Common Carpet Defects: Carpet Pattern Bowing

All kinds of lines appear in carpets. You can see some as soon as the carpet is rolled out; some don’t show up for several days or weeks. Some run lengthwise, others widthwise. Some can be removed, others can’t. Below is information on pattern bowing. I also suggest you read my previous posts on high lines and low lines in carpet, shear streaks, stop marks, shift marks and oil streaks.

Pattern bowing is only noticeable with printed or woven patterned carpet and loop patterned carpet. There are several causes for a crooked pattern, but the end result is that the pattern does not run straight when you look across or down the room.

It is possible that the installers stretched the carpet pattern unevenly and caused it to bow. It is also possible that the machinery was “off ” during manufacturing and the pattern was made incorrectly. Whatever caused it, the bowed pattern will make the room look crooked. The industry tolerance is generally a 1 to 1 1/2 percent allowance. That means up to 2 inches of bow across a 12-foot width! A good installer can compensate for up to a 1-inch deviation by carefully stretching less bowed sections more than areas with more bowing. But if the pattern is too far out of true, you’ll need a replacement.

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Who is Glenn Revere?

Glenn Revere has been a carpet expert since 1973. He’s a certified flooring inspector and the author of All About Carpets, the only book written to protect and inform you about your carpet choices, from carpet buying and carpet warranties to carpet care and maintenance. You can find him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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One Response to “Common Carpet Defects: Carpet Pattern Bowing”

  1. Dick Katz says:

    Industry tolerance?
    Does each manufacturer have their own tolerance?