SmartStrand is a line of broadloom from Mohawk that single-handedly addresses the most common concerns about carpeting: durability, stain resistance, style, softness, and eco-friendliness.
It is made with DuPont Sorona fiber, a PTT polymer -- not to be confused with PET polyester. PTT (polytrimethylene terephthalate) was recognized by the Federal Trade Commission in 2009 as a separate subclass of fiber, known as triexta. And although the fiber may be relatively new, it boasts a strong lineage: its creator, DuPont, is the same company that invented nylon, the long-running benchmark of carpet fibers.
The first thing you will notice when you see the SmartStrand collection is the selection of colors and styles. The choice of color far surpasses any other collection. The line offers luxurious friezes, beautiful berbers, and some stunning patterns. Most styles offer a look that is contemporary yet classic -- you won't have to worry that it will be outdated in 10 years' time.
SmartStrand is without a doubt one of the softest carpets ever made. Different styles will offer varying degrees of softness, of course; longer, looser piles are the most luxurious, but even the looped styles in this collection have an amazing feel. And then there is SmartStrand Silk, the newest addition to the collection. The name says it all -- it is even softer and more plush than the original SmartStrand.
But how well does it perform? According to the manufacturer, extremely well. Mohawk touts SmartStrand's extremely high resilience, and backs up the claim with warranties ranging from 15 to 25 years for texture retention, abrasive wear and fade resistance.
Mohawk is so confident in its product that it went above and beyond the traditional durability tests and introduced The SmartStrand Challenge. A piece of SmartStrand was installed in a rhino enclosure at the Birmingham Zoo. For two weeks "Ricko" the rhino lived on SmartStrand, and Mohawk even featured a live streaming video of Ricko on their website. At the end of the two weeks, the carpet was steam cleaned, and came back to its original appearance. Mohawk has since taken this concept even further at the Dallas Zoo, where SmartStrand was put to the test against elephants, camels, and more rhinos -- again with impressive results.
In terms of household durability, SmartStrand does perform very well. I have seen it installed in all areas of the home, with very high levels of customer satisfaction. In fact, I have never received a customer complaint about the performance of this product, and know of very few complaints about it overall.
Easy to Clean
SmartStrand also features a lifetime stain and soil warranty. It is amazingly stain resistant and easy to clean with only water. Even some of carpet's worst enemies -- red wine, mustard, bleach, and pet accidents -- will not harm or stain the fiber. The stain protection is built into the fiber instead of being sprayed on after production, so it will never wear off -- it is permanent. The fiber is also fade resistant, so it is safe to install in an area with direct exposure to sunlight.
Of course, one of the biggest advantages of SmartStrand is its eco-friendliness. It is often called the 'corn carpet' as 37% of it is made from corn glucose, which replaces the typical petroleum ingredients. This is great news not only for the environment, but also for your family: less chemicals into the carpet mean less chemicals out of the carpet by way of off-gassing of VOCs. This is especially important if you have environmental sensitivities, but really is a huge benefit to everyone. In terms of being kind to the environment, it also requires less energy to produce than its nylon counterpart.
The Bottom Line
SmartStrand is easily one of the best brands of residential carpet on the market today. With the benefits listed above, it addresses all of the concerns consumers have when selecting carpet, and sets itself far above its competition. And due to the low cost of production compared to nylon, SmartStrand comes at a very reasonable price, usually starting somewhere around $2 per square foot for the entry-level products, and topping out around $5 per square foot for the higher end Silk styles.
While only time will tell for certain if SmartStrand will replace nylon brands as the industry standard, I'm betting it will -- triexta, specifically SmartStrand, is the fiber of the future.