What to Know About Olefin Carpets

Updated: Aug. 20, 2021

Find out the reasons why olefin carpet is a top carpet choice among homeowners.

Olefin carpet is emerging as a popular choice in carpeting. Here’s what it is and why so many homeowners are choosing olefin carpet.

What is Olefin Carpet?

Olefin is a synthetic (manufactured) material. It’s also known as polypropylene, a type of thermoplastic used to make a wide range of household products, medical devices and more. Because it’s derived from plastic, olefin carpet is best installed in places with the potential for water damage.

Olefin Carpet Pros

  • Inexpensive: Olefin carpet averages about $1.50 per square foot. That compares favorably to nylon, the most popular carpet material that averages between $3.25 and $7.50 per square foot.

  • Water, mold and mildew resistant: Olefin carpet wicks away moisture, making it a great choice for basements, patios and anywhere else that could get damp.

  • Does not generate static: Helpful in computer rooms and in drier climates.

  • Stain resistant: Olefin carpet gets high marks for repelling stains. Most substances (but not all) simply roll off the fibers and pool at the bottom of the carpet, where they are easily spot treated. Read on to learn what olefin does not repel.

  • Attractive: Olefin carpet is often made to look like more expensive wool carpet.

  • Many different styles and colors: If it’s variety you’re after, olefin carpet has a lot to offer.

Olefin Carpet Cons

  • Can mat easily: Olefin carpet does not hold up as well to foot traffic as other carpet materials, such as nylon. Choose a low-pile or looped, Berber carpet style to reduce matting.

  • Not as durable as other carpet materials: Because it mats so easily, you won’t get as much mileage out of olefin carpet as nylon or triexta carpet. For that reason, it’s best suited for low-traffic areas.

  • Absorbs oil and grease: While olefin carpet is generally stain resistant, it does not resist grease and oils. It absorbs both substances, including human oils from skin. Your best defense is to attack any carpet oil stains ASAP.

  • Highly heat sensitive: It only takes a little heat to melt, burn or scorch olefin carpet. Simply dragging furniture across olefin carpet can leave lasting burn marks. Always pick up and move furniture on olefin carpet!