- How to Choose Wisely
By Alan Fletcher - 30-Year Carpet
Expert, Consumer Advocate
is Berber Carpet?
carpet has been around for a long time and was originally hand-made by the Berber
tribe of North Africa. In fact, Berber carpet is still hand-made today in some parts of Africa.
Berber carpet became popular in America in the early 1980's and has grown in
popularity ever since!
Homeowners today have
many choices and options
with Berber styles, colors and quality levels. Here are some important facts and useful
to help you choose the right Berber Carpet for your home.
and Loop Berber
Pile Berber (no loops)
I Choose a Looped or a non-Looped Berber Carpet?
all Berber carpets have loops. One popular style is called a “Cut Berber”
and has no loops. (Hence the word “cut”) This style is also known as a
California Berber. Some Berber carpets are made with loops and cut-loops
and are known as “Cut and Loop”. If the style has a repeating pattern then
it is called a “Patterned Cut and Loop”. These can be most costly but are
quite beautiful and have an elegant appearance.
have two main drawbacks you must consider.
can be easily snagged. If you have active kids or pets then a looped
Berber may not be a good choice for you. Repairing snagged loops can be
costly. Some snags can run (like a pair of nylon stockings) causing major
damage to your carpet that may not be repairable.
tend to fall over in high traffic applications. This is especially true
with Berber carpets made with Olefin. The larger to loops the more prone
they are to matting and crushing. Choosing a Berber with smaller loops
will decrease the chances for matting and crushing.
Much Does Berber Carpet Cost?
(Not including pad and installation)
carpet made of Wool can easily cost $80 per square yard and go up from
made of nylon range from $25 to $60 per square yard, depending on the type
of Nylon and the carpet style. (The popular “Softer” Nylons are a bit
made of Olefin range from $10 to $25 per square yard.
more about Carpet
Cost and Prices
I Select a Wool, Nylon or Olefin Carpet Fiber? When
it comes to selecting the right Carpet Fiber for you there
are two main things you must consider: More about Carpet
is a natural fiber derived from sheep. Wool is the most expensive fiber and
while it is very soft and durable, it is also the most costly to maintain.
Wool carpet must be cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner who has been
specially trained to clean wool carpet. The cost is significantly higher
than for the cleaning of other types of carpet. Wool carpet can last a
lifetime if cared for properly.
is a very durable fiber and is less costly than wool. Nylon cleans easily
and resists stains very well. Nylon is the most resilient fiber which gives
it the ability to retain its like-new appearance longer than any other
synthetic fiber. Depending on your amount of foot traffic in your home, a
good quality Nylon carpet can last up to 20 years or more if well cared for.
more about Nylon
is the least costly fiber to consider. Olefin is inexpensive to manufacture
and the fiber is prone to matting and crushing because it is not very
resilient. During the manufacturing process the fiber becomes oily and while
they try to remove all the oil through a multiple rinsing process, it is
difficult to do. The residual oil on the fiber tends to attract dirt and
makes the carpet difficult to clean. Berbers made with Olefin are very
reasonably priced but generally only last up to 10 years.
carpet is much more difficult to install than regular carpet styles. Berber is
a heavy carpet and is much more difficult to handle, seam and cut. Most
installers charge at least $1-2 extra per square yard for installing Berber
carpet and also charge a higher price for installing Berber on stairs. Learn
more about Carpet
is the Best Padding for Berber Carpet?
Berber carpet styles require a high density padding and a lower thickness than
other non-Berber carpet styles. In most cases, a minimum of 8-pound density
and a thickness of no more than 3/8” is required. Check with the carpet
manufacturer to make sure you select the correct padding specifications.
Using the wrong padding can void your carpet warranty and may cause your
carpet to wear out prematurely.
Grade Berber Carpet Styles
Loop (shown in three colors above)
Pile (does not have loops)
are the two most common Berber styles used in offices and institutions today.
They are very durable because they have a very high pile density. The loops
are very small the packed tightly together to help prevent matting and
crushing. They can be made with one solid color or from multiple colors.
homeowners don’t choose a commercial grade carpet unless they need to use a
wheelchair or walker. The lower pile height also makes it easier for the
elderly or handicapped to walk.
to Buy New Carpet
have created a special hand-picked list of Reputable
Carpet Dealers that I recommend to my readers.