Carpet- Matting, Crushing and Wear

Carpet- Matting, Crushing and Wear

One of the most frequent complaints, and misunderstood conditions with carpet is wear, matting and crushing. The carpet industry defines “wear” as a measurable abrasive loss of face fiber. Conditions such as tears, cuts, pilling, shedding, pulls, and matting and crushing are excluded from warranty. Stairs are expressly excluded from all carpet warranties.

Matting and crushing occurs when the fibers become bent and compressed with use. The tufts may become entangled and usually can’t be lifted or separated with vacuuming or pile grooming (carpet rake as pictured).

The most obvious changes usually occur in front of chairs and sofas, pivotal areas, higher use traffic lanes and hallways. These changes are usually noticed when the consumer compares these areas with areas that are not used. Changes in the appearance of carpet, especially the traffic lanes, are usually not a sign of wear, matting or crushing because there is no measurable loss of face fiber and tufts are not matted or entangled- they are simply laying down, a condition called pile crushing.

According to the CRI, Carpet and Rug Institute, all carpets are subject to crushing. Crushing is prevalent in  carpet and is most evident in high traffic areas and steps. According to the Carpet & Rug Institute’s Claim Policy Guidelines, page 5 section 8, pile crushing is not considered manufacturing related.

Although pile crushing will eventually occur with most carpet fibers, the carpet’s appearance can be maintained by installing a good, firm carpet cushion. Vacuum regularly and thoroughly and have the carpet professionally cleaned according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Linda Lockwood
Statewide Floor Covering Inspection Service

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