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Alan J Fletcher - 30-Year Carpet Expert and Trusted Consumer Advocate
Which Carpet Style Should I Choose?
This type of carpet is usually one solid color and has a smooth, even pile height. During manufacturing, the tufts of this type of carpet are sheared to make the pile perfectly flat. It is the most popular style used in homes and apartments today.
You can find practically any color imaginable. When made of nylon this type of carpet cleans easily and will wear well if properly maintained. Plush carpets will show footprints and vacuum marks. Learn About carpet fibers
This plush carpet style often has more than one color of yarn and has varying tuft height, thus reducing footprint and vacuum marks. It comes in many colors and has about the same cost as an even pile height plush style. This is a good carpet for kids, and when treated with a anti-stain chemical is easy to maintain and spot clean.
High / Low (Sculptured)
This style has looped and cut tufts creating a sculptured or manicured look. Generally this style is made with a high cut pile and a low loop pile with a sculptured design.
This style is usually made using two or more colors to help hide dirt and show less vacuum marks and footprints. The color usually varies in shade from light to dark and is rich in appearance.
FRIEZE (my favorite)
This style of carpet has very tightly twisted tufts and wears very well. The tufts are not straight like a plush style, rather they are crooked, or wiggly in appearance. I think it makes any room look fantastic. It is often used in heavy traffic areas and provides reduced footprint and vacuum marks. Typically more expensive than plush styles, this would be a durable and elegant selection for the home.
A cut pile carpet in a relatively dense erect tuft configuration, has well-defined individual tuft tips (this means it is easy to see each tuft on the surface of the carpet, (giving it a rougher look or appearance). Similar to a plush style.
This has become quite popular in recent years because of its elegant appearance. The tufts are looped and aligned in rows for a clean uniform look.
When choosing this carpet be sure to select one with smaller loops to get the best wear, like the one shown above. Large looped Berbers tend to collapse quickly and look worn-out sooner. More about Berber Carpet
CUT PILE BERBER aka as "California Berber"
This style of Berber is not a looped Berber like most of you have seen, in fact it is more like a frieze. It does not have any loops because the loops have been cut which is why they call it a "Cut" Berber. It has a similar appearance of a plush or Frieze style carpet but has a multicolored appearance, a speckled egg appearance. Buying a Cut Berber made of Nylon is the best way to go if you want it to last the longest. Usually the main color is off white (or a lighter shade) with colorful highlights and flecks of deep blues, reds and green colors throughout. See Photo above. About carpet fibers
Above are three different colors of a commercial grade level-loop carpet. Commercial carpets are generally used in offices and commercial applications where there is very heavy traffic. There are two types I want to mention. Commercial Level loop has small loops and Commercial Cut Pile is a short napped plush type of carpet.
Both are usually made of nylon or olefin. Commercial carpets are designed to tolerate heavy traffic. Even when made from Olefin, looped styles tend to wear like iron. Why? because the loops are very small and tightly packed together. This is the one of the biggest secrets to what makes carpet last a long time.
On the other side of the coin, large looped Berbers that are not very dense tend to mat down in a hurry and look worn out quickly.
Commercial grade carpets can be installed over padding or glued directly to the floor without a pad. Gluing in down without a pad will yield the best results if you are looking for a carpet that will last a long time and take a beating.
Here's an example of a commercial cut-pile carpet. Notice how smooth the pile is compared to the level loop styles shown above.