The PAR Carpet Rating
Fletcher - Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate
The P.A.R. Carpet Rating System
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, and Retention.
These are three big words that mean very
little to most carpet-shopping homeowners.
I get emails from folks who want to
know what the PAR rating system is, what it means and how to apply it towards
selecting the right grade of carpet. Sadly, it is a very
confusing system that doesn’t really help most consumers make the right
carpet choice. Even experienced carpet salespeople are confused about what the PAR numbers
really mean or how to apply it to homeowners who have unique and varied family
The PAR carpet
rating system was created by Shaw Industries, and designates a number from one-to-five,
rating a carpet's durability based on a typical "family-of-four"
scenario. Homeowners are 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 exactly
how they are determining a carpets durability.
While I'm sure carpet makers go to a lot of
time and expense to
provide their various carpet rating systems, I personally think most fall far short of being
an accurate or helpful gauge for most consumers. I think the PAR Rating System is
not a trustworthy measure of "real life" carpet durability. The
parameters they use are 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!
Obviously, I do not put much faith in the PAR
rating system or other rating guides and therefore do not recommend that any
homeowner relies solely on any carpet rating system to determine what grade of carpet
I think there is a better way to select the right carpet to meet your
needs and goals. Take a look at my own special Carpet Durability Rating
Chart below. It shows what I believe to be the best way to determine the
durability of a given carpet based on its unique manufacturing specifications.