Commercial vs. Residential Carpets: What’s the Difference?


If you’re a property owner or manager, you’ll likely need new carpeting eventually. When the time comes, you may be surprised by the varieties available.

There are two general grades of carpets: residential and commercial. You wouldn’t want to install a commercial carpet in your living room and, likewise, you probably don’t want a residential carpet in your office. Either way, you want something that looks great but is also functional for the space to ensure you get the most out of it.


So, what’s the difference between the two grades? Let’s find out.

How Do Commercial Grade Carpets Differ From Residential Ones?

In this post, we discuss the differences between commercial and residential grade carpeting to help you choose the one best suited for your design or remodelling project.

  1. Aesthetics

There’s generally a wider variety of styles and colour options for residential carpets than commercial ones.

In most commercial spaces, darker patterns are preferred as they’re more forgiving than solid colours. This means stains and marks blend in well with the pattern, allowing the carpet to last longer, even with heavy foot traffic.

By contrast, residential settings favour lighter colours as they make the space appear light and open.

These days, however, many commercial spaces are trying to mimic the comfortable environment of a home. As this trend grows, designers are choosing semi-solid and textural patterns in lighter tones to channel residential aesthetics in commercial properties.

  1. Comfort

Residential carpets are typically designed to offer more comfort while commercial ones favour durability.

This means both grades are constructed differently. Residential carpeting is constructed to offer greater pile height, creating a plush and indulgent feel underfoot. It often has a thick underlay acting as a layer of padding, increasing comfort and sound absorption.

Since comfort isn’t a priority in commercial spaces, these carpets are constructed with durability in mind. The main focus is for the flooring to last, while enduring heavy and regular foot traffic.

  1. Cleaning and Maintenance

For both grades, vacuuming is the best method to keep them clean, with a biannual deep clean. Homes with pets and small children won’t track in nearly the same amount of dirt and debris as what’s bought in by the hundreds of people who traipse through a busy store or office on a daily basis. They see heavier wear and tear, requiring more frequent vacuuming. They may also need a professional cleaning from time to time to keep them in good shape.

  1. Cost

Commercial carpeting is typically more affordable. This is because it’s constructed to cover a much larger area.

Interestingly, some homeowners may find commercial carpets a better fit as they can better endure wear and tear, at a fraction of the cost. For instance, if you have a basement that opens up into your backyard, commercial carpets serve as a cost-effective option.

Now that you know the basic differences between commercial and residential carpets, you can make an informed decision regarding which to choose. No matter the type of carpeting you pick, it should be something you love and something that lasts.

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