The Best Carpet Type for High Traffic Areas
Apr 21, 2020
Certain areas of your home, like the living room and staircase, receive huge amounts of foot traffic on a daily basis. When you’re installing new carpets in a high traffic area, it’s important to look for slip-free, snag-free materials that can hold their shape over time. Fortunately, there’s good news for homeowners: with just a handful of exceptions, most modern carpet styles are ideal for heavy traffic areas. That means the decision comes down to factors like your style preferences, your renovation budget, and the amount of cleaning you’re willing to do. To help you make a decision, we’ll compare some commonly-used types of carpet fibers, including nylon, wool, and polyester.
What is the Best Carpet Type for High Traffic Areas?
Types of Carpet Fibers
Carpets are constructed from thousands of fibers, which are attached to a sturdy backing by industrial machinery. These fibers can be stitched into closed loops (“loop carpet”), or can be cut at one end (“cut-pile”) to create a plusher, more indulgent texture. “Low-pile” loop carpets are smooth, firm, and flat, while “high-pile” cuts are taller, looser, and fluffier.
While words like “pile” and “loop” describe the shape and density of a carpet’s fibers, they do not explain what those fibers are made from. It’s important to know what materials were used to construct the carpet you’re purchasing because it will impact how you maintain and care for the carpet in the future. There are four basic types of fibers to choose from:
- Nylon fibers
- Olefin fibers
- Polyester fibers
- Wool fibers
Let’s take a closer look at each of these carpet categories, along with some of the pros and cons you should think about when weighing your decision.
Nylon Carpet Fibers
When properly treated, nylon is an exceptionally well-rounded fiber that delivers the best of all worlds: durability, stain resistance, and of course, an almost infinite range of patterns, colors, and styles. Not only does nylon keep its shape, but it also shields against spills, pet stains, and kids’ messes.
Olefin Carpet Fibers
Olefin is another name for polypropylene, which is used to construct both indoor and outdoor carpeting. As a synthetic or man-made material, olefin was designed to deliver homeowners sought-after qualities like stain resistance and moisture resistance. The main drawback of olefin is that it is a less durable option for high traffic areas of your house.
Polyester Carpet Fibers
The technical term for polyester is polyethylene terephthalate or PET. Like olefin, polyester is a man-made substance that, while reasonably durable, is less robust than wool or nylon when subject to years of heavy wear.
Designed to balance cost-efficiency with performance, polyester delivers the luxury look and feel — but without the luxury carpet price tag. We generally recommend polyester carpeting for medium levels of foot traffic.
Wool Carpet Fibers
Wool is a strong candidate for any of your high traffic carpeting needs, such as carpeting for your stairs or living room. A traditional favorite that’s been in use for thousands of years, wool is a timeless and tested standby that never seems to lose its enduring appeal. It’s also perfect for keeping your feet cozy during those chilly winter months!
Best High Traffic Carpet Fiber Types
To reiterate, most of the carpet types that are being manufactured today can stand up to years of heavy foot traffic, so try not to feel too stressed while you’re shopping! Thanks to developments in research and production, which have led to technological innovations like waterproofing, stain-proofing, and non-slip surfacing, even the most economically priced carpets offer a solid baseline for comfort and quality.
That being said, several carpet styles and fibers have distinguished themselves as perennial favorites for high traffic areas. Some examples include:
- Low-pile carpets, which can be made from all types of fibers
- Nylon carpet fibers
- Wool carpet fibers
Find Nylon Carpets, Wool Carpeting, & More at a Flooring America Store near You
No matter what style of carpet you love, you’ll find the right look for the right price at Flooring America. With over 500 convenient locations nationwide, we put thousands of premium quality products at your fingertips. We’ll help you choose the best carpet for high traffic areas, offer carpet care and maintenance tips, and even handle professional carpet installation for you. To learn more about the products and services we offer, contact us online today, or visit a store near you to sample the carpet styles we carry!