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About The PAR Carpet Rating System

by 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, 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 scenarios.


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 to buy. 


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.

Alan's Carpet Durability Rating Chart

I designed my Carpet Durability Chart to help homeowners who are hoping to select the right grade or quality of carpet to meet their needs and goals based on known carpet manufacturing specifications. First, locate a carpet you are interested in buying, then obtain all the carpet specifications from your carpet retailer or from other sources. Then use this chart to help determine the level of durability for that carpet. Don’t forget to take my Free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to help determine what grade or quality of carpet you need for your home.  Learn more about Carpet Specifications and Durability. Visit for more info.

Carpet Durability Rating Chart

Now add up all your points to help determine the durability of any carpet you are considering.


Less than 120 = Poor     120 to 149 = Fair        150 to 199 = Good        200 and up = Best

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