Do you Need to Pay Attention to Carpet Labels?

The details on a carpet label provide important and useful information about the product to help you decide whether or not you want to buy it in the first place. The types of information you will find on carpet labels include:

  • Density (fibers per square inch): The denser a carpet is, the harder it is for stains to sink in and the easier it is to clean. Denser carpets usually last longer [source: Home Depot].
  • Twist (how many times the fibers are twisted per inch): Look for a twist level of four or higher for a higher-quality carpet.
  • Face weight (weight of the fiber per square yard)
  • Total weight (includes the carpet backing in addition to the carpet itself)
  • Performance Appearance Rating, or PAR (durability on a scale of one to five)

Fiber type:

  • Nylon is the most popular carpet fiber because it's easy to clean, durable, reasonably resistant to staining and fading, and moderately priced.
  • Polyester is stain-resistant, won't fade, and is on the cheap side, but lacks durability. The newer Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) polyester is more durable than the original.
  • Wool is relatively expensive because it has the best feel and appearance. It wears and fades easily and isn't resistant to mold or mildew.
  • Olefin (polypropylene) is cheap, resistant to stains, mildew, moisture and static and can be treated so it won't fade. It is not as durable or as soft as other fibers.
  • Acrylic mimics the look and feel of wool, but tends to pill and fuzz and isn't as cheap as nylon.
  • Stain resistance and treatment information
  • Information on emissions from chemicals applied to the carpet
  • R-value (thermal resistance rating, or how well it insulates)
  • Woven finish versus tufted with backing
  • Cut pile type: frieze, Saxony, plush or loop
  • Size