Gray Colors and Gray Flooring Trends


Why Choose Gray

The colors that we choose to decorate our living spaces with are often said to be a reflection of our collective psyche.

Gray is a perfect color choice. It is timeless, has classic appeal and has several variations in shade. As such, it can fit any room and suit any decor style. Gray floors can be found used throughout the modern, minimalist, rustic, beach and other decor styles. From a care and maintenance perspective, those pesky scratches and spots will not “catch your eye” on gray floors as with polished or dark floors. Moreover, gray floors do not deliberately make a statement, but they will delicately highlight the decor and make your space look “light and airy.”

Main Line Floors and Interiors focuses on high end residential and commercial carpets and flooring. However, we have great products and installations for Builders, Multifamily, Senior Living and the Real Estate Investor / House Flipper. We proudly serve the Philadelphia, PA metro area, Delaware and South New Jersey region. We write posts to help or inspire you to make the best design decision to create your favorite living spaces.

Gray is a Neutral Color

So, why use neutral Colors? Neutral color schemes for living spaces have the inherit ability to:

  • Create a calming environment. Neutral colors tend to be less psychologically demanding on the eye than bolder shades and tints, like red, yellow and deep blue. As such, this creates a soft and sophisticated ambiance.
  • Set off other brighter colors. Neutrals make other colors pop and they are the best choice for this purpose. They complement almost any other color, ensuring brighter colors stand out beautifully.
  • Go with any decor. Are you someone who enjoys changing the decorations or furnishings on a regular basis? Using neutral paint colors in your living space avoids the issue of having to regularly repaint.


In 2018, there was a slight style shift toward a warmer toned gray flooring. The term, “Greige,” has come to reflect this tone as it refers to a color that is between gray and beige. Just like other neutral colors, Greige can go with just about everything and brings more life to a room than the traditional cooler grays in the past recent years. These colors were thought to inadvertently make a living space feel somewhat cool and a little uninviting.

Color psychology maintains that gray doesn’t have a ‘personality’ of its own. However, when gray is paired with any other color, it allows that color to be visible while gray takes a back seat. The key to choosing a complimentary  gray shade is to pick one that comes from the same harmonious color family as the colors you want to use.  As such, it will harmoniously resonate and not drain the other colors.

The Psychology of the Color Gray

  • Gray is the color of conformism. As such,  it does not have a personality of its own. Gray can appear both mild or darkish depending on the colors that are mixed with it.
  • Gray is generally considered an unresponsive color. As such, it is unattached, neutral, impartial and also indecisive.
  • As gray becomes or approaches a darker spectrum, it is believed that the color becomes extraordinary and also mysterious. On the other side, as gray reaches silver and white-color hues; the greater it becomes in highlighting and achieving a dynamic existence.
  • Gray is thought of as being both still and emotionless. Gray is strong and steady, making a feeling of cool and characteristic as self-restraint, and alleviates you from a riotous world.
  • Gray is not thought to invigorate, empower, revive or energize. From color psychology point of view, gray looks moderate, dull and discouraging. But at the same time it looks exquisite and formal, yet never captivating.
  • Gray is the color which is connected with maturation and obligation. Moreover, because of its neutral appearance, it is the reason stylists frequently utilize it as foundation shading.
  • Based on color psychology Gray can also be monotonous and conventional. Supposedly, if you like the color gray it shows your Intellect, futurism, modesty, and sadness.
  • When it comes to color psychology, those who love a gray color are the ones who try to protect themselves from the world around them. It shows that these people prefer a safe and balanced existence. Moreover, it may indicate that they want to control their emotions to avoid an emotional pain.

Gray Flooring

What types of gray flooring are available? In 2018, all flooring options are available in gray tones. Manufacturers have jumped on the band wagon to offer you everything like tiles, luxury vinyl planks, vinyl sheet goods, natural woods, laminates, engineered hard woods, concrete and stone. As such, the choices are endless and all variations can be easily mixed together.

Gray Wood Floors

Wood is out favorite material to choose from floor boards, laminates, and engineered hard wood floors. Wood makes any space cozier. However, some consideration needs to be made relative to the finishes on the market today to ensure a long-lasting service life. Hard woods can be wildly range in price (i.e., due to grade and surface protection) and such a long term investment must be considered because it is the most fragile cover of all flooring products, especially if you have kids and pets. There are multiple shades of gray woods to choose from, but my personal favorites are whitewashed planks. To me, they look stylishly chic and vintage.

We Love Gray

Gray is the cooler and chicer cousin of white that has been in vogue for the past five years. It is a neutral color that can create a calming, elegant or even electrifying effect, making it the perfect option for any decor and personal style. Gray house paints and flooring come in an array of hues, from subtle pale shades to deep rich pigments.

Best Wall Colors for Gray Floors

In recent years, gray flooring has taken the market to become the norm. A gray floor is a great neutral color and offers a variety of color pallets to build off of those various shades. Since we continue to love it, it does beg the question – which wall colors work well with gray floors?

Since gray flooring has become the norm, so too have gray wall colors. Many in urban areas, as well as suburbanites love the monochromatic room design (gray on gray). However, choosing the right wall color for a gray floor can either be difficult or fun. To help, our team compiled some winning color combos to help you pick the right wall colors for gray floors.



This is an obvious combo, but we do not want to advocate any color of white paint color. We want to use white wall colors that are inviting, rather than those that blind us upon entry. These colors should be on the warmer side of the spectrum. We also recommend using these white colors with gray flooring that feature a brown or beige undertone. Consider these white tones (plus a beige accent) for your walls:



You will not be disappointed using a dark blue wall color to complement your light gray floor. If these blue colors don’t cut it for you, you can also consider other jewel-toned wall colors.


Well-designed monochromatic rooms can pop. To nail this look, use different values, tints, shades, and tones of gray. The use of different grays, can accentuate and relieve a room from feeling like it’s one tone. In our rendition of a monochromatic gray room, we’ve paired with two grays (plus a white accent):


We advocate this color combination because of its tranquility. Who doesn’t love a little bit of tranquility in their lives, right? When you go this route, balance out these muted teal colors with a beige color to warm up the room.


This can be considered a classic gray color combination. The energy of the color yellow is balanced by the soothing nature of gray. We recommend using this color combo if your gray flooring has an aged quality to it.

Main Line Floors and Interiors focuses on high end residential and commercial carpets and flooring. However, Main Line Floors has great products and installations for Builders, Multifamily, Senior Living and the Real Estate Investor / House Flipper. We proudly serve the Philadelphia, PA metro area, Delaware and South New Jersey region.

Feel free to leave a comment if this post was helpful or informative. I hope it was.

Thank you,

Main Line Floors & Interiors

Adaptable Flooring Designs for those with Dementia.

Do Colors influence a Person inflicted with Dementia?

There are several studies on color and light related to designing Assisted living, Senior living or devoted Dementia care facilities. Assisted living care changes rapidly to meet the needs of Seniors. Senior living residences continuously innovate to how they will deliver care. As the population of residents with Dementia and Alzheimer’s continue to grow, senior living facilities are developing special care units to address their specific needs.

Main Line Flooring and Interiors is a specialty flooring distributor and installation contractor in the metro Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Delaware and South New Jersey region. We specialize in helping deliver the best flooring resources to assisted living and senior living environments. Here, we will discuss some flooring considerations needed to help those inflicted with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Designing for dementia is not an ‘exact science’ in the sense that clear boundaries can be made as to which design is or is not suitable.

With that in mind, there is much research on the human associations of color and psychological mood. It is generally agreed that color associations depend on many personal, cultural and subjective factors. As such, take the following principles as a basic guide into the psychological affect from colors. It should be used with due deliberation.

