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September 06
6 Steps to Take the Guesswork Out of Specifying Carpet

​We all know that design and aesthetic appeal are important factors to consider when choosing the perfect floor covering for a commercial space – but how do you choose a beautiful carpet while ensuring optimal performance in varying traffic levels and facility locations? 

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has developed a 6-step plan called “Taking the Guesswork Out of Specifying Carpet” to help architects, interior designers and facility managers choose the right commercial carpet for specific areas of use. The easy-to-follow plan uses Texture Appearance Retention Ratings to find the best end-use application.

Step 1: Identify the intended environment

Carpet is used for a variety of functions, including aesthetic appeal, sound absorption, safety, cushioning and comfort. The first step involves determining the role carpet will play in the designated space.

Step 2: Understand the Classification and Texture Appearance Retention Rating (TARR) guidelines

With the help of technical experts and commercial and government specifiers, CRI has developed a system that classifies interior spaces with minimum carpet Texture Appearance Retention Ratings (TARR). 

Each area receives a moderate, heavy, severe or special end-use classification, depending on the expected level of foot traffic. For example, private offices are classified as moderate use, while corridors are classified as heavy or severe use. 

In addition, carpet carries a Texture Appearance Retention Rating that gives buyers a better indication of how well a carpet will perform in a particular space.

Commercial carpeting should have at least the following:

•  Moderate ≥ 2.5 TARR

•  Heavy ≥ 3.0 TARR

•  Severe ≥ 3.5 TARR

A reference guide for CRI’s recommended traffic level classifications can be found here​.

Step 3: Select the end-use areas and TARR for your needs

After determining the use for the space and understanding the traffic level classifications, determine which type of carpet should perform best given the specific location within your facility. 

Step 4: Choose the Color and Design

Choose your flooring aesthetics to complement the design of your space while also considering a design to disguise stains and wear patterns. Level of traffic will play a role in the color and pattern that will work best in the space.

Step 5: Select the carpet type and backing

Industry tests indicate that choosing a cushion-backed carpet improves performance by absorbing the impact of traffic while allowing the carpet to look better and last longer. Also, cushion backing increases comfort for those walking on the carpet throughout the day. CRI provides carpet specification forms for a variety of backing types.

Step 6: Determine a cleaning and maintenance plan

While determining the perfect carpet installation takes a thorough amount of thought and planning, selecting a maintenance plan is also very important. A well planned, quality program is essential for the life span of the floor covering. 

Click here for more information and to download CRI’s 6-step plan.​