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The PAR Carpet Rating System

©Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate


Understanding The P.A.R. Carpet Rating System

One of the ways carpet manufacturers have attempted to help consumers select a suitable carpet is with the P.A.R. Rating System, which stands for Performance, Appearance, Retention. These are three big words that mean very little to most carpet-buying consumers. 

I get emails every day from people who want to know what the PAR rating system is and how it works. Sadly, it is a very confusing carpet durability rating system that doesnít really help most consumers make the right carpet choice. Even carpet salespeople are confused about what the PAR numbers really mean.

If I were going to design a simple system to rate carpet quality I would call it something more understandable like: "The C.A.T. Carpet Rating System". It would help consumers choose the right carpet based on their number of Children, Animals and Teens! These are three real-life factors that need to be considered when choosing the right carpet for you!

The PAR carpet rating system, created by Shaw Industries, designates a number from one-to-five, rating carpet durability based on a typical "family-of-four" scenario. The consumer is expected to understand that the higher the number the more durable the carpet is. But will a carpet with a rating of 4 be durable enough for your home? How would you know unless you understand the rating process. Who's got time for that? 

While I'm sure they go through a lot of trouble and expense to provide this rating system, I personally think it falls short of being a trustworthy gauge for consumers. I think the PAR Rating System is not a trustworthy gauge of "real life" carpet durability, the parameters are too narrow and inconsistent across the board with various styles of carpet. What does this mean? After 30 years in the carpet business I know one thing for sure, there is no such thing as a typical family of four! Learn About My Carpet Buying Guide

Obviously, I do not put much faith in the PAR rating system and do not recommend any consumer rely on any carpet rating system solely to determine which grade of carpet can effectively meet their needs and goals. There is a better way to select the right carpet to meet your needs and goals. 

My advice: When you are ready to buy new carpet, you need to ask yourself many important questions before you decide on which carpet to buy.

These questions are:


These questions are the tip of the iceberg! 

You can save hundreds on your next carpet purchase!  



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By Alan J. Fletcher

30-year Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate

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