Senior Living Harmonious Natural Colors

How Colors Effect Our Perception and Mood


  • Blues are believed to have a calming and restful effect.
  • They are recommended for use in quiet rooms and bedrooms.
  • Blue can be perceived as a “Cool” color.
  • It can make a room appear larger.


  • Green is associated with growth and life.
  • It’s though to reduce central nervous system activity.
  • It helps people feel calm.
  • It is considered to be the most restful of colors.
  • Like other “Cool” colors, it makes rooms appear larger.
Assisted Living Flooring Trends with Greens and Blues


  • Red is associated with an increase brain wave activity and can stimulate the production of Adrenalin into the blood stream.
  • As such, red is recommended for high activity areas and communal spaces where stimulation is required.
  • It can increase the perceived temperature of a room. As such, it can be used in rooms that are considered “cool” to have a warming effect.
  • Red can also make a room appear smaller.


  • Is considered a “warm” color.
  • Typically exude an energetic charge.
  • Orange is closely related to red and shares some of its properties.
  • It is an earth-base color and like green.
  • Orange creates similar associations with nature and natural environments.
Assisted Living Flooring Trends Red


  • Does not seem to have consistent effects on mood or the nervous system.
  • Most likely this occurs because it is a combination of red and blue which are at opposite ends of the color spectrum.


  • The color effects of purple are dependent on the shade.
  • The colors create a sense of luxury, as well as creativity. Lighter purple color hues like a lavender or lilac offer calming effects similar to that of blue.
  • Noteworthy, that unlike blue, light purple doesn’t create the “cold“, chilly feeling.


For a more detailed review of colors and the human response, click here to see white, black, pink, and yellow.

Please note: Too much use of any particular color can be overly stimulating, as well as under stimulating depending on the circumstance.

Just as individual colors affect stimulation and mood, the combination of multiple colors can affect stimulation and mood. Furthermore, the incorporation of contrasting or complementary colors can also have an effect.

Although color choice and dementia care is not an “exact science,” it is believed that the color preferences for individuals with dementia are red, blue and green.

For the affected individual who exhibits aggressive tendencies, try using pink in their personal space as it tends to ease aggression.

Assisted Living Lobby Modern Flooring Trends

Natural Ageing, Dementia and Visual Perception

Many with Dementia will experience difficulties with their sight and perception as a result of their condition compounded by the natural ageing process. Difficulties with sight and perception can cause people to misinterpret the world around them. This further complicates matters considering the confusion and isolation they already feel.

The use of different colors, particularly those that contrast, has been proven to make life a little easier for dementia related and Alzheimer’s patients.

How do we Perceive Color?

Our perception of color is dependent on the pigment color of an object or surface and the way that object reflects light.

There are the three primary colors: red, yellow, and blue, and three secondary colors: orange, green, and purple. All of these colors vary along according to three dimensions: hue, value, and chroma:

  • Hue: This is what we refer to as ‘color’ and is made up from one or more of the primary and secondary colors.
  • Value: This is our perception of “lightness or darkness” of a specific color. Furthermore, “tint” is the lightness of a color when white is added, and “shade” is the darkness when black is added.
  • Chroma:  This is the brilliance or purity of a specific color. The “primary” colors have the brightest chroma and are considered the most brilliant.

Contrast between colors considers the primary and secondary colors incorporated with:

  • Contrast of hue: For example, the contrast between blue and green;
  • Contrast of “light” and “dark” when different “tints” and “shades” are used next to each other. This includes contrasts that have different values of the same hue (e.g., red and pink);
  • Contrast of cold and warm: when colors with different “temperatures” are placed next to each other. For example, red a “warm” color and blue a “cool” color.

“Light” Considerations

Light is also a vital part of our perception of color. The way we perceive color is a combination of the pigment color of an object or a surface in the environment. But, our perception is also effected by how that color (i.e., when exposed to light) reflects off that object or surface in that environment.

Now, that we have the science of color behind us, flooring and interior manufacturers have made our design decisions a little easier by grading their products relative to interactions with light.

Light Refection Values

Light reflection values (LRV) are important design tools for dementia environments. Combinations of various colors and products can be made by using identical or contrasting LRV’s. Since LRV’s are a universal measurement for all materials, the LRV’s for wall covering or furniture can be measured relative to the flooring design.

Color and Contrast 

By incorporating the knowledge of perceived color, contrast and lighting we can better utilize our intention of design for Senior Living spaces and those with Dementia residents. Following are some practical guide lines for design:

Clear, Defined Edges and Boundaries are Best

The use of contrast is extremely important for marking edges or creating spacial boundaries that help by drawing attention to furniture or other tripping hazards. Contrast can also be used to help define objects more clearly. Using a color that contrasts to a background draws attention to key features. For example, we can use a contrasting wall color so that it can be easier to locate switches and sockets, as well as railings and handrails. Moreover, doors for bathrooms can be painted a different color than other rooms in the house for easier identification.


Assisted Living Memory Care Flooring Transitions

Avoid Prominent Patterns 

People with dementia may perceive patterns and motifs as actual objects. For example a carpet with a pattern of white specks on a dark background may be distracting to a person with dementia. They may perceive the specks to be bits of tissue and want to ‘pick’ them up off the carpet. This phenomenon is referred to as the ‘trompe d’oeuil’ effect, where people are confused or tempted to try and pick design elements from the floor.

Avoid bold and prominent patterns. This includes patterns with large motifs and/or small patterns which are prominent because the motifs clearly contrast with the background color.

Avoid Prominent Contrasts 

For a person with dementia, highly contrasting colors on the floor (e.g., like in a checker-board pattern) may be perceived to be changes in floor levels or “holes” in the ground.

Similarly, highly contrasting patterns on vertical surfaces may be perceived to be changes in depth, and so should be avoided.

Avoid Prominent Patterns that depict Movement

Bold patterns including stripes and zig-zag lines must be avoided as they could be perceived as moving objects.

Wood flooring with a prominent grain may also be distracting for a person with dementia.

Prominent color contrast can be used to foreground objects and add clarity and distinct boundaries to the environment.

Effects of Age and Sight

Bear in mind that due to natural thickening of the lens of the eye with age, seniors may experience colors as “washed out” and find blues, greens and purples harder to differentiate. Moreover, as we age many changes occur that effect vision and color perception. Usually, the thickening and yellowing of the lens alters the way color is perceived.

    • A reduction in contrast perception ability, resulting in difficulty differentiating between subtle changes in the environment such as carpets and steps.
    • A reduction in the perceived saturation or vividness of colors (i.e chroma). For example, some may find that red colors start to look like pink.

Additionally, color preferences can change, and the person with dementia experiences increasing sensitivity to all things, so it is necessary to create a balance throughout the journey of the disease.

Whatever the circumstances may be, it is imperative that designers for assisted living make it easier for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s to understand depth and spacial orientation cues. The most important consideration is safety. We must design against injury from falls. Falls just don’t cause physical injury. They can also shatter the confidence of someone living with dementia and lead to a rapid physical and mental decline.

Main Line Floors and Interiors focuses on high end residential and commercial carpets and flooring. However, we have great products and installations for Builders, Multifamily, Senior Living and the Real Estate Investor / House Flipper. We proudly serve the Philadelphia, PA metro area, Delaware and South New Jersey region.

Feel free to leave a comment if this post was helpful or informative. I hope it was.

Thank you,

Main Line Floors & Interiors


Flooring Trends for Loved Ones with Dementia, Senior Living.

Flooring Trends in Assisted or Senior Living

Assisted living care is changing rapidly. Senior living organizations are continually innovating how they deliver care. As residents with dementia, including Alzheimer’s, become a larger population of the ageing, senior living facilities are developing special care units and stand-alone facilities to address their specific needs.

