Shaw Carpet Review

Shaw Carpet Review

By Fortino Rosas / July 8, 2019 / 25 Comments

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Shaw Carpets is easily one of the most well-known carpet brands on the market. Owners of the largest mills in the united states, they have the resources for continued research and development of their products.

As such, Shaw continues to innovate and create new trends for their vast carpet product line. This includes a wide array of styles, fiber blends, and backing options at every price point.

It’s daunting to think how many homes have Shaw carpets on their floors, but are they happy with their investment? Let’s look at some of the things that the biggest name in the carpet game gets right as well as some places they might improve.

Appearance and Style

This is one department where Shaw carpet really has it all. Just about any color and pattern you can imagine is available in a carpet to fulfill your deepest interior designer fantasies. This includes everything from a textured rental beige to shaggy hot pink.

Styles here range from simple looped berber, formal cut and loop patterns, and more casual cut-pile texture and twist carpets.

Twist” is another name for frieze or what some might call “shag”. However, you might find that these twist carpets are a more updated and modern version of your parent’s old shag carpets.

That’s not to say that Shaw doesn’t make some decidedly classic looks. Whether you are restoring an older home and keeping it retro or seeking to modernize with a Carrera marble-look pattern, you will have many options.

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Construction and Durability

Shaw has their wide carpet selection categorized into six major collections based on style and quality. This ranges from the builder-grade Foundations collection all the way up to the luxe Caress collection.

The Foundations collection is the most basic carpet of the group. With both polyester and nylon offerings, this collection is designed with the contractor or house-flipper in mind. You will also frequently find this product in rentals.

While the price tag may be alluring, it’s important to note that the carpets in this collection are quite thin with an average of a 25-30 oz. face weight, basic fiberglass backing, and a limited warranty of up to 10 years on most styles.

The Simply the Best collection is very similar to the Foundations collection in its construction and durability. However, it offers more modern and on-trend colors.

The next step up in quality is the TruAccents collection. These are also polyester carpets but feature an enhanced fiberglass backing and an average of 35-40 oz. face weight. You can expect a 10-year texture, abrasive wear, and quality assurance as well as a 15-year stain and soil warranty.

The Colorwall collection is perhaps one of the most well-known from Shaw. Like the name implies, the color selection here outdoes the rest. This is also where you can find mid-range nylon fiber and backing upgrades.

The majority of Colorwall styles features a soft backing. Many homeowners and remodelers find this desirable as the softer backing is less likely to damage baseboards or walls when it’s installed. The backing also “breathes” which allows moisture to evaporate.

There is also a handful of shorter pile styles in this collection that feature the Lifeproof waterproof backing. This special plastic backing prevents spills from seeping into the carpet, pad, and subfloor. This type is ideal for pet owners or families with small children.

While the shorter pile does make it easier to clean, it also sacrifices some of the comfort afforded to thicker and denser options.

All styles in the Colorwall collection are made from Shaw’s proprietary Anso nylon fiber and treated with their R2X stain blocker. This nylon is solution dyed and the stain blocker works to close the dye sites to create a product that is colorfast and stain-resistant.

You can also expect more comfort underfoot from this collection, with an average 45-50 oz. face weight. The durable nylon fiber ensures that even a thick carpet like this won’t mat down or look worn for years to come.

Colorwall styles have a lifetime stain and soil warranty, including pet urine, and a 20-year texture and abrasive warranty.

The Bellera collection also has the waterproof backing. However, this is a polyester carpet with a slightly higher pile and less of a warranty—only ten years. This collection would be more appropriate for a nicer rental or an active family on a budget.

Finally, the Caress collection is every bit as luxurious as it sounds. With names like “Angora” and “Cashmere” it’s easy to believe this carpet is soft enough to nap on. This nylon carpet boasts an ultra-dense face weight ranging from 75-100 oz.

Furthermore, Caress has a soft backing and is stain-treated so your cloud-like carpet is protected. Even so, this carpet comes with a lifetime stain and soil and a 20-year texture and abrasive wear warranty.

Overall, Shaw’s products are generally well-made and durable. However, you will have to do your part to follow the manufacturer recommendations to care for your carpet properly and to maintain the warranty. This means getting a professional hot-water extraction cleaning once a year and only using approved carpet vacuums.

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Ease of Installation

Carpet isn’t typically the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a floor covering that’s easy to install. That’s not to say that it isn’t impossible for a handy homeowner to tackle on their own. A small, square bedroom and closet, for example might be easy enough.

However, larger jobs with multiple seams, special cutouts, or patterns are best left to the pros. Pros have access to special tools like power stretchers to make the job go faster and have the special skills to achieve a high-quality carpet install.

Shaw carpet specifically isn’t more or less difficult to install than other carpet brands. However, if you select a carpet with the waterproof Lifeproof backing, this has been known to give some installers trouble.

The tough plastic backing can be difficult to stretch in without gaps or ripples. Making sure your carpet is properly acclimated to the installation area can alleviate some of this headache.

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Shaw’s wide carpet range means there’s something for just about every budget. It’s also widely available at big box stores, local flooring retailers, and online.

Starting at the basic Foundations line and the other basic polyester collections, you can expect to pay around $15-$25 per square yard. You can expect any mid to upper-grade Shaw nylon such as Colorwall to run around $35-$45. The top-of-the-line Caress collection can cost anywhere from $65-$100 per square yard.

Carpet prices can often be tied to fiber type, backing type, warranty, and face weight. Different weights in the same color will often have a $10 to $15 difference depending on the collection.

You will also have to factor in the price of the carpet pad. A high-quality carpet pad can greatly extend the life of your carpet as well as provide comfort, noise reduction, insulation, and floor protection. These can run from $3-$9 per square yard.

Shaw has their proprietary pads such as the Charity 8 lb. and Victorious 10 lb. These are high-quality pads, but you may use other brands of the same specifications without voiding your warranty. If you are not sure your pad meets the requirements, you can check with the manufacturer.

Depending on where you like to shop, you can expect Shaw carpet to go on sale frequently. Many mom and pop flooring retailers also take part in Shaw’s in-house financing program that has perks such as low- and no-interest promotions.

Sometimes, you can get lucky and take advantage of sales plus financing to make your large project extra affordable. However, not every retailer allows you to “double dip” on these offers.

Many carpet stores also offer in-house professional installation services. These can also run $3-5 per square yard. Beware of anyone offering “free installation” with a carpet purchase. The installation isn’t actually free because they “bury” the cost in the price of the product.

So, you may be getting lower quality carpet at a much higher price due to your “free” install.

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The Verdict

If you’re out shopping for carpet, you will most likely see Shaw everywhere you go. It’s a tried and true brand with a decent track record and with so many years in the industry, they have had time to get their products right.

Whether your project budget is big or small, Shaw probably has something in your price range. However, like all carpets, you get what you pay for. It’s unrealistic to expect a builder-grade polyester to perform like a nylon, for example—and Shaw carpet is no exception to this.

Overall, you should have an easy time finding something you’ll love that fits the needs of your project and have peace of mind with Shaw’s warranty packages that cover carpets from renter beige to bubble gum pink shag.

Do you have Shaw carpet in your home? How do you like it? Tell us in the comments.

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About Fortino Rosas

Chief Floor Critic, 32 years of experience in flooring installation and sales

Fortino Rosas is an independent flooring contractor with 32 years of experience in residential and commercial flooring installation and sales. He joined the Floor Critics team to share his expertise with our readers. Fortino has acquired vast knowledge and skills in the areas of product selection, space planning, and installation. He has installed flooring in residential, government, and commercial office projects in the Midwest.

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