5 Reasons to Consider Combining Carpet and Hard Surfaces in Your Design

When choosing flooring for your design projects, it’s easy to get caught up in the debate of carpet versus hard surfaces. And though we’re partial to the beautiful versatility of carpet, we know that it doesn’t have to be an either-or decision. Both materials can co-exist to maximize an aesthetic appeal and functionality of any space.  Here are five reasons why you should consider mixing multiple flooring options into your design.

Define Traffic Pathways and Enhance Wayfinding

If you’ve ever entered a space only to be met with a mass of people standing around or moving chaotically in all directions, then you know how helpful traffic pathways can be in a design. Using hard surfaces bounded by carpet creates walkways that both visually and intuitively guide visitors through a space. The comfort and vibrancy of carpet invites visitors to relax in seating areas while stone, tile, and hardwood encourages movement and can clearly direct visitors through the areas of moving traffic.  The combination of the two materials naturally guides visitors through the space while decreasing congestion and frustration.

Create Comfort Zones

Carpet naturally creates a sense of comfort that invites visitors to relax, which is why it’s the perfect accompaniment to couches and lounge seating.  Think of the psychological shift when you come home for the day and kick your shoes off, digging your toes into lush carpet.  Can’t you just feel your body instantly relax? The same effect can be applied to commercial spaces. Whether it’s the waiting area of an office building or the parlor-style lobby of a hotel, the contrast between hard surface and carpet invites a psychological shift to relax.

Expand Custom Capabilities

When it comes to executing your vision, you do not have to be limited to a single flooring option.  By combining carpet with hard surfaces in your design, the possibilities are endless. Maybe you love the natural texture and movement of marble but wish it could be enhanced and highlighted. Creating a custom carpet pattern that matches the natural tones of the marble and a prominent pattern that mirrors the veins of the stone can do exactly that.

Enhance Sense of Place

In the best designs, each element complements each other, combining and playing together like a beautiful symphony. From the architecture to the furniture, it all adds up to a cohesive whole that leaves visitors with an intuitive sense of the space’s identity. Combining hard flooring with carpet can be a great way to enhance the sense of place.  From evoking natural settings to mirroring the soaring heights of the architecture, these materials can harmonize perfectly.

Create Focal Points and Unique Accents

Contrast is an excellent way to draw the eye and create focal points within a design. By shifting from one flooring material to another within a single space, visitors are invited to focus on unique details with specific purposes. That purpose could be practical, like the wayfinding mentioned earlier. Or it could be entirely aesthetic, drawing attention to unique art pieces, elements of architecture, or unexpected details.

Encore Hospitality Carpet Introduces the Allure Collection

12 Broadloom Styles Made with Zeftron® Nylon Feature Innovative Design and Superior Performance

 Encore Hospitality Carpet, a hospitality division of Brumlow Mills, is introducing its Allure Collection, an attractive array of 12 highly designed broadloom styles made with Zeftron nylon. The new collection features innovative textures, colors and large and small pattern sizes. It meets both the style and performance needs for a variety of hospitality environments.


Affinity in Cognac
Annata in Shitake

A bold departure from many of today’s flooring options, the Allure Collection is aesthetically distinguished by its sense of the unexpected. Some products feature large geometric patterns and others have smaller, more traditional grid styles. The beauty includes the illusion of no repeat patterning. Colors seem to indiscriminately fade in and out, appearing and reappearing with different intensity. The weathered, distressed appearance, provides added visual intrigue. 


Nine contemporary colorways are available with hues ranging from rich tans and deep browns to subtle greys and intense yellows.

Enchant in Palomino

“With more than 100 standard options to choose from, the Allure Collection can help designers make a unique design statement for virtually any hospitality project or space they might be working on,” said Encore Hospitality Carpet President Richard Heaver.

The dynamic styling elements of the collection are made possible through Encore’s state-of-the-art Infinity manufacturing technology, and Zeftron’s solution dyed nylon 6 with superior styling, performance and recyclability advantages for commercial carpet products.

Allure products are perfect for guest rooms and public areas, including corridors, meeting rooms, ballrooms, lobbies and dining areas.

Designers can begin the process of creating the perfect carpet for their project at the Encore website: www.encorehospitalitycarpet.com.  Select patterns, colorize your designs and see how your carpet would look in a three-dimensional room scene. You can also download the room scene, as well as a color swatch, the colorways and a spec sheet to a PDF document.

About Encore Hospitality Carpet

A family owned and operated carpet manufacturer since 1981, Encore’s commitment to the latest manufacturing capabilities, processes and procedures allows customers more flexibility in providing innovative, design-oriented carpet products for Public Space and Guest Room applications. Encore is poised to service both large and small projects competitively. For more information, please visit www.encorehospitalitycarpet.com.