Main Line Flooring and Interiors is a specialty flooring distributor and installation contractor in the metro Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Delaware and South New Jersey region. We specialize in helping deliver the best flooring resources to assisted living and senior living environments. This article discusses some flooring considerations needed to help those inflicted with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

The complexity of needs of dementia residents involves all facets of design for an assisted living building. Every detail must be closely thought through. While all are critical to the success of a resident’s experience, there is arguably nothing that has a bigger impact than the interior design of a space.

Understanding how people with dementia experience the world helps us create a space can be considered a tool. This knowledge based tool provides “built-in cues” to help those with dementia remember to eat, dress or participate in activities. With a space created just for them, people are able to live more peacefully, more securely and more socially in a world they can understand.

Flooring is one of the most essential factors in determining a basis for designing a dementia environment as it has much impact on safety and orientation of a space, patient confidence, security and independence.

Senior Living Flooring


Textures must be true to what they are. For example, if a railing or table looks like wood, but doesn’t feel like wood, it can be alarming for those with dementia. This occurs when two separate signals are being sent to the brain. One from touch and one from sight. If the two signals do not match, the person is left with feelings of unease and confusion.

Additionally, there should be limited contrast between flooring. Where two different patterns or flooring types meet, it may create concern about stepping into something new. Did you know that Dementia can bring visual challenges? The problems associated with the brain that cause memory loss can also affect sight. This, coupled with general age-related eyesight deterioration, can make it increasingly difficult to discriminate the differences between textures on the floor. As such, shiny surfaces can appear wet, and dark surfaces can look like holes to those affected with Dementia. Floor patterns can cause illusions, while visual-spatial problems mean rooms can appear flat or 2D.

Senior Living Floors Luxury Vinyl Plank

How to Choose Flooring in Assisted or Senior Living for Dementia

Choosing carpets, throw rugs, or hard surface flooring typically is a matter of personal taste. Our loved ones might be very fond of the stair carpet, tiled kitchens, or ornament throw rugs but they can be hazardous. My mother, and active 81 year old, tripped and fell while sleep walking earlier this year that sent her to the hospital and lost months to physical therapy never to rebound to her previous physical state. Once a loved one is inflicted with dementia, it behooves us to seriously consider all the surfaces they walk on at home or in a senior living environment. The last thing that you – or they – want is a fall.

Falls just don’t cause physical injury. They can also shatter the confidence of someone living with dementia and lead to a rapid physical and mental decline.

Making Floors Safe for Dementia Care Facilities

Patterned Flooring

Patterned carpets can cause confusion to those inflicted with dementia. Some loved ones with dementia find it difficult to distinguish between design and actual objects that they need to pick up or step over.  Strong repetitive patterns can cause this ‘trompe d’oeuil’ effect, where people are confused or tempted to try and pick design elements from the floor

For example, a dark carpet with white specks may look like bits of tissue to some. As such, they may interpret these visual cues incorrectly and try to pick up the tissue pieces. Patterns such as flowers can also be deceptive, as they could believe they’re actually seeing real flowers on the floor.

Similarly, if kitchen linoleum or bathroom tiles are in a black and white checkerboard motif, the black areas may seem like holes in the ground which need to be stepped around. Imagine how confusing and frustrating that could feel.


Understanding LVR Ratings

Light reflection values (LRV) are important design tools for dementia environments. Combinations of various colors and products can be made by using identical or contrasting LRV’s. Since LRV’s are a universal measurement for all materials, the LRV’s for wall covering or furniture can be measured relative to the flooring design.

Contrasting Colors

Color choices in designing for dementia senior living typically is a matter of taste. However, while deigning a harmonious living space you may want to consider how colors effect psychological mood here.

With color considerations, be cognizant that natural thickening of the lens of the eye with age, causes the elderly to possibly experience colors as ‘washed out’. As such, blues, greens and purples harder to differentiate. Additionally, color preferences can change, and loved ones with dementia experience increasing sensitivity to all things. As such, it is necessary to create a balance throughout the journey of the disease.

Contrast can be used to help define objects more clearly and establish boundaries. The use of contrast is extremely important for defining marking edges of things and drawing attention to furniture or other tripping hazards. In design for dementia related visual problems we want to help people ascertain living and functional areas more clearly. For example, if a kitchen has a small step, coloring the step different to the surrounding floors will aid them to make appropriate responses and decisions.

Furthermore, picking out furniture in a color that contrast with the flooring will make it easier for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s to understand depth and spacial orientation cues.

However, drastic color contrasts can also create problems if it causes your loved one to think that there’s a step or a hole where there isn’t one.

Moreover, contrasting floor colors in assisted living can be used to indicate that certain areas are off-limit (i.e., staff & medical areas) or indicate a clearly different space like a kitchen.

In general, try to ensure that the color changes of floors between each room aren’t too drastic.

Flooring Thresholds

Thresholds, the strips of metal or plastic that fix flooring between different rooms, should be the same color as the rest of the floor surface.

Assisted Living Memory Care Flooring Transitions

Benefits of Matt Floors

Shiny flooring can appear wet to someone with dementia. This could mean they’ll become hesitant and unsteady on their feet which can lead to fall.

Matt surfaces typically disturb the reflections that of high gloss surfaces. As such, hard surfaces should, ideally, be matt to reduce the risk of harm.

Assisted Living Senior Living Floors

Removing Potential Hazards

Falls pose a real risk for people with dementia. It is critical to move any objects that pose a tripping hazard.

Most importantly, textiles, hard & moderately soft surface materials, vinyls as well as linoleum designs are able to generate a recollection of the past and create an appealing environment reminiscent to home.

Main Line Floors and Interiors focuses on high end residential and commercial carpets and flooring. However, we have great products and installations for Builders, Multifamily, Senior Living and the Real Estate Investor / House Flipper. We proudly serve the Philadelphia, PA metro area, Delaware and South New Jersey region.

Feel free to leave a comment if this post was helpful or informative. I hope it was.

Thank you,

Main Line Floors 

Choosing Colors for Senior Living Spaces

Main Line Floors & Interiors

Main Line Floors & Interiors is a distributor and installer of specialty flooring materials and carpets. We specialize in assisted living flooring trends, commercial spaces, multi-family as well as your home. As such, if you are looking to update a commercial interior space, looking for living room flooring trends or coastal living decor, think of Main Line Floors & Interiors.

The other day I was thinking about repainting some rooms in my home. I was particularly interested in living room color schemes when I came across the vast knowledge of color and psychological effects.

Room Color Ideas

Choosing a new color for a room can be challenging to say the least! Typically, we choose room colors based on personal preference or in effort to coordinate with specific or special pieces we want to incorporate into the room. However, the psychology of colors is another important consideration to evaluate. Beyond our personal likes and dislikes, our color choices can influence our mood within a particular living space. What are your walls telling you, and how do they make you feel? Please discover some popular room color choices and how they affect mood before your final decision.

The Feelings and Meanings of Different Colors

Considering the psychology of each color helps us better understand how different colors can affect our mood. In general, lighter colors can make a room feel larger and brighter. Darker and deeper colors create the feeling of warmth and sophistication. However, the use of Darker colors can also create an intimate feeling, which is beneficial in large rooms. Whether we consider a color as either warm or cool also affects how you feel when you see it.

Check out the following colors and understand their effects to help you narrow down your color options:

Color Chart Guide

Blue: Blue is thought to have a calming and meditative effect. Some believe the color might lower your blood pressure. Blue encourages productivity and clear thinking. Although, some shades of blue may depict an unpleasant or chilly look, particularly when a room lacks natural light. Using warm hues in your accents can help balance that chilly effect.

Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.
Negative: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness.

