High traffic areas – such as lobbies, hallways, dining rooms, and hotel bedrooms – see a great deal of wear and tear. Choosing the right flooring materials is critical in maintaining an optimal appearance and ensuring easy and convenient cleaning, ultimate durability, and enhanced sustainability. How do you choose the right commercial carpet flooring?
Loop vs. Cut Pile?
When selecting carpet for high traffic areas, there’s a fundamental difference in pile types that you should be aware of: loop pile carpet uses individual fibers that are looped and connect at both ends. What you step on is the rounded part of the loop that sticks up. Cut pile carpet uses fibers that each rise up in a relatively straight line. What you step on is the end of each fiber.
Because the fibers in loop pile carpet curve back in on themselves to form a loop, they are inherently more durable. Think about it this way: hold one arm straight out. Someone can push it side to side pretty easily. They can even push directly against it, either forcing your shoulder back or making you bend your elbow. That’s what’s happening to the fiber in cut pile carpets – each fiber gets pushed to the side and frayed or bent because it lacks any structure beyond a fairly straight line.
Now, tightly interlock the fingers of both your hands together. Hold your arms out in a circle in front of you. If someone pulls on your elbow, your other arm naturally pulls back. If someone pushes against your interlocked hands, both elbows accept some of the pressure and give a little without bending as much or feeling as much pressure as one elbow alone would. A loop is naturally stronger because any stress on it causes an opposite resistance.
This is exactly why loop pile carpets are much better for the high traffic areas of your business. That natural architectural resistance better maintains the shape of the carpet for every fiber and as a whole. If you’re carpeting a high traffic area, use loop pile.
Patterns and Wear
Patterned carpets can also help to hide wear. Our brains love patterns. Our eyes have to do a lot of work all day, and if we see a pattern, we anticipate that pattern continuing. Because of this, our eyes are busy seeing the regular patternt, so irregular colorations can go unnoticed. It’s not that we don’t see irregularities; it’s that our brain de-prioritizes them because they’re not part of the regular pattern. That means the right patterns can help hide wear over time. Neat, huh?
When it comes to the type of fiber used, nylon holds up best. It’s resilient but still soft. The one weakness of nylon is that it can stain more quickly than other fibers. If you’re sure to re-apply stain resistant treatments regularly, you’ll be fine and reap the benefits of the high durability of nylon.
There are new polyester fibers that combine resilience and stain resistance called P.E.T. fibers. These will suit some homes and commercial spaces. Talk to East Coast Flooring about commercial carpet flooring for your business, and about high-traffic carpet choices for your home.
A Great Dye Job
Fibers of a carpet can be solution dyed or topically dyed. Colors can be blended with the liquid polymers that produce fibers in the first place. This means they’re dyed all the way through, or solution dyed. If a carpet is constructed with white fiber and later topically dyed, the dye only coats the surface rather than going all the way through each fiber.
The better choice for high traffic areas is solution dyed fibers. Because their color goes all the way through, they won’t fade or discolor. The dye can be rubbed off a topically dyed carpet in a way it won’t be from a solution dyed one.
The Solution for Your Commercial Carpeting Needs
On larger commercial carpet installations, we work with a larger crew. If we have to work with a flooring sub-contractor, we work only with one we trust and know we can depend on. We work with them rather than assigning them, and we guarantee the work on all levels. This allows us to be flexible, both in scale and in pace – keeping it in-house when it’s a smaller job but being able to scale up with a trusted flooring sub-contractor when a larger assignment demands skilled work on multiple fronts at once. We’re proud of the relationships we’ve developed and how it allows us to work on everything from a single-family home to a luxury hotel.
Ultimately, you have to go with the carpet that best suits the environment. There’s a balance to be found between color, texture, pattern, material, ease of maintenance, and even considerations like hypo-allergenic traits. East Coast Flooring has successfully handled a number of major commercial carpet flooring installations.
Ultimately, you want a carpet to be beautiful, to establish a space, and set off a mood. The more highly trafficked an area, the more important it is that it hits on all these cylinders, standing out where it needs to and complementing features where it needs to, leading the eye and directing the light. We can achieve all these things, from the utilitarian to bespoke pieces of artistic carpet designed specifically for you and your business. Start a conversation with us today to determine how you can achieve all of these goals.