About Zeftron® Nylon

For more than 40 years, Zeftron® nylon has continued to deliver more value-added opportunities and advantages to the commercial interiors marketplace through dedicated partnerships, a premium branded nylon 6 product and superior service. Based in Dalton, Ga., the brand brings a history of innovations and unparalleled style, performance and environmental attributes in 120 proven colors.  All Zeftron nylon yarns are closed-loop recyclable, MBDC Cradle to Cradle certified and come standard with a minimum 25 percent recycled content. As part of the brand’s commitment to environmental stewardship, Zeftron nylon makes recycling easy with its 6ix Again Recycling Program – a simple to use, all-inclusive carpet recycling initiative. For more information, visit www.zeftronnylon.com

Three Questions with…Karen Martin, BOLYU Designer/Colorist

An occasional blog article series, “Three Questions With…” profiles designers, product developers, trend experts, colorists, arbiters of good taste and others who are shaping and influencing the commercial interiors industry.   
Q.  You’re currently working on integrating colors from the new Reflective Elements collection into new products for BOLYU.  Are the Reflective Elements colors part of a bigger trend you’re seeing in color these days?

Pizzazz from BOLYU contains intriguing reflective and metallic type colors.

The metallic — and now reflective – color movement has been amazing to me.  It started several years ago, essentially in the fashion industry, and it’s taken many twists and turns over the years.  I would say that this movement is no longer a trend, it’s established.  In fact, we introduced a product called Pizzazz several years ago that had a metallic look to it.

Made with Zeftron nylon, it continues to be a popular product today.
I think everybody is looking for a sparkle or a shine.  Today we’re seeing different colors with the metallic or reflective effect that you might not have seen just a short while ago.  For example, we’re noticing bright colors in orange or even green being paired with a metallic color. This is striking and unique, and not something you would have seen in the recent past.

Gareth Pugh 2011
Pizzazz from BOLYU contains intriguing reflective and metallic type colors.

These colors present such a departure from what we were working with in the past.  They are so exciting when contrasted against the muted colors, dull lusters and matte finishes we saw prior.
Q.  How does the Reflective Elements collection help you in your role as a colorist/designer?

What’s great is that Zeftron has added more options for designers, which is what we need.  More options gives us an edge to be innovative, to address the now and to address the future.  Of course we also want to use colors that are not just trendy, but have longevity to them as well.  These colors give us that flexibility.

As a designer, I feel I can create almost anything.  You can create added texture, introduce more styling…or even create an element of surprise and uniqueness.  It’s a styling tool that has become very important to use. What’s more, Zeftron’s Reflective Elements collection works really well with its Brilliant Collection.

Zeftron is sitting on top of a really nice color package.  It shows that they are paying attention to what’s happening in the market.  Zeftron’s colors give designers the opportunity to make something their own.

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Q.  Where do you see the colors being used — corporate, hospitality, etc.?

For us, it’s across the board.  We’re using these colors in hospitality, corporate, senior living and health care.  I can’t tell you any product that I’m not working on now that does not have a reflective or metallic element to it.  I think that’s a reflection (no pun intended!) of just how important and popular these kinds of colors have become in virtually every commercial space.

About Karen Martin: Karen has been a Designer/Colorist with Beaulieu Commercial for more than 15 years. Her primary responsibilities include research of design and color trends and their application in commercial, education, and healthcare products for BOLYU and hospitality products for Aqua.  For more information, please visit http://www.bolyu.com

Contact Us: If you’re interested in learning more about the new Reflective Elements collection, please contact Zeftron Business Leader Tim Blount directly at timothy.blount@shawinc.com.

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Today’s Workplace Design: Three Benefits of Carpet

Carpet made with Zeftron nylon

The office of today is not what it used to be. Gone are the days of gray walls and tiny cubes separating the individual from the masses. The new workplace is open, airy, colorful and brand-driven. Now more than ever design is critical to achieving collaboration, inspiration and maximum productivity.


But how does a designer come up with the perfect interior for a client? Unfortunately, there is no secret formula. Instead it changes with every space that is created. But what doesn’t change is the need to connect the design aesthetic of the environment to the functional needs of those occupying the space.

Carpet made with Zeftron nylon at Bar Architects in San Francisco
Carpet made with Zeftron nylon at Bar Architects in San Francisco

The floor is typically the largest surface of any interior space. As a result, the flooring product you select can play a major role in both that space’s design and functionality. What can help you make the decision to choose carpet over other floor coverings for the next commercial space you design?  Below are three points to consider:

Acoustics: It’s well-known that quieter environments can foster greater focus and attention. Global design firm HOK lists this as one of their top 10 trends influencing workplace design today, and we agree. One of carpet’s best features is sound absorption, which can help reduce unwanted noise and create more productive employees.

