How Long Does Carpet Last?

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how long does carpet last

If you’re thinking of redoing your floors, you may be wondering what makes more sense – carpet or another type of flooring.

While one of the most significant deciding factors is what you and your family find aesthetically pleasing and practical, another factor to consider is how long does carpet last. 

Here’s what you need to know.

What’s the Average Lifespan of Carpet?

The average lifespan of carpet is 5 to 15 years. The rate at which carpet deteriorates depends on several factors, including the type of carpet installed, how heavy the foot traffic is, and the kind of dirt, spills, and stains the carpet is exposed to.

Factors that Determine How Long Your Carpet Will Last

If you’re trying to figure out how long carpet will last, there’s no one determiner. You need to take into consideration all of the following factors.

The Type of Carpet

There are four primary materials used to make carpet: nylon, wool, acrylic, and olefin. 

Nylon – Nylon is the most commonly used material in carpets. It’s incredibly strong, stain-resistant, and can hold up to a lot of traffic and indentation marks from heavy furniture. It’s an excellent choice for areas that are high trafficked and for families with kids or pets.

Wool – Wool is a more eco-friendly carpet choice that is very soft to the touch. While wool isn’t as tough as nylon, when used as a wool-nylon blend, it can still offer some of the same stain protection nylon carpet does. Wool is generally a less expensive carpet type but may not hold up well in busy households.

Acrylic -Acrylic is a synthetic material most often used to imitate the look of wool. This material feels soft to the touch and can hold up to stains well. The downside is that it may not last long if heavily trafficked.

Olefin -Olefin, also known as polypropylene, is what’s used in Berber carpets. This material is durable and exceptionally stain-resistant. This option is usually cheaper than nylon but may not last quite as long.

If you have heavy foot traffic in your home and want a carpet that lasts for years to come, it’s best to skip wool and acrylic and opt for nylon or olefin.

The Amount and Type of Traffic Your Carpet Receives

One of the main factors determining how long your carpet lasts is the amount and type of traffic your carpet receives.

Think about a guest bedroom, for example. Have you ever stayed in someone’s guest bedroom, and the carpet looked and felt brand new even though it didn’t appear that way in the rest of the house? That’s because that carpet received very little wear and tear.

On the flip side, imagine that same house, now only the living room. The living room has had kids and pets in it for the past ten years. There have been countless spills and pet accidents, certain areas have been walked on repeatedly, and the carpet now even retains a smell.

Same carpet – completely different look. 

Just like in the example above, factors that will determine how long your carpet lasts and how it looks:

  • Heavy traffic in specific spots.
  • Spills that you don’t promptly clean up.
  • Pet accidents.

How Well You Care for Your Carpet

Even if you have kids and pets, if you care for your carpet well, you can keep it looking good for a long time. 

Here’s how:

Promptly clean up spills and messes – If you want to keep your carpet stain-free and keep it from absorbing odors, you need to clean up spills and other messes as soon as you see them.

Vacuum Weekly – Dirt that gets brought into your house can sit in your carpet and, over time, wear down the carpet’s backing. You can altogether avoid this by vacuuming at least once a week. You may need to vacuum higher traffic areas more often.

Deep Clean Your CarpetAccording to Rug Doctor, you should deep clean your carpet every 12 months. If you have kids or pets, you should do this every six months.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how does carpet long

How do I know if my carpet is bad?

You can tell if your carpet is worn out and ready to be replaced by looking at it. If the carpet is matted down in certain sections, is stained up, or has nasty smells coming from it, it’s likely to need to be replaced.

Can carpet last 20 years?

Yes. If the area you’re placing carpet in is not a high traffic area and you keep your carpet clean and well cared for, it can last for more than 20 years.

What’s the best type of carpet for pets?

The best carpet material you can buy if you have pets is nylon. If you’re looking for specific carpet brands suitable for pets, we recommend StainMaster Pet Protect, Shaw Caress, Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean, and LifeProof PetProof.

How long does carpet last in a rental?

The amount of time carpet will last in a rental depends upon the renters and their habits. For instance, a single woman is less likely to wear down the carpet than a family of five with three kids and a dog.

However, according to Realtor.com, rental-grade carpet usually lasts about five years.

How long does carpet padding last?

Carpet padding lasts anywhere from 10-25 years, depending on the brand and type. Just like carpet, carpet padding will wear down quicker in heavily-trafficked areas.

Conclusion

The most telling sign of how long your carpet will last is what kind of traffic and messes it will receive. You can help keep your carpet in good shape by keeping it clean and promptly dealing with spills.

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AUTHOR

Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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