How to Specify the Right Carpet

How to Specify the Right Carpet

By:  Donna Metallic People always ask me how I decide which carpet to pick for a project.  Well I cannot give all my secrets away, but here are a few key points that I use to launch my search. This is the first resource I use: Texture Appearance Retention Ratings developed by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) to assist interior designers determine the right commercial carpet for specific areas of use. For more information on CRI please visit their website. Identify the Intended Area Carpet is used throughout buildings and facilities for many different reasons. The beauty and versatility of carpet enhance the appeal of waiting rooms, lobbies and offices. Carpet is used in public areas and corridors to absorb sound, help prevent slips, and cushion falls. Carpet also provides warmth and comfort in health care and educational settings. So the first step is to identify the environment where the carpet will be used. Understand the Classification and Texture Appearance Retention Rating (TARR) Guidelines CRI developed a model specification process that classifies areas of intended use and minimum carpeting texture appearance retention ratings (TARR) for particular areas of use. A moderate, heavy, severe, or special end-use classification is established for each application based on the level of expected foot traffic in the specific area. The ratings are established through simulation wear tests. Based on a 12,000-cycle hexapod exposure conditioning test, commercial carpet should have at least the following:

  • Classification TARR Traffic Level Classification
  • Moderate ≥ 2.5 TARR
  • Heavy ≥ 3.0 TARR
  • Severe ≥ 3.5 TARR

Then you have to find the End-use areas and TARR for a closer indication of which carpet to use. CRI has developed a handy reference chart to help determine what type of carpet should perform best given the specific location within the facility. Select the Design and Color Carpet design plays a key role in disguising stains and wear patterns. For example, in high-traffic areas, use a pattern that works to camouflage stains. Select Carpet Type and Backing Carpet types vary from broadloom to carpet tiles, this normally take some time to investigate which type would best work for the client…. Here are a few I consider:

  • Broadloom with various backing systems
  • Tile carpet
  • Tile carpet, cushion backing
  • Broadloom carpet, woven

Specify a Cleaning and Maintenance Plan A maintenance program performed by qualified personnel who are properly equipped and trained is essential for optimal long-term performance. Whenever possible, plan a carpet maintenance program before installing carpet so such features as budget, personnel, and areas of special consideration can be taken into account. You can also download CRI’s commercial guidelines for cleaning and maintenance here.  You should specify carpet cleaning products, equipment and service providers that have earned CRI’s Seal of Approval. For information about the Seal of Approval program and certified products, visit here. Well if you need more information, give me a call and we can discuss this topic in more detail!

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