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March 10, 2022
Carpet manufacturers, carpet brands—is there a difference? And if so: what is it?
Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about!
Below you’ll find answers to the most common questions about carpet manufacturers, including where they’re located, what kind of production practices they use, as well as a quick breakdown of some of the best carpet brands you can buy from.
Are Carpet Manufacturers the Same as Carpet Brands?
Some carpet manufacturers sell products under the same brand name (i.e. Mohawk produces and sells Mohawk carpet).
However, the opposite doesn’t hold up. Plenty of carpet brands only do the selling part; as in, a separate company actually manufactures the carpet. We won’t get into all the reasons for this (because it gets super complicated) but it essentially comes down to money and/or production capacity.
How Many Carpet Manufacturers Are There?
A few decades ago, there were well over 100 different carpet manufacturers in the United States alone. Today, there are only a couple dozen.
There Used to Be Over a Hundred Carpet Manufacturers in the US Alone…
Some of the best flooring companies (or the biggest, at least) began buying up smaller companies in the second half of the 1900s. Over time, the number of flooring companies—including carpet manufacturers—plummeted, with only about 20 of the most successful companies left by the early 2000s.
…But Customers Now Have More Carpet Options Than Ever Before
Despite the relatively small number of carpet manufacturers left, consumers have arguably never had moreoptions when it comes to different flooring styles.
Modern production practices, increased resources, and larger consumer bases have encouraged carpet manufacturers and brands to widen their catalogs.
Ironically, many of these products are made by only a handful of companies. We’ll go over specific examples later, but if you were to pick 10 carpet brands at random, there’s a good chance that only 3 or 4 companies actually made those products—regardless of the name on the label.
What Carpet Is Made in the USA?
Many of the best carpet brands still make their products in the United States; however, it’s pretty common for companies to outsource production to other areas of the world.
As for a specific list, it’s hard to say, though.
Big brands like Mohawk produce some of their carpets in the United States, while other lines might be made in China or elsewhere. These manufacturing practices tend to change with the wind, so keeping an updated list is pretty difficult.
That said, if buying American (or otherwise) is important to you, carpet sellers are required to tell you where a particular product was made.
Where Is Most Carpet Made in the USA?
Georgia is—and always has been—the carpet capital of the United States. However, North and South Carolina are home to many carpet manufacturers too.
Who Is the Largest Carpet Manufacturer?
Mohawk and Shaw are collectively responsible for around 3/4 of all carpet production in the United States, but not every product that leaves their factories carries a Mohawk or Shaw label.
Mohawk produces its own carpet but also lends its production capabilities to smaller brands.
On the whole, Mohawk products are similarly well-reviewed, though it’s fair to say that their SmartStrand carpet line may be their most popular carpet.
SmartStrand is made of DuPont’s hybrid-polyester fabric, triexta, which substitutes a significant amount of petroleum (the main ingredient in most synthetic carpets) with a corn byproduct.
Triexta carpet is eco-friendlier than other synthetic carpets but performs better than everything except the most resilient nylon products—and Mohawk is the only carpet manufacturer to make it. Mohawk also sells triexta under several different brand names, like Karastan and Lees carpet.
Their products are generally well-reviewed and durable, if a little pricey.
In recent years, Shaw has put a lot of effort into using more sustainable production practices with an increased emphasis on floors that contain fewer harmful emissions.
Do Any Carpet Manufacturers Make Low-VOC or Eco-Friendly Carpet?
Yes! In fact, most carpet manufacturers are making carpets that are friendly to both the environment and our bodies.
However, there’s a bit of a balancing act here because zero- or low-VOC flooringtypically has to be made from virgin plastics.
This isn’t an either-or situation, though; there are exceptions!
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde are commonly found in flooring and many other products. Over time, these chemicals get into the air, potentially causing illness in sensitive groups.
As more research on the harmful effects of VOCs comes out, carpet manufacturers are placing greater emphasis on producing zero- and low-VOC carpeting.
If you choose not to buy low-VOC flooring, we recommend airing your home out for the first few days after installing normal-VOC floors since this is when the chemicals are most prevalent.
Sustainability is becoming an ever-important factor in the production of most goods and services. As such, many carpet manufacturers make some sort of eco-friendly flooring.
This can take several forms:
Natural-fiber carpets made of materials like wool or cotton can be sustainably grown or harvested. They’re also biodegradable and typically contain few, if any VOCs.
Synthetic carpets made from recycled materials limit what’s sent to landfills, as well as limiting the fossil fuel used to make new plastic. The downside is that these products are harder to make low in VOCs.
