Introducing carpet into your space can be an efficient and convenient addition to your home. Aside from giving the room an entirely different aesthetic, carpet is a more affordable alternative than hard surface flooring.

Carpets lend a lush and comfortable layer of cushioning, making them comfortable and safer to walk on, especially for households with children and elderly people.

Because of their thick materials, carpets also provide excellent insulation, thus keeping your home warmer during the cooler months, much warmer than hard surface floors. 

Out of a wide range of carpeting options, nylon and polyester are the most popular. If you’re wondering which one is better for your home, this article will serve as your guide. We’ll compare their key areas: cost, warranty, durability, and stain resistance. 

Nylon Overview

Nylon was developed in 1935 by Wallace Hume Carothers, the head of a research team working for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, known today as DuPont. Nylon was the first fully synthetic fiber made, and it quickly became a popular option to more traditional fabrics. 

Nylon became a substitute for silk and was used in stockings, fishing lines, surgical threads, and toothbrushes. In the mid-1950s, DuPont produced carpets made out of nylon, and this became the new standard for the carpeting industry. 

Types of nylon available include Nylon 6, Nylon 66, Nylon 6/6, Nylon 6/9, Nylon 6/10, Nylon 6/12, and Nylon 11, among others. The most common types you will find in the industry are Nylon 6 (polycaprolactam) and Nylon 66 (polyhexamethylene adipamide). 

Today, nearly 50% of carpets produced are made of nylon fibers, making it one of the most popular carpet fibers in residential and commercial markets.

Polyester Overview

In the late 1930s, Wallace Hume Carothers discovered polyester in the DuPont Lab, but he set it aside to focus on the newly produced nylon.

By 1941, British chemists John Rex Whinfield and James Tennant Dickson conducted their research in Calico Printers Association, Ltd’s lab which created the first commercial polyester fiber, Terylene, under the manufacturer Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).

Polyester, or its more scientifically correct name polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), is a synthetic fiber developed as an alternative to wool. It is usually derived from petroleum and commonly blended with cotton or another natural fiber.

Various types of polyester include Ethylene polyester (PET), PCDT Polyester, and Plant-Based Polyester. The most popular polyester fiber in the market is Ethylene polyester (PET). It’s commonly used for products, including clothing, industrial fabrics, home furnishings as well as electrical insulation, and computer tapes. 

Nylon vs Polyester Comparison

Nylon and Polyester carpets are commonly sold by the square foot or square yard. The price may vary, depending on the quality of the fibers and the manufacturer.

On average, the cost of a nylon carpet will range from $3.25 to $7.50 per square foot or $8 to $45 per square yard. For polyester carpets, the cost ranges from $1.99 to $5.99 per square foot for polyester carpeting or $8 (low-end) per square yard to $25 (higher-end) per square yard.

The cost applies to carpeting alone, not including the price for other materials and installation.

Warranty coverage for both nylon and polyester may vary, depending on the manufacturer of the brand. One of the most popular brands for nylon carpets is ANSO® NYLON by Shaw Floors.

Shaw Floors offers a Limited Lifetime Residential Warranty covering Stain, Pet Stain, and Soil, and a Limited 20-year Residential Warranty for Texture Retention, Abrasive Wear, and Quality Assurance. 

For polyester carpets, Mohawk’s Everstrand is one of the most popular brands. It offers a Lifetime Warranty covering care for general stain, pet urine stain, and soil, and a 15-year warranty covering quality for abrasive wear, texture retention, fade resistance, and manufacturing defects. 

Nylon carpets are known for their durability and strength. This is due to their ability to bounce back after being subjected to a large amount of pressure.. 

Because of their chemical structure, nylon carpets also have excellent texture retention, allowing them to maintain their original appearance without warping. Nylon carpets are also less likely to show indentations after heavy furniture is rested on them.

Moreover, nylon carpets are made of polyamide polymer, which naturally resists the growth of mold and mildew. They are a good carpeting option for areas prone to wetness, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and basement.

They can also withstand daily abrasive wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas, including active family rooms, stairs, and halls.

Polyester carpets are also sturdy and durable, but they are not as resilient as nylon carpets. They tend to be matte, shed, and leave marks when compressed by furniture.

Moreover, polyester carpets can easily show signs of wear and tear, especially when used in areas with heavy foot traffic. Thus polyester carpets are ideal only for lower traffic areas such as offices, TV rooms, or bedrooms.

Polyester carpets are also durable due to their low absorption rate, making them mold- and mildew-resistant. 

Polyester carpets contain hydrophobic fibers with closed cells that repel water, making them excellent natural liquid and stain-resistant. They are also treated with stain-resisting properties like solution dyeing, which makes them non-absorbent. 

By contrast, nylon carpets have a high absorption rate at which they soak in liquids and spills. Thus, nylon carpets have a higher chance of accumulating stains than polyester carpets. Nylon carpets can be stain-resistant by treating them using solution-dyed, which locks the color in and helps prevent stains from liquids or spills.

Nylon vs Polyester: Final Showdown

Both nylon and polyester carpets are sturdy, durable, and long-lasting. They are both soft and comfortable to walk on and provide excellent insulation.

Both carpet fibers also offer a myriad of choices in colors and styles, depending on the manufacturer. But if you prefer a low-cost carpet fiber with a much more vibrant finish, polyester is your ideal carpet choice because nylon tends to have a more dull or matte finish.

Moreover, both nylon and polyester are prone to static, but nylon tends to build up more static charge easier than polyester. For areas that are likely to use electricity, such as a computer room,  polyester carpet is likely the best choice.

But for heavy traffic areas, whether in residential or commercial applications, a nylon carpet will perform better and more likely withstand the wear and tear.

Both carpet fibers are petroleum-based synthetics, but if you’re going for eco-friendly and hypoallergenic carpet, polyester remains a great option as it’s mold and mildew resistant and often made from recycled materials such as plastic drink bottles. 

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Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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