Walking into a carpet showroom can be overwhelming. There are so many choices and styles – Berber, frieze, plush, nylon, Olefin, and wool to name a few. An educated consumer is a smart consumer and the first step in getting a good deal on carpet is speaking the language. Carpets come in two major styles – loop pile and cut pile. Within these two major styles are a variety of subgroups that include the frieze, Berber, Saxony and plush carpets. The names loop and cut pile give a bit of insight into how they are constructed.
If you leave the carpet in its woven form, it is a loop carpet. All that this means is that the carpet consists of a bunch of loops of fiber attached to the backing. There can be many variations of loop carpet including textured loop, multilevel loop, and special loop styles such as Berber carpet, which is one of the most popular styles of residential carpet. Cut pile is a carpet that, as the name implies, doesn’t consist of loops. After the carpet is woven, the loops are cut to create a variety of styles. Popular cut piles are plush, Saxony, and frieze. Each of these cut piles has its own unique characteristics and “look”. Let’s take a look a closer look at the most common cut and loop pile carpets: the Berber and the frieze.
Berber is known for its durability, spill resistance, and versatility. Depending on the type of fiber you choose, it can be a very economical choice for larger spaces such as finished basements. On the flip side, Berber rugs (and any loop pile carpets) can snag and run, so if you have pets you may want to consider a cut pile carpet. Another complaint about Berber carpets is that they feel rough, especially the lower cost Berbers.
Frieze carpets are gaining popularity for their comfort and durability, which comes from having its fibers twisted more tightly than other cut pile carpets. It is also great at hiding dirt since it often comes in speckled patterns/colors. Friezes tend to be more costly than other carpet options, so if you are budget-conscious, you may want to look at other styles.
With all of these carpeting options, it’s important to determine your specific needs based on the rooms you are planning to carpet. If you want to give your room a look of elegance and don’t plan on a lot of traffic (possibly a dining room or living room), going with a cut pile carpet such as a Saxony or plush would be a great bet. If you are looking for something more durable for a family room or playroom, you should take a look at frieze or Berber carpet. If you have pets and/or small (messy) children or are on a tight budget, you will want to factor that into your decision. A reputable carpet salesperson will be able to guide you through the process, but a little knowledge goes a long way in getting the right product for your needs.