The most accurate and reliable measure of a
carpet's durability is to test it under actual
foot traffic. Using the industry-accepted
"20,000-Step Contract Walker Test," residential carpet
styles are subjected to testing by
"contract walkers," people hired to
walk on carpets for extended periods of time to
simulate years of wear. Shaw was the first
carpet manufacturer to employ this test, and
although it is a time-consuming and expensive
procedure, it is a proven, quantitative measure
of the durability of a particular carpet style
under virtual real-world conditions.
The rating serves as a guideline for assessing your requirements and allows comparison. The test represents extended wear, and when comparing one carpet to another, the rating does indicate which one can be expected to maintain its original appearance longer. We have examined the appearance of carpets in consumers' homes after actual wear, and we have found a high level of satisfaction among those who followed the full-disclosure guidelines.
It is important to understand that it is not practical to associate years with any level of the durability rating. There are so many variable factors that determine the ultimate appearance of a carpet - area of the home installed, traffic patterns, number of inhabitants, level of proper maintenance, etc. - that what might be only 3 years of acceptable performance to one could be a lifetime to another.
Tested samples are graded using the industry-standard, descending scale of 5 through 1, 5 being the appearance of new carpet. A rating below 2.5 should be considered for light to moderate traffic applications, such as bedrooms or other areas not subjected to heavy traffic.
Carpets that rate 2.5 or above are predicted to provide normal durability. These carpets can be used in most applications if properly cared for and cleaned.
A rating of 4.0 or above is considered outstanding, and carpets in this class are recommended for use in heavy traffic locations, such as family rooms and children's areas, even if you have a large, active family or entertain frequently.
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