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Flooring and Carpeting/Mohawk vs Shaw Carpets


I am sure that this is a redundant question, but due to the amount of information on the internet, it is easy to become confused as to the right choice.
We are re-carpeting our whole house and don't want to make a dollar mistake by choosing the wrong carpet. We are 2 seniors, no grandchildren, and one dog. We tend to only live in our family room which has hardware floors and our bedroom which we will re-carpet. Minimal house guests.
Based on all of the horror stories about Smartstand, Smartstrand Silk, and StainMaster, we have decided that the choice will be between a Mohawk Nylon Wear-Dated Embrace, 60lb, and a Shaw Anso-Nylon Caress, 80 lb. I am trying to get the spec sheets on both. Any suggestions?

Don’t worry about redundancy!  

The Smartstrand and Smartstrand Silk products are polyester fiber.  While today’s polyester is superior to that of the past, it can never equal nylon in performance.  Mohawk bought the Wear Dated brand name (the name only) from Monsanto’s successor company, Solutia.   Although the Wear Dated name was traditionally applied only to nylon fiber, Mohawk has applied it to some polyester products.

While Mohawk has chosen to go the cheaper polyester route on a large percentage of their products, Shaw has stuck mostly with nylon, and is the world’s largest producer of nylon fiber.  There are necessarily some polyesters in the Shaw line.  All Anso-branded carpets are nylon.

Today’s hot fashion trend is toward softer fibers, this softness is achieved by using smaller diameter fibers.  The track record for this type product very mixed.  I suggest you avoid those soft carpets; remember, it feels great to the hands, but you walk on it with your feet.   The products in Shaw’s Caress collection are small diameter fibers.     

Especially avoid those with long pile made from any fiber, as there have been many problems with vacuuming, even with some of the most popular machines. May of today's machines pull the tufts up into the throat of the vacuum, making it very difficult to push.  

The spec sheets won’t tell you much, fiber content, pile weight, density, and little else.  I place more emphasis on the carpet’s construction; cut pile vs. loop pile, etc.  As another senior couple, we used a patterned loop product in our family room, it does not show footprints and thus my cleaning fanatic wife does not have to vacuum daily!   The best indicator of how a carpet will last on the floor is the amount of twist in the tufts, the more the better. This is complicated by the fact that as the tufts get smaller in diameter more twist is required, so make sure you are comparing like-sized tufts.  

Your question suggests you are shopping for products in the very heavy weight per square yard range.  As you do so, keep the comments above in mind.
Hope this helps

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Carey Mitchell


Any question regarding carpet, including specifications, maintenance, installation, regulation.


Retired after 44 years in carpet manufacture, technical and research. Served 33 years as Director of Technical Services for the world's largest carpet manufacturer.

The Carpet and Rug Institute, Technical Chair - 12 years; American Society for Testing and Materials (40 years); American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (39 years); Society of Cleaning and Restoration (Board of Directors); US National Textile Research Consortium; Cleaning Industry Research Institute (Board of Directors and founder); Canadian General Standards Board Technical Advisory Committee; The Fiber Society; Alzheimer's Association of NW GA (Board of Directors); Trout Unlimited; Federation of Fly Fishermen

AATCC Review (Textile Chemist and Colorist Journal); Journal of the American Industrial Hygiene Association; International Journal of Flooring Sciences Cleaning Digest; Cleanfax Magazine; Floor Covering Weekly; Floor Covering News; Proceedings of the Technical Conference of the Polyurethane Association; Proceedings of the Symposium on the Science of Cleaning;

BS in Chemistry and Business Administration, University of North Georgia

Awards and Honors
Carpet and Rug Institute, Smrekar Award, 1998; Carpet Industry Leadership Award, 1994; Cleanfax Magazine Person of the Year, 1996; Cleaning Digest, person of the year, 1997; Institute of Inspections,Cleaning and Restoration Certifications award,1997; ISCT Lipscomb Award, 2004

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