Average Life of Carpet | Carpet Lifespan

Average Life of Carpet

Have you recently invested in a new carpet for your home? Here’s what you need to know about how long the average carpet lasts.

If you’re planning on renovating your house or have recently redecorated it, chances are that you have been thinking about the pros and cons of having carpets installed in your home. While most people do not prefer having their entire house carpeted, there are going to be at least a few rooms with carpets instead of hardwood or tiled flooring.

So, how long does a carpet last? The average lifespan of carpets can be anywhere between 3-10 years depending on the quality of the carpet. Low priced home carpets last about 3-5 years, where high-quality commercial carpets can last for than 5 years on average.

Since carpets are generally harder to maintain in terms of cleaning, a lot of consideration needs to go into whether you can manage to take care of the fibers and material of the carpet in order to make it last longer. The better your maintenance practices are, the longer your carpet can last.

Failing to take care of your carpet can lead to discoloration, worn out fibers and stains that refuse to budge. Depending on the reason behind your investment (aesthetic purpose or for insulation), the material of your carpet can make a difference as well. Different fibers need different levels of care and attention in order to keep looking as good as new.

If you do take consistent care of your carpet, it can last for an average of 10 years!


Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Carpets

Here are some more aspects you need to keep in mind if you want your carpet to last longer.


The Material Makes a Difference

The brand and quality of the fibers of the carpet you invest in play a role in determining how long the carpet will last. Some brands make carpets that can only be hand-washed, with light cleaning chemicals only, such as in the case of Oriental rugs, while others are made from synthetic fibers that can be washed with a washing machine or by a carpet cleaner.

If you use the wrong washing techniques and disregard the instructions given by the company, your carpet will become rough and faded. If you have a smaller carpet, you can consider putting it through a machine wash, while some carpets can only be cleaned with a brush and a mild detergent or shampoo.


Placement Matters

The number of times you clean your carpet can vary, depending on where your carpet is placed.

If you have a carpet in a high traffic area inside your home, chances are that it will be more susceptible to stains and dust than a carpet placed in your guest room or somewhere that doesn’t have children and pets walking around.

Bedroom and living room carpets are prone to spills, ranging from food and drink spills to children’s paint. This increases the frequency of how often you need to wash them, which can reduce their lifespan by a few years.

An entryway carpet is exposed to more dirt, so it is a smart decision to choose a carpet that is resilient and easily washable because it will build up grime very quickly. These carpets also do not have as long of a lifespan as a room that isn’t used often.

Heavy furniture or tables with pointed legs can permanently crease or dent your carpet as well. If you ever decide to move the furniture, the imprint that they leave on your carpet will be difficult to hide.

This can damage your carpet’s shape, causing you to need a replacement. Consider using padding or coasters to spread the weight of the furniture and not concentrate it to one spot on the carpet.

Lastly, if you have a carpet that is near a water source, you have to be careful that it is never left wet for too long. In the case of carpeting right outside your bathrooms, you should ensure that everyone dries their feet after taking a bath so that no moisture reaches the carpets.


Cleaning Techniques

The way you clean your carpet is determined by the kind of material it’s made from, as we have mentioned above, but also on the size of the carpet and what kind of dirt or stains it is exposed to.

Carpets and rugs that only cover a small area need to be cleaned around once a week. Letting the dust settle in can lead to a permanent layer of grime that builds up over time.

Although some people prefer airing their carpets outdoors and beating them with a broom, you should avoid doing so because it can cause your carpet to lose its shape.

To wash smaller carpets, you can research whether they can be machine washed or not. If their fibers are prone to damage, it is better if you stick to a less aggressive washing technique.

High-quality carpets made from delicate fibers may lose their softness and shape if you machine wash them, so it is preferred if you only use this for carpets, such as the one in your mudroom that isn’t for aesthetic purposes.

If you have a fully carpeted room and the carpet cannot be physically removed to be cleaned, you have to vacuum it regularly in order to pick up loose dust and debris. You’ll have to either invest in a high-quality shampoo that is easy to wash out or call a carpet cleaner once every 3 months. An essential point to keep in mind is that you need to give your carpet ample time to air dry before allowing anyone to walk on it again.

Some carpets, like Berber carpets, can only be cleaned by using steaming methods. Any other kinds of cleaning substances, like shampoo, are too harsh for these kinds of carpets and can ruin their fibers. A professional carpet cleaner will have the right equipment for properly steam cleaning a Berber carpet, or you can invest in a steam cleaner as well.

It’s important to watch what you’re using to wash your carpet because if the cleaning substance is not thoroughly rinsed out, your carpet can grow mold, start to rot, or become rough and uncomfortable to walk or sit on. Poor washing methods will also affect your carpet’s aesthetic appeal.


What Is the Average Life of a Carpet?

So, how long do carpets last if you have a few people living in one house as opposed to several?

If you have up to 4 people living in your house, your carpet will last for a minimum of 5 years and still be in good condition. Of course, this number will go up to 10 years if you are extra vigilant and have mostly adults living in your house. The presence of young children and pets can push the number down to 7 years because permanent stains are one of the leading causes of a carpet replacement.

When Do You Need a New Carpet?

It can be difficult to determine if you need a new carpet, or if your current one just needs to be thoroughly cleaned. However, as long as you can compare your carpet’s current condition to how it was when you made the initial purchase, you will know the extent of the damage.

