One concern troubling many carpet shoppers is how their new carpet will look in five to ten years. Nobody wants to spend hard earned money on carpet that will look frizzed out, matted down, buckled, and thread bare in a few short years. While regular maintenance and non-abusive use is key to preserving the appearance over the long haul, some inherent yarn traits and details in carpet construction will significantly contribute to a beautiful carpet for years to come, or in other words, prevent the carpet from "uglying out before wearing out." When preparing to purchase a new carpet with longevity in mind, consider the properties which will contribute to "durability" and "resilience."
Durability: The overall structural integrity and yarn strength which contributes to:
Excellent abrasive wear resistance, yarns do not wear away over time from regular to heavy traffic.
Wool, nylon, and triexta yarns are highly rated to resist abrasive wear.
Polyester (PET) does not rate as high as the above yarns in durability, but it shouldn't be entirely ruled out. While PET yarn may not last as long as its counterparts, it may provide the density, color, and style you desire at a price you can afford. PET may not last 15 to 20 years, but a well constructed PET carpet, with proper maintenance, can last a solid 10 years or more.
Retention of fiber twist, no fraying of fibers.
Each carpet strand is composed of several yarns twisted together to increase strength and retain an attractive appearance. The greater the number of twists per strand, the more likely the yarns will remain twisted. When inspecting a carpet for twist, look for products that have at least 5 twists per strand. Of course, shorter piles will have lesser twist than longer pile carpet such as shag style.Lasting structural integrity, no primary and secondary backing separation.
Tufted carpet is held together by gluing a primary and secondary backing together. The unseen interior portion of yarn is trapped snugly between the two backings and keeps the visible wear layer secure. If these two backings separate, this is bad news for your carpet as the yarns will come loose and unravel. Little to no buckling from expansion and contraction from temperature changes.Standard jute carpet backings are notorious for loosening up over time as they are susceptible to temperature changes, heavy traffic, and becoming stretched out when installed over a moderately flexible wood subfloor including second story residential floors, mobile homes, or houses with a raised foundation.Look for products with a high pick backing, a.k.a "optiback" or with a softback which reduces or eliminates the expansion and contraction causing buckling.
The ability of the carpet to “spring” back into shape after having been submitted to crushing forces which is most often caused by foot traffic. Insufficient resilience will cause the pile to mat down in the high traffic areas. Resilience is primarily achieved by fiber type and nylon 6,6 is the reigning king in this category, but do not rule out other yarns. Another carpet yarn may provide you years of enjoyment if properly maintained with regular vacuuming and professional truck mount steam cleaning.