but don't know where to look?
Did you know that less than 1/10th of 1% of the carpet layers make it to 30 years on the floor? This fact alone makes my 30 years of experience in direct contact with installed carpeting a rare occurrence. I have challenged my whole industry to a contest to prove what exactly is best for the consumer, and none will accept the challenge. I did this on a professional web site for this industry.
Historically, my industry gives a 1 year guarantee on the installation of carpet. Most "carpet layers" can put your new carpet down and it will last for the first year, but after that, you are on your own. The top of the line "installers", "not layers", will have a 3 to 5 year guarantee on the installation. Some have the guarantee for as long as the mills guarantee the product, 3, 5, and 10 year wear warranty.
Did you know your new carpet can retain that new look for 2 or 3 times longer if you clean it correctly, but this industry wants you to replace your carpet more often, because it keeps the demand high, and their profits higher.
This industry has practiced divide and conquer techniques, to keep installation prices low. In so doing, the installers have not shared installation techniques, and most installers, will only teach their helpers just enough so they will stay a helper, and not competition. This causes a loss of knowledge and work ethic, leading to a bad job for the consumer. With the advent of the web, installers are starting to share technics, but very few installers can afford a computer. Just look at the homes of you friends, and compare them to your own. Most will have seams that show too much, frayed edges and or seams, or there will be looseness in the carpet, which leads to wrinkles after 2 to 3 years. When a carpet is loose, it is harder to clean, keep clean, and harder to vacuum. It breaks down the backing, causing the carpet to look bad much quicker.
Did you know, when the installer puts the carpet up to the tile, that is one of the weakest area`s in most jobs, because the tack boards holding the carpet from underneath has a sharp edge that when walked, kicked, and vacuumed breaks the carpet down much quicker than necessary. There are ways to enhance the life of these areas.
One of the first things to know, is what fabrics are needed for your particular job.
The types of fabrics are as follows.
The highest priced fabric is wool. This fabric has many commercial and residential applications, in most cases it will stand the test of time, better than most, IF THE PROPER INSTALLATION, THE PROPER VACUUM CLEANING MACHINE IS USED, AND THE PROPER CLEANING METHOD FOR EACH SITUATION. Only one vacuum cleaner that I know of cleans properly, unless you want to change your vacuum cleaner bag after the first 5 minutes of use, and keep changing bags or cleaning the filter screens after 5 minutes, otherwise you lose air flow because the bags that are the filter, become approximately 80% clogged, and no longer pick up the sand in your carpet, and air flow is the most important aspect of picking up the sand out of the fibers, SUCTION DOESN`T MEAN ANYTHING WITHOUT PROPER AIR FLOW, AND THAT DOESN`T HAPPEN AFTER THE BAG IS CLOGGED UP. YOU CAN STILL HAVE SUCTION WITHOUT GOOD AIR FLOW. One grain of sand has 938 cutting edges, and is so hard, it is used to blast away many things in many industries. Have you ever bit down on a piece of sand accidentally? yeoww! Sand gets ground down through the carpet, tearing up the fibers, and then it gets to the backing. The vacuum cleaner bag is clogged up approximately 80% after 5 minutes, so it no longer picks up the sand, but the beater bar just grinds the sand around cutting the fibers even more. Just open your vacuum cleaner and lift up the bag. It`s very light isn`t it? If you were pulling all the sand up out of the carpet, the bag would be a little heavier, until you get the majority of the sand out, and keep it out, with a regular schedule of vacuuming. Most of what you are vacuuming up are the fibers being cut by the sand, causing your carpet to mat down and lose it`s luster much quicker. Furthermore, the natural oil from our feet, helps to mat the carpet down, and keep the sand in the carpet, if we walk barefoot in the house, and most of us want to walk barefoot in our own house. Properly scheduled cleaning will help to keep this problem to a minimum. The oils from our feet, make it much harder for any vacuuming system to pull the sand from between, and at the base of the twisted fibers.
The next best is 100% nylon. This fabric is within most residential and commercial customers budgets, and will give a lasting beauty, with the PROPER INSTALLATION, THE PROPER VACUUM CLEANER, AND CLEANING TECHNICS.
