Sorona SmartStrand — Carpet That Doesn’t Stain
SmartStrand is a line of broadloom carpet — carpet sold on wide rolls and intended to be installed wall-to-wall — from Mohawk that aims to address all the common concerns about carpeting: durability, stain resistance, style, softness, and eco-friendliness. But can it live up to the hype?
All About The Fiber
SmartStrand is made with DuPont Sorona fiber, a form of polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) that was officially recognized in 2009 as a separate subclass of fiber. It’s also sometimes called triexta. Triexta might be relatively new on the scene, but DuPont also invented nylon, so its heritage is strong.
What Styles Are Available?
SmartStrand is available in a wide selection of styles, from thick, plush styles to geometric patterns using cut-and-loop techniques to looped berber styles. Most of the styles on offer are fairly modern and range from classic looks to very contemporary, trendy styles — whether you want a carpet that will look good for decades or something that’s right on trend, you’ll find something to suit your needs.
SmartStrand also has excellent color selection — some of the more popular styles are available in up to 60 colors, so finding a color that suits your home, your furniture, and your tastes shouldn’t be a problem.
Is It Soft?
SmartStrand is part of a new wave of so-called “soft-fiber” carpets made with very fine grains that feel softer than traditional carpet fibers. Obviously, the style of carpet you choose will affect the softness as well — longer, looser piles will feel softest underfoot. If you want the ultimate in luxury, SmartStrand Silk is the newest entry in the collection. It’s even softer than the original.
Performance And Durability
Mohawk really went above and beyond to prove how durable their new line of SmartStrand carpet is — even going so far as to introduce the SmartStrand challenge. Mohawk laid carpet in the rhino enclosure at a zoo for two weeks, visited local events and asked people to pour condiments on the carpet, and placed carpet across the finish lines of Tough Mudder obstacle races.
After each challenge was complete, the carpet was cleaned by standard industrial hot water extraction — often called “steam cleaning” — to show how well it repelled staining, soiling, and wear.
As a result, the manufacturer touts the resilience of SmartStrand carpet as extremely resilient and backs it up with warranties ranging from 15 to 25 years for texture retention, abrasive wear, and fade resistance.
Is It Easy To Vacuum?
This is really the only problem area of SmartStrand carpet — since its fibers are so fine, the thicker styles of this carpet can be more difficult to vacuum. As a result, this might be better suited for low-traffic areas like bedrooms than high-traffic areas with lots of debris like hallways and playrooms. More powerful vacuums will certainly help, as will regular professional cleaning.
SmartStrand is incredibly stain resistant, featuring a lifetime stain and soil warranty. The stain resistance is built right into the fiber, rather than sprayed on after manufacture, so it can’t wear off. The result is permanent stain resistance to red wine, mustard, bleach, pet accidents, and anything else your household can throw at this carpet. The fiber is also fade resistant, making it a good choice for areas with bright sunlight.
Another big appeal of SmartStrand carpet is its eco-friendliness. Instead of using harmful petroleum derivatives to make the fiber, Mohawk made SmartStrain out of 37% corn glucose. Fewer chemical products in the carpet means less out-gassing of new carpet as well — unpleasant smells that can come off of fresh rolls of carpet and be unpleasant to live with until they dissipate. Finally, SmartStrand requires less energy to manufacture, further benefiting the environment.
The Bottom Line
SmartStrand is one of the best carpets available on the market today. It’s stain-resistant, wear-resistant, fade-resistant, eco-friendly, and reasonably priced. Will triexta take over from nylon as the king of residential carpet fibers? We think so.