What is carpet face weight and is it
important or just hype? CFW is the weight of the carpet fiber per square yard. Is carpet
face weight important? That depends. If, you have a carpet made with poor fiber, poor yarn or poor backing, then you have
poor carpet no matter what the face weight.
The FIRST thing
is to consider the use of
the room when selecting a carpet. Is your new carpet going to be for a room that gets very little traffic like a guest bedroom that you use once
a year for the holidays or a high traffic area like a Family room that gets constant
traffic or hallway. Another consideration is the staircase. Even though
a staircase many not get much traffic per se, we tend to climb the steps on the edge of the step (not the flat stair treads)
and this causes the carpet yarns to mat down and crush.
Many carpet consumers confuse good quality with durability. It is possible to have a good quality carpet
that is NOT durable.
Consider for example a men’s suit made of velvet or linen,
very comfortable, luxurious, well made and expensive. But is it durable? Would you want to play a sport such as football wearing
that suit? See my point?
Now consider a velvet carpet is extremely soft, luxurious, gorgeous and expensive to manufacture.
However, velvet carpet is high maintenance and typically is not very durable.
Why would you
want to select a velvet carpet for your home? Velvet carpet is great for low traffic areas of the home such
as bedrooms, However, not for high traffic areas of the home such as the staircase, hallway or family room? Unfortunately,
95% of salespeople don’t care about you, your family or your home so they tell you what you want to hear instead of
what you should know because they just want to take your money.
The fact is you can have two different
carpets with a face weight of 70 ounces or more and they may be totally different quality. One may be excellent
and the other may be poor and both could be poor quality. This is because there are many factors to consider
when judging the quality of a carpet and face weight really has little to do with it.
Also, each manufacturer
uses different criteria for determining carpet face weight and this can be confusing. Some manufacturers
will print 70 ounces on the label, however, that weight may include the weight of the primary and secondary backing so you
think you are getting a heavier ounce carpet for less. Thus it can be misleading.
It is true that
heavier carpet face weight will tend to feel more luxurious, plush and comfortable. It also makes sense
that a heavier carpet has more fiber and yarn so it costs more to manufacture and thus cost more to purchase. Although better
quality carpet generally does cost more, just because it is expensive does not mean it is more durable.
I first look at
the actual yarn, fiber and then the backing.
If the carpet yarn has a really tight (as opposed to a low twist
yarn) twist and the carpet backing is a high density backing (as opposed to a low density)
adhered with a thick (as opposed to a thin coating) coating of bright white (as opposed to a diluted brown)
latex then you are talking a good quality carpet. Then, and only then will the carpet face weight be a factor
in the quality of the carpet.