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, Multi-family, Hospitality, 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

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

Allergen Free Textiles in your Bedroom

Devan Chemicals, a textile finisher, just launched this past summer of 2018 an updated technology that helps textiles to become free from allergens shed by cats and dogs. Their new product is called Purissimo. It is a probiotic-based solution that is completely natural, which was inspired by their experience with Purotex®.

Purotex is a  textile treatment technology that uses five 100% natural bacteria or probiotics. The probiotics are selected for their ability to clean up house dust mite allergen along with other allergen types. The active probiotics are placed inside of millions of capsules and are introduced during the textile production. These human friendly bacteria remain non-active until friction force is created.

Purotex has been used  to help alleviate excessive allergens in your bedroom. When friction is created between the mattress/pillow and the sleeper’s body the probiotics are activated. Under the friction force a small part of the capsules is opened and probiotics become active. The probiotics saturate the bacterial capacity of the textile and by doing so, reduce the risk of dust mite allergen development and growth of molds and harmful bacteria.

How does it work:

1. Inactive probiotics are encapsulated and integrated in the textiles.
2. Friction between body and mattress opens the micro-capsules.
3. The probiotics absorb humidity and self-activate: they start to clean up allergens.

Devan Chemicals has been able to demonstrate that probiotic bacteria can be used to neutralize dust mite’s allergens present in textiles. This technology is based on 2 principles.

Principle 1: probiotic bacteria must survive on textiles

The probiotic bacteria used in Purotex® have the ability to sporulate. A spore is a reproductive structure that is adapted for surviving in un-favorable conditions for many years. The sporulation process makes it possible for bacteria to survive hard conditions and regain activity as soon as environmental parameters improve.

Principle 2: probiotic bacteria must survive wash cycles

In order to work over long term, spores should be slowly liberated. The spores are therefore micro encapsulated in reactive microcapsules, which are microcapsules with functional reactive groups on the shell surface. Those microcapsules react covalently with the reactive groups of the fibre and are therefore resistant to washes. The capsules break by friction and release the spores, which in contact with food sources, will transform to probiotic bacteria and will start to consume the allergens of the dust mite.

Main Line Floors and Interiors focuses on the supply and installation of high end residential and commercial hospitality flooring, area rugs and fine home interiors.

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

Thank you,

Main Line Floors & Interiors


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 offer discount flooring in Philadelphia. 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 Main Line 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

Ten Benefits of Carpet

Luxury Mainline Master


10 Benefits of Carpet
Appearance: Carpets simply add to the décor of your space by utilizing colors, patterns, and differentiated pile heights. Carpeting can accentuate any image you desire to convey.

The Brilliant Appearance of Mainline Floors Carpet

Style: With unlimited design of patterns, cuts, and colors, there is a multitude of possibilities to depict your style.

Feel: Hard surface floors typically feel and look cold when not accentuated with a throw carpet. However, carpets typically feel good, soft, and easier on the feet. Carpets provide a “softer” feel to the home.

Style Carpets from Mainline Floors

Insulation: Carpeted floors help save energy as an insulation barrier of the indoor environment. When carpets are used to insulate floors, they further provide a better psychological feeling of warmth.

Acoustics: Studies prove that carpets absorb sound. Carpeting with padding further enhances absorption. Movie theaters typically invest in wool carpets to fully utilize the acoustical absorption. Wool fibers provide the greatest acoustical advantages.

Safety: Unfortunately, more slip-and-fall accidents occur on hard surface floors than carpeted floors. Many textiles including carpeting are designed specifically to be flame retardant from children’s clothing to aircraft upholstery and carpet.

Mainline Floors

Easier to maintain: Carpeting is less labor intensive to clean and maintain compared to hard surface flooring. As such, carpets cost less in overall product performance.

Health: Although carpet has been villainized as a culprit of poor indoor “air quality”, it is without merit. As a function of the living space, carpet basically entraps allergens, dust, and other contaminants holding them safe until they can be properly removed.

Bottles to Yarn

Sustainable: Technological advancements in recycling have been innovative in the textile industry. Almost 85 percent of worn carpet remnants are recycled into new carpet. Moreover, textile manufacturers like Unifi (click on) make recycled yarn from plastic bottles. Unifi’s production has increased 20% yearly since 2009 and is used in brands like Patagonia, The North Face, Levi’s, Nike and Ford.

Cost savings: According to the IICRC (i.e., the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) carpet typically costs less over time than hard surface flooring in terms of initial purchase, cleaning, and maintaining.* See following note.

* The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification discovered that on an annual basis, hard surface floors require two and one-half times (2x) more cleaning time than carpet. Moreover, the cost of cleaning supplies are about 7x higher (i.e., more expensive) for hard surface floors than for carpeted floors.

Consider the upfront purchase price of your new floor relative to the varied installation costs. More than likely, the carpet expenditures (i.e., in terms of upfront cost, installation and cleaning expenses) prove to be more cost-effective over the full life of the product. As such, carpeted floors provide a better return on your investment (ROI).

Shaw Carpet R2X Stain Guard Solution

What is the best carpet cleaner?

The best carpet cleaning solution is always preventative maintenance. It behooves everyone when buying a carpet to seriously consider the factory pre-stain and soil treatment solution. In this case, Shaw Industries has the superior product by far, R2X. R2X from my experience is one of the best carpet cleaners when the soil and stain repellent is applied during manufacture.

R2X® is a Stain and Soil Repellent that protects carpet fibers from dirt and spills.

The R2X Stain and Soil Resistance system was first introduced in 2001 after years of research and testing. It quickly has become the textile carpet industry’s fastest-growing protective carpet treatment. It is a revolutionary textile chemical technology advancement. It is as innovative today as the first carpet stain and soil treatments were decades ago.

