The most common carpet warranty is a “wear” warranty. The definition of “wear” in the consumer’s mind may be somewhat different than “wear” in the manufacturer’s mind. Wear warranties were initiated when nylon was attempting to replace wool as the fiber of choice. Since wool was a natural hair fiber, it had the tendency to “wear” down through abrasion. Bald spots would develop in highly trafficked pivot areas. In other areas, the wool fiber would become so thin, the backing could easily be seen.
Since nylon was highly abrasion resistant, foot traffic had very little effect on this tough new fiber. To capitalize on this, a five-year wear warranty was issued with all nylon construction to publicize the fact that nylon would not wear away.
Unfortunately, in the consumer’s mind, the definition of wear has been lost. Currently, the consumer has the impression that “wear” relates to maintaining appearance levels. If this is your definition of wear, you are bound for disappointment.
Other warranties, such as matting and crushing, should be reviewed carefully as well. Matting is the intermingling of yarn tips or untwisting of the yarn. There may be an acceptable loss of twist built into these warranties that may be unacceptable to the average consumer. These are not absolute warranties. Crushing, or the flattening of the pile, may have a clause that states if the pile can be restored to within a certain percent of the original pile height, the warranty does not apply. Hot water extraction and a pile rake will usually restore pile height which upholds the warranty. Of course, the first foot step will flatten the pile fiber once again.