• The Magic Carpet Man

Best Carpet to Prevent Traffic Patterns?

What is the best carpet to prevent traffic patterns? The short answer Nylon.

Traffic pattern remains in polypropylene carpet after cleaning

Wall-to-wall carpet is made of 4 different types of fibers. Wool, polyester, polypropylene, and nylon. Wool is very good at resisting traffic wear patterns; it might be better than nylon, but due to its high upfront cost and high cost of maintenance it isn't the best carpet to prevent traffic patterns. Nylon, polyester, and polypropylene are all synthetic polymers (plastic) that have very different properties. Polyester and polypropylene are both very highly stain-resistant but neither is very resilient. Nylon is stain resistant, durable, and resilient. Its resiliency is the reason it is the best carpet to prevent traffic wear patterns.


Why does resiliency make nylon carpet the best carpet to prevent traffic patterns?


Nylons' resiliency means that the fiber springs back to its normal shape when crushed so that you always walk on the tops of the fibers instead of the sides of the fibers. Fibers made of polyester or polypropylene are not the best carpet to prevent traffic patterns because they crush and stay crushed so after a while you are only ever walking on the sides of the fiber.

Why Is It Important For The Fiber To Stand Up Straight?



Heavily soiled nylon carpet no traffic pattern after cleaning

When a plastic carpet fiber is laying over instead of standing upright it becomes abraded by the friction of your feet grinding soil into the carpet fiber. The abrasion cuts tiny scratches into the carpet fiber causing light to reflect differently in the abraded areas than in areas with less foot traffic. This makes the carpet in the heavier traveled areas to look dirty and dingy. It's a lot like plastic beach toys that you buy for your kids when they are little. They start out the summer bright and shiny. The rough, coarse sand scratches the plastic while the sun fades it.


How do you fix it?


Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse traffic wear. No amount of cleaning will correct the appearance of the carpet in the traffic area because the carpet is damaged, not dirty. Once the fiber has become damaged it will never look like the undamaged areas of the carpet.

The best way to prevent traffic wear is to vacuum regularly. Regular vacuuming and professional cleaning will keep soil off of the carpet. In the case of Polypropylene and polyester carpet, however, there is nothing you can do to prevent traffic wear. A traffic pattern will eventually form due simply to the nature of those materials.


That's why the best carpet to prevent traffic wear patterns is the one that is most resilient. The most resilient carpet is nylon.

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