Why a Carpet Consumer should consider a Shaw carpet with R2X treatment.

The Shaw R2X system goes beyond the conventional stain and soil repellents that only protect the surface of the carpet. With the R2X technology, your carpets are “armored” with total fiber coverage The R2X system offers complete protection from the top to the bottom of the yarn (the treatment is not just a topical applied stain guard). Rather, R2X provides total fiber coverage that offers an uncomparable protection against household spills and everyday soiling. With the R2X system, the spills that reach the base of the yarn do not penetrate the carpet’s fiber base system and wick back to the top as they do with conventional solutions. This phenomenon explains the typical stain that does not go away with constant cleaning and professional services.

The R2X Stain and Soil Resistance System is an amazing technical achievement.

In testing, R2X demonstrated superior carpet stain resistance on two levels. First, it provides better initial protection. And secondly, it allows more time to react to a problem. Another significant benefit of R2X is its effectiveness with polyester and polypropylene fibers. Polyester and polypropylene carpets have an inherent tendency to attract soil. Meanwhile, topical soil carpet treatments are only “skin deep,” and this limited protection offered eventually wears away after cleaning or normal wear and tear. In contrast, R2X continues to perform well after repeated cleanings. As such, the performance of nylon, polyester, and polypropylene treated with an ordinary system begins to diminish. Moreover, Shaw’s warranty protection ensures customer satisfaction.

Visual Proof

Don’t just take my word for proof, please check out these short YouTube videos that follow:


Jim Ives

M.S. Textile Engineering

Mainline Floors


Coastal Area Rugs

Coastal Area Rugs by Main Line Floors & Interiors

For several reasons, natural fiber rugs provide that “wow factor” when decorating a coastal home, beach house or shore home. But, if you are just desiring some coastal elegance and texture in your primary home. There are several natural fiber rugs that provide that intricate woven texture to perfectly complement your design needs.

Natural Fibers

Typically, the natural fibers of jute, sisal and sea-grass rugs are found easy to care for, affordable and Eco-friendly. Their natural, earthy texture makes them amazingly versatile and a perfectly neutral foundation for any decor. In fact, many designers opt to go au-naturel, using a natural fiber rug in nearly every room of a house.

Natural Area Rugs

What happened to the good old days when rugs were, for the most part, wool?

Here’s a list of just some of the natural fibers now used to make rugs:

  • Soy fibers
  • Banana Silk
  • Hemp
  • Soft Jute
  • Leather
  • CoirACBR
  • Sisal
  • Cotton
  • Cactus
  • Aloe
  • Pina
  • Sea grass
  • Bamboo
  • Linen
  • Nettle
  • Paper
  • Corn

Most of these fibers are not new but are new to rug production.

What is a Soy rug? This is a very high-end and expensive designer fiber just recently incorporated into rug and carpet construction. A Shanghai-based scientist, Le Guanqi, after 10 years of research created a process of turning the leftover plant waste material from the soy bean into a textile fiber. This fiber is now used to make custom tufted rugs and wall to wall carpet and other textiles.

The fiber feels like a cross between cotton and linen. As such, it is very soft, lustrous and demonstrates a natural sheen. However, the sheen and soft hand can be affected by wet cleaning. Dry cleaning will not drastically affect the look of the fiber, but of course is not effective on soiled carpet.

Banana Silk is another new fiber to area rug production. This fiber is also known as Abaca and Manila hemp. These fibers were used for centuries in rope and other textile manufacturing products. It is a type of palm in the banana family (musaa textiles), not the cannabis hemp. The fiber is extremely soft, warm and lustrous, with the “look-of” of silk.

Jute has been used for designer rugs for some period of time. What is new, according to the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute, is that, “Jute yarn is processed to have a wool-like feel. It is much warmer and cheaper than wool.” It does feel like wool. Please note, it is a cellulosic fiber and will brown unlike wool. Moreover, it also does not have the resilience of wool.

Bamboo has been hot for a few years now as a hard floor material. You will see strips of this material made from the hard outer shell bound into area rugs. They do roll up for transport and have an attractive natural look. I do not see too much opportunity for cleaning here, as they are really a hard surface that could be mopped by the consumer. However, bamboo can be made into fabrics (like shirts, towels, pants) and yarns for rug production. Bamboo is regenerated to form fibers, as rayon is made from cellulose. Look for more textiles made from bamboo, particularly as it has a “green” appeal.

Linen comes from the flax plant and is not new to textiles. In fact, the Egyptians were famous for their extremely fine woven linen fabrics. What is new is that more and more linen is now used for designer rugs and wall-to-wall carpet; some products are selling for $500 per yard installed

The Difference between Jute, Sisal and Sea Grass

While they share many similarities, the differences between jute, sisal and sea grass are what sets them apart. You may find that one is more suited to your lifestyle than the other. So, if you want to know if jute rugs are soft, if you should go sisal in your high-traffic entry or if sea grass can handle spills in a playroom, then read on.

Jute Rugs

Jute is a natural plant stem fiber. It is considered a bast fiber that has been used since the dawn of civilization. Jute is primarily grown in the areas of Bangladesh, India and Thailand. The fiber has been extensively used to make burlap and twine. Jute fibers are soft and smooth with a waxy sheen, resulting in the softest choice underfoot. For a super-soft jute rug, look for one that’s blended with chenille. Because of their weave, our Braided Link Jute Rug and our Braided Jute Rug have a softer texture than your average jute rug.

Main Line Floors and Interiors is a premier source for high end residential and commercial hospitality ornamental rugs and home interiors.

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

Thank you,

Main Line Floors & Interiors