Flooring and Carpeting/Everstrand Carpet
My wife and I are "youngish" 60 year old seniors who are shopping for carpet to go into a Florida one level house to be installed on top of concrete. We are looking for a high quality carpet that provides a feel that will be very easy on our feet as we like carpet that is thick and firm. Of course we also want it to wear well and keep that thick and plush feel for a very long time.
We have been initially sold on a Karastan product called "Modern Master Piece" that is made from 100% Everstrand. It would be installed with Karastans 8lb pad. It meets all of our "comfort and feel" expectations, but after doing some research we are concerned that the product will constantly shed and make fuzz balls. We called Karastan/Mohawk and they admitted that Everstrand is prone to shedding, but only for a short break-in period of about 6 months, and then the shedding would slowly go away and become non-existant.
We know that Everstrand is made from 100% recycled product and is very stain resistant. Although those are two good attributes, they fall behind our most important desire to not have constant shedding, and for the carpet to wear well in high traffic areas. We do not have any pets and feel comfortable that the stain resistance will be more then adequate.
We always felt that Karastan was a quality product (probably due to good marketing) and this carpet looks and feels very thick and luxurious without having a very high profile off the ground...so I guess what I'm saying is that it is very dense.
And lastly, the product is on sale at a great price that beats more expensive but much cheaper looking and feeling carpets by a mile! I initially thought that the low price meant it was a discontinued item but the Karastan rep told me that the "Modern Masterpiece" is only 2 years old and they have no plans to discontinue it.
To stay away from the shedding concern we also looked at nylon BCF products, but not only were they much more expensive, but they also did not have the dense/thick feel like the Karastan.
As we were looking through the many many different types of carpets at the store and read the info on the back of the samples, we rarely came across Everstrand, so that was also a concern. Most of the samples on display were indeed BCF.
We can deal with 6 months of shredding, but not if in reality it ends up being a couple of years or more.
HELP, we need your good professional advice. And please be as detailed as possible.
First, lets talk generally about staple yarns: A carpet made with staple fibers will shed loose filaments for a period of time following carpet installation. In lower quality staple fibers (short staple length) these filaments will work loose and accumulate on the carpet surface and the shedding will be more chronic. Better quality staple fibers will shed less because of their length is longer and more gets trapped in the backing. Shedding does not affect carpet performance. However, most staple carpets will ALWAYS shed some, especially in areas that had received little traffic and then the furniture gets moved (as an example). Generally the shedding will lessen with time depending upon the frequency of vacuuming or the amount of foot traffic. In instances, when shedding exceeds six months and frequent vacuuming has been performed, the manufacturer should be contacted. In these cases, poor encapsulation of the yarn bundle with synthetic latex may have occurred. This is rare but it can happen.
Now let's talk specifics: I do not have a sample swatch of your carpet in front of me. It would be impossible to have every sample since I inspect all carpets from ALL manufacturers. I do go to peoples homes on a consulting basis and look at their samples and have saved people thousands of dollars by looking at their samples and telling them if what they have picked out will be appropriate. Since I am not at your home I can tell you some of the things to look for. These tricks are what I charge good money for: Take a sample home with you. Take any flat bladed object, such as a plastic putty knife and use it to brush (we call it pilate) the carpet in all four directions. See how much fuzzing you get out. Repeat the process until the fuzzing mostly subsides. The amount of fuzzing you get out will be an indicator of what you will get with your new carpet (be aware that if it is a sample from a display, it may fuzz less than a swatch off the roll due to prior handling). You may want to try other tests; take the sample and put it down on the floor and twist your foot on it with shoes on for about 10 minutes. How does it look? Does the pile look distorted? This will give uou an idea of what your carpet will look like in about a year or so in heavy traffic lanes. Put some drops of coffee or wine or Koolaid, to see if it will stain. (Wine or Koolaid should not stain any polyester or olefin). Does it clean with plain water? With detergent? If not, how will it get cleaned?
Now here is something no retailer will tell you: You stated that you like the "feel" of this one over others, especially BCF. THAT'S the reason they sell BCF...there is a better "feel" because the yarn is a staple, composed of random lengths and bulks out better as opposed to BCF. Thats why BCF is more expensive. Less yarn but a better "feel".
So you will need to make a decision: Do you want to take a chance on a staple yarn that may fuzz or settle for a BCF that will NOT fuzz. For you, the aggravation from fuzzing may far outweigh the soft feel of the carpet. Also remember, (re)installing wall to wall includes aggravation factors such as moving furniture. You will have to weigh that against the cost factor. I can't do that for you.
Personally, in my home, (I am 64 years old) I use a short but dense cut pile carpets (BCF)in bedrooms and living room (wall to wall). I recommend this to my clients adding that earth tones or multicolors will hide soil easier and make for less upkeep. My clients rarely replace wall to wall carpet because it "uglies out". On hardwood or ceramic floors I recommend inexpensive area rugs (also BCF) that can be replaced on a biyearly basis. It keeps the areas looking fresh and you do not feel guilty about changing color schemes.
Let me know if I can help you further.