Trying to be an informed consumer- triexta

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by cheerpeople, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. cheerpeople

    cheerpeople Active Member

    I have been reading this forum for a few days. Decided to jump into asking a question or 3;)

    I did some checking on 2 carpet samples one was shaw anso and the other Mohawk smartstrand. Mohawk won the bleach abuse test/staining for me. I can link you the pics if you want. Bleach damage is a problem at my house altho no one seems to know how it happens....

    So I started looking into where to buy Mohawk here. One place is Carpetone. Is Lee the same as smartstrand? Mohawk customer service couldn't answer the question....and told me to call Lee.

    Lee's customer service claims Lee's is Mohawk but not the same as Smartstrand even tho they are both called triexta I think. She also made me think Lee's warrentee doesn't apply for a residence on all of thier triexta products? Which has me confused since Carpetone was trying to sell it to me for a new build and knew it was a residence. So are they the same or not? I read the Lee warrentee and it looks like it is ok for home use!

    Another place I can buy Smartstrand is a local business, or Carpetland. The local business doesn't seem very informed about their own product.
    Carpetland gave me a vinyl floor quote that was quite high but then gave me a contractor discount of 25% to bring it back to the same price as the others!
    I don't know if that will be the case with the carpet. they quoted me Mohawk Brilliant Design quote for 1080 sq feet at $6.39 is $7412 or $4749 with the discount that's installed with a superstep E pad.

    Anyway if you have any thoughts on carpetlands pricing and this discount thing LMK. But back to original question... If Lee's is indeed smartstrand then the Lee carpet warrente looks like a better warrente than Mohawk's. This is where it gets confusing since it looks like Mohawk owns Lee and both types of carpet are made with Dupont stuff in them.:eek:

    Which begs another question- it looks like previous posts state warrentee's are not always honored with various manufactors, so if Lee or Mohawk does better on this LMK too.:yesss:

    I'm just kinda confused....
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Sorry you haven't received a reply from some of our pros yet. Maybe you confused them with your txtspk. ;) I'm pretty sure some of our retailer pros sell Smartstrand, so I hope they will let us all know if it's the same or similar to the Lee's product.

    I hope you get some of your answers here. Be patient. And welcome to TFP.

  3. TwoStar

    TwoStar Maybe Three

    OHHH......LMK......let me know! I am so dense. :(

    Sorry. Not my area of expertise. I will wait for the answer with you, though.;)
  4. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    I'll take the first stab.

    Bleach will create more problems than just color loss if left on carpet for extended periods. You may experience fiber degradation as well as delamination of the backings over time. Your assessment is correct that Triexta (a fiber in the polyester family) will resist color loss better than Anso (a nylon fiber). This is due to the dyestuffs used on the fiber than any inherent resistance to bleach. A solution dyed nylon (actually a pigmentation process) will not suffer color loss from bleach.

    Mohawk Industries is a Fortune 500 company that owns several carpet mills, i.e. Mohawk, Karastan, Bigelow and Lees are mills that have been around for years, Karastan being the newest of the group and started in the early 1920s. The others go back to the mid 1800s. Mohawk acquired Bigelow and Karastan almost 20 years ago and Lees over 10 years back. The carpet industry went through a huge consolidation process starting in the early 90s where nearly 400 mills became closer to 50 over a 10-15 years period. We now have 4 "mega" mills and the rest are niche or boutique manufacturers. So to sum up, any Lees warranty is ultimately backed by Mohawk Industries.

    I do not sell carpet so I have no basis to comment on the pricing you received, but if you are looking at flooring stores and they seem uninformed about the products they carry, I would deem that to be a great big red flag!
    I'm not sure I understand the contractor discount either. Are you a general contractor discussing other projects with them or do they always quote high and manufacture a discount for every job? I have never used that type of pricing model before and the effectiveness of it eludes me...

    Warranties are what they are. A legal obligation by the seller to the buyer that most manufacturers of all products will try to avoid honoring. I personally believe the carpet industry has more issues with this as we generally do not do a very good job of creating reasonable expectations for performance particularly if it might cost a sale to be upfront. It is compounded by a general lack of stringency in installation methodology which gives manufacturers an all too easy out on honoring warranty claims (I'm probably going to catch holy heck for these statements...).

