Office vs Home Carpet – Whats The Difference?

You may have noticed that carpets designed and suited for home use do not always make sense for an office space, or vice-versa. But have you ever considered what the difference is, or why one fabric or style may work for one application and not the other?

In the home, nylon and polyester are the preferred fabrics. These provide a more comfortable feel when shoes are not worn, and do not hold furniture marks or stains quite as easily. We usually recommend nylon for its comfort and longevity, and the fact that it can usually release any oil-based stains. Polyester does release water-based stains better, but tends to be ruined more easily by oil-based stains. Consider these when choosing your next carpet, as the most likely forms of stains in your home could very well dictate which material you should install.

In most office spaces, carpets are designed with function and longevity in mind before comfort or appearance. This usually leads to the use of what we call a short-loop polypropylene fabric. While this tends to run more easily when snagged, it is much less susceptible to stain, and is designed for heavy foot traffic with very little fabric wear. However, once polypropylene is stained, or receives an imprint from long-term furniture placement, these more hearty fibers tend to hold their imperfections more stubbornly. While we recognize that it’s not always possible, we do recommend using furniture pads and/or rearranging furniture frequently to avoid these harsh marks becoming permanently impressed into your office flooring.

Heavy Stain Cleanings

Ink, paint, and red dye can be particularly stubborn almost immediately when introduced to a carpet. For this article, we want to address cleaning of these specific kinds of spot cleanings. Remember, these tips apply ONLY to carpets, as upholstery should NEVER be spot-cleaned to avoid rings or spots.

Anything red in color, such as red wine or fruit juice with Red 40 dye, tends to set very quickly into fabrics. As we mentioned in our spot treating article, customers tend to frantically scrub these areas, which is not recommended as it can have a similar effect to over-sanding a block of wood. You may remove the color, but there could now be irreversible damage to the quality of the fabrics. In addition, over-treating with detergent may in fact set the stain into the rug. For instances like this, we strongly recommend calling NOVA for an urgent cleaning. We carry a dye remover that can attempt to either open up the pores of the fibers to release the contaminant, or neutralize the color of the stain.

Unfortunately, there is the risk that heavy stains, especially from materials like paint or candle wax, may not be removable even with a professional cleaning. In these cases, NOVA can carefully replace the damaged sections. This usually requires extra pieces of the original rug, which means that because the unused pieces have not worn or faded evenly with the rest of your floor, it may not look completely natural, but still better than the section being permanently stained. Please contact us for more information so that we can make these repairs look as seamless as possible.

Spot Cleaning Your Carpet

Spills, leaks, stains, and other residue don’t always present themselves evenly on a fabric. One or two spots, especially if they’re heavy and easily noticeable, can often lead our customers to attempt spot treatments on their own. But before you start scrubbing, bleaching, or cleaning individual areas of your fabrics to remove those stubborn stains, please read this brief article and consider calling NOVA for a professional stain removal, to avoid permanent damage to your fabrics.

For starters, no fabric should ever be “scrubbed” with any form of cloth. Much like the soles of your shoes are abrasive against the delicate fibers of your carpet, even the softest of cleaning fabrics can wear against the fibers of your rug. Even if you’ve lifted the contaminants, there may now be permanent fraying, unwinding, or even tearing of microscopic yarn, none of which can be corrected. This may not be immediately apparent, but as time goes on, you’ll find that this section will not wear evenly with the rest of the floor, and may require earlier repair or replacement. Additionally, you should never spray a detergent directly onto a carpet or upholstery material, as this makes the soap harder to remove, and could leave an additional stain or spread the existing one.

Instead, if a spot treatment is necessary on your carpet, spray a cleaning cloth with as little detergent as possible, and dab it into the soiled section. Paper towel can be just as effective as a reusable cloth, though this is especially important with the “no scrubbing” rule, as paper towels can shred when rubbed, not only wearing out your fabric but leaving behind wet, shredded paper that can prove difficult to untangle from your carpet fibers. If these gentle techniques do not lift the stain or clean the soiled area immediately, a full and professional cleaning with commercial-grade equipment may be necessary; contact NOVA for a free quite.

Please note that it is NEVER recommended to attempt spot-cleaning on upholstery, only on carpets. Spotting and rings can appear if any upholstery fabric is not cleaned evenly.