Unless the living room is only used for guests, it is considered to be a high traffic area. If families gather there to watch television, play games and eat, the carpet can get a lot of abuse.
The only places that have more traffic are stairs and hallways.
The flooring priorities for any family room, are durability, as well as stain and spill resistance. Go for the highest quality your budget will allow.
It's density (how closely the fibers are woven together), not weight, that determines the grade. If you pull back a sample card and see a lot of white space, it’s a lesser grade.
Think carpet pile
Pile refers to the loops of the carpet. Low pile threads are tightly woven and the rug has an almost flat surface.
High pile threads are looser and taller. The rug is often more plush and fluffy, like a shag, and you’ll most likely see high pile surfaces in bedrooms.
Low pile rugs are best for high traffic areas. The smoother surface makes it easier to clean up stains and spills, pet nails are less likely to snag, and chairs will move back and forth with ease on a smoother surface.
Sometimes a loop pattern, like a Berber, can be good but pet nails also sometimes catch and snag.
Nylon is the superman of strength, but you will need to spray it with a stain protectant. Triexta is also strong, and the stain guard is built right into the fiber, making it permanent.
Polyester has excellent stain-resistance, but it sheds and isn’t as tough as other fibers. Technology, however, is finding more and more ways to make improvements.
Olefin is less pricey, stain, fade and mildew-resistant but isn’t as durable (unless in a Berber style) doesn’t hold up for very long. Some find it acceptable for family rooms, however.
People and pets run up and down staircases all day. You not only need durability, but also safety. A smoother carpet works best because it can wrap around railings and treads. It provides a solid foundation for the foot that, unlike a fluffier rug, assures lack of trips and falls.
For more information, come into the Carpet Giant showroom in Houston.