I work for one of the major manufacturers and am unaware of anything like
what you're looking for. One of the strategies in the carpet business is to
offer the same product under multiple brands or style names. This prevents
the consumer from being able to make a comparison between product "A" at two
different stores. In fact, both stores may carry many of the same products,
but they are disguised under different names. Don't blame me, I'm in
engineering, not marketing.
What I would suggest would be to compare three things:
1) Fiber type - Choose the fiber type you want. Nylon 6 and Nylon 6.6 are
both excellent all around performers from a wear and staining perspective.
Polypropylene is outstanding from a spill/stain perspective, but crushes
2) Fiber amount, twist, and density. More of each is better. A dense
product (i.e. a lower, tighter tufted product) holds up better, as does a
product with yarn that has a higher twist level. More yarn gives you more
density for a given pile height.
3) Warranty. Manufacturers warranty different products differently. Some
products (i.e. products for starter homes or apartments) are not expected to
hold up well, and don't come with much of a warranty. Better products, ones
designed to hold up well, do come with decent warranties.
Last time Consumer Reports rated carpeting they said that retailers have
density figures but only Home Depot makes them available to the buying
public. Don't know if that is still true. Also the only warranty that
counts is an appearance warranty. We upgraded our house to Shaw carpet with
a 5 year appearance warranty. It is about 8 years old and still looks ok.
I was just out shopping for a very specific patterned carpet by Shaw.
At Lowe's $2.50 sq ft.
At Home Depot Expo store $3.50 sq ft
At Carpet One (independent retailer) $4.50 sq. ft.
Now the gentleman at Carpet One who was the most knowledgeable (or the best
BS'er <g>) claimed that Lowe's/Home Depot are selling an inferior product,
even though they are all Shaw (with different style names), with the same
pattern, and to my eye, look identical... Not sure what to beleive here...
Would Shaw make a cheaper product on the production line for the big box
stores and something better for the "real" carpet stores?
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