Nylon is the most common carpet fiber, largely due to its strength. Nylon has the longest lifespan of any type of carpeting, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas. However, that strength comes at a cost: Nylon is also the most expensive carpet fiber.
The one major drawback to nylon carpeting is that it has virtually no natural stain resistance. You’ll need to pay extra to for a stain-resistant coating or chemical treatment.
Nylon carpeting is more expensive than polyester. The cost for the carpeting alone, not including materials and installation, ranges anywhere from $8 to $45 per square yard, depending on quality. Padding and installation each add between $2 and $6 per square yard to the total price.
In most cases, budget $25 to $30 per square yard (approximately $8 to $10 per square foot) for the entire project. That includes carpeting, padding and professional installation. At that price point, you’ll be purchasing a high-quality nylon carpet.
- Strength - Nylon is the strongest of all carpet fibers. It has excellent “yarn memory,” which allows it to remain plush even in high-traffic areas and after many years of use. It can be crushed by furniture or other heavy objects for long periods of time without permanent damage.
- Durability - Nylon carpeting is extremely long-lasting compared to other types of synthetic carpeting. It can withstand 10 years or more of use, even in high traffic areas. It is also static and mildew resistant.
- Price - Nylon is the most expensive of synthetic fibers, so it may not be ideal if you’re on a tight budget. Padding and installation costs also tend to run higher than with other synthetics.
- Prone to staining - Nylon also may not be ideal for homes with kids and pets because it is not naturally stain resistant. Stain-resistant coatings and treatments are available, but usually cost extra.
- Prone to fading - Because nylon is acid dyed, it fades over time, particularly in direct sunlight.
The 1970s gave polyester a pretty bad name. In those days, polyester carpeting was cheaply made and prone to sufficient wear and tear. However, technological improvements have greatly increased the durability of polyester carpeting. In particular, a new variety known as PET polyester is closer to nylon in strength.
Still, even improved varieties of polyester won’t last as long as nylon carpeting. The material is simply not as durable. However, polyester is highly stain-resistant and fade-resistant.
Polyester carpeting generally costs anywhere from $6 to $15 per square yard for materials alone. Padding and installation run an extra $1 to $3 each per square yard each. All totaled, expect to pay anywhere from $8 to $22 per square yard for the project.
- Price - If you’re on a tight budget, polyester may be the way to go. You’ll spend significantly less than with nylon carpeting.
- Stain resistance - Polyester is naturally resistant to stains, which makes it ideal for homes with kids and pets.
- Fade resistance - Polyester tends to hold its color for a longer period of time that nylon.
- Durability - Polyester carpet won’t last nearly as long as nylon carpet. In some cases, its life expectancy is half that of nylon.
- Poor yarn memory - Polyester doesn’t “bounce back” as easily as nylon. Furniture or other heavy objects can crush the yarn, leaving permanent damage.
- Limited color choices - Because polyester is difficult to dye, there are fewer color and design choices.
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