Green: Green is another color known for creating a relaxing “vibe”. Green exhibits a sense of tranquility, composure and gentle quietness. It is also believed that the color green tends to exude a restorative effect, possibly due to its prominence in nature. Some find that it feels refreshing to look at. The versatile color range of green works in almost any room especially when you want a comforting space to unwind or feel at ease.

Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.
Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation.

Yellow: Yellow exudes an energizing feel. When we see yellows we tend to feel uplifted and perceive a touch of joy and happiness. Also, yellow colors can make rooms feel more expansive while creating a welcoming feeling. However, large amounts of yellow may also have a negative effect, potentially causing people to get angry or feel frustrated more easily.

Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extroversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, suicide.

Orange: The colors of orange can  typically create an energetic vibe. Orange can spark a sense of enthusiasm and excitement while stimulating your creativity. Orange also offers a sense of warmth and can make your space feel cozy. Moreover, orange has the tendency to have a stimulating effect on your appetite.

Positive: Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun.
Negative: Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity.

Red: Red evokes passion, adventure and optimism. It definitely elevates the energy in the room and creates a sense of excitement. The color is certainly enhances the regal milieu of any space. However, it is thought that the color may increase blood pressure, respiration and heart rate. As such, use it with caution if you want to avoid this type of stimulation. The intense color is often associated with stimulating the appetite and encouraging conversation. As such, go ahead an use it in your dining areas. Most importantly, red colors help to create an intimate and comforting feeling.

Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
Negative: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain.

Pink: While pink is often associated with little girls’ rooms, it has a place in other spaces for its joyful and romantic effects. Pinks add a lively and positive vibe to your space. Moreover, some shades of pink are known to have a calming effect.

Positive: Physical tranquility, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species.
Negative: Inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation, physical weakness.

Purple: The color effects of purple are dependent on the shade. For example, dark and rich shades such as eggplant can make a dramatic splash in your living space. The colors create a sense of luxury, as well as creativity. Lighter purple color hues like a lavender or lilac offer calming effects similar to that of blue. Noteworthy, that unlike blue, light purple doesn’t create the cold, chilly feeling.

Positive: Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality.
Negative: Introversion, decadence, suppression, inferiority.

White: Shades of white colors are versatile neutrals that create a sense of airiness that make a room feel open. Moreover, white creates a sense of cleanliness, simplicity and purity. White itself can almost work anywhere. It creates a crisp and clean background that provides a great contrast for your decor (e.g., accent pieces, furniture and accessories).

Positive: Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency.
Negative: Sterility, coldness, barriers, unfriendliness, elitism.

Black: Black can definitely create a dramatic look in your space. The color exudes elegance and sophistication with a formal tone to it. Black also offers a grounding effect and can add depth to your design. While it can work well to evoke these feelings as an accent color, using too much black in a space can evoke negative mood-altering effect. Moreover, black also tends to make a room feel smaller.

Positive: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance.
Negative: Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness.

How to Choose Room Colors

Now, that we know there are psychological effects of colors, how do we utilize that logic to make the right color choices? When uncertain, consider some basic elements of function of the living space, its uses and your desires for the room.

Check out these factors and tips to help you determine your choices:

A Room’s role: Take into consideration the main activities in the room. For example, a bedroom is a place for rest, relaxation and retreat after a long day, whereas the home office is a place for efficiency and work. Consider how you will use the room and how color choice can affect those functions.

According to stylist Malene Barnett, New York City-based textile designer and artist,  “Almost everything goes back to how you plan to use the space.”  Ms. Barnett explains, “Think about how you plan to spend your time in the room, and that will dictate what design you should look for. Let your lifestyle guide you.”

Desired feeling: Think about how you want to feel when initially walking into a room as well as when living in that space. Some rooms have a common feeling, but other rooms can vary depending on preference. For example, many may want to create a tranquil environment for a bedroom to encourage good sleep. However, desired feelings may vary in home offices. Some may design a space to stimulate creativity utilizing yellows or oranges, whereas others may prefer the calming, clear-thinking effects of blue in a home office.

Color location: When you choose a color for your room, keep in mind that the entire room does not need to be that color alone. That color can be used on just an accent wall if painting. Another option, is to choose neutral colors for your walls and bring in the color through window treatments, furniture, accessories and decorative decor. Those color accents still offer the same psychological effects on mood, just in smaller doses.

 Lighting considerations: The lighting considerations have a major impact on how a color looks and ultimately the mood it creates. Where that light comes from makes a difference. As such, keep in mind the effects of natural light and accenting overhead lights. By testing out a color in your space you will gain a greater sense of the mood it creates versus the mood it evokes on a paint chip in the store.

Color combinations: Another consideration to realize how different colors work together within your color scheme. Most of us don’t use a single color for everything in the room. Consider both the primary room color and your main accents and determine how those colors work together during your design phase.

Nearby colors: Today’s open floor plans typically provide a clear view of multiple rooms. When only painting one of those rooms, it is very important to consider how this new color works with the existing color scheme.

Personal preferences: While colors usually have similar effects on people, your reaction to a particular color may be different. So, be cognizant of your preference and how colors effect your mood during the design phase.

The aesthetic effect of color is always important. However, choosing colors to create a specific mood or stimulation based on your intended feeling only helps to personalize your space. As such, get started on your perfect color search with the color psychology guidelines in mind. Ultimately, you should choose a color that fits your personality and one you can live with long-term.

Let’s take a look at some basic rooms and how color choice can effect them.

Entryway Colors

The entryway is the first interior space you and your guests see and experience. As such, it should feel welcoming. Warm colors can achieve that feeling. The proximity to the outdoors also means you should consider your home’s surroundings when choosing color. Remember to consider color choices that complements the colors of nature just outside your front door, or create a contrast. For example, since urban areas typically have a drab outdoor appearance, you may want to escape that feeling by creating a contrast instantly inside the entryway by using a warm or bright color.

Bedroom Colors

At the end of a long day, the bedroom is a retreat. Most of us desire a relaxing environment that stimulates sleep. For this reason, avoiding red and other stimulating colors is usually a smart move. The last thing you want to do when you’re trying to fall asleep is feel stimulated.

Instead, choose a color known for tranquility and relaxation. Blues and greens are the best calming colors to paint a room and work well in the bedroom. Lavender is another cool color that helps create that tranquil feeling without the potential for chilliness that sometimes occurs with blue.

Bathroom Colors

A clean look is key for the bathroom. Typically, very bright colors like white offer the large appearance as well as sterile look.

Kitchen and Dining Room Colors

Kitchens are often the heart of a home, whether you’re entertaining or cooking dinner for your own family. As such, that may be a space that you desire to create as inviting, but also encourages conversation.

Furthermore, choosing red or orange for your kitchen and dining room helps stimulate appetite. This is the perfect option if you want your dinner guests to feast upon. However, if there are concerns about overeating, you may want to avoid those colors in areas. Red in those spaces may cause you to over eat on a subtle level you might not notice.

Red is also believed to stimulate conversation, which is perfect for a dining room when you want to encourage dinner conversation. If you do choose red or orange, consider how much of the color to add you may not want those colors to feel overwhelming.

Warm colors create an energetic environment in the kitchen. These are ideal choices when you want to create a fun environment that focuses on energetic interactions and creativity. Peach, terra cotta and similar colors create that effect. Blues and greens also work in a kitchen or dining room when you prefer a more peaceful setting for cooking and enjoying.

Another strategy for choosing your kitchen color scheme is to think back to your own childhood. If your memories of spending time in the kitchen are positive ones, using the same colors from your childhood kitchen can help recreate those feelings.

Living Room Colors

Your living room or family room is the place you gather with your friends and family. Typically, it is meant to be a comfortable, relaxing space where conversation flows. You may also want a warm, welcoming feeling in this space so people feel like they welcome and connect.

