil is one of the enemies of carpet floors. When looked under a microscope, you will see that some particles look like razor blades which have an abrasive effect on the carpet. Not vacuuming your carpet on a regular basis will cause irreversible damages to the fibers of your carpet on a microscopic level.

  • Oily Substances: food, hair, lotions, or oils from our feet cause carpet fibers to stick together. To avoid this, an IICRC certified technician should preform the cleaning as per the manufactures recommendations. This is an important process that rinses the oily substances from your carpet.

In the end, whichever carpet you choose for your home, remember that it's about how you maintain your caret which will determine how long it will last. For more information on carpet selection, maintenance or repairs, contact the experts at Victorious Carpet & Flooring. Also, don't forget that if the floors beneath your carpet make noise or squeak, there is no need to lift to silence them; call Squeak Knights, the squeaky floor repair experts.

This guest post was written in collaboration with Mark Aydin of Victorious Carpet & Flooring.

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