Carpet & Sustainability… A LEED AP’s perspective on a particular product

Smartstrand vs. Nylon? Triexta – Smartstrand Sorona PTT fiber.
Is it green?

The following points give a glimpse as to why this may be the fiber to watch. Though not as green as wool or PET, it appears to strike a balance that has been resonating with our client base. If I were to give it a “Moline Greenwashing Index” shades of green color, I’d put it squarely in the middle (good) and endorse it. Click here to learn more about the LEED rating system.
Here are your green factoids:

– The production of Sorona® polymer requires 30 percent less energy than the production of an equal amount of nylon.
– Greenhouse gas emissions from the production of Sorona® are 63 percent lower than nylon manufacturing.
– Every seven yards of SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona saves enough energy and resources to equal one gallon of gasoline—that’s ten million gallons of gasoline a year!
– Factor in the lifecycle cost of a more robust floorcovering and you’ve got something worth a look.
That said, LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) is just a small portion of what I consider and not worth hanging a “green” label on. But it plays a role.

I have had great success with this newest of fibers and have not had one complaint. In fact, it is installed in our showroom and gets more use than your average residential application… and it is holding up beautifully. The softness itself is reason alone to spark interest. But it is the cleanability that customers have shown to be the biggest draw.

Following is a testimonial from a rarely-heard segment of our industry, the independent testing agency:

Independent Textile Testing Service, Inc.

“Over the past 10 years we have been involved in extensive testing of the PTT fiber pertaining to carpet usage. Testing has included everything from pedestrian traffic, soiling, staining, static, colorfastness to atmospheric contaminants, flammability and many others. Based on our experience with the PTT fiber, it would seem that the test results consistently show a marked difference when compared to PET in regards to performance…It is of our opinion that the differences shown do indeed indicate that a need for a separate classification is a good idea. It would be very difficult to continue to try and let the marketplace separate these on its own. PTT indeed performs much better in general than PET in traffic ratings and it would benefit the consumer to know that there were distinct differences, thereby eliminating PET from being confused with PTT. We think a separate class of fiber generic name would be in good order and an overall benefit to end users.”


We look forward to seeing this fiber gain in popularity as it has over the past 4 years. I believe that if it were going to fail, it would have fallen by the wayside quickly. It looks like that just isn’t the case and as a LEED Accredited Professional dedicated to sustainability in the flooring industry I couldn’t be more satisfied.
Here is more information straight from Mohawk’s website regarding specific results:

Wear (Walk test)

SmartStrand fibers bend easily, rebound quickly and are amazingly durable. A test with over 20,000 foot traffics proved SmartStrand’s superior resiliency and crush resistance. In durability comparisons, nylon performed well, but SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona Polymer performed better.

Wear (Hexapod Test)

SmartStrand also underwent rigorous mechanical testing designed to simulate actual walk tests, but in a much shorter time period. Results confirmed…SmartStrand is the best.

Stain Protection

This is where Mohawk SmartStrand really excels. The SmartStrand fiber has engineered-in stain protection. Most stains (even the really stubborn ones such as hot coffee, mustard, red wine, tea, juice, shoe polish and more) are easily lifted with water and mild detergent or Floor Care Essentials. Even more impressive, SmartStrand fiber is resistant to discoloration from bleach. The leading nylon brands contain topically applied protection on the surface of the fiber that can wash and wear off.  SmartStrand stain protection does not contain any topically applied protection (it’s built-in) and it will never wash or wear off. NEVER!


SmartStrand’s unbeatable built-in stain protection also works against soiling, providing significantly better resistance and removal compared to nylon.


For eliminating uncomfortable static, SmartStrand gets another “excellent” rating versus nylon’s “poor” rating. SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona Polymer is the clear choice in static protection.


Customers that choose beautiful SmartStrand carpets in any style or color will be pleased by the long-term protection from fading, UV light and ozone discolorations. Color fastness is just one more “excellent” rating for SmartStrand.

Exceptional Comfort & Confidence

Every day, SmartStrand carpet pass another important test for consumers; the softness test. SmartStrand carpets are installed in thousands of homes and Mohawk customers have praised the elegant looks, gentle feel and supreme comfort.  Free of harsh topically applied chemicals, SmartStrand’s fresh, pure and soft fibers provide a cleaner, healthier interior environment for consumers.

about Chris Moline, LEED AP

Chris is our Residential Group Manager & a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional

Chris Moline, LEED AP

3 responses to “Carpet & Sustainability… A LEED AP’s perspective on a particular product

  1. Pingback: Mohawk’s SmartStrand and Shaw’s R2x… get ready to laugh « Northern Virginia Flooring Bamboo Carpet Wood Tile Green LEED GBC and GSA

  2. this is very informative. thanks for the information

  3. Pingback: Mohawk Smartstrand vs. Shaw R2X Carpet | The Home Makeover Diva

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