Green in the living room or family room provides the feel of relaxation while maintaining a warmth that keeps you cozy and encourages togetherness. Blue has a similar effects. You may want to choose a warmer shade of blue to keep the space welcoming. Bright shades of blue, such as turquoise, also work well in common spaces. Avoid dark shades of blue because these hues can cause a sense of sadness, however darker blues can work as accents.

Consider earth tones to create a warm, welcoming feeling in your living room. Colors like brown, beige and other warm tones encourage connections and help stimulate conversation. Reds, yellows and oranges can work in moderation to create that warm feeling in the space.

Looking for carpets direct?

Main Line Floors offers a variety of specialty flooring options. Again, we focus on high end residential and commercial carpets and flooring. However, we have great products and installations for Builders, Multifamily, Senior Living and the Real Estate Investor / House Flipper.

Feel free to leave a comment if this post was helpful or informative. I hope it was.

Thank you,

Main Line Floors & Interiors


Assisted Living Flooring Trends

Main Line Floors

Assisted Living Flooring Trends

From a business and marketing perspective, it is most valuable for senior living centers to establish a great first impression with their prospective residents. As such, the best way to achieve a great first impression is to create a brilliant milieu at the front entrance. Only modern interior finishes and exciting floor coverings can achieve this great impression. And flooring, from both a functional and aesthetic perspective, is a fundamental part of the design.

Interiors for memory care are being thoughtfully designed to create a supportive environment. And flooring, from both a functional and aesthetic perspective, is a fundamental part of the design.

If you are considering a commercial flooring material for an assisted living or location that is frequented by senior citizens, there are several considerations to understand. These are compounded by the function of the facility that is to be designed. By understanding the needs of Seniors, balanced against the requirements of the staff and facility, you can choose a floor that will be safe, sanitary, and relatively easy to maintain.

Let’s look at some common flooring applications.

Common Commercial Flooring Applications for Seniors

Hospitals: Medical facilities often house elderly patients for extended periods of time, requiring flooring that meets special needs. These floors require durability, ease of maintenance, cleaning and sanitation requirements. The floors should also be quiet, dampening the noise of feet and wheels so that patients can rest.

Nursing Homes: Long-term care facilities handle a variety of elderly patients with differing needs of assistance. These flooring applications require some additional thought as the facility as a whole desires an attractive living space, as well as maintenance, durability and cleaning considerations.

Retirement Communities: Residents living in senior communities have varying degrees of health and mobility concerns.  As such, assisted living centers need to establish functional and attractive living spaces catering to the needs of their residents. Typically, there are numerous flooring materials used throughout the facility, but great design emphasis is required to make the space comfortable, as well as desirable. These communities also require consideration for maintenance and sanitation. Flooring maintenance is a great concern because there are typically more traffic issues.

Memory Care Facilities: Residents in memory care facilities again have varying health and mobility concerns. Furthermore, these interiors also require design to incorporate a supportive environment, as well as cleaning and maintenance considerations. There will be further discussion in another post to cover these facility needs in more detail.

Flooring with Transitions

Special Commercial Considerations for Seniors

Safety: All commercial facilities need to consider liability issues from personal injury. Considering Seniors, the chance of injury is greater. As such, greater precaution is necessary and design considerations should address these concerns. Complying with all applicable state and federal regulations is paramount.

Color and Pattern: Color requirements for memory care facilities are very similar to Senior living environments. Typical designs include carpet with neutral colors incorporated with low-contrast combinations of light and clean shades. Although it is commonly known that perception changes with aging, memory care residents tend to have a more extreme degree of perceptual change. The most difficult colors to see are blue, turquoise and green.

Softness & Traction: Utilizing hard surfaces increases the chance of an accident turning into an injury. As such, design consideration using greater traction materials and softer more giving materials can lessen the amount of injury. Cork and padded vinyl are excellent choices.


Flooring choices for any given area in a senior living environment present a balance of properties and trade offs. In some situations, there is a clear case for soft or hard floor coverings. In others, it is a question of preference, and of balancing product attributes.

Carpet Tile: It offers many key solutions, such as ease of maintenance and replace-ability and a never ending range of design and color combinations. However, carpet tiles have the downside of seam permeability.

Let’s look at some alternatives that offer soft surface characteristics.

Commercial Cork Flooring

Best Commercial Flooring Options for Seniors

Padded Vinyl: Vinyl flooring is a great economic choice. It is also very easy to clean because the sheet membrane is impervious to water penetration.  Generally, vinyl does not stain. When combined with a padded underlayment above the sub surface floor, it will create a soft floor that will safeguard Seniors from injury.

Cork: Cork is a naturally soft and “padded” flooring material. Since cork offers a gently giving surface, it can help to avoid injury. Furthermore, there are commercial waxing treatments can make the material and surface impervious to water, stains and can create a seal that provides for greater sanitation requirements.

Main Line Floors focuses on high end residential and commercial carpets and flooring. However, we have great products and installations for Builders, Multifamily, Senior Living and the Real Estate Investor / House Flipper.

Feel free to leave a comment if this post was helpful or informative. I hope it was.

Thank you,

Main Line Floors 

Throw Rug Ideas

Main Line Floors

Main Line Floors is an american carpet company. We are not your home depot carpet center, but we hope to be your hometown carpet provider of fine carpets, area rugs, or throw rugs and wall to wall carpeting.

Coastal Living Decor

Are you looking for throw rug ideas for your home or shore home? Need some inspiration on coastal living decor?

Few interior decor finishes are as fundamental and transformational as area rugs. Here are some ideas for coastal living room designs and coastal living floor trends.

Complimenting Shore Throw Rug

Throw rugs are often used to complement a room. Typically size, texture, color, pattern, and shape are all variables to consider when complementing a room. When considering a throw rug,  just make sure not to cause a clash with upholstery decor patterns and floor & wall finishes.

Throw Rugs for the Shore

When a rug is added to a room that lacks excitement or has a neutral color scheme, your is problem solved. A decorative or stylish rug can certainly complete a room by tying all the different pieces together visually. A rug can anchor a room, define it, add warmth, and help layer a room’s decor in style.

Consider the function of the room and rug

Coastal Trow Rugs

When looking for that specific area rug to bring the style you desire into your home, consider your lifestyle desires and the purpose of your living space. How do you envision this room and how it will be used? Is the priority glamour or comfort? Always consider the functionality of a specific room and rug. You do not want wine spills or high traffic to destroy your style.

Bedroom Throw Rugs


According to stylist Malene Barnett, New York City-based textile designer and artist,  “Almost everything goes back to how you plan to use the space.”  Ms. Barnett explains, “Think about how you plan to spend your time in the room, and that will dictate what design you should look for. Let your lifestyle guide you.”

Bold color

I grew up on the Atlantic inter-coastal, and I have always been enthralled with the vast amount of colors the natural environment displays. Bright, vibrant colors are indigent to the coast, and they come from the vibrant species of the sea, sands, plants, open skies, sunrises and sunsets.  From  Bermuda’ pink sandy beaches to the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, the inspiration is endless. As such, do not be afraid use those bold colors and patterns.

Bold Color Throw Rugs

Moreover,  throw rugs are utilized to create variety in a space.  Do not fear using different sized rugs to create a sense of variety. However, realize that when you use two rugs in a room, same sized rugs can visually cut the room in two. But, don’t be afraid to layer. There are several opportunities to create the style you are looking to achieve.

Layering Throw Rugs

Create harmony with Area rug layer

When using more than one rug, it’s better when the rugs complement each other in style. If not, you could end up with a jarring or unpleasant effect. Too many “warring” patterns in a room will do away with any sense of harmony.

