SmartStrand Silk vs TruSoft by Tuftex or Shaw?

dibgarNovember 2, 2012

We are looking for carpet for bedrooms, upper hallway and stairs; and we may want to put in the livingroom, as well.

We like the soft feel of SmartStrand Silk (style name Peaceful Mood) but I've heard mixed reviews and our flooring store said that at least two complaints have been filed involving the Silk version of Smartstrand. Most complaints seem to be about abrasion on the soft fibers from vacuuming. I've read that adjusting the beater bar helps; but even with the right vacuum, will we regret this soft fiber in the long run?

As an alternative, we are looking at Tuftex TruSoft which is a Stainmaster nylon. The sample feels soft and the price is comparable or a bit less expensive, but color selection is limited. I understand that parent company Shaw has a wider selection of colors also made with TruSoft fibers, so I will check out that display tomorrow.

How does SmartStrand Silk compare with TruSoft by Tuftex or Shaw? Which will wear better and look good in the long-run?

Our contractor intends to use a rubber pad under whatever carpet we choose.

Before I go back to the store, what other variables should I consider and what questions should I ask?

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I feel the Tuftex Tru Soft products are the absolute nicest products on the market today. We sell Tuftex, Smartstrand, and Shaw. (Tuftex is actually the high end division of Shaw)
Tuftex is the real deal in our opinion. Fear nothing with that product.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 2:43AM
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The Tuftex TruSoft sample I felt the other day certainly felt good. Since it is a soft fiber, will it experience any of the problems that people complain about with Smartstrand Silk?

We've been looking for a solid color and all of the Tuftex TruSoft options seem to have flecks of several shades. Today I am going to look at some solid colors in the Shaw line of TruSoft.

Is Tuftex TruSoft just a higher end name or are those carpets actually better quality than TruSolft sold under the Shaw label?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 12:08PM
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I would say that the quality control is perhaps higher under the Tuftex name. They do claim to have the lowest manufacturer claim ratio in the industry. No way to prove that. I will tell you that the vacuum complaints just arent there on the Nylons (Tuftex) like they are with Smartstrand. I have instructed my people to spell it out in plain language regarding the major smartstrand complaints regarding vacuuming. SmartStrand now recommends a vacuum that supposedly makes it easier to push through. If I am buying carpet today, it would be nylon and Trusoft would be on my shortlist. Smartstrand would be off the list. This race to be the softest product imaginable may be beginning to backfire. There may be a point where really really soft is too soft to maintain properly. Mohawk rep has recently told me Dysons. It wrecks the fiber in Smartstrand. I have not heard this from a Shaw rep or bulletin. PS my wife swears by the Dyson she recently bought..and she has tried many top of line Vacs. AI think she has a vacuum fetish.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 2:05AM
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Lightweight vacuums push across Silk with ease - Oreck makes a great vacuum that cleans well and is not too agressive for any fiber. It doesn't have adjustable height or beater bar. I have Silk in my whole home and have an Oreck (black and blue - not sure of model). To get the facts on good vacuums visit the third party indepedent agency - Carpet and Rug Institute @ This is who works with all of the manufacturers for testing, support, and maintainence solutions.

The store that I purchased my carpet from sells a lot of different brands of carpet. The one thing that helped me make an informed decision was the sales person that actually took the time to explain everything about how the carpet was constructed, what the fiber is, what its properties were, and how to care for the carpet after installation.

The salesperson was very upfront with me and mentioned that he was spiffed - paid extra to sell a Shaw nylon on the wall - but was not going to let that sway his decision to "push" a product on me. I'm sure all companies do that, but it really reflected a poor light on Shaw. Knowing that they have to pay people to "push" their products on consumers throws up a red flag.

I felt like I was taken care of and the SmartStrand just made sense to me. It is manufactured in an environmentally-friendly way. They use plant sugars to make 37% of the fiber content. Part of the backing was made using recycled gas from a landfill, and there were NO chemicals applied to it for stain resistance. The "green" thing isn't all that important to me, but every little bit helps.

The sales person said there wasn't a place in my home other a kitchen or a bathroom he wouldn't recommend puting SmartStrand. He said there wasn't really any downside to SmartStrand, but there were trade-offs with Nylon products. The trade-off was stain resistance because the solution R2x (what chemical is that???) can wear off wareas nothing can wash or wear off of the SmartStrand. Nylon was a solution dyed fiber that had to be "stained" to color it, therefore explaining that it is possible to stain it with hot coffee, wine, or mustard. It seemed to me that SmartStrand carpet is ahead of the times and like I said it just made perfect sense to me to purchase that carpet because there were NO trade-offs.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 7:55PM
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There perhaps isn't a tradeoff for *you* but anyone that doesn't want their vacuum choice dictated by their carpet choice is in a very different position. I'm glad you're happy with your carpet tho! Myself I would be pretty miffed to spend a large amount of money on carpeting only to find that 80% of vacuums either damage it or flat out don't work on it. I don't care how soft or stain resistant it can be, thats just where my priorities lie.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:08PM
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I personally dont feel like there's a tradeoff with a carpet that doesnt stain, is durable and the softest I've felt. And that would be SmartStrand. I did a little digging on the Mohawk website to see how they suggest to handle the carpet. Here's what I found:

There's a link devoted to vacuum info, seems very reasonable to me:

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 12:07PM
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I wonder if anyone has recent experience with Smart Strand Silk vs. Smart Strand Sorona by Mohawk? Is the Smart Strand Sorona more dense? It seems to have more favorable ratings than the Silk collection. I would think that the Smart Strand would be soft enough and wonder if it is denser than the Silk line so any help on this would be appreciated. The color samples I got from the store do not match any color names on the Mohawk site. Why? Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2014 at 1:53AM
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