The truth of the matter is that the answer to this question completely depends on the client and the client’s situation. Each fiber has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Polyester as a carpet fiber has several advantages. Polyester carpeting is inherently stain resistant, and it definitely outperforms both nylon and wool in this regard. Additionally, polyester carpeting is very soft and also significantly less expensive than either nylon or wool. Because of its price advantage, we will tend to see polyester used extensively in newly-built homes, as well as existing homes going on the market.
The great disadvantage to polyester in carpeting is that it will tend to crush relatively quickly in high-traffic applications such as stairs, halls, or active family rooms. We tend to prefer to see it installed in low- to medium-traffic areas, such as guest bedrooms, or lower use formal settings. Sometimes we will see homeowners dissatisfied with their whole-house polyester installations in as few as four to five years.
Nylon is the most durable manufactured carpet fiber (wool, a natural fiber, is more durable yet, however). For heavy-use applications like stairs, halls, and active family rooms, we prefer to recommend nylon because we know it will keep our clients happy for a very long time.
Nylon is at a slight disadvantage to polyester in terms of both price and stain resistance. There are a couple of ways nylon can be enhanced to increase its stain resistance. One way to do that is called solution dying. What that means is that the nylon fiber is originally made to be the color it will be when the carpeting is complete, instead of making a white nylon that is dyed later in the carpet construction process. It is easier for carpeting manufacturers to use white nylon to make up big rolls of un-dyed carpeting that they can then dye to order as they need it. As a result, there are fewer options in solution dyed carpeting. However, we know that solution dyed carpeting not only resists stains better, it is also a product that we can clean much more aggressively, since there is less risk of cleaning away the dye.
Nylon also can be treated to be more stain resistant. Shaw uses a branded technology called R2X to make nylon more stain resistant. Lees carpeting uses 3M Scotchgard as part of its 25-year No Excuses Warranty.
Still not sure which is best for you? Come in or call 952-933-8944 and we can talk to you about both of these carpeting options and which one will suit your needs best. Or you can contact us to set up a Free In-Home Estimate.