The next is 100% olefin, in the berber line only, but only in specific cases. 100% olefin mats down quicker than nylon and wool in high traffic areas. The way berber is made, helps it to keep from matting quite as fast than if it were to be made as a regular residential carpet. I have been in many homes where the 100% olefin in the berber line had 4 people residing in the home, and the berber matted down pretty bad after 6 months. Of course, the closer together the material, the better it will stand the test of time, and the less people walking on it helps as well. Nylon and wool are much superior to olefin. The industry does sell 100% nylon in the berber line, but it costs quite a bit more. When I refer to berber, most people know it as a loop carpet with certain colors and designs. Personally, I wouldn`t buy olefin, but it will depend on the amount of people in the home traversing the walkways, and the amount of money you have to invest.
The next is polyester, don`t even buy this unless you want it to look bad, very fast, in my opinion.
I would never buy a blend of two or more fabrics in the same piece of carpet, because it will not be able to be cleaned by as many products, or as well.
There are exceptions to every rule, such as wool and say nylon together, or your high end products developed for specific situations. I personally would not have the lower end products that were blends.
Another line that looks very beautiful in the right situations are called flatweaves. They are expensive, but can add so much dimension with the right installation.
Wiltons, wools, and flatweaves are products that have the fibers sewn through the backings, unlike most other carpets that have the fibers punched through a primary backing, with a secondary backing and glue applied afterwards. The carpet industry has been adding what they call fillers between the primary and secondary backings that cause the carpet to break down quicker than when they just used the straight latex years ago. This makes the installation process much heavier, and harder for the installers.
Carpet installers are making much less today than they were 30 years ago when you factor in inflation, and the cost of doing business. No wonder most consumers are not even getting minimum industry standards from approximately 80 to 90% of the jobs being performed. There are some private installers, and private installation co`s that are addressing the situation, but too few to mention. Approximately 1% of installers make it to 30 years on the floor, because of all the demands of this trade.
There should be laws and principles put in place so the consumer can get a fair deal, especially because of all the loop holes that many retailers employ to cheat the installers and consumers, some installers in turn cheat the consumer out of a descent job, because of low pay, long arduous hours, most times 6 days a week, and the cost of supplies, helpers, fuel, for both the truck, and body, insurances, taxes for both the helper, and himself, and the list goes on. The reality for most installers working for retailers is, an older truck, that may break down at any minute, no commercial insurance, and just barely enough to be legal for driving purposes. older questionable clothing, negative words or designs on T shirts. Hung over or high, noticeable by sight, dress, and speech, and the cheapest materials they can buy. They don`t make enough to pay their taxes, or their helpers taxes, don`t keep an organized, clean, truck or van, and seem like they just want to be somewhere else, so they get the job done as fast as possible, taking shortcuts all the way through the whole job. Most of these problems could be addressed for the consumers sake, and safety, if the retail lobby in Washington were not blocking the subcontractor issues the retailers don`t want brought to light.
There are so many ways to bait and switch products, such as changing the fiber you ordered to something else, or they order the same fiber, but order 5 or 10% less than the customer ordered, for the same money. Seconds pad can be put in place of first quality, just as seconds carpet can be sold without the customer realizing it. There are many more problems as well. Some retailers go to the mills and buy their seconds carpet, put it on their showroom floor and offer a discount, without having to inform the customer it is a seconds carpet. There are seconds carpets that show some small signs, and then there are some carpets that have a hidden problem, say with not enough glue applied to adhere the secondary backing, to the primary backing.
Lets say you purchase a new piece of carpet and have it installed, and you are not happy with the job, who would you call, that`s right, the co. who installed it. In many cases, they will send the same man, or another to fix the problem. If you are not happy, what next? that`s right, you call the BBB in your area, and the co. sends the same guy or another to fix it. Say you still aren`t happy, what then? The BBB tells you, to sue them. That costs more time and money than most consumers have, so they just bite the bullet, and put up with the lousy job. No one else in my industry is offering what I am to my knowledge. There are ways around having to go to court, and I have developed some of those ways, and have passed them on to other professionals.
This is in support of those in the floor covering industry
that have risen to the mental, physical, and emotional challenges
that this industry has to offer.