Are you as obsessed with Floor Carpets as we are, but don’t know the first thing about the various types? We understand! There are numerous types of carpet available, as well as numerous brands.
Everyone enjoys the soft, cosy feel of plush fabric under their bare feet. However, if you’ve ever considered installing this type of flooring in your home, you may have been overwhelmed by the variety of options available. You may be tempted, like a deer caught in headlights, to simply point to the first colour you like and then flee the store.
What exactly are carpet fibres?
Carpet fibre refers to the material your carpet is made of. There are natural and synthetic fibre options, which we’ll go over in a moment. The fibre thickness varies between carpet types. Individual strands of yarn fibre are spun together with others to achieve this. Each strand is referred to as a ply, and the greater the number of them, the thicker each individual fibre of your carpet will be. In a 3-ply carpet, for example, each fibre is made of three yarn strands that are spun together and secured to the backing.
What exactly is carpet pile?
Carpet pile is the arrangement of each fibre on your carpet. This has the greatest influence on how different types of carpet look and perform. We know that doesn’t make much sense, but stick with us. Loop pile floor carpets are made of fibres that are arranged in loops, which means they are attached to the backing twice. Berber carpet (a low-pile carpet) is made of thick, looped fibres and is known as a “low-pile” carpet. Floor Carpets with shorter, denser piles are generally better for high-traffic areas of the home because they are less likely to compress or tear out. Longer piles, on the other hand, are much softer. The main takeaway here is that there are numerous types of carpet piles, which we’ll discuss further below.
What exactly is Carpet Grade?
Carpet grade describes a carpet’s quality. The grade of a carpet is determined by several factors, including fibre, face weight, and construction. The grade determines how long a carpet will last. There is no standardised system for indicating different types of carpet grades; rather, it is a self-labeling system. However, the highest quality is not always required or even desired. Lower-quality carpeting is frequently used in residential rental spaces and businesses because they know the rugs will take a beating every day. Furthermore, lower-quality floor carpets will be less expensive to replace.
You might be wondering what face weight is. It’s simply a term that refers to the amount of yarn in a given pile. Consider it like thread count on sheets. The better the carpet, the higher the face weight.
What exactly is carpet backing?
Carpet backing is the back of the carpet (but you probably guessed that already, right?)
Every carpet backing is made up of two parts: The primary backing, to which the fibres are attached. The secondary backing, which acts as a barrier between the carpet padding and the floor.
Carpet backing comes in a variety of styles and materials, including synthetic and natural materials.
Carpet Fiber Types
Ok! Now that we’ve covered the four components of a carpet, let