Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

Amber J. Guidry

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The main essentials of floor covering quality consist of density, pile height and twist. A carpet that is denser will be more comfortable for bare feet and will last longer. The higher it is, the more material the carpet is made of and thus it is more expensive. When it comes to being able to judge the quality of a floor covering, the saying that “you will get what you are paying for,” is very true.

When you are shopping for a floor covering, there are some stores that will list the exact specifications of a carpet on the sample. This would include twist, pile height and density. However, there are more and more stores that no longer provide the information. This has been done to make it more difficult for customers to judge and compare carpet quality from one store to another. Luckily, it is not hard to simply go by sight and feel.


Density when it comes to floor covering refers to how closely each of the tufts are put together. Those that have higher density will be more resistant to matting, wear and tear, and crushing. When trying to judge the carpet density, bend the sample of covering back. One with a high density will show very little backing while a low density one will show the backing clearly. You can also try checking the quality by digging your fingers into the swatch or sample and try to feel the backing.


Twist refers to the number of times the fiber of a carpet has been spun before it is subjected to heat set. The more number of revolutions, the better is the quality of the carpet. A rug that has been tightly twisted will last for a very long time and resist wear better than one which has less twist. A vast majority of carpets have two piles piles refer to the individual strands which are twisted together prior to being heat set.

To check the quality, simply examine the ends and look for tightness and neatness. Strands that are loose or flared indicate low quality.

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Pile Height

Pile height refers to how high the carpet is extending above the backing. To put it simply, it is the height of the rug. The higher it is, the more material has been needed to make it and the more expensive it is. You may want to consider lower height for carpeting on your stairs and higher for the rooms.

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