Talk Like a Carpet Expert: Terms to Know and Use

Shopping for new carpet can be tough. Beyond color, how do you know what to look for? Which characteristics are the most important? And what do all of those strange terms from the carpet manufacturers mean, and why should you care? This quick guide to carpet terms will have you feeling, and speaking, like a carpet pro in no time.

  1. 1. Stays plush under crush: resilience

    carpet terms resilience

    Resilience is how well a carpet’s appearance holds up over time, so it can stay thick and gorgeous. More resilience means better aging. For your carpet.

  2. 2. We’ve got your back-ing

    Backing is the fabric and yarn on the floor-facing side of the carpet. Primary backing is the fabric that the yarn goes through; the secondary backing is the laminated fabric on the back of the carpet that reinforces it. Your carpet is like a layer cake: secondary backing on the bottom, primary backing in the middle, and the visible carpet fibers are the icing on top.

    One of the most important tips about backing is that you shouldn’t be able to see it when you look at the front of the carpet sample.

  3. 3. Insist on twist

    carpet terms twist

    Twist refers to winding the fiber around itself to strengthen its resistance to crushing. The number refers to how many times per inch a fiber strand is twisted together. The range is typically from 2.5 to 6.0 twists.

  4. 4. It’s not electric, it’s antistatic

    Have you ever stepped on a carpet without shoes and felt a light shock? That’s from static. A carpet that is antistatic dissipates that electrostatic charge. Say goodbye to those surprise shocks.

  5. 5. Give our carpet a hand

    carpet terms hand

    When it comes to carpets, the hand is how a carpet feels. You might put lotion on your actual hand to make it softer, but the softness of a carpet’s hand is based on its characteristics, such as the materials it is made of.

    Hand can’t be measured. You just go with your own preference. But if you’re apt to walk barefoot on your carpet, don’t be shy about taking a few steps on the sample without your shoes.

  6. 6. We say free-zay

    The frieze—pronounced free-zay—of a carpet is the tightly curled or twisted yarn. (Think frizzy hair, frieze carpets.) The result? A textured look that hides footprints.

    And yes, some carpet manufacturers call this “shag” carpet.

  7. 7. It’s a stretch: power stretcher

    A power stretcher smooths wrinkles on your carpet during installation, which keeps your carpet looking and feeling good. It’s like starting out with a facelift for your carpet!

    You don’t have to know how to work one of these: Your installer will take care of it.

  8. 8. Tuft guy

    Tufted is a way to manufacture carpet. Tufts of fiber are inserted through carpet backing to create a pile of cut ends, loop ends, or both. The tuft bind refers to the force required to pull a tuft from a carpet. The more force needed to yank a tuft out can result in your carpets looking better longer.

Now you know. Time to find a STAINMASTER® retailer near you.

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