Carpet is a cost-effective way to bring color and texture into school environments and has the flexibility to transition between areas within a school. The longer a carpet lasts, the less it costs over time, so it’s important to select the most appropriate carpet for different areas within a facility.

Carpet performance ratings, found on the carpet label, are a tool used by some manufacturers to help guide the selection of carpet. Rated from 1 to 5, the scale represents the carpet’s ability to withstand extended wear. A rating of 4 or 5 is recommended for a school’s heavy traffic locations, which includes such areas as entrances, corridors, student break areas and classrooms. A rating of 3 or higher is predicted to provide normal durability and would be appropriate for libraries, conference rooms, media centers or classrooms with limited use. A rating of 2.5 or higher is predicted to be appropriate for teacher or administrative offices. These performance ratings are useful selection guidelines when specifying carpet, but they are not intended as predictors of long-term wear. Other factors, including proper carpet installation and cleaning and maintenance, affect the performance of carpet throughout its life cycle, Read More on Texture Appearance Retention Ratings


Experience has taught that carpet with a low profile, densely tufted, tight loop construction is very functional in a school. Also, color selection is a prime factor in long-term appearance retention, and facility managers and maintenance supervisors who understand this can increase the longevity of the carpet and save on future capital replacement. While a light color can make rooms and hallways appear larger, a light color also is hard to maintain. Tweeds or patterns in the carpet are better choices because they add interest to the floor and hide soil. Carpet tiles also have a place in schools because an individual carpet piece is easy to replace should it become damaged.


Another measure of selection is the prevailing standard for sustainable carpet, NSF 140-2007, certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The standard is voluntary, based on life-cycle assessment principles, and provides a single rating system that recognizes levels of achievement, a mandatory minimum standard of sustainable performance as well as silver, gold and platinum levels that define a more sustainable carpet. Read More on NSF 140