Fun Beach House Interiors

Control the Volume with Area rugs

An area rug  can be used to visually quieten a room or turn up the volume as needed. If your upholstery or wallpaper has an ornate pattern, choose a rug that is more subtle. When walls and upholstery are fairly subdued, you can try a busier pattern or bolder colors to add more interest to the room.

Looking for carpet supplier?

When thinking of purchasing your next area rug or throw rug, think of Main Line Floors.

Looking for carpets direct?

Main Line Floors offers a variety of area rugs. However, we also have an affiliate network to choose from here if you are just browsing the internet, not near the Atlantic coast, or simply cannot find what you like.

Again, we focus on high end residential and commercial carpets and flooring. However, we have great products and installations for Builders, Multifamily, Senior Living and the Real Estate Investor / House Flipper.

Feel free to leave a comment if this post was helpful or informative. I hope it was.

Thank you,

Main Line Floors 

Most durable carpet fiber.

Are you looking for the most durable carpet fiber, or the most durable carpet?

Carpet Fibers

Carpet Fiber Type Comparison

Many different types of fiber are used to make carpet, some natural and some man-made. Following are the simple PROS & CONS of the four most popular carpet fibers used in carpet manufacturing processes today:  Nylon, Polyester, Olefin, and Wool.

Quick Carpet Fiber Comparison Chart

Carpet Fiber Comparison


Nylon Carpet Fibers 101


  • Nylon has History – Nylon was the first commercial synthetic fiber used in the carpet industry. As such, from Nylon 6 to Nylon 6,6 (and all the variations beyond), Nylon has had significant improvement in strength, resiliency and stain treatment guards. Also, many manufacturers of Nylon fiber and carpets offer extended wear warranties.
  • Nylon has good Elasticity – Nylon can stretch up to 33% of its length and still regain its original shape. An important consideration for heavy traffic areas.
  • Nylon is very Abrasion Resistant – This means that Nylon has the ability to resist surface wear caused by rubbing from another material.
  • Static Resistant – Nylon stops the “winter sparks” from flying.
  • Heat Sets Well – Upon a “heat set” treatment, nylon retains its crimp, twist, and dye extremely well. Heat setting is a typical treatment in the production of fiber and yarn where the fiber or filament is introduced to a heat source.
  • Good resiliency – Nylon can be crushed for extended periods of time and still regain its original shape. As such, Nylon carpet is great for heavy traffic areas or where furniture is placed on it.
  • Non-Absorbent – Nylon dries quickly. Inherently, the fiber will absorb less than 8% of its weight in water (i.e., otherwise referred to as, Hydrophobic).
  • Mildew Resistant – Nylon cannot supply a means of a food source. However, mildew can grow on the fiber or carpet when another food source is present.
  • Nylon responds and reacts well to most professional cleaning methods and treatments since many of those supporting technologies were created for Nylon carpets.


  • Nylon exhibits problems with bleaching, fading, and pet urine. Nylon has these issues because of the way it must be dyed (i.e., Nylon is acid dyed vs. a solution dye) and some inherent polymer or chemical makeup.


Polyester fibers are one of the least expensive to produce. Fiber and carpet manufacturers have significantly improved the performance characteristics in the past decade with the introduction of PET Polyester into the market place. Although it has some excellent qualities, and is a great fiber for clothing, it does have some limiting factors when used in carpet.


  • Since polyester does not have dye sites, it is usually dyed with a disperse dye or solution dye method which makes it very resistant to bleaching, fading and soil-to-dye reactions.
  • Stain Resistant – Polyester is resistant to water based stains. The fiber also exhibits Low Absorbency.  As such, the fiber is quick drying.


  • Polyester is difficult to dye and usually must be solution dyed which limits some color variety.
  • It is not resistant to oily stains, and in fact an oily spill or spot left without proper cleanup can oxidize and even chemically bond with and/or become a part of the fiber.
  • Crimp Loss – Early polyesters had issues. A new polyester carpet was fuller, fluffier and more luxurious than anything on the market. Six-month-old polyester was an owner’s nightmare. Due to loss of twist and crimp, long strait fibers were left in the traffic areas, which caused matting and tangling and destroyed the original look of the carpet. Definite improvements have been made by heat setting and using finer yarns, but crimp loss can still be a problem. This is a characteristic of polyester, not a defect.

Olefin (polypropylene)

Olefin Carpets

Olefin (i.e, also called polypropylene)is a very versatile carpet fiber. It is also used frequently in carpet backings, face yarns and even astroturf. Olefin has become almost synonymous with one of its trade names “Herculon” a trademark owned by Hercules Corporation, a major manufacturer of olefin.


  • Olefin is very moisture resistant. It will absorb only one tenth of 1% of its weight in water. This leads to some pros and some cons.
  • Very difficult to stain.
  • Great for outdoor applications (stadium or pool)
  • Chemical Resistant – Most chemicals and bleaches won’t damage it at all
  • Solution dyeing makes it resistant to fading.
  • Lightweight – It is the only common carpet fiber that will float on water. ( Except celluloid)
  • Strong – It wears well except for resiliency factor (see cons).
  • It has good cleanability and stain release. (Except oil/petroleum-based stains – see cons)


  • Olefin is not a resilient fiber. When crushed it does not regain its original shape easily. Traffic areas tend to lie down, showing “apparent soiling”. Furniture marks can be permanent reminders to the owner of where his furniture used to be.
  • It is a very heat sensitive fiber. Its melting point is around 300 degrees but damage can occur at lower temperatures.
  • Olefin can be damaged by Friction – Even dragging a heavy piece of furniture across an olefin carpet can cause permanent marks from the heat generated by friction.
  • Like polyester, extended exposure to oil-based soils may become permanent.
  • Olefin is very difficult to dye due to its low absorbency rate. It is almost always solution dyed.
  • Quite often, Olefin is in a glue-down situation, which creates a potential to brown from soil wicking from the base of the yarns due to incomplete soil removal. Over wetting and/or slow drying increases the likelihood.


Wool comes from the fleece of sheep or lambs. This is one of the oldest fibers used by man, dating back over two thousand years. It is still one of the finest face yarns available for carpet. Wool is chemically made up of standard organic elements including sulfur, which accounts for the wool smell when it is damp.


  • Wool has excellent soil hiding capabilities. Wool will not exhibit or show soil as much as other fibers. The reason for this is that wool is an opaque fiber (as opposed to synthetics which are transparent) and wool doesn’t refract and reflect light like synthetics. The naturally dull appearance provided by the scales of the epidermis makes soil much less apparent to the human eye.
  • Wool is very strong, elastic and resilient. Wool face yarn in a well-constructed carpet will stand up to the heaviest traffic and still look beautiful. (Notice the carpet in most casinos and finer hotel lobbies and hallways).
  • Natural crimp makes wool and excellent insulator.
  • Good Absorbency – This means that wool reacts well to a number of dye types and techniques. Keep in mind, this means easy staining also.
  • Soil Release – Wool responds very well to cleaning as moisture makes the fiber swell and release dirt.
  • Wool is naturally flame retardant.


  • Wool is a very expensive material. This arises mainly from the processing cost, the cleaning, and the preparation, etc., rather than the actual cost of the raw material.
  • Fiber Distortion – Wool is very prone to distortion by excess agitations such as jet streaks and wand marks. This is particularly pronounced when it happens under heated conditions.
  • Stains Easily – Due to its absorbency and ease of dyeing, wool is also easily stained by wine, Kool-Aid and other acid dyestuffs. Remember that absorbency is the same quality that makes wool so desirable as far as dye acceptance and obtaining the beautiful rich colors that you often find in wool carpets and oriental rugs.
  • Chemical Sensitivity – Wool is sensitive to alkaline chemicals above a pH of 9.5 after prolonged exposure. This exposure will tend to make wool brittle and discolor somewhat. This problem is sometimes referred to as “felting”. Wool is also very sensitive to chlorine bleach, such as Clorox, which is normally found in homes and grocery stores. Chlorine bleach will completely dissolve wool within a matter of minutes. The New Zealand Wool Bureau recommends water-based cleaning solutions with a pH not lower than 5.5 and not higher than 8 pH. Staple Yarn – Fuzzing can be a source of problems because wool only comes as a staple yarn and excess agitation can cause that fuzzing effect

Nylon Carpet vs Polyester Carpet

Nylon carpet vs Polyester carpet

Polyester carpet vs Nylon carpet?

