Practical advice

Carpet TermsDefined

Carpet terms defined

Backing, plush, tuft, twist. These aren’t dance moves. They’re carpet terms, and knowing them can help you shop smarter.

Shopping for new carpet can be tough. Beyond colour, how do you know what to look for? Which characteristics are the most important? And what do all of those strange terms from the carpet manufacturers mean, and why should you care? This quick guide to carpet terms will have you feeling, and speaking, like a carpet pro in no time.


1. Stays plush under crush: resilience

Resilience is how well a carpet’s appearance holds up over time, so it can stay thick and gorgeous. More resilience means better aging. For your carpet.


2. We’ve got your back-ing

Backing is the fabric and yarn on the floor-facing side of the carpet. Primary backing is the fabric that the yarn goes through; the secondary backing is the laminated fabric on the back of the carpet that reinforces it. Your carpet is like a layer cake: secondary backing on the bottom, primary backing in the middle, and the visible carpet fibres are the icing on top.

One of the most important tips about backing is that you shouldn’t be able to see it when you look at the front of the carpet sample.


3. Insist on twist

Twist refers to winding the fibre around itself to strengthen its resistance to crushing. The number refers to how many times per metre a fibre strand is twisted together. The range is typically from 140 to 240 twists per metre. 


4. It’s not electric, it’s antistatic

Have you ever stepped on a carpet without shoes and felt a light shock? That’s from static. A carpet that is antistatic dissipates that electrostatic charge. Say goodbye to those surprise shocks.


5. Give our carpet a hand

When it comes to carpets, the hand is how a carpet feels. You might put lotion on your actual hand to make it softer, but the softness of a carpet’s hand is based on its characteristics, such as the materials it is made of.

Hand can’t be measured. You just go with your own preference. But if you’re apt to walk barefoot on your carpet, don’t be shy about taking a few steps on the sample without your shoes.


6. It’s a stretch: power stretcher

A power stretcher smooths wrinkles on your carpet during installation, which keeps your carpet looking and feeling good. It’s like starting out with a facelift for your carpet!

You don’t have to know how to work one of these: Your installer will take care of it.


8. Tuft guy

Tufted is a way to manufacture carpet. Tufts of fibre are inserted through carpet backing to create a pile of cut ends, loop ends, or both. The tuft bind refers to the force required to pull a tuft from a carpet. The more force needed to yank a tuft out can result in your carpets looking better longer.


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