Thursday, December 8, 2011

Carpet Pooling

So there are a few questions as to what pooling is. Let me tell you it sucks.

Pooling is also known as Watermarking.

These are from a couple of different websites about this problem. While I'm glad we aren't the only ones (it did take the carpet place about 6 months to figure it out) I wish we didn't have it.

All pile yarn carpet is subject to pile reversal; however, it is most likely to be
observed in smooth surfaced, densely constructed, plush type qualities.  This
phenomenon is difficult, if not impossible, to predict or prevent.  Pile reversal creates a
permanent change in the carpet’s appearance caused by the difference in the way light
reflects off the sides and tip of a yarn as the pile lays in different directions.  Shaded
areas appear light from one direction and dark from another direction. After a period of
use, carpet may look as though water has spilled on sections of the carpet, hence, the
term “water marking.”  Other terms also commonly used to describe pile reversal are
“pooling,” “shading,” and “highlighting.”

The problem is caused by some of the carpet nap changing direction. The mystery is that no one, I really mean no one, has supposedly ever found out why it does this in certain cases and not in others. Professional references state that even if you replace the carpet there is about a 75% chance of it reappearing. This occurs even if another manufacturer’s carpet of the same style is installed. (It would be interesting to remove pooled carpet and install it in another location and see if the pooling disappears.) This is generally style related (velvets, plushes, dense saxonies) but probably not related to a specific carpet. We also know that pooling will flow across seams as if they are not there. This supposedly shows that it is not localized to the carpet itself and works over a larger area than a 12' width. Efforts at steaming and/or cleaning do not help. These are the supposed facts that manufacturer’s claim as proof that this is not a manufacturing problem. 

These aren't pictures of my carpet but you can see what I'm talking about. In our case it looks like worn areas. We have one spot in the middle of the living room that looks bleached out. And the parts that are really bad you can tell when you vacuum because the vacuum doesn't want to go over the area.

What looks like vacuum marks are the pooling
It looks like a water stain but it isn't
If you were at this place you would think the place had major water damage
Doesn't this look like money well spent?
The carpet place did offer to replace the carpet (which actually they didn't have to do because pooling isn't covered by warranty) we would have had to pay for the labor. And there is no guarantee that it wouldn't do the same thing. After the pain of having to move everything to get the carpet and then having to pay probably another $2,000, we decided to live with it. We figure we'll be in the house for at least 6-10 more years and it would need new carpet when we were to sell it. We'll let the new owners deal with it.


  1. I had never heard of this but am so thrilled that we went to Home Depot and did whole house install of laminate (not carpet)for $400! Labor deal gone right!

  2. Never heard of it... quite bizarre!

  3. See, and we have pooling of a different type. Mysterious puddles in the basement. *sigh*