Carpet can be a tricky item to shop for; the average shopper has a difficult time ascertaining the quality of a rug by looking at it. There are, however, several hidden properties that will contribute to the overall quality of a carpet. All these variables must be understood and taken into consideration to truly determine the piece’s quality. Below, I have provided a list of factors that will contribute to a carpet’s overall quality. I’ve already detailed why some carpets are so expensive; this should be used as a buyer’s guide while shopping for a rug.
Face Weight—Carpet face weight is the weight of the carpet pile per square yard of material. Measured in ounces, this is often used to determine a carpet’s durability. The higher the face weight, the more durable the carpet—most of the time. There are other factors that may influence face weight, such as density.
Carpet Density—Carpet density refers to how closely together the carpet’s fibers are stitched into the carpet backing. It is calculated by the manufacturer and often displayed on the tag. When comparing carpets of different densities, the higher density value will indicate a more durable carpet.
Fiber Twist—The twist of the fiber is one of the most overlooked aspects of a carpet, yet it is one of the best indicators of quality. Fiber twist refers to the number of times the strands of fiber are twisted together (as measured within a one-inch length of fiber). This is sometimes referred to as turns per inch. To calculate, measure a one-inch length of the carpet fiber and count how many turns you see in it. The higher the twist number, the better the carpet.
Type of Fiber—While this isn’t always a huge factor in the carpet’s quality, different fibers are more suitable than others in certain situations. Natural fibers, though less common, are often more expensive and durable than synthetic fibers.
Manufacturer Warranty—While most carpets will come with a manufacturer warranty, not all are created equal. If the warranty mentions texture retention or appearance retention, the carpet is likely of good quality. You should also look for stain and soil warranties, as well as a fade resistance warranty.