    I do have one question: how do you perform your "bleach abuse/staining" test?
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  5. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    You don't say where the bleach problems are. Near a bathroom, luandry room where? Do you have teenagers that use acne medications, could it be from Sno Bowl dripping off a bowl brush? Those sort of things.

  6. ortiz34

    ortiz34 2nd generation Senior Member

    Sorona triexta is just a Polyester in a tuxedo
    It has a low melting point for abrasive wear (It's basically plastic)
    It does have it's "stain" and "color" and softness advantages HOWEVER a BCF Nylon will wear better over time, take soiling much better
    Sorona/Triexta is a nice product but it has it's limits on how confident I am in it being used in high traffic, heavy soiling issues.

    Also I am willing guess(as someone already mentioned) the bleach spots everywhere (you said you had teenagers) is persa-gel or any other type of acne medication

    That is a going market price IMO if the carpet is a nice quality, you're getting the good pad, and the install is good. Sometimes you gotta pay more for a good job and good service. So if you want price ,once the novelty of the "good price "wears off, you're still stuck with a floor you are unsatisfied with (install or product)
    let me know if you need further help
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  7. Danny Ferguson

    Danny Ferguson Abbey Carpet & Floor Charter Member

    Good enough for a elephant and rhino. :cool:
  8. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Here is a live link: The SmartStrand Challenge

    Definitely a step up from the usual dog and pony show, but a show none the less...
  9. ortiz34

    ortiz34 2nd generation Senior Member

    My sample board with a Poly/ Stainmaster Luxerell/ and Triexta that had a independent chair caster test done says different.
    Pics tommorow from work
  10. mcbrides

    mcbrides Canadian Installers Senior Member

    We sold in and installed about a dozen Smartstrand jobs in Ontario last year before we left. Have not heard anything negative from any of our customers about the product (and we are still running our Ontario cell #).

    We installed a nylon Stainmaster product in our new home just after Christmas; the product choice was made based upon what our employer had in stock and available on short notice. Had we more time to plan, we probably would have gone with a Smartstrand product.

    We are familiar with Brilliant Design, is a soft and attractive product. Since markets vary all over the place, we can't comment on pricing, but the size of the discount is a little disconcerting. However, in the alternative, Carpet One does have a good reputation for service and installation warranties.
  11. ortiz34

    ortiz34 2nd generation Senior Member

    that video is and it not showing true texture retention pictures:confused:
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  12. cheerpeople

    cheerpeople Active Member

    I'm the original poster- thx for all the input. This site rocks!

    I visited an abbey store yesterday. They sell both. They call Smart strand by an alexander something name but she says it is the very same product. Both companies have some very pretty carpet options.

    FWIW I checked 2 other nasty cleaners in my home and rechecked bleach on the Anso product. I thought maybe someone grabbed the wrong spray bottle when tackling a spill ....Anyhow- Tilex, and Lysol bathroom sprays did not do visibly harm to the Anso- but bleach retested- all by itself, without other chemicals and on dry, new, untested “highest grade” Anso definitely does bleach it out.

    For areas that I have damage- just outside of the bathroom and the laundry- I may put down smartstrand on the new house- even if the texture/matting is a problem. I'm getting the impression from Gardenweb that it might be a problem. I'd rather be flat than have mysterious bleach polka dots. How a bleach spot happened way over by the computer desk is beyond me- they would have had to use a transporter- like star trek! I don't think it's acne products but we do have benzyl peroxide now( which wasn't in my home when the damage occurred).

    To answer a question. I'm not a contractor, I'm a person building a home for the first time. We break ground as soon as it thaws.
    The contractor discount is something now 3 stores have offered- 2 more decided they would offer it- althou the amount of discount wasn't spelled out just yet. I believe it is either a scam, or a way to reward a large purchase, not sure. I'll know better when I get a quote somewhere else on the same product.

    thx for all your input.
  13. cheerpeople

    cheerpeople Active Member

    Oh shoot... I left out a comment. I am not experienced in floors but I will say in opinion:

    my bleach test SHOUTS triexta in not polyester in a tuxedo.

    If it were no different it would be bleached- like my polyester carpets in my current home. If it is moleculary different it is different- just like heavy water (H30) is not water, (H20)... Or carbon dioxide the same as carbon monoxide.

    One can't say they are the same when they don't handle bleach the same.

    But, I still appreciate your thoughts, so don't think I'm trying to discourage you:)
  14. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Thanks for the reply cheer.

    PTT (Triexta/Sarona/Smartstrand) is most definitively in the polyester family like PET (the standby polyester used since the late 60s). When polyester was first used for carpet, there was a systemic failure. Yarns were not heat set and complete crushing and matting occurred with virtually every style made with it.

    They were re-introduced in the mid 80s (date may be off) with heat setting applied and a bit more attention paid to constructions. An improvement but the fiber was only available in a staple (filaments cut into short pieces) requiring spinning to make yarn systems. It still readily crushed and shedded fiber like crazy (a condition all staple fiber yarns exhibit.) but would perform adequately in lower traffic areas.

    In the early 90s, Shell began doing work on a carpet fiber using PTT, which has been around since the 40s. Their version was Corterra and their goal was use for commercial yarns. Needless to say, their efforts never panned out

    In the late 90s, DuPont began their efforts with PTT using an organic source for part of the materials used in the polymer. Sarona is the result of this work. Mohawk and DuPont were successful in the mid 2000s in achieving a federal designation for it as a new polymer in the polyester family.Among the main reason for this was it is stated to have better resiliency, abrasion resistance and dye-ability than PET.

    Nylon has been around as a fiber for carpet yarns since the mid 50s, the first being DuPont 501. There have been numerous attempts over the years to replace is as the preferred synthetic fiber but it remains number one by a wide margin. There inarguably is a good history of nylon use in carpet

    As a side note, wool still remains the gold standard for carpet fiber/yarn performance. Even with the limited share of the carpet market, its benefits have not been even remotely equaled by any synthetic to date.

    As easily ascertained by reading all the posts in this thread, there is quite a bit of discussion even among industry pros if Sarona/Smartstrand is a good, bad or indifferent fiber. I personally am of the opinion it will take more time in the "field" for this to be answered by public acceptance or to fall by the wayside as other fibers have. I'm not yet convinced the resiliency is the equal to nylon, but again time will tell.
    I do believe agreement can be made it is a big improvement over PET for use in carpet.

    I hope maybe a carpet cleaner will post a comment as I still have questions if PTT has overcome polyesters' affinity for oil based soil. It behaves very similar to polypropylene in this regard.

    Second side note: I do not want to take a position pro or con on this fiber, but simply relate my knowledge of PTT. I don't have a horse in this race as I do not sell any products. It is my hope having some information, albeit a tad technical (you don't want me to get started with the real techie nonsense!), will aid you in making a solid evaluation for your own circumstances! I truly hope you will be pleased for many years with your carpet purchase and that we at TFP may play a small role in accomplishing that :D
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  15. cheerpeople

    cheerpeople Active Member

    If it helps- I poured veg oil on both smartstrand and anso and I feel the results were excellent for stain removal on both.
  16. ortiz34

    ortiz34 2nd generation Senior Member

    No discouragement here. I honestly was giving you my best advice. You seem to be buying something based on it bleaching, and not other qualities such as abrasive wear, texture retention ,and soiling (not stains).
    Like others have said Sorona has only been on the mkt for a few years (more pronounced the last 2-3) So there is really NO indicator if it's the next cat's pajamas. A product needs at least a decade to be truly judged IMO. To be honest I think Sorona is a nice textile, but like anything it has pros and cons.
  17. ortiz34

    ortiz34 2nd generation Senior Member

    Click to see full size.

    Stainmaster top/triexta sorona bottom/ soiling

    Triexta on left/stainmaster on right



    polyester to stainmaster nylon :eek:
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2011
  18. cheerpeople

    cheerpeople Active Member

    Now that's some good info there. PLease tell me what the last 3 pics are about. is there a wear and tear test of some kind? How are each of these 3 test different or is the pic of the same test?
  19. cheerpeople

    cheerpeople Active Member

    What is the stainmaster in these pics? Is it a nylon, a nylon 6, a nylon 6,6, a polyester, a triexta or a type of carpet treatment used after production? ( could this get a little more confusing?) I had thought that stainmaster was well- kinda last year and not all that in modern days, but it looks pretty good in those last pics... You'll have to fill me in. Is there a 3rd horse in this race?
  20. ortiz34

    ortiz34 2nd generation Senior Member

    All got the same test, 3000 turns of chair caster (think wheels spinning and rotating all around repetitive like a desk chair) done by ASTM lab

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