High Traffic Carpet (Do You Really Need It?)

I like the day when I go to the nearest store to get a new carpet. That’s a great thing because not many people change their carpets as often as they should. And a brand new carpet looks sooooo good! Although… I do get it. Carpets can be very very expensive!

As a general rule, carpets for high-traffic areas should be durable, stain-resistant, resilient, and dense. These qualities highly depend on the type of carpet fabric. The most suitable for high-traffic areas are the carpets, made of wool, nylon, and smartstrand. Often carpets for high-traffic areas are expensive. Read further to see the table of carpet prices according to the areas they lie: from high traffic to low traffic. 

What is Considered a High Traffic Carpet?

High Traffic Carpet

That’s why when you’re about to buy a carpet you need to do your research and learn about all the different types of carpets, paddings, materials, etc. There’s a lot to be learned!

But this post isn’t about that. We already wrote an amazing guide that explains all those things. You can check it out here: Best Carpet Buying Guide.

This post is about explaining something that can’t be explained with just words… What does “high traffic”, “moderate traffic”, “medium traffic”, or “low traffic” even mean?

High traffic carpet

beige carpet in the hallway

High traffic carpet is the one, which lies in the area, where lots of people come every day. Their feet or shoe soles touch the soft carpet fabric every day, making it dirty and damaged. No need to say, that carpets, which lie in the high traffic area, must be durable. It is also recommended to put in high traffic areas the carpets with low piles as high-piled ones are hard to clean. 

Examples of high-traffic areas: offices, theaters, restaurants, hallways, mudrooms, staircases

Carpets, which are suitable for such areas: low-pile carpets, made of wool or cotton.

Moderate traffic carpet

carpet in the living room

This type of carpet should lie in an area with the average amount of visitors daily. It means, that it should lie either in the office with 5-10 employees or in the living room, where the guests come just on holiday. 

Examples of moderate traffic areas: living rooms, small offices, and dining rooms

Carpets, which are suitable for such areas: low-piled carpets, made of nylon, acrylic, and triexta.

Medium traffic carpet

gray carpet in the kitchen

Similar to the previous one, this type of carpet should lie in an area with an average amount of visitors. 

Examples of moderate traffic areas: kitchens, kids’ rooms, studies

Carpets, which are suitable for such areas: olefin, Berber carpets

Low traffic carpets 

carpets in bedroom

These carpets should lie in the areas, where just one-two visitors come every day. Of course, it’s good, if these visitors take off their street shoes and walk on these carpets in their home slippers.

Examples of low-traffic areas: bedrooms, kitchens

Carpets, which are suitable for such areas: jute, and polyester carpets. It is possible to get high-piled carpets

So, now you can imagine, whether you need a high-traffic carpet in your room or not. I don’t recommend you to get a high-traffic carpet for premises with low traffic. Because when you’re on the market for a new carpet a lot of sellers will tell you that you “absolutely need” a high-traffic carpet. But how do you know this is true? How do you know that they aren’t just trying to sell you the most expensive carpet just to make more money?

This is an extremely important question to answer because a high-traffic carpet might cost twice what a low-traffic carpet costs. 


Don’t ask your carpet seller (or installer) to install whatever carpet they think it’s best for you. They’re always going to be biased towards the most expensive option. That’s how they make money!

How to Choose a Carpet for a High Traffic Area

We’ve decided to create a questionnaire that will help you know exactly what carpet you need! So, before buying the new carpet just sit a little in a cozy armchair and ask yourself several questions.

1. In what room will I put a new carpet?

We’ve told you above about 4 types of carpets according to the areas they are used. If you get the carpet for the kid’s rooms, you should get a medium-traffic carpet, for example. 

2. How much will it cost?

Ok. You now know what type of traffic your carpet gets. But you might be asking yourself, “How is this information going to help me?”

This is useful because depending on the traffic and the quality of your rug, that’s how durable it will be. A cheap carpet on a low-traffic house can last as much as an expensive carpet on a high-traffic home.

You can think of it this way… if you know how much traffic your carpet has, and you know how expensive it is, you can basically know how many years until your carpet wears out.

Obviously, the more expensive the carpet is, the better the quality and the longer it will last.

