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types of carpet

There are more important considerations to keep in mind when buying carpet than just color. Price can depend on everything from the style of the carpet, to the material used to make the pile fibers. Before shopping for a new carpet, it's important to consider how much traffic the carpet will be handling and how easy it will be to maintain. Consult this list of different types of carpet so you can find the best carpet for your home.

Carpet Styles

Loop, shear, plush, or Berber carpet? Refer to this section when determining which carpet would be best suited for your living space. Below you'll find helpful descriptions of all of the different carpet styles.

  • Berber: This popular carpet style has a level loop cut pile, and is often made with thicker yarns for increased durability. Ideal for informal areas, Berber carpet won't show footprints or vacuum tracks. When installing, pay particular attention to seam placement to ensure an attractive result.
  • Level loop: This type of carpet features looped threads of yarn in tufts of similar height. It can stand up to a lot of wear, making it good for high–traffic residential and commercial areas.
  • Multilevel loop: Featuring loops of different heights, this loop pile carpet has a uniquely textured surface. Great for busy rooms.
  • Random shear: This style, also known as tip shear, combines cut and uncut tips for a textured appearance. Good for both formal and informal environments.
  • Cut loop: Like random shear, tips are both cut and uncut. With loops of varying heights, this carpet is best for informal spaces.
  • Saxony: This dense, luxurious carpet features closely packed, level cut piles of half an inch or less. Suitable for formal rooms. This type of carpet may shed.
  • Plush/Velvet: This style of carpet is distinguished by its smooth and flawless appearance and elegant look. True velvet cut has no twist to the fibers.
  • Frieze: Known also as twist or trackless carpet, twist carpet features twisted or curled tufts, creating a texture that almost completely masks footprints. High–traffic areas like stairs or kids' rooms do well with this type of carpet.

Carpet Styles: Berber, Level Loop, Multilevel Loop,
Random Shear, Cut Loop, Saxony, Plush / Velvet and Frieze

Pile Fibers

What your carpets are made of will dictate everything from the color to how easy they are to clean. Find out what you need to look out for here.

  • Nylon: Nylon is known for being one of the strongest and most durable of the fiber types. It's popularly chosen for its resistance to staining when treated, fading, mold growth and heat. These characteristics make nylon carpet one of the easiest carpets to clean and maintain.Additionally, nylon is a commonly recycled carpet used to make new carpet and plastic products.
  • Polypropylene: Also known as olefin, polypropylene is rapidly growing in popularity due to its inexpensive price point and exceptional stain resistance. The dye method used gives polypropylene–based carpet good resistance to fading and bleaching in the sun, but that method also means the color selection is limited. Crushed fibers can occur as a result of polypropylene's poor resiliency. Therefore, you should steer clear of dragging furniture across the surface, as this could melt and fuse the fibers together.
  • Polyester (PET): In addition to offering a vibrant color selection, polyester carpet also has a high resistance to staining, doesn't fade easily. Some polyester carpets are even made from recycled soda pop bottles. If an environmentally friendly "green carpet" appeals to you, this could be a great option. 
  • Wool: Wool is considered a premium fiber as it is fire-retardant, resistant to crushing, and extremely durable, as it's price will reflect. If properly cared for and installed in a low to moderate traffic area, wool carpet can last for a long time.
  • Acrylic: Similar to wool in texture and appearance, acrylic is known for its resistance to dirt, mildew, moths and fading. Although acrylic is more affordable than wool and is available in a wide range of colors, it has a tendency to fuzz and shed and is very rarely sold.
  • Cotton: Along with acrylic, cotton carpet takes up less than 1% of overall carpet sales. While cotton carpets are soft and comfortable to walk on, they're also susceptible to stains and matting.

Carpet Colors

While it's impossible to cover all the different colors available, looking here will show you some options for light, medium, and dark colored carpets, as well as the benefits of each.

  • Light colors: Lighter shades like white and beige can open up a space, making it seem larger and brighter than it is. While light carpets are good for disguising dust and lint, they may show dirt and they are more easily stained.
  • Medium colors: Medium–toned carpets are great for hiding lint, dust, and dirt, making them a wise choice for rooms near outside entrances.
  • Dark colors: Deep colors create a cozier feeling in rooms, as well as disguising dirt and stains better than lighter shades. Dust and lint will show up more on darker colors, making a darker palette ideal for rooms that see high use.
  • Multi–colored: Like medium–colored carpets, these hide lint, dust, and dirt well. Since they're less common, multi–colored carpets can also help a room stand out. Make sure you choose colors you like, however, because multi–colored carpets can make a room look dated.
  • Patterns: Great for showpiece rooms or rooms for children, patterned carpets can range from simple geometric designs and floral patterns to more whimsical looks for kids.

Carpet Shape

Do you want a seamless roll of carpet or easily–installed carpet tiles? Below is information on standard carpet rolls and tiles to give you better idea on what to expect when purchasing.

  • Standard carpet: Carpet is generally purchased in one large roll that is laid out flat onto a carpet pad or underlay over your floor. Special tools are needed for carpet installation, so hiring a profesional carpet installer is recommended. Carpet can also be purchased in rolls of various sizes, so you can find the size that best suits your needs.
  • Carpet tiles: A great choice for do-it-yourselfers, carpet tiles are easy to install and replace. The installation process for most carpet tiles consists of simply peeling the backing from the tiles and pressing them down into place, although not all carpet tiles are self adhesive. If one section is ever stained, all you need to do is replace the stained carpet tile with a new one. Carpet tiles also work well for creating a unique, customized look with different colors or patterns. Your carpet will have the obvious appearance of tiles, though, so if you prefer the appearance of a seamless stretch of carpet, you'll want to go with the standard roll of carpet.