Carpet Professor

The PAR Carpet Rating System (P.A.R.)

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-buying consumers.

I get emails from people who want to know what the PAR rating system is and how it works. Sadly, it is a very confusing system that doesn’t really help most consumers make the right carpet choice. Even carpet salespeople are confused about what the PAR numbers mean.

The PAR Rating System is Confusing

If I were going to design a simple system to rate carpet quality I would call it something more understandable like: The C.A.T. Carpet Rating System. It would help consumers choose the right carpet based on their number of Children, Animals and Teens! These are three real-life factors that need to be considered when choosing the right carpet for you!

The PAR carpet rating system, created by Shaw Industries, designates a number from one-to-five, rating carpet durability based on a typical “family-of-four” scenario. While I’m sure they go through a lot of trouble and expense to provide this rating system, I personally think it falls short of being a trustworthy gauge for consumers. I believe the system is outdated and uses variables too limited in scope and vision.

I think the PAR Rating System is not a trustworthy gauge of “real life” carpet durability; the parameters 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!

Is there a better way to rate carpet durability?

Obviously, I do not put much faith in the PAR rating system and do not recommend any consumer rely on the PAR rating system solely to determine which grade of carpet can effectively meet their needs and goals.

Check out my Carpet Durability Guide Chart

My advice: When you decide to buy new carpet, you need to ask yourself some important questions before you should decide on which carpet to buy.

These questions are:

  • What is the level-of-foot-traffic in my home?
  • How long do I want my carpet to last?
  • How much carpet do I need?
  • How much does carpet, carpet padding and installation cost?
  • What is my budget for this project?
  • Which carpet style should I select?
  • What carpet pile thickness, density and face-weight should I select?
  • What quality or grade of carpet will meet my needs, goals and lifestyle?
  • Where can I find the best deal on the right carpet?

These questions are the tip of the iceberg!  Do you want to save hundreds on your next carpet purchase? To get an idea about what grade of carpet you need in your home take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test.


Carpet Dealer DirectoryIt’s hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I created my own special hand-picked list of locally-owned carpet and flooring stores. They give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and use qualified installers. Are there any recommended Carpet Stores Near Me?

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The Carpet Professor

Alan Fletcher - aka The Carpet Professor, a 30+year veteran of the carpet and flooring business and trusted consumer advocate since 1998. Alan provides free unbiased carpet buying information to consumers. Visit http://www.CarpetProfessor.com to learn how to save time and money; how to select new Carpet or Flooring wisely; and learn how to recognize and avoid common retail Carpet scams! Free! Visit http://www.floorprofessor.com to learn more about selecting natural or engineered wood flooring, waterproof vinyl tile or vinyl plank flooring for your home, office or rental property. Free!

2 thoughts on “The PAR Carpet Rating System (P.A.R.)”

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