A Guide to the Different Carpet Types for Your Home

Vertical Barcode House by Gayuh Budi Utomo

If your inner design mogul is thirsting for a new renovation project and you’ve been eyeing your living room floor, you may want to consider installing new carpet to satiate your craving. With the array of carpet options in the marketplace, it’s important to explore the different species of textures and styles available to you in order to produce your desired design aesthetic. Have a house full of children who enjoy making noise or looking for something luscious and warm beneath your feet after a long, arduous day at the office? Carpet has a number of benefits and looks beautiful in the home. If you’re feeling inspired, here’s a guide on the different types of carpet out there to help you get started.

Construction & Styles

There are three main types of carpet – loop, cut, and a combination cut and loop pile– that are classified by the construction of their carpet fibers. In loop pile carpeting, the fibers are threaded into small loops, making it a highly durable option with stain-fighting properties. However, loop pile is known for its minimal cushioning due to the low-profile fibers. Within the level loop family, are the following two patterns:

  • Level loop: Also known as Berber, this style was designed to withstand the wear of high-traffic areas through the use of its short loop fibers.
  • Multi-level loop: For a unique texture, you may want to consider multi-level loop carpeting, in which the crowns of the loops fluctuate in height.

Cut pile flooring dons chopped yarn tips in lieu of loops, making it a thicker and plushier option than loop pile carpet. Under the cut pile umbrella, is an entire family tree of styles and options.

  • Textured: Similar to the multi-level loop, textured cut pile uses alternating fiber lengths to produce its surface consistency.
  • Cable: Cable is known for its dense, elongated fibers, which provide a cozy surface for your feet.
  • Plush: Often used to evoke a more formal appearance, plush carpets don an even surface that is velvety-smooth to the touch.
  • Saxony: To create a plumper surface, Saxony intertwines long fibers together, producing a smooth, plush texture. While this style is widely popular among homeowners, it’s important to note that the long fibers will show footprints and will hold indentations from furniture over time.
  • Frieze: Also sporting long fibers, frieze carpet is not a great selection for high foot traffic areas as the material wears easily under these conditions.

The last type of carpet, cut and loop, fuses together elements of cut pile and loop pile fibers for a visually appealing design that masks dirt marks or stains well.

Fiber Types

There are varying types of natural and synthetic fibers found in carpet – Here’s a look at the different kinds.

  • Acrylic: A great substitute for expensive wool flooring, acrylic is cost-effective, soft, and elegant.
  • Nylon: Widely popular, nylon is highly durable and known for resisting damage from wear. One downside to nylon is its inability to ward off stains and thus, certain types include treatments for fighting stains.
  • Wool: Wool is an expensive, top-of-the-line selection comprised of natural fiber. Not only is it an environmentally friendly solution, but it is highly resistant to stains and very durable
    Olefin: Great for the outdoors or a basement, olefin is impervious to mildew and moisture. Because of its rougher surface, olefin is not particularly pleasant to walk upon.

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