When shopping for carpet, people tend to focus on carpet basics like fiber. Some assume that nylon is better than polyester because it has been used longer and considerable subsidiary markets (i.e., like stain/spill guard treatments) have grown up around the fiber technology.  However, carpet fiber is just one factor that needs consideration.  Equally important are carpet construction factors like density, filament type and twist level.  Carpet construction greatly influences value, price and performance..  When shopping for carpet, it helps to have a good understanding of these factors in order to make the best decision.

Carpet Fibers

Let us focus on fibers to here since they are the basic element.

Carpet Fiber: Carpet’s Building Blocks

The four basic fibers used in carpet today are nylon, polypropylene (Olefin), polyester and wool.  Since synthetic fibers make rule the majority in the US carpet industry, let us focus on them.   Each type of fiber has its own strengths and weaknesses. These attributes are the determining factors for end-use performance and manufacturing.  Keep in mind there is no perfect fiber for all the all inclusive intentional end-use and carpet is subjected to incredible abuse from foot traffic, spills, pets, furniture and stains.

Typical Carpet Fibers

Carpet History in terms of Synthetic Fibers

During World War II, there was an increased demand for wool (i.e., the dominant carpet material at that time), however wool was needed for military uniforms and blankets. The military need provided the industry with incentive to research and create alternative fibers. This move culminated in the introduction of synthetic (i.e., or man-made) materials for many uses. After the war, manufacturers continued to develop various synthetic materials. By the 1960’s, DuPont’s man-made nylon and acrylic materials supplied most of the carpeting industry’s needs. In 2004, nylon accounted for 68 percent of the fibers used in carpet manufacturing, followed by polypropylene (22 percent) and polyester (9 percent), with wool constituting less than 0.7 percent of the total. Per 2017, there again was a dramatic shift. Nylon held 25% of residential carpet market and Polyester grew to 48%.

Carpet Fiber Market Share 2017

Nylon: Durable, Resilient & Versatile

Nylon Carpet Fibers 101

Nylon is typically more expensive than other synthetic carpet fibers, but historically has better value in terms of performance. This cost can vary considerably within the manufacturers realm in terms of fiber or filament quality relative to the manufacture’s warranty. A greater or longer warranty influences the price and this has much to do with better fiber, better carpet construction and better stain guard treatment.

Carpet Fiber Resiliency

Nylon is the most versatile of all carpet fibers, providing flexibility in creating a variety of carpet styles.  Moreover, Nylon is one of the strongest fibers providing a great choice for heavy traffic areas in residential or commercial use. Nylon fibers offer good resiliency, good twist and good abrasion resistance.  Much of the resiliency outside the fibers chemical make-up (i.e., that directly correlates to the fiber’s strength and elasticity) has to with the Nylon fiber shape.  The Nylon fiber or filament can be extruded in various shapes that when incorporated in a carpet construction provides additional strength and resiliency. The trilobal shape pictured below is the most common. The shape of the fiber also provides soiling resistance (i.e., meaning “soiling” is hidden well)  and effects the perception of color and luster. Please note, the Nylon fiber is a poor performer when fading is a consideration (i.e., keep those UV rays to a minimum).

Nylon Carpet Fiber
Carpet Filament Shapes

Nylon offers impeccable stain resistance when stain treatment is applied. Since Nylon is not inherently stain resistant, a tremendous amount of R&D on treatments have grown up around the fiber and are continually refined. As such, Nylon carpets have historically proved their durability, resiliency and excellent stain guard treatments.

Nylon Fibers

Polypropylene (Olefin):  Colorfastness & Naturally Stain Resistant

Olefin Carpets

Olefin (Polypropylene) is one of the most colorfast fibers on the market.  Unlike the other fibers presented, polypropylene is hydrophobic and as such will not absorb water. Olen fibers are solution dyed to impart color.  Solution dyeing is a pigmentation process in which color is actually built into the fiber when it is formed As such, the color becomes an inherent part of the fiber.  The color will not fade, even when exposed to intense sunlight, bleaches, or other harsh chemicals.

Olefin or Polypropylene Chart

When considering fade and stain resistance for your home, Olefin is a great performer. Rooms with strong sunlight are no problem for Polypropylene. Also, they work great in basements or shore homes where mildew is a great concern. Since Olefin is not as resilient as the other fibers, Olefin is typically offered in a Berber carpet design (i.e., a low-profile loop). As such, Olefin is not a good choice for a high traffic room.

Polyester:  Great Stain Resistance, Soft, & Budget-Friendly

Polyester fiber and Polyester carpets have come a long way in the past decade. In 2017, they gained the market share in residential use (i.e., 48% from 9% in 2004) as well as commercial applications.  This increase in market share has as much to do with the amount of R&D as it does considering the cost savings to produce the fiber. Polyester is the perfect choice for stain-resistance. However, Polyester is still not as resilient as nylon, but when Polyester is incorporated into a well constructed carpet it performs well.  As such, a polyester carpet with a high pile and medium-to-high density is a good choice for shoppers interested in appearance retention and long-term wear.

Carpet Fiber Recovery

A major recent advancement in Textile Technology was the creation of  PET Polyester (i.e., Polyethylene Terephthalate) fibers and their incorporation into the carpet industry.  This new polyester is much stronger and durable. The creation and the positive end-user performance ratings were the driving force in Polyester’s ascent to market share leader.  PET Polyester also offers:

  • Exceptional softness
  • Fade resistance
  • Improved strength and better abrasion resistance
  • Natural and permanent stain resistance, including pet urine

A PET polyester fiber carpet with a high pile and medium-to-high density is a great choice ensure maximum appearance retention and long-term wear.

Nylon, Olefin and Polyester Fiber Comparison

Polyester carpet vs Nylon carpet comparison

Carpet Polyester or Nylon comparison

Carpet Manufacturer Warranties

When looking for a good value, look past the warranties and “brand names“. There are carpets that still provide the inherent benefits of a synthetic fiber at a lower price. However if you are certain that you need or want performance and longevity, please do not disregard the warranties in general. Much research and engineering has gone into today’s carpet manufacturing. Again, a longer warranty influences the price and this has everything to do with better fiber, better carpet construction and better stain guard treatment.

Essentially, the type of carpet fiber you want depends on your priorities and needs.  Family rooms and hallways in an active households may require a better-grade nylon carpet.  Rooms without frequent use (and abuse) may not need a high-performance nylon.  For the budget minded shopper, a tightly twisted, medium dense PET polyester carpet that is multicolored (or a Frieze construction) may be all that you need to help hide traffic and soil.

As with any large purchase, do your homework, read your warranties and be sure to communicate your needs and wants to your design consultant.

Carpet Construction

Main Line Flooring and Interiors

Main Line Floors is an american carpet company. We are not your home depot carpet center, but we hope to be your hometown carpet provider of fine carpets and wall to wall carpeting. For years I worked at empire carpet, other flooring centers, and manufacturers while dreaming of opening my own shop.

I have found that educating the consumer is the best practice, and I am happy to do so to put my textile engineering degree to good use.

Main Line Floors of Philadelphia, PA specializes in distribution and installation on high end residential homes and commercial interiors. However, we have great products and installations for Builders, Multifamily, Senior Living and the Real Estate Investor / House Flipper.

