P.A.R. Carpet Rating System

Understanding The PAR Carpet Rating System (P.A.R.)

Some carpet manufacturers try to help consumers select a suitable grade of carpet. One way is with the P.A.R. Carpet Rating System.

P.A.R. stands for Performance, Appearance and Retention. These are three big words that mean very little to most carpet-buying consumers.

Understanding how The PAR Carpet Rating System works is not a simple task for consumers or carpet salespeople alike. Here is what I have come to understand about this carpet rating guide by Shaw Industries.

P.A.R. Carpet Rating System by Shaw Industries

What is The P.A.R. Carpet Rating System?

The PAR carpet rating system, created by Shaw Industries, designates a number from one-to-five, rating a carpet’s durability level based on a typical “family of four” scenario.

Homeowners are expected to understand that the higher the PAR Rating number the more durable the carpet will be. Your options are 1 2 3 4 or 5, is that a wide enough of a range? With dozens of carpet grades and qualities, how can this cover them all effectively?

Will a carpet with a par rating of 3 or 4 be durable enough for MY home?

How would you know unless you understand exactly how the manufacturer determines the durability level of each particular carpet?

While I’m sure they go to a lot of time and expense to provide this rating system for their carpet samples, I personally think it falls way short of being a trustworthy or worthwhile gauge for consumers.

“I believe the par carpet rating system is flawed and uses variables too limited in scope and vision.”

I don’t think the PAR Rating System is a reliable gauge of “real life” carpet durability. Are the parameters too narrow and inconsistent across the board with various styles of carpet? I think so!

The PAR Carpet Rating System is Simple but it’s certainly hard to understand.

I get plenty of emails from people who want to know what the PAR rating system is and which number from 1 to 5 will be durable enough for them.

Sadly, it is a very confusing system that doesn’t really help most consumers make the right carpet choice. It probably causes some homeowners to choose the wrong grade of carpet.

Even experienced carpet salespeople are confused about what the PAR numbers really mean or how to apply it to homeowners who have unique circumstances and varied “family of four” scenarios.

Understanding The PAR Carpet Rating System

After 30 years in the carpet business I know one thing for sure, there is no such thing as a typical family of four! If your choice is a number from 1 to 5, why would you take chances by going with any number less than 5?

This just means that more homeowners are making carpet choices for the wrong reasons. Not everyone needs to buy the most expensive carpet.

How Much Should I Spend on New Carpet?

You can be sure that if the PAR rating for a particular carpet is 5, it will be among the most expensive. That’s probably a good choice if you have heavy foot-traffic and want 20 years of use.

If you have low or medium foot-traffic and want 10 years of use, then you probably don’t need to buy the most expensive carpet.

Obviously, I do not put much faith in the PAR rating system. I do not recommend any consumer rely solely on the PAR rating to determine if a carpet can effectively meet their needs and goals.

I think there is a far better way to select the right carpet to meet your needs and goals. You only need to spend enough to meet your needs and goals. You can spend more, but is is unnecessary.  Learn More

The C.A.T. Carpet Rating System

If I were going to design a simple numbering system to rate carpet quality and durability, I would call it something more easily understood like: The C.A.T. Carpet Durability Rating System. It would be a number from 1 to 100.

It would also help consumers choose the right carpet based partly on their number of Children, Animals and Teens!

C.A.T. Carpet Rating System by The Carpet Professor

Children Animals and Teens!

These are the three real-life characters that really need to be considered when choosing the right carpet for your home!

I have included these 3 factors into my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test.


Are You Ready to Get Started?

When you first decide to buy new carpet, you need to ask yourself a few important questions before you begin shopping.

Your carefully considered answers will help you determine what grade of carpet is capable of meeting all your needs, goals, lifestyle.

Then you will have gathered all the information you need to calculate how much your project is going to cost, so you can adjust your budget accordingly.

Ask Yourself…
  1. What is the level of foot-traffic in my home?
  2. How long do I want my carpet to last? Years?
  3. What grade of carpet will meet my needs, goals and lifestyle? Minimum Carpet Specifications?
  4. Which carpet Fiber should I choose?
  5. What Pile Density and Face-Weight should I select?
  6. What Tuft Twist rating and Pile Height is best for me?
  7. Which carpet style and color should I select?
  8. What type of padding do I need? What thickness and density rating?
  9. How much carpet and pad do I need to buy?
  10. How much will this carpet, padding and installation cost?
  11. What is my budget for this project?
  12. Where can I find the best deals on new carpet?

Where Do I Start?

To get a good idea about what grade of carpet you need for your home, take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test and we will go forward from there.

When you are ready to start shopping for carpet, visit my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory to see who I recommend near you.

Use My Carpet Durability Rating Chart

cCarpet Durability Rating Guide

Click on image to print or view

My carpet durability guide shows what I believe to be the best way to determine the durability of a given carpet based on its unique manufacturing specifications.

Before you make your final carpet selection, you will need to ask your retailer to provide you with the necessary carpet specifications. This information is critical and will help you compare carpets side by side make wise and informed carpet choices.


Carpet Dealer DirectoryIt’s hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I created my own special hand-picked list of locally-owned carpet and flooring stores. They give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and use qualified installers. Are there any recommended Carpet Stores Near Me?

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