Is this Smartstrand a good quality? Are long fibers problematic?

tyjyApril 12, 2012

We like the color of the Mohawk SmartStrand "Starfall: "Multi" (multi-color) style carpet at Lowes. The sign says it is a "Special 8-color selection of fleck friezes". There is a "Best" and a "Better" version in same color I like. Both versions have a 5.50 x 5.50 twist, the density & face weights are different (Best=45 oz & 1,714 density; Better=35 oz & 1,623 density).

Does this describe a good quality carpet? Is the

"twist" tight enough and "density" decent?

The fibers seem to be rather longish. Should I be cautious about this as far as developing traffic patterns goes? Is anyone familiar with this style and can you tell me if it'll "mash down" more than a shorter style?

(The clerk steered me towards Stainmaster with shorter strands... "nylon 6,6" styles as an alternative to that particular Smartstrands length. Any opinions about this or which is a better choice?)

Also, an observation, wondering if this is normal for a "store sample": When I took one of the twisted fibers (of the Smartstrand multi) between my fingernails and pinched/pulled it, it seemed to get fuzzy on the ends. Also, a few twisted/fiber strands actually pulled right out of the backing. (I was attempting to find out if a vacuum would get ahold of it and pull it/unravel anything! Had an awful experience with that type of problem years ago and NEVER want to repeat the mistake!!) Are these things typical of a sample piece that experiences unusual circumstances like this vs. actually installed in a home without culprits like me abusing it like I did?

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Yep your a culprit. Have no worries with Smartstrand. It is a safe return on investment!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:28PM
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Some of the longer ones can mess up the beater bar on a vacuum cleaner they told me. Thats why we went with more of a pile.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:25AM
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Thank You very much for some feedback. I just want to get something that'll last and last, especially in one high traffic area!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 4:57PM
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I don't think you'll have any problems with the Smartstrand. The Stainmaster doesn't even come close to comparing with the softness and mat-resistance of the Smartstrand.

You are looking at a frieze style carpet--that's why the strands are so long. Think of it as a short shag carpet. It has a very casual look to it. If you want a shorter strand, but still longer than your average plush carpet, try one of the denser Smartstrand plush carpets--I believe it is called Lucky Star at Lowe's. It's a very good compromise, although it doesn't come in a multi-color (to my knowledge).

As far as durability, we use a Dyson Ball vacuum on ours and have had no problems with the strands unraveling or pulling out. Still looks as nice as the day it was put in. When DS2 cut his foot and dripped blood all over the off-white Smartstrand carpet in his bedroom, it all came out 1-2-3 with just a clean cloth dampened with tap water. My favorite thing to do when I come home after work is to slip off my heels and walk across my Smartstrand carpet enjoying the plush luxurious feel of it under my feet:-)

Hope this helps!

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:24PM
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Yes this all helps and thanks to you all! I think we do want the frieze style & yup because of the casualness.

We went shopping again today and a dealer store clerk kept steering us towards the Karastan "Nature's Bounty" multi-color style which he says IS Smartstrand, & no difference? The label on the back says:
"100% SmartStrand BCF Triexta Made with DuPont Sorona Renewably Sourced Polymer". No twist count or density.

The other type WE found at that same dealers was one he seemed to try and keep us away from (maybe he doesn't make as much profit??): "SmartStrand Enlightened Decor" under a SmartStrand only display (vs Karastan). It also says "100% SmartStrand..." same as above. (has the same Color name as the Lowes carpet and looks the same. Is it?

He said the price would be the same for either choice , a "builders discount" at 4.49 sq ft w/8# Smart Cushion pad, tax & installation.

Are these two carpets actually the SAME? Does anyone know if there's a quality difference?

(btw, we will be getting a new vac too so will be checking other boards for tips on that purchase but mydreamhome: thanks in advance!!)

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 8:35PM
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Check the weights/density of the carpets as well as the fiber length to determine if there is a difference. Mohawk sells Smartstrand under the Karastan name as well and it is all the same carpet from that aspect. You could very well be correct in that the store clerk may have some incentive to sell one vs. the other, but I can't say for sure. Another thing to check is whether one is the new Smartstrand Ultra or Smartstrand Silk and the other the "older" Smartstrand. There's a thread on GW Flooring forum about the new Smartstrand that will give you all the details--link below.

Apart from that, I would price out the one that matches up with HD's names at HD and see if there is any difference with your local guy. If there is a significant difference (lower price @ HD), I would see if the local guy is willing to come down on his price to get the business for the exact same carpet. The local guy will typically have a better install record (you get the luck of the draw with HD & Lowe's), so if he can come down within what you think is a reasonable price, I would go with him. Make sure the padding & install specs all match up so you're comparing apples to apples vs. apples to oranges. A little extra $ is worth the peace of mind IMO.

As for vacuums, we have the Dyson Ball and love it. When we first moved in to the house, our Dyson was still at the apartment an hour away that we were in temporarily (we were in the clean up phase before final checkout inspection). We borrowed Mom's new Electrolux. It did a great job, but it was hard to push & pull across the carpet because it was so plush. I couldn't find any way to adjust the height, so I just strong-armed it for the little while I had it and made a mental note not to buy Electrolux in the future. I worried about how the Dyson would do, but those worries turned out to be unfounded. My Dyson was pricey (even on sale the price of 2-3 regular vacs), but it has outlasted all the other vacs I have bought in the past so IMO it was worth it!

Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Smartstrand Changes

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:38AM
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Floortech (or others)
In your opinion which of the following is a better buy?
Silk face weight of 45 vs regular smartstand face weight of 60? with silk being approximately $1 / sq foot higher. Same pads, same local carpet company... Going into bedrooms only as rest of house is hardwoods.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 2:04PM
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mydreamhome: I'm going to take the advice and compare. Have not gone to HD yet but certainly will be fitting that in asap. (THX for the vac tip! If we get this longer frieze I know we'll need a vac that the heights can be adjusted. I have a tempermental "bursa" that aches after vacuum use so in that research project you just gave me my first step!)

mathdan: are you talking the Smartstrand brand of "Silk" in the face weight comparison? I'd like to know this too as I started shopping before the new stuff came out. Throws a monkey wrench in the search but glad I have a chance to choose the latest if I want to!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:07PM
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I would go with the reg 60 ounce at this point based on the fact that the new intro's I do not have or have not studied.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 8:01PM
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