Color: Carpet ain’t what it used to be! Our mill partners work hard to create amazing carpets that are not only beautiful, but highly stylish and versatile. We recently released seven new colors called the Brilliant Collection, which include colors like Lemon, Hot Pink, & Electric Blue to name a few. Why is that important? Research shows that bright colors not only add a spark of energy to a space, it can also foster greater engagement and activity.

Branding: Earlier this year Building Design & Construction posted an in-depth look at how millennials respond to workplace design. The new workplace is quickly filling up with this young generation and they expect a branded feel to their workspace. High-quality design in the workplace is a competitive advantage and will help with recruitment and retention of millennials, and all employees. Carpet offers the flexibility and customization to create a branded feel for your project.

Carpet made with Zeftron nylon at Bar Architects in San Francisco

What are other important factors when you specify carpet for your projects?  When choosing a commercial grade carpet, we have talked in the past about the importance of knowing the traffic the space will receive, as well as the maintenance plan for the space. Let us know if you have any questions about Zeftron nylon!

To contact Zeftron nylon call Tim Blount at 706-532-2984 or email him at timothy.blount@shawinc.com.


Custom Carpets- Part Two: Easier Than You Think!

By Julie Baird @Juliembaird

Last week we talked with PacifiCrest Senior Designer Julie Baird about the basics of custom carpets. This week Julie discusses the various options, processes and tools available to designers for developing the custom carpet they envision.

Q.  What are the options for achieving a custom carpet?

At PacifiCrest we offer a multitude of ways to achieve a custom look.  Designers can use our “Custom Color” program with one of our running lines or they can work with us to develop a complete “Custom Construction” product.

Q.  How does your “Custom Color” running line work?

PacifiCrest can match colors to best create the custom carpet you need.
PacifiCrest can match colors to best create the custom carpet you need.

This is a great solution for designers looking to make a custom statement in a quick and efficient way.  For a 100-yard minimum, we can match any color and turn around a custom color strike off in two days.  Designers can provide us with a specific Pantone color or send us fabric samples or paint swatches for the color they want.  Our dye lab then creates a formula that matches to their color.

After the order is placed, we can deliver the finished carpet in five days.  This turnaround is just as fast as ordering a quick-ship product and often times faster than a typical running line product.

Q.  How does your “Custom Construction” work?

All custom construction projects must meet a 400-1,000-yard minimum.  Once this requirement is met, we look at all the needs for the specific job.  We determine what nylon is required, as well as what construction type and weight would meet the performance and design needs of the project.  A good starting point for a custom construction is thinking about a variation of a running line product.

The beauty of custom construction is that during the process we do several things to engineer the carpet to specific standards.  For example, we can:

  • Make the product lighter weight to value engineer, or we can add weight to increase performance
  • Create a solution-dyed version of a piece-dyed product to meet specific and/or different design requirements
  • In some cases, we can manufacture a tip-sheared version of a loop product to create a different look
  • Take an existing construction and create a different pattern

Custom Construction is a great solution for a larger project where a signature look is desired.  It can also be an effective way to meet a particular end-use or value engineer a product.

The PacifiCrest sample machine
New state of the art tufting machine.

Q.  How would a designer start the custom process with PacifiCrest?

A custom project starts with the designer’s sales rep who works as a liaison between the designer and PacifiCrest.  Our rep writes up a custom request form, which gets entered into our product development system.  If the request is for a Custom Color running line, it goes straight to our dye lab experts.

If the request is for Custom Construction, it will come to our design department where we will draw the custom pattern first and/or determine the construction.  It will then go through our strike off department where we have sample machines that will tuft and finish a sample to be submitted for the designer’s approval.

Q.  Does PacifiCrest have any specific tools or resources to help designers through this custom process?

Absolutely!  As a boutique mill that specializes in custom carpets, our goal is to make the custom process as simple and efficient as possible.

CAD renderings give designers the ability to create custom patterns
CAD renderings give designers the ability to create custom patterns

One great tool is our CAD renderings.  CAD renderings provide us the ability to add logos, create patterns and establish the exact colors a designer requires.  Utilizing this tool can save time and money and ensure that the finished product is exactly what the designer envisioned.

Additionally, our newest product, 42nd Street, is a great tool for custom color.  I like to call it a “coloring box” since it is a 42 oz. cut pile product in 72 colors.  The architect folder contains three additional solid-color texture products.  Designers can simply select a texture and a color.  If we do not have the exact color a designer is looking for, we can match to it.  This palette gives designers a great starting place.

