Review of Mohawk SmartStrand

Triexta Fiber for Soft, Durable, Stain-Resistant Carpets

The SmartStrand collection features an impressive selection of colors and textures. Cheryl Simmons

SmartStrand is a line of broadloom from Mohawk that seeks to address the most common concerns about carpeting: durability, stain resistance, style, softness, and eco-friendliness.

Fiber Facts for Mohawk SmartStrand

SmartStrand carpet 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.

 Learn about triexta carpet fiber.

Although the triexta 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.

Style Options

The SmartStrand line features a wide selection of styles, ranging from thick, plush styles in various qualities, to geometric cut and loop patterns. It also carries several looped berber styles. Most of the styles in the collection are contemporary, without being too trendy (although there are some very trendy styles as well) so there is little concern that the carpet will be seen as outdated in the near future.

SmartStrand also offers an excellent color selection. Some of the most popular styles in the collection are offered in up to 60 colors, so it is relatively easy to find the right color for your home.

Soft Fiber

SmartStrand is part of the new generation of "soft fiber" carpets.

These carpets are made from very fine carpet strands, giving a feel that is softer than traditional carpet fibers.

Different styles will offer varying degrees of softness, of course; longer, looser piles are the softest, but even the looped styles in this collection have an amazing feel. SmartStrand Silk is the newest addition to the collection.

The name says it all -- it is even softer and plusher than the original SmartStrand.

Performance and Durability of SmartStrand Carpet

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. Various situations have been invented in which the carpet can be observed under extreme conditions. Mohawk has sought to demonstrate the durability and cleanability of SmartStrand in some unique ways: laying carpet in the rhino enclosure at a zoo for two weeks; visiting local events and inviting guests to pour condiments on the carpet; and placing a piece of carpet across the finish line of the Tough Mudder obstacle course.

At the completion of each challenge, the carpet was cleaned by hot water extraction to show how well it repels staining and soiling and how well the fibers stand up to intense conditions.

SmartStrand does perform very well in terms of household durability.

Customers have been very satisfied with it installed in all areas of the home and complaints are rare overall.

Vacuuming

One concern from customers is that the thicker styles of SmartStrand can be difficult to vacuum. Check out these tips for vacuuming soft fiber carpets.

Stain Resistance

SmartStrand also features a lifetime stain and soil warranty. It is amazingly stain-resistant and easy to clean with only water. Even some of a carpet's worst enemies such as 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.

As of December 2014, all SmartStrand carpets feature Mohawk's Forever Clean nanotechnology, which is a stain and soil protection system.

Learn more about Forever Clean and how it works to protect SmartStrand fibers.

Environmental Considerations

One of the biggest advantages of SmartStrand is that it is eco-friendly. It is often called the "corn carpet" as 37 percent 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. Fewer chemicals in the carpet mean fewer chemicals out of the carpet by way of off-gassing of VOCs. This is especially important if you have environmental sensitivities, but it really is a huge benefit for everyone. It also requires less energy to produce than its nylon counterpart, which is kind to the environment.

The Verdict on Mohawk SmartStrand Carpet

SmartStrand is one of the best brands of residential carpet on the market today. Given the benefits listed above, it addresses all of the concerns consumers have when selecting carpet and sets itself far above its competition. Due to the low cost of production compared to nylon, SmartStrand comes at a very reasonable price for the entry-level products and tops out with the higher end Silk styles.

While only time will tell for certain if triexta, including SmartStrand, will replace nylon brands as the industry standard, it's a good bet it will.