Color, texture, type… always things to consider for your carpet purchase. But if you flip it over, you’ll find something else important — the backing. So what exactly is carpet backing? The underside of a carpet is also called the backing. It secures the tufts and gives the carpet additional strength and dimensional stability. Most carpets have a double backing: the primary backing – where the yarn is tufted into, and the secondary backing which is the outer material. You may also hear the term “unitary backing,” which is a heavy application of coating applied directly to the carpet’s back without using a secondary backing.
Depending on the performance requirements, carpet backings can be made from different types of material, (jute, polypropylene, rubber, etc.) and can have a number of additional treatments applied, including anti-stain, anti-microbial and anti-static. Performance becomes increasingly important when you analyze the type of environment where the carpet will be installed. In order to have the product meet your performance expectations consider the degree of traffic, whether or not wear and tear will be a factor and if moisture-resistance and stain-resistance are important. Carpet backings are generally available in three types: Standard, Performance, and High Performance.
Standard Backing — This the lowest level and is mostly used on carpets for residential applications. Products with this backing can be used commercially, but there is potential for wrinkling or buckling if it is used in high traffic areas. This backing cannot be used in commercial facilities where rolling traffic it present.
- Usually made from natural jute fiber or manmade polypropylene (which is a synthetic thermoplastic resin)
- Available in woven and non-woven constructions
- Lightweight, yet stable
- Mildew resistant
- Ideally used in low traffic settings
- Usually found on broadloom carpeting
- Limited on warranties
Performance Backing — This backing represents a higher standard of backing and delivers more dimensional stability and strength than Standard Backing. It is designed for commercial environments.
- Stops zippering and edge raveling
- Has high tuft bind properties
- Dense latex backing
- Holds carpet yarns in place for better performance
- Recommended in high traffic areas
- Enhanced warranties (up to 10 year limited)
- Used on broadloom carpeting
- Ideal for direct glue installations
High Performance Backing — This backing is usually unitary. It is designed to provide long-term durability and can help protect the carpet from stains, spills and moisture. This backing is made for demanding commercial environments.
High Performance Backing
- Extra dense latex (prevents moisture penetration beneath the backing)
- Ideal for high traffic areas
- Recommended for glue down installations only
- Can be used with a releasable adhesive for easy replacement of individual tiles (the glue remains tacky so no additional adhesive is needed)
- Moisture resistant
- Has high tuft bind properties
- Holds stains on the top surface
- Broadloom/carpet tile
- Extended to lifetime warranties
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