Sustainable production practices (independent of the product itself) like using renewable fuel or power sources, sourcing materials from proper channels, and so on can also limit environmental concerns.
Who Are the Best Commercial Carpet Manufacturers?
If you’re looking for carpet for a commercial space, it makes a lot more sense to buy it from a commercial dealer. Here’s why:
First, What’s the Difference Between Commercial and Residential Carpet Manufacturers?
This isn’t a trick question! There’s more to it than commercial carpet manufacturers sell to offices, and residential carpet manufacturers sell to homes.
Commercial carpet companies tend to focus on creating low-to-mid cost, high-traffic products that last for decades with normal upkeep. Residential carpet makers, however, produce a much wider array of designs, colors, and styles that fit many different roles (e.g. comfort, durability, pet-proof, etc.).
Interface predominantly makes peel-and-stick carpet tiles for offices and like locations. Sustainable production is a big attribute of Interface’s business, and all their products are certified to be carbon neutral throughout their lifecycle. Very few companies, regardless of the industry, can say that right now.
What’s the point here? Bedroom carpet is generally built around comfort while stair carpet needs to be super durable: Proximity Mills does both.
Doma sets itself apart from much of the rest of the flooring world with uber-trendy and fashion-inspired designs options.
They only sell wool and wool blend carpets, so they’re a little pricier than your average synthetic carpet—but they’re surprisingly reasonable for wool. That said, “price” is the only thing that’s average about Doma flooring products.
Very few carpet manufacturers make productsby hand, but a sizable chunk of Paradiso’s luxury catalog does just that. This brand’s hand-woven carpets are as luxurious as they are gorgeous.
Paradiso flooring taps into the entry-level luxury market with premium, timeless styles that are sure to wow throughout their lifespan, which is considerable. Their products are not cheap, but they’re not unreasonable either. What they areis exceptional.
Newton prides itself on selling carpet that performs way better than its direct competition in the budget flooring world.
Their high-end polyester and nylon products are designed to last despite surprisingly reasonable prices. Our Newton flooring reviews note that few other brands offer such a good value-per-performance ratio.
Bonus: Newton’s solution-dyed polyester carpet is among the best carpet for pets because it’s durable, nearly stain proof,and highly resistant to moisture.
What Do Carpet Manufacturers Say About Carpet Care?
As it turns out, carpet manufacturers say very little about carpet care! However, there are a few things to remember.
For example, when comparing cut pile vs. loop pile carpet, it’s important to remember that loop carpets are designed for durability and easy maintenance while cut carpets tend to be more comfortable.
Carpet fiber matters too. Natural fiber carpets can be harder to care for because their fibers are less stable. Wool is a hardy material, but it will essentially fall apart if it’s not taken care of for an extended period of time.
Synthetic-fiber carpets like nylon and polyester are way easier to maintain because they’re super resilient against most sources of trouble (e.g. moisture, general wear and tear, etc.).
Otherwise, Carpet Maintenance Is Easy
Outside of the occasional spill, regular carpet maintenance is super easy. Dirt and grime are easily defeated by regular vacuuming, and spot cleaning rarely requires anything more than some paper towels and a carpet cleaner.
Professional Carpet Cleanings Can Be Necessary, Though
Eagle-eyed readers will notice that we said “regular” carpet maintenance in the section above, and that’s for good reason. Most carpet manufacturers suggest getting carpet—regardless of the carpet fiber, pile, brand, or style—professionally cleaned every so often.
A lot of factors can influence the frequency of professional cleanings, though. For example, if we’re talking about bedroom flooring that sees limited foot traffic, professional cleanings aren’t going to be a monthly occurrence. Otherwise, carpet fabric, whether you have pets or kids, your environment (deserts have more dust, for example), and so on are all factors.
Conclusion: Does It Matter if the Carpet Manufacturer and Brand Are the Same? Not Really!
While it’s true that many of the best carpet brands make their products in-house, there are many more brands that sell fantastic products made by different carpet manufacturers. If a carpet offers fantastic value and performance, what difference does it make if another company built the product? Hardly any!
No, the real issue comes from where you buy the carpet.
Local flooring stores offer a much better selection of high-quality carpet products than your run-of-the-mill big box stores like Home Depot. Sure, the latter might offer some decent products but you’ll find better deals, better advice, and better flooring from an actual flooring store.
Nevertheless, we hope this quick guide on carpet manufacturers helps! And if you’re still exploring flooring ideas, check out the articles below!
Christian is a freelance everything-writer, editor, & SEO guy. When he’s not writing about flooring and remodeling, he’s either writing news for the California American Legion or writing fresh content for his camping & EDC blog (or, you know, actually camping).
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