We are also developing a tool designers can use for Custom Construction products that require carpets made with a solution dyed nylon.  We’re pleased to be partnering with Zeftron on this.  The “kit” will contain several items, including two samples that demonstrate the feel and construction of the carpet from our new tufting machines.   The kit provides a starting place for designers to begin a Custom Construction – designers can choose a pattern and colors.  From there we can create a CAD rendering or a tufted sample.

The PacifiCrest-Zeftron custom kit provides a starting place for designers to begin a Custom Construction
The PacifiCrest-Zeftron custom kit provides a starting place for designers to begin a Custom Construction

Q. What else would like to add?

Designers should not be afraid to do custom.  A custom product is an excellent option for today’s commercial interiors industry where more and more clients not only want an exceptional look, but one that is also uniquely distinct.

That being said, it’s important designers work with a mill that has the experience and capabilities to make custom carpets.  PacifiCrest has a long history of being a custom carpet mill.  We take pride in meeting the custom requirements of any project with highly styled products at value price points and excellent service.  Our goal is to be a diverse supplier that can provide unique solutions to all market segments.

This year we have invested heavily in new state of the art tufting technology to further support our custom capabilities.  We now have more capabilities than ever before to achieve unlimited pattern and color flexibility.

For more information about PacifiCrest, please visit http://www.pacificrest.com

To contact Zeftron nylon call Tim Blount at 706-532-2984 or email him at timothy.blount@shawinc.com.

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Maintenance is Critical to a Carpet’s Lifecycle


By Tim Blount

When talking about a carpet’s lifecycle, we must talk about maintenance. Last month’s post addressed how color selection impacts the life of a carpet.  I want to add a few more tips and share some best practices on maintenance.

If you’re responsible for specifying a carpet for a commercial interiors project and you’re concerned about long-term appearance and maintainability of the carpet being specified, be practical in your color selection.  You’ll start realizing the ROI of a smart choice right away.

Fortunately, the technology incorporated into carpet fibers and additional soil and stain resist treatments applied during the carpet manufacturing process provide added built-in benefits related to cleanability which allows for a wider variety of color selections that will perform to desired performance levels using typical cleaning frequencies.

This is not meant to imply that any color is acceptable for all types of end use areas.  Give some thought not only to the aesthetics of the carpet but also the level of care and maintenance that will be required to keep the carpet at an optimal appearance level throughout its useful life.

Screen shot 2013-11-18 at 9.39.21 PM

Last month’s blog post shared the first two tips in choosing a color that will benefit the carpet’s lifecycle: understand the facility and understand traffic.  Here are a few more tips in making a carpet color selection:

  • Understand how the carpet will be cared for. Will there be one person cleaning the carpet, only once a month?  Or will a team of properly trained workers be caring for your carpet much more frequently?  More frequent cleanings will not only extend the carpet’s life, but open up more color possibilities because they’ll be maintained on a regular basis.  If care is infrequent or sporadic, choose a color and pattern that will help mask soil and spills.
  • Understand the yarns used to make the carpet and the source of their coloration.  The dye method used to color the fiber will impact the maintenance of a carpet.  A solution-dyed yarn has its color incorporated into the fibers when the yarn is made.  As a result, solution-dyed yarns can be cleaned more aggressively to remove stains without damaging the color.  In addition, a solution-dyed fiber will be the most forgiving for resistance to color loss resulting from spills of harsh cleaning agents or chemicals.  A yarn-dyed fiber is made white and then has its color added later in the carpet manufacturing process.  A yarn-dyed fiber is not as colorfast as a solution-dyed fiber and is more subject to permanent staining and permanent color loss.

No matter what style of carpet and color you specify, regular maintenance is required to see the most from the flooring investment.   Three key items most important to remember about carpet maintenance are:

  • Proper color selection
  • Routine vacuuming
  • A carpet maintenance plan that is followed and takes into account the characteristics specific to a given facility, i.e. the level and type of foot traffic; the color and surface texture of carpet; and the frequency and types of spills expected to be encountered

Architects and designers specifying a commercial carpet should look for products that carry lifetime warranties for such important things as stain and soil protection, as well as wear and color fading.  Most trusted brands offer this and it should not be overlooked to help with a carpet product’s maintainability and lifecycle.

The specifier can extend the life of a project’s carpet by making smart choices in the color selection and maintenance plan.  This makes for greater ROI and happier clients.  Clients will recognize the knowledge and value the specifier brings to the project, and keep coming back for more.

Let us know what you think.  Are these tips helpful?  Do you have other suggestions when it comes to color and maintaining a commercial carpet?


Tim Blount is the Zeftron Nylon Business Leader.  Reach him at timothy.blount@shawinc.com.