Q: Wool carpet or synthetic?
My wife wants to get wool carpet, but I would rather get synthetic, which seems more durable and stain-resistant. What are the pluses and minuses of each? ...I want a house that can be lived in.
A: Wool vs. Synthetic
If your main concern in staining (from kids, pets, etc.), then synthetic would most likely serve you best, as it comes in all "levels" of stain-resistance, from very basic synthetic fibers, to those treated with Teflon and other solutions.
But if your main concern is lifespan & durability, wool would be my recommendation. Wool carpeting can last a lifetime- so if you aren't spill-prone, or don't have young children or pets in your house, then I would go with wool.
Not that any carpet is spill-proof, but if a spill were left to soak into a patch of wool carpeting, it would eventually seep past the natural oils inherent in the wool, and stain the fiber permanently. Whereas on a synthetic carpet such as nylon, if a spill went unnoticed for some time, you could probably get the stain up with a heavy duty spot treatment. This is because the stain usually cannot permeate into the synthetic fibers like it can natural fibers such as wool.
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