What is a carpet par rating?

What? Most of us care more about the look and feel of carpet than how it’s made. However, taking a moment to learn a little bit about carpet construction can help you make a better decision on your carpet purchase. Let’s look at some basic elements involved in carpet construction to asses a carpet par rating.

Carpet construction: the basic elements:

  • Fibers
  • Dye (color)
  • Tufting & Guage
  • Density of pile
  • Pile height
  • Twist level of fiber
  • Backing & Latex
  • Shearing or finishing
  • Stain resistant treatments
Typical Carpet Fibers

Fibers are the basic “building blocks” of textiles, or in this case carpet. There are several different fibers widely used to make carpet today. There are natural and synthetic fibers that are used in production, however the synthetics predominately own the market share because they are highly engineered to function for specific end-uses in carpet. Typical fibers used today are:  Wool, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester (P.E.T.), and Triexta. Some fibers come from recycled products such as polyester bottles or recycled carpeting. Again, each type of fiber (or mixture of fibers) has its own unique performance feature that contribute to style, performance, and cost.

Carpet Fiber Dyes

Dye (color)

In the carpet industry, there are predominately two technologies used for dyeing residential carpets. First, the use of pre-dyed yarns (dyed before the tufting process) and, secondly, the use of post dyed yarns (dyed after the tufting process). There are numerous methods of “pre” and post dyeing performed across the textile industry. Each method can affect a carpet’s performance and stain resistance. Additional types of dyeing include skein dyeing, stock dyeing, yarn dyeing, space dyeing, extrusion dyeing, beck dyeing, continuous dyeing and print dyeing.

Carpet Tufting

Carpet Tufting

Most carpet produced today for the mass market is made using a method called tufting. The process is somewhat similar to embroidery in which pile yarns are inserted “or, tufted” into a backing material. This process has been used for many years and has been highly engineered to make production incredibly fast and more affordable.

Carpet Gauge


The distance between the needles used for tufting (referred to as the “gauge rate“) determines the density of the carpet. Residential carpet is typically 3/16 and 3/8 gauge (measured in needles per inch across the width).

Carpet Density

Density Pile

“Picks per inch, anyone?”
Like your fine dress shirt or bed sheet, the more fibers per inch, the better a carpet will perform. Dense piled carpets offer outstanding performance and long-term durability because the pile resists crushing and matting. A simple test: press your finger into the carpet pile while touching the backing. The harder it is to touch the backing, the denser the carpet is.

Carpet Pile Height

Pile Height (Nap)

Pile height (also referred to as “nap height“) is measured from the surface of the backing to the top of the tufted yarn. Similar to a golf score, a smaller number is best because a lower pile height in carpet provides a higher density construction. And, this equates to better overall performance. The taller the fibers stand above the backing, the less the carpet will perform over time. Remember, the higher the number, the lower the expected performance.

Carpet Stitch Rate

Stitch Rate 

The number of tufts along the carpet length is called “stitch rate”.

Carpet par performance, based on density, is measured by a combination of stitch rate, gauge rate and yarn pile height.

Carpet Backing

Face Weight

Never buy carpet based on weight, as “face weight” (the amount of fiber on the surface expressed in ounces per square yard) can be confused with “total weight,” which combines face weight plus the weight of the two backings and latex.

Backings & Latex

The backing you see when turning carpet over is a secondary backing used to “sandwich and enclose” the fiber and yarn between the primary and secondary backings using latex glue (a high strength enriched polymer). Most backings are a web or simple weave of either plastic, rubber, urethane or jute. Jute is the most durable performer, but has a slightly higher cost.

Carpet Twist

Twist Level

Twist level is measured in turns per inch (“TPI”) of a yarn. Though twist level is rarely reviewed prior to purchase, it can have a big impact on performance. A carpet with a higher twist level has the tendency to hold its original appearance longer than its lower twisted counterparts. Lower twisted carpets can unwind at the yarn tips, resulting in a “trafficked” appearance.

Frieze carpet styles might have 7 or 9 turns per inch, while a Saxony may have only 3 or 4 turns per inch.

Shearing or Finishing (Crimping)
If a carpet fiber is not crimped, as it is in a frieze, a textured plush, or a textured Saxony or the common 1970’s term, “shag”, it may have its tips sheared, resulting in a very dense velvety construction.

Carpet Fiber Protection

Stain Resistant Treatments
Stain resistance treatments are added to most carpets today, but the reality is that light colors will always show soil. Most treatments eventually wear off and this has to do with traffic and cleaning, so it’s important to use common sense.

Typically, carpet owners will tire of a carpet’s color or texture long before the carpet actually requires replacement. And there you have it, seven years of college down the drain!

When thinking of purchasing your next carpet or floor remodel, please give Main Line Floors a call:  610.304.3222. 

Again, we focus on high end residential and commercial. However, we have great products and installations for Builders, Multifamily, Senior Living and the Real Estate Investor / House Flipper.

Feel free to leave a comment if this post was helpful or informative. I hope it was.

Thank you,

Main Line Floors 


Carpet Buying Guide. Carpet Durability.

Are you shopping for Home Depot carpeting, or are you looking elsewhere? There are several factors to keep “in mind” while shopping for your home carpet.

Best Carpet Durability Rating

Performance as it is measured in carpets is associated with several aspects. It is most important for the consumer as well as the specifier to understand how all these elements come together to work appropriately. Consideration of the appropriate end use and most importantly the “traffic requirements” correlates directly with the “construction” of a manufactured carpet.

Did you know that Cotton is stronger than steel?

It is, when immersed in water. What about the performance characteristics of cotton? It’s far superior to steel. Try to imagine how many times your favorite pair of jeans flexed as your knees do during your everyday movement. How many times have they been washed? What were those wash cycles like? Drastic!

Carpet Design!

Carpet is a highly engineered product as are your jeans. As such, some thought is necessary prior to its purchase. The intended end use of the carpet is the best place to start. Let us at Mainline Floors help and guide you during your decision process. We like to think about how the construction method of carpet correlates to your traffic requirements. Some science that we take into consideration are:  the best fiber characteristics necessary for end-use and performance; does the yarn size correlate with the gauge to provide ultimate performance; is the backing system appropriate to the desired performance; and are the dye and finishing techniques (i.e., color and stain  repellents) consistent with the end-use need?

The use of cotton in wall to wall carpeting may be a mistake.

One common misconception an end user relies on, is considering only one construction factor to determine if their commercial or residential carpet will meet specification. As such, let Mainline Floors determine what pile yarn density is important for end use performance. We will also consider the gauge, the yarn size and many other construction parameters while you consider style and traffic performance needs. You may end up purchasing home depot carpeting based on price. However, you may not have known or even wanted to know that cotton carpet you bought consists of yarns spun with staple fiber cotton fiber. Since staple fiber means short fiber (i.e., around 1.5″), you may not have realized at purchase that your carpet is constructed with short fibers that will eventually break free from the yarn in your carpet. However, you will realize that you are vacuuming up the majority of your floor more often.

it is important for the specifier (or design consultant) and the end-user to determine how they want the carpet to perform.

Other factors to consider.

Carpet performance is associated, in part, with pile yarn density (i.e., or, the amount of pile yarn in a given volume of carpet face). For a given carpet weight, the lower pile height and higher pile yarn density will yield the most performance for the money.

Density is also influenced by the number of tufts per inch when counting across a width of carpet. For example, a 1/8 gauge carpet has eight tuft rows per inch of width and a 1/10 gauge carpet has 10 rows per inch of width. Extra heavy traffic conditions require a density of 5,000 or more.

M.S. Textile Engineer

Mainline Floors

Call us at 610.304.3222