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Cornrows in Carpet: How to Identify and Avoid Them

Cornrows in Carpet: How to Identify and Avoid Them


Carpet cleaning and maintenance are important topics on our blog for a number of reasons, not the least of which is because keeping carpet clean and well-maintained allows it to last longer and thereby maximize your investment in your home or office.

Here is a case in point: Sometimes poorly-executed maintenance shows up as something called “cornrows” in your carpet.

If you have never seen carpet cornrows, that is most likely a good thing, but knowing how to prevent them is a key to having beautiful carpet over the long term.

According to an article published on the website, Wall to Wall Carpet Resources, one of the main reasons carpet cornrows pop up is because of aggressive vacuuming with the brush set too low. Other preventable reasons for cornrowing are doors being too low and constantly rubbing on carpet, infrequent vacuuming, and/or always vacuuming in the same direction.

Monitoring how you vacuum and the height of your vacuum’s bristles are the best ways to prevent cornrowing.

These reasons for cornrowing can easily be avoided, but sometimes cornrows are present for another reason. CRI has long held that cornrowing is not a manufacturer-related defect, but installation is a possible reason for cornrows in your carpet.

If carpet is not stretched enough over the flooring in the process of installation, the loose carpet can become cornrowed over time. Another possible cause is having a carpet pad or cushion that is too hard or too soft. The carpet pad should have a density between 6-8 pounds and should not be thicker than 7/16ths of an inch.

If the carpet is developing cornrows because of poor installation, the only course of action is to regularly rake with a carpet rake, which can be purchased from most home improvement or hardware stores. Raking the carpet will help to de-cornrow the carpet and give it a natural look.