Cut Pile: This carpet gets its durability through the fiber used, the density of the tufts, and the twist of the yarn. There are four popular styles to choose from: textured plush, Saxony, frieze, and cable.
• Plush: This has a smooth and even finish, providing a more formal look.
• Textured: This style uses low density fibers of uneven heights. The resulting look hides dirt with an informal look, but it is not suited for high traffic areas.
• Saxony: This has a smooth and even finish, but the fibers are longer than a textured plush, and the fibers have a twist. Though this is the most popular style of carpet on the market, it has a tendency to show footprints and other marks more than other carpets.
• Frieze: This carpet style features long fibers with more twists, so the resulting texture is informal. It hides foot prints and other marks easier than other carpets, but is generally not suited for high traffic areas. If the piles are longer, it is called “shag.”
• Cable: This style of carpet is made with thicker and longer fibers to provide a more “cozy” feel to the carpet when walked on. _________________________________________________
Loop Pile: Loop pile carpets do not cut the yarn tips, making the loops visible. They are durable in construction, and are considered an “all-purpose” carpet. There are various styles to choose from including: level loop, patterned multi-level loop, and cut and loop. • Level Loop or Berber: This carpet style features packed short looped fibers. This provides a durable surface for high trafficked areas with an informal appearance. Some color flecks in the fiber may make it easier to hide dirt, but the height of the fibers may make the seams more visible. • Patterned Multi-Level Loop: This carpet style features loops of varying heights to create a texture and or pattern. • Cut and Loop: This carpet style is a mixture between cut pile and loop pile fibers. The variant makes for a textured appearance that is ideal for highly trafficked areas. As an added bonus, this type of carpet also hides dirt and stains.
Types of Carpet Fibers
Carpet is made from various synthetic and natural fibers. Each has different characteristics.
Nylon is the most popular. It’s durable and resistant to wear. It’s not good at fighting stains, so some varieties include a stain-resistant treatment.
Olefin is resistant to moisture, mold, and mildew and makes a good carpet for basements and outdoors. It’s tougher than nylon, but not as comfortable to walk on.
Acrylic is often used as an inexpensive alternative to wool. It’s not widely available.
Wool is the premier carpeting and the only natural fiber made into carpets. It’s durable and stain-resistant, and it’s considered an ecofriendly floor covering.
There’s no universal grading for carpet quality, so beware of manufacturer’s claims to offer one. Instead, consider weight and density.
Weight indicates how many fibers are present in the carpet. The more fibers, the heavier the weight and the higher the quality of the carpet.
Density shows how many fibers are in the pile and how closely packed the fibers are. The denser, the better. You can “field test” density with your fingers — if you can feel the carpet backing, the carpet won’t be very dense.