What is Carpet Tracking?

Posted on: September 27th, 2021 by The Carpet Guys

What is carpet tracking and how can I avoid it?  An age-old question that has been around as long as wall-to-wall carpet.  The Carpet Guys can steer you in the proper direction to avoid tracking on your new floors.

What is Tracking?

Tracking is a term used for the flattening or crushing of a cut-pile style carpet.  If often occurs in high-traffic areas or with new carpet that has not sprouted yet.  Sprouting is the process where cut carpet fibers open and untwist to allow a more uniform appearance.

The most common type of carpet that this occurs on is a dark or medium-dark, single color, long, cut pile, plush carpet.  When the fibers are bent (from walking, vacuuming, moving furniture, etc.) it is reflected in the light differently from the non-crushed fibers.  This makes it appear lighter than the surrounding fibers.  It is sometimes referred to as shading, pile reversal or even pooling.

How to Avoid Carpet Tracking

Some people like the look of the vacuum lines in their new carpet.  If you are not one of those people, there are a few other options.

Choose a loop style carpet like Berber.  The loop styles are low height and will not show any foot traffic.  They are great for high-traffic areas for this reason. Or make a selection of a textured carpet with various loops and cut-loop patterns. Textured carpets are an elegant choice and will not show any traffic patterns.

Choose a multi-colored carpet like a frieze that has different color fibers twisted together.  So, when the fiber is laying down, it shows less of the shade variance and more of the color selection.  Another thing to remember when choosing the color of your new carpet, lighter colors show less tracking than dark colors.

Another great option is to make sure you choose a low-cut pile with a dense weight.  The higher the weight of the carpet, the more fibers that are packed into a small area.  This higher density of fibers will be less likely to crush or lay down when walked on.  If it is a shorter length cut fiber, it will not have room to bend like a longer, more plush carpet.

light colored carpet shows less tracking

We also recommend, vacuum your carpet every day for a week after it is installed.  This will help your carpet fibers sprout, as mentioned above, which will hinder the appearance of tracking.

Call The Carpet Guys

If you’re looking for a carpet that is less likely to show tracking, our knowledgeable Design Consultants can help you.  They are well-versed on our vast selection of styles and colors.  Make sure to tell them what you are looking for when you schedule your appointment so they can have the proper samples with them.  Schedule your free in-home estimate today and we may be able to get your new flooring in before the Holidays.

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