Check for how worn out your carpet has become. Are the edges of it frayed and losing their structure? Can you see through the surface of the carpet down to the threading and fibers that are holding it together? If your carpet is no longer plush and soft, and feels more like a hardened surface, then it is difficult to bring it back to its original look and feel.

You should also check the edges of your room where your carpet meets the walls. Has it gotten moldy? In a fully carpeted room, it can be easy to ignore the signs of decay in the area where your carpet isn’t visible, like underneath furniture.

A moldy carpet usually needs to be changed because it will lead to smells and health issues. The source, which is the damaged carpet, will be difficult to identify until the smell or damage has exacerbated. If you have infants that crawl on the carpet, hygiene issues should be a priority for you.


Lifespan of Different Types of Carpets

Given the large variety of carpets in the market, it is only natural to feel a little stumped on what is the life expectancy of a carpet. We have reviewed different types of carpets below to make it easier to understand.

However, the following estimates are for places with low to moderate foot traffic:


Berber Carpet

Berber Carpet

Depending on the fiber of your Berber carpet, the lifespan can vary. But the average lifespan of Berber carpets is ten years.

A Berber carpet with Olefin fibers is likely to last three years. Olefin fibers are primarily known for being stain-resistant, but staining usually reduces the lifespan to 3 to 5 years.

In contrast to Olefin fibers, a Nylon Berber carpet of high quality can last up to 20 years. That said, you should only expect it to last this long with the right maintenance and low foot traffic.


Wool Carpet

Wool Carpet

Many homeowners with wool carpeting would agree that, while initially making the investment, it seemed that the carpet would last a lifetime. But, in reality, the average lifespan of wools carpets is about eight years.

Each wool fiber has a three-dimensional spiraling crimp that gives the fiber its natural elasticity. The wool fibers have the ability to stretch up to 30% more than its actual length and then bounce back to its original size.


Triexta Carpet

Triexta Carpet

Triexta carpets are known for lasting for more than ten years.

Introduced in 2009, this type of carpet is still relatively new. It is a lot similar to polyester but is not as long-lasting as nylon. As a new fiber, it hasn’t been around long enough to have lived through a full lifespan.

With an estimated lifespan of 10-15 years, it is still difficult to compare its life expectancy to other fibers.


Polyester Carpet

Polyester Carpet

Polyester carpets have an average lifespan of 5 to 15 years. They are comparatively less long-lasting than nylon fibers.

After they have run their lifespan, they do not return to their original condition. Despite your best efforts, you have no option but to replace them.


Nylon Carpet

Nylon Carpet

Nylon carpets are long-standing and are usually known for their easy maintenance. They can last up to a decade. The best thing about nylon fibers is that you can restore them by sending them to a carpet maintenance service provider.


Carpet Tiles with PVC Backing

Carpet Tiles with PVC Backing

Carpet tiles with PVC backing usually last for 6-7 years. PVC provides a sturdy backing material for your carpet tiles to withstand foot traffic.


PVC-Free Carpet Tiles

PVC-free carpet tiles have a comparatively shorter lifespan than the ones with PVC backing. The average lifespan of carpets with PVC-free backing is five years.

This is due to the reason that the PVC-free backing is not as thick as PVC backing. The thinner backing puts a greater impact on the fibers, every time someone walks over them.


Tips to Increase the Lifespan of Carpets

Carpets look good only when they are brand new or when you maintain them well. Despite the best maintenance, carpets are bound to reach the end of their lifespan at some point. That said, the following tips can come handy in extending the life expectancy of your carpets:

  • Vacuum low traffic areas every 3 to 4 days. On the other hand, vacuum high traffic areas daily.
  • For removing carpet stains, the best tip is to do it as soon as possible. The longer the stain sits on your carpet, the more permanent the damage is.
  • Hire a professional carpet cleaner every one or two years.
  • Use good quality padding under your carpet.
  • A fixture furniture setting leaves a trail on carpets and accumulates dirt in some areas. So, rearrange your furniture periodically to prevent this.


Related Questions

How often should a carpet be replaced?

You do not have to replace a carpet only because it is old. But generally, the average lifespan of carpets range from 5 to 15 years. Your carpet might wear out anytime within this time period, depending on its quality and the amount of foot traffic it receives.


Can a carpet last for 20 years?

Carpets that are of high-quality and made of durable material can last up to 20 years. Depending on the quality, amount of foot traffic, and the level of maintenance, your carpet can last longer than its average lifespan.


Can an old carpet make you sick?

Old carpets can collect dirt, germs and even mold over time. The surface might look clean, but for all we know, they might be carrying bacteria and other allergens. All of these pollutants can lead to allergies, infections, and other health problems.

The Norovirus that causes stomach flu can survive on a dirty, old carpet for over a month.


Conclusion: How Long Does Carpet Last?

To make sure that you’re taking the right care of your carpet and giving it a chance to live to its full lifespan, you need to do your homework before making an investment.

Keep all the important factors in mind, such as where you want the carpet to be located, how many people you have in your house and whether they are children or adults.

You can get in touch with a professional carpet cleaner who can make regular visits to your house every 3 months and shampoo or steam the carpets in your house.

They will have the correct cleaning chemicals and washing methods that will ensure that your carpets stay in shape and don’t lose their color or texture.

Keeping everything in mind, there isn’t one lifespan that applies to all carpets. Some people prefer having their carpets changed more often than others, for reasons such as dust allergies or aesthetic concerns, while others don’t mind stretching out the years. On average, most carpets will make it to 10 years without giving you too much trouble.


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