But how much exactly?

We put together a table with an estimate. The prices are Cost per Square Foot of Carpet. And this is for materials only! Padding and installation are extra.

Low TrafficMedium TrafficModerate TrafficHigh Traffic
Carpet lifespan: 5 years$1.66$2.22$2.78$3.33
Carpet lifespan: 10 years$2.22$2.78$3.33$3.88
Carpet lifespan: 15 years$2.78$3.33$3.88$4.44
Carpet lifespan: 20 years$3.33$3.88$4.44$5.00

You now know how much you should pay for your carpet materials – depending on your carpet’s traffic and desired lifespan.

3 Characteristics of the Best Carpet for High Traffic Areas

I hope that after reading the previous parts of the article, you’ve already decided, whether you need the new carpet. Besides, you’ve learned how much it can cost. Now I am ready to share with you the characteristics, which will help you to find the best carpet for high-traffic areas.

light carpet in the hallway

Do you know, what is the main quality of the carpet fiber, which shows, whether it is suitable for high traffic areas or not? Yes, you are right, it is durability. 


Carpet durability is the period, during which it looks great and it fulfills its functions, like noise reduction, heat insulation, and protecting people’s feet from a cold and hard floor. There are 4 factors, which influence carpet durability: type of fiber, its resilience, stain resistance, and density.

We’ve already talked to you about types of carpet fiber that suit areas with various traffic intensities. Now let’s speak about resilience, stain resistance, and density.

1. Stain resistance 

dirty carpet

There are two ways, in which high traffic can ruin your carpet pile. First of all, it is crushing its fiber with its heels. And then, it is the dirt and stains, which are inevitable, if we speak about carpets in high traffic areas.

That’s why stain resistance is an important characteristic of carpet fiber for high-traffic rooms. In simple words, resistance to stains is the ability of carpet fibers to get cleaned from permanent spots. 

Stain resistance depends on the type of carpet fabric. Besides, sometimes the companies impregnate the carpet fibers with special substances to make them stain resistant. Here are the carpet fibers, which are the most resistant to spots:


Nylon absorbs liquids very fast, so each drink you spill on its fiber – wine or hot chocolate – will immediately transform into a huge stain.

But if you get the high-quality (and more expensive) nylon carpet, it will have stain-resistant protection. The fibers of such carpet will be impregnated with the anti-spot substance “Stainmaster”. 


This kind of carpet fabric is different from the others by its bright colors, which are not prone to fading. Besides, its fibers absorb any liquid very slowly. That’s why polyester carpets are stain-resistant. 


This carpet fiber is hybrid. The famous brand “Mohawk” sells it. Smartstrand is stain resistant as it doesn’t absorb spills fast. Besides, it is easy to clean any types of stains from this fabric.

2. Resilience

To be more durable and more convenient for high-traffic areas, the carpet fabric must have such characteristics as resilience. The carpet fibers can recover their form quickly after a person’s feet stood on them. The most resilient are wool, cotton, and nylon. The less resilient is polyester. So, if you need a carpet for the office or into the mudroom, where people in street shoes come, avoid polyester carpets.

3. Density

Density carpet

Carpet density is the measure of the compactness of carpet fibers. The more dense carpet fabric is, the fewer people’s shoe soles can damage it. The carpets with great density are suitable for high-traffic areas. They are triexta and nylon carpets.


This post is just a simple (but extremely accurate) way of knowing how much you should be paying for your carpet. Obviously, the more expensive the carpet is, the more it will last. Please remember that those prices include materials only! Besides, I’ve told you about characteristics the carpets for high traffic areas should have. 

Thus, you know what to pay attention to, while choosing your carpet. We’ve discovered that carpets from wool and nylon are the best carpets for high-traffic areas. If you want to save some cash, but still need a good for high traffic area carpet, choose the smartstrand one. 

Hopefully, using our advice, you’ll get the greatest carpet and will enjoy it for years!

Nancy Adams

I am a fan of home decor, I devote all my free time to this activity. One of the most important components of home comfort is carpets & rugs and at the same time, it is one of the poorly covered topics on the Internet. Therefore, I decided to share my experience and knowledge in this niche.

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