Property owners and managers often overlook one of the most important considerations when selecting new carpeting: color.                   

Carpeting decisions are often based on the appearance of carpet samples, but not necessarily which color will work best for a given setting. This month’s U.S. Products Carpet Care Advisory puts the spotlight on the principles of proper carpet color selection. The right color can help hide soiling.

First, owners and managers must know the color of the soil that is most likely to be deposited on their carpet. For instance, a brown or gray carpet would likely be appropriate if lighter-colored soiling, such as sand, is the most common soil in that particular setting. Darker-colored carpet, on the other hand, is suitable in settings where darker soils, such as grease or oil, are prevalent.

“Obviously, as a manufacturer of professional carpet cleaning equipment, we are not suggesting carpets should not be cleaned,” says Mark Baxter, an Engineer and Product Manager with U.S. Products.

“It’s just that there is no 100 percent soil containment system; some soil is going to end up on carpets no matter what you do, and selecting the right color will keep it from being as noticeable.”

In general, darker-colored carpet will show less soil. “However, if dust or lint is a concern, such as in a retail store, a dark color may not be the right choice. Again, know the color of your soil first, and then select the color of the carpet,” recommends Baxter.

Baxter also suggests that building owners and managers “color zone” carpets.  For instance, the first “color zone” would have darker-colored carpeting installed near high soiling areas, such as building entries, doorways, heavily trafficked areas, and outside elevators.

“Lighter-colored carpeting can be installed further in the facility, such as in inner offices and hallways, where soiling may not be as much of a problem.”

However, regardless of the color, carpets in most commercial facilities should be cleaned using hot-water extractors two to four times per year. “The goal is to not only keep carpets clean, but to keep them healthy as well,” says Baxter.