Information on the different types of carpet to consider for your lifestyle.
Types of Carpet
If you're purchasing carpet for the first time, you have likely already realized that your options for carpet flooring are far more complex than just throwing down fabric on the floor. The first thing to understand is how the way a few snips along the rows of fabric loops can change the look and texture of your new flooring.
The Pile and Texture
One of the largest factors in how a carpet feels under foot and the effort it takes to keep clean is the way the pile, or loops of fiber that make the bulk of the carpet, is cut and shaped. There are many variations of piles, but they all fall into one of two categories: cut pile or loop pile.
Cut Pile Carpets
Slicing through the loops of the pile exposes the ends of the fibers. Cut piles are going to be softer than their looped counterparts, but they'll also be more prone to staining, showing marks, and suffering from damage.
- Velvet, or smooth pile, use untwisted fibers and a level cut to create a silken and plush surface.
- Cable pile is made from longer fibers that sway along with traffic through the room.
- Shag is infamous for its thick and lengthy pile that coils across the floor.
- Frieze pile is cut and then twisted into a springy flooring that is popular for its resistance to matting.
- Saxony is cut evenly and set with heat to increase its resilience.
When the pile loops are uncut, the carpet surface is supported by the strength of the fibers which makes it sturdy and durable. Because no cutting is involved, looped piles are separated into two styles:
- Level loops are all of one consistent height for an iron-clad defense against every type of expected damage.
- Multi-loop pile (also known as Berber pile) is woven into varying heights that cause it to be slightly softer with only a minimal loss in durability.
- Random Shear pile is randomly sliced for a naturally wild look and soft texture.
- Level and Cut Loop pile is frequently used to paint a textured design onto the surface.
- Tip Shear is similar to random shear but features less severe differences in height between the loops.