It’s an exciting time for the commercial carpet industry. According to Floor Trends Magazine, a mega-trend in the commercial carpet sector is color choice beyond traditional palettes as mills invest millions in new machinery that can accomplish the vision of carpet designs with more sophisticated patterns, textures and constructions. The result: solution-driven carpet designs utilizing bold color and design.
Also gone are the days of having to select only conventional loop pile. New technology is producing multilevel loop and cut-loop patterns allowing diamond, bow, pin dot or fleur-de-lis designs that “pop out” in sculptured effects.
Why all the excitement? Despite design trends, carpet remains the most popular flooring choice in the commercial sector. Commercial carpet offers a range of styles and types that fit well in any space. Choosing the right commercial carpet requires understanding the different types and construction.
The look and performance of a carpet is determined by its construction, which may be loop, cut or combinations of the two. In corridors, lobbies and other public areas, loop piles of low, dense construction tend to retain their appearance and resiliency and, generally, provide a better. Cut pile or cut and loop pile carpet are great choices for libraries, offices and board or meeting rooms. Before you choose carpet it’s recommended you understand the differences.
Loop Pile: A carpet with face yarns that remain continual loops connected together beneath the backing of the carpet rather than being cut into a plush pile. Loop pile can be level, textured or patterned.
Cut Pile: Carpet construction in which the surface yarns have been cut and made to stand upright side by side so the user walks on the ends rather than the sides of the yarn.
Cut & Loop: Carpet with a face pattern, either geometric or made up of lower loop pile tufts set in a field of cut pile. The carpet can be dyed solid, self-tone or multi-color and the pattern can be geometric, floral or random.
Textured Loop Pile: Carpet in which the surface yarns remain continual loop, connected together beneath the backing of the carpet. Unlike simple loop pile, the yarns in textured loop pile vary slightly in pile height, producing either a nubby surface or actual pattern.
Print Carpet: A process in which a pattern or design is printed on a tufted carpet. A selection of carpet base grades are available to choose from and custom coloring is common.
In addition to construction, commercial carpet is available in synthetic and natural fibers. Which fiber best suits your carpet installation? Nylon and olefin are the two leading synthetic carpet fibers used in commercial applications, while wool is the leading natural fiber. Synthetic fibers offer greater fiber strength and resistance to soiling, but there are applications where wool is the fiber of choice.
The most commonly used fiber in commercial carpet installations is nylon. Nylon fibers are extremely strong and flexible, and offer excellent wearability, resilience, abrasion resilience, and resistance to oils and chemicals. Nylon fibers do not readily absorb moisture. Most carpets made from nylon fibers are solution-dyed. During the solution dyeing process, the color is added to the nylon crystals before they are processed into individual fibers. As a result, the fibers offer very good color stability and resistance to fading.
Carpets constructed using olefin fibers are less expensive than those that use nylon. Olefin fibers offer excellent resistance to moisture, making them suitable for indoor use. They are chemical- and stain-resistant, but tend to hold more dirt than nylon fibers. These carpets require more frequent cleaning to prevent damage to the surface of the fibers from dirt abrasion.
Used in high profile contract applications such as hotels, casinos, resorts and executive offices wool is the most expensive fiber used in the carpet industry. The fibers will resist moisture to a point, but will shrink if saturated with water. Wool fibers are more susceptible to abrasion than either nylon or olefin. The biggest drawback is the ease with which the fibers can be stained. Wool fibers hide dirt very well and resist binding to dirt, making cleaning an easy task. It is recommended that wool carpets be cleaned more frequently than those made from synthetic fibers as embedded dirt, while not visible, can readily damage the surface of the fibers.
Broadloom and Axminister carpet installations absorb sound, provide heat insulation and create a safe environment, providing a non-slip surface and the ability to soften any impact. With their timeless look, these carpets they are popular flooring choices for gaming and hospitality venues. More recently, they have been updated with unexpected patterns and colors to satisfy any design need.
If you want your commercial project to have the design impact of an Axminster or broadloom carpet, but you don’t want to pay the cost, or you need flexibility, then modular carpet tiles may be the solution. Carpet tile is engineered to be tough and holds up in high-traffic areas like retail spaces, corporate offices and restaurants. There are many advantages to using tiles, including easy installation, easy maintenance and design flexibility. If you get a stain, no problem. Pop out the tile and clean it. Or, you can replace one tile – not the whole room. And because each piece is dimensionally identical, you get a perfectly “square” job every time.
Hiring professional carpet suppliers and installers is a great way to ensure you are choosing the right commercial carpet for your space. Becoming familiar with the basics of commercial carpeting helps you make better decisions when selecting carpet for your commercial space.