Carpet is a very popular choice for flooring, both in residential and commercial spaces. While a high quality carpet should last for many years, occasionally there are issues that cause owners to have problems with it. One of these problems is known in the flooring and carpeting industry as corn rowing. Corn rowing usually occurs in wall to wall carpeting and is used to describe rows of carpet fiber that alternates between high and low. It is caused when some rows do not mat down while others do.
To understand how it happens, it’s important to know how carpet is manufactured. During the making of a piece of carpet, the tufting machine laces the fiber through the backing, creating tufts that are close together. In a more expensive carpet, the yarn tufts are very close together, while in a lesser quality, they are further away from each other. Corn rowing most often happens when the tufts are further apart.
When the carpet is in use, the fibers are put under pressure due to normal foot traffic. Because of the spacing between fibers, some of them get pushed down and are not supported on each side by other fibers. The result is some rows remain erect while others are matted down. Corn rowing appears exclusively in high traffic areas or on spots where doors pull on the carpet repeatedly. It primarily develops across the width of a carpet though not always. It can also happen if the owner uses a vacuum where the brush is set too low and crushes the fibers instead of brushing them. Because of the alternating rows of firm and crushed fiber, the result resembles a corn field.