How To Choose Carpet
Buying carpet for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. Negotiating the seemingly endless variety of colors, styles, and brands can a daunting task for the first time carpet buyer. Fortunately, it's really not as difficult as it may first appear.
We recommend that you first choose a carpet style. Although some people do select different styles for different rooms, (formal plush in the bedrooms, textured cut pile throughout the rest of the house) most carpet buyers select one style and color for the entire house. One benefit of remaining with the same color and style of carpet is that the seams will be less visible. Keep in mind that whenever you change carpet styles and/or colors, a seam will be visible.
First we'll introduce the main styles of carpet.
Cut Pile Carpet
Cut pile carpet includes everything from the standard textured cut pile carpet that you'll see in most apartments to the very formal plushes you'll find in elegant master bedrooms. A textured cut pile has alternating lengths of fibers that help mask footprints and vacuum marks. A textured cut pile is a great all round carpet.
A formal plush carpet is very soft containing thinner, level fibers. A plush will show nearly every footprint and every vacuum mark. The most common location for a plush carpet is the bedroom as it is very soft and comfortable to walk on.
One more style of cut pile carpet that we should mention is cable carpet. A cable cut pile carpet simply has thicker fibers, hence the name cable. Each individual strand is significantly thicker than the standard fiber. This creates a softer feel when walked upon without showing footprints as easily as a formal carpet.
A berber carpet isn't a brand name as some people believe. Berber is any carpet with loops. A standard berber carpet consists of repeating tightly looped fibers of the same length. Berber is very strong and track resistant due to its strong loops. Berber holds up especially well on stairs and in hallways. Another plus is that it will not show footprints or vacuum marks.
Besides the standard berber, multi-level berber and cut loop carpet is available. Multi-level loop carpet is simply any berber with different loop heights. This is usually done to create various textures and patterns, such as floral patterns or diamonds.
A cut loop carpet is a combination of both a berber carpet and a cut pile carpet. It contains loops followed by cut pile. Similar to multi-level loop carpet, this is done to create textures and patterns. A cut loop carpet is usually much softer than a standard berber or multi-level loop carpet due to the patches of cut pile stuck in between the loops. Choosing a cut loop carpet can be a good compromise between a cut pile and a classic berber carpet.
"What is a frieze carpet?" This is the first question people usually ask upon spotting a frieze. A frieze carpet is a cut pile carpet with fibers that have been twisted and then crimped somewhere along their length. This causes the carpet to look wild and squiggly, various strands bending randomly in different directions. By crimping the strand along its length, in theory this causes the fiber to bend so that you're walking on the side of the fiber which extends the carpet's life while at the same time hiding both vacuum marks and footprints. Frieze carpet is one of the most durable carpets that you can purchase.