The Lowdown On Carpet

Hello my faithful followers! Let’s talk carpeting! Carpet is constructed of a few different things. First, there is the filament which is basically a string that is spun with other like strings to create a bunch (of strings) anywhere from 2-4 strings which are twisted together to create a fiber. The twist is very important, the more twists there are the higher quality the carpeting is because the twists play a large factor in durability. The finer the filament (or string) the softer to the touch the carpet will be.



See the difference between the loose filament and the tightly twisted one?


Weight is also a consideration when looking at carpeting. A lot of times, people will tell you how many ounces a carpet is. This means how many ounces of fiber material that is in a square yard (which is a 3’x3’ square in case you’re wondering). The less material that is present, the less durable (and to some extent soft) a product is. 



See the backing? That is not good!


So now you know how to spot good quality carpeting. Let’s talk about the different styles that you can choose from.

First up, a Loop Pile. This is the carpeting that everyone and their mother (and grandmother) knows about. A loop is just that. A loop. The loop is (hopefully) one continues fiber that is looped and glued to the mesh backing.

Level Loop, a loop that is level. The level loop carpet is considered to be very durable- think high traffic areas! Level loops are not the fun fluffy carpets (ie. Very stiff), and please note that things can get stuck in them such as puppy claws or children’s toys.



Level Loop

Berber comes from North Africa from a tribe called Berber People where they started this over sized loop. More commonly it is known as a fleck of color on a big fluffy loop. This look is quite dated, but as usual, the look is coming back around!





Cut Pile begins its life as a loop carpeting, but then all of the loops are cut *gasp*

Saxony or Plush is a level cut pile that is very fluffy, usually around ½” tall. This is a very formal look, and feels great underfoot. Be warned! The plush can and will show all sorts of markings such as vacuum marks and footprints due to the extreme fluff factor.





Frieze (pronounced fray-z) is a twisted pile carpet that has a very informal look and is great for busy areas. The nature of frieze to lay in one direction (or the other) so that is it not the top of the filament that is taking the beating, it is the side which provides a greater surface area and leads to better overall wear. Another great thing about frieze is that it can easily hide dirt marks, there will be no visible foot prints and the seams will pretty much disappear!


Textured (sometimes referred to as Plush and Textured) has the same construction as plush, but it has a visible texture added by subtle highlights and tones. This can be thought as a ‘whole house’ carpeting option, since it is a neutral backdrop, but still has some visual interest (as well as feeling great under foot).



Cut and Loop is (in my humble opinion) the best of both worlds. It gives the consumer the option to have the durability of both, with a decorative pattern to boot! The pattern is made with a combination of loop heights and cut loop heights to create patterns. This option is also considered more durable then a pure cut loop, and is much softer!
Cut and Loop
A word to the wise: you will need carpet padding. I know, it sounds silly but it’s true! Carpet padding will help to insulate noise as well as temperature, but most importantly it helps to extend the life of the carpet. Why? If there is some sort of give underneath the carpeting, then the lovely (expensive) carpet will not be beaten down as quickly. Remember that getting the thickest carpet pad is not always better. Check with your salesperson or designer to see what is recommended.
Carpet Pad

Photos are acquired and protected under creative commons law


  1. Fred Keske says:

    She Lives! It’s nice to see a new posting.

  2. Karen says:

    Thanks for taking the time to inform us your findings. I like the texture look best.

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