Understanding Carpet Face Weight
“Carpet face weight” sounds like a weird combination of words, but it’s an important thing you need to consider when you purchase carpet. That’s because this is the main specification that will tell you all you need to know about the durability of the carpet you select.
But in order to know just what it is you’re buying and how sturdy and long-lasting you can expect it to be once you bring it home and have it installed.
So, in an effort to demystify this strange phrase, let’s get a better understanding of carpet face weight and how it affects the decision-making process for choosing the best carpet for your needs.
Defining “Face Weight”
Sounds funny but what does it mean? Simply put, “face weight” applies to the physical weight of the each square yard of carpet that you purchase. The weight is shown in ounces and it’s also considered something of a durability rating that applies to the carpet you are buying.
To be a little more specific, the weight of the carpet refers to the fibers that are sewn into the material. The aggregate weight of those fibers per square yard is what the face weight number is referring to on your carpet. That’s because the weight of the fibers (or yarn or whatever your pile is made from) will provide the durability you’re seeking.
It’s like any other types of fabric that you might buy, especially if it comes in different weights. The heavier or thicker it is, the more resilient you can expect it to be and it’s the same thing with your carpeting. The more it weighs, the more durable a carpet you’re installing.
Now that you know the basics, carpets can be found with face weights that range from as low as twenty ounces to as high as 100 ounces. However, if you are seeking a carpet for your home you want to stay within an average range of somewhere between thirty-five and sixty-five ounces.
Depending on who you ask, there are certain rooms and areas of the home that are better suited for certain face weights due to a number of factors including average foot traffic, fiber twist, and overall density of the carpet in total.
But there’s more to understanding face weight than just the weight of the fibers on each square yard of the carpet. You also need to consider the height of those fibers as well, because it’s one of the factors that can have an effect on the face weight.
You may be under the impression that taller fibers will lead to a heavier face weight and you would be correct…to a certain extent. However, the height of the carpet does not actually contribute to an increase in durability just because there are more fibers to be counted as part of the weight per square yard.
On the contrary, taller fibers will usually make your carpet LESS durable in the long run and even if the face weight of carpet A is more than carpet B, you need to take a closer look at both samples.
The key here is density. If carpet A has a face weight of thirty-five ounces and carpet B has a face weight of fifty, you may automatically think that carpet B is the more durable option…and that could very well be the case.
But before you choose A or B take a closer look and consider the height of the fibers on each sample. It’s very possible that the fibers on carpet B are considerably longer than those on carpet A, in which case, the former is the more durable and denser choice.
That’s because the longer fibers are what give carpet B that heavier weight but carpet A is actually the more durable option. The length of the fibers can be misleading and boost the weight without providing the true resilient density that you want in a long-lasting carpet.
Shorter fibers are going to give you that added durability when it comes to the face weight of your carpet. That’s why you need to really examine the carpet in relation to its advertised face weight number to get a true idea of its durability.
Top rug cleaning companies will even tell you that shorter fibers are also easier to clean after an accident on your carpet because the density of the fibers keeps more of the substance that has been spilled from seeping down to the bottom material beneath the fiber. Tighter fibers will hold more on the surface of the carpet as opposed to longer fibers that aren’t as closely bunched up.