Which Carpet Fibers Offer the Best Stain Protection?
Ken's Quick Answer:
"Don't trust warranties. If you want to get ahead on possible carpet stains, we recommend looking closely at two types of fibers: Mohawk's SmartStrand and any solution-dyed carpet."
Ken's In-Depth Answer:
I want to talk about a subject that is very, very important to people buying carpets: stain protection and stain resistance.
First of all, don't trust warranties. We've talked about this many times. It is my opinion that no flooring warranty is worth the paper it's written on.
With that out of the way, the best stain protection is inherent in the fiber. There are two fibers in the industry that do have superior, although not bulletproof, stain resistance. The first of these fibers is called SmartStrand, made by the Mohawk corporation. Years ago, when the fiber first came out, they installed SmartStrand carpets in a pen with an elephant and a rhinoceros. They let the animals do their thing for a couple of weeks and the carpet cleaned up beautifully. (Or, at least, that's what we were told.)
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SmartStrand uses nanotechnology that encapsulates the fiber to prevent the stain from penetrating the outer coating. The other super performer is solution-dyed fiber, where the color goes all the way through the fiber—much like a carrot.
My favorite stain protection system is solution-dyed fiber, which can be a nylon or polyester carpet. What this means is that the color is put into the fiber when it's in a liquid state. When the fiber is extruded into a solid state the result is that the color goes all the way through the fiber. You'll find that you can aggressively clean the carpet with just about any product—without the color coming out. Similarly, the carpet will be very fade resistant. We've written more about solution-dyed carpets if you'd like to learn more.
Those are the two fibers we recommend you take a closer look at when you're shopping for carpet. Solution-dyed fiber and Mohawk's SmartStrand. Either way, you'll be a step ahead of potential stain problems.
If you have any questions about how to choose a stain-resistant carpet for your home, don't hesitate to give us a call at 401-214-0285 or visit our showroom. We serve customers throughout Rhode Island and southeastern New England, including Newport, Middletown, Jamestown, Portsmouth, Bristol and more.
About Ken: Ken Fain is the co-owner of Island Carpet in Middletown, RI and a floorcovering veteran of more than 40 years. His popular 'Ask Ken' video series answers common flooring questions on a variety of topics. It has reached thousands of viewers on both YouTube and Facebook.