Types of Carpet and Indoor Carpet Sales Buying Guide
How to Choose Carpet and Understanding the Benefits of Various Types
Types of carpet and how to navigate the indoor carpet sales buying experience
Unlike some other types of flooring, carpeting is extremely versatile so individual homeowners can have a lot of influence over the color and style of the final product. Here’s some useful information on a few of the most popular types of carpet.
Carpet Production and Installation
Carpet is composed of an upper layer called the “pile” which is made up of wool or fibers like nylon, polyester, or polypropylene. The fibers can be left intact or cut at different angles and are then treated with a heating device to help maintain their structure. This layer is then attached (with either nails or adhesives) to a cushioned pad that is made of rubber or foam and works to support the fibers of the carpet while also concealing the subfloor, insulating the room, and helping to absorb sound. The environmentally conscious can even choose to use natural paddings and binders as well as formaldehyde free glue.
Types of Carpet
The most popular type of carpet pile is “uncut,” also known as “berber”. In the manufacture of this type of pile, the loop is left intact making for a durable, easy to clean carpet. While berber resists stains and doesn’t show indentations caused by heavy objects like furniture as much as other types of carpet, it also tends to be less padded.
“Cut” carpet is much softer than berber and still easy to clean. Because the threads are more rigid, however, wear and tear can be more obvious as can any indentations made by vacuums and foot traffic. This type of carpet is popular for use on stairs because the spaces between the loops allow the carpet to curl over without showing any underlayers.
The individual strands of fiber in “saxony cut” carpets are rigid and stand upright which results in a plush surface. Due to its softness, impressions from furniture, vacuums, and foot traffic are easy to see on this type of carpet as is any wear and tear or staining.
With “textured cut” carpet the individual yarns are twisted into spirals and held in place by a heating system that sets the threads. As a result, the strands don’t reflect as much light making it less noticeable when the carpet is indented. For this reason, textured cut carpet is known for being “trackless.”
The strands of yarn in “frieze cut” pile are also twisted, although more severely. This type of carpet is durable and resistant to staining and wear and is comparable to berber, although a bit more expensive.
“Plush” carpet pile is made up of short, densely packed fibers. While this carpet is soft and elegant looking it also has a tendency to wear down or “pool” meaning that certain areas appear shaded because the direction of the fibers has been reversed from what was intended.
What you Should Know About Fibers
Aside from the type of pile you prefer, you can also choose the kind of fiber you’ll want in the finished product. Nylon is known for being soft, but durable and resistant to stains while polyester holds vibrant colors well and doesn’t fade as quickly as other kinds of fibers. If you have allergies or are environmentally conscious then you may also want to choose polyester as it is non-allergenic and can be produced from recycled materials. Polypropylene based fibers are hardy and easy to clean while wool is known for its softness and ability to last over a long period of time. High-grade carpets made from wool are usually expensive, while the more affordable, low-grade brands are less resistant to stains.
Now that you understand some of the basics of carpet choices, you’ll want to consider the following questions when coming in to speak with our carpet experts:
- Where in your home will the new carpeting be installed?
- Do you have children and/or pets?
- What do you like or dislike about your current carpet?
- How quickly do you need your new carpet installed?
Our experts are available to help you choose the right new carpet floor for your home or business. Call or visit our Wichita flooring showroom.