How to Get Quality Carpet for Your Booth – Carpet 101

So now that I have somewhat convinced you to buy carpet for your booth space let’s go through some terminology so you can make a good choice. When you rent carpet on the show floor there are usually two types of quality available. The lower end carpet is around 16 oz. and the higher end carpet is around 40 oz. The 16 oz. carpet would most likely have a lower yarn (or pile height) and is not as soft or thick. The 40 oz. will be taller, thicker, and softer and much more costly to rent.

But – what do you look for when you are purchasing an exhibit carpet?

Here are some quick terms:

1.  “Face Weight” – The ounces or weight of a carpet per square yard is usually defined as the “Face Weight” or “Certified Pile Weight”. That is the weight of the yarn (or pile) per square yard and does not include the backing material. Total weight includes the backing material but is a less used comparison of a carpet’s weight. Lower end carpets will sometimes only provide the total weight to fool you into believing it is better than it really is.

2. “Twist” – A carpet twist is measured by the number of twists in each fiber pair per inch. Heat set twists are stronger.

3. “Density” – This is how tight the yarn is packed together. The best way to visualize density is to fold a carpet to see how much backing is exposed. The more backing you see the less dense the carpet is. For all you math wizards out there carpet density is calculated by taking the face weight, multiplying it by 36, and dividing by the pile height.

For the rest of us who just want to know what to do this is what I would suggest.

Use this baseline or rule of thumb (whatever you want to call it) for a decent exhibit carpet. You want a face weight of about 40 ounces, a twist level of 4 twists per inch or better, and a density of 3,000 or more ounces per cubic yard. This information is readily available from the company who is selling the carpet. The statistics are printed on the back of the sample book. Your display house can use this baseline to compare carpets evenly.

Polyester is a preferred fiber material over nylon for show floor carpets as it is more stain resistant. P.E.T. is a type of Polyester that is environmentally friendly as it is made from recycled plastics.

The baseline I mentioned, we use here at Exhibit Edge because it provides three benefits:

  1. It is softer and plush compared to show floor rentals.
  2. The density of the carpet is much better for hiding cuts from equipment wiring or electrical cords.
  3. The higher twist level in the carpet will wear better and last longer than a lower quality carpet.

Expect to get about 10 uses from a purchased show floor carpet before you consider replacing it.

As always, please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about EXHIBITOR LOUNGE.COM. We will see you next week. Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.