Nylon Vs. Polyester Carpeting

Polyester Vs. Nylon Carpeting

So many carpet types, so little time! With so many carpet options available, making the proper selection for your home can be a daunting task. However, the two most commonly used types of fibers in carpet manufacturing are polyester and nylon, and there are several advantages and disadvantages to both options.

The Basics of Polyester Carpet

Polyester is a type of plastic comprised of polymers. There are natural polyesters, but in the carpeting world they are synthetic fibers. Approximately 25% of all carpet sold contains environmentally friendly polyester. Polyester is stain and fade resistant but does not hold up well in high traffic areas. With heavy foot traffic and heavy furniture, polyester will crush in a hurry and show imprints for an extended period of time. Polyester tends to be the more budget conscious choice over nylon, with prices commonly between 2 and 5 dollars per square foot.

The Basics of Nylon Carpet

Nylon is a type of plastic comprised of synthetic polymers, similar to the composition of polyester. Where polyester will crush and flatten, nylon springs back to life and will hold up better over time. This is considered a longer life carpet and, with proper care and maintenance, can last a lifetime. Some nylon carpet is solution-dyed. This means that the entire fiber is exposed to the coloring in order to produce an extremely stain and fade resistance. While not as ecofriendly as polyester, there have been advances in recent years that have helped to improve this in nylon. Many nylon carpets are completely recyclable, and some can even be remade into new nylon carpet.

Carpet Pile Types of Polyester and Nylon

There are three main types of carpet pile. Berber, cut, and cut & loop. Each pile type varies significantly in its construction. Berber is a traditional and historical type of carpet pile. Here, the carpet is comprised of all loops. This can be problematic for homes with pets, who’s nails can get caught in the loops and pull them apart.

Cut pile carpet is a style of carpet where the exposed fibers have been sheared off. This produces a soft, inviting, easy-to-clean carpet. Styles can be created by shearing the ends of the fibers at different angles and with different thread treatments before and after being inserted into the backing. This is a solid choice for wall-to-wall, whole house carpeting.

Cut and loop is a style of carpet that combines looped fibers with cut fibers. This frees up the manufacturer of the carpet to create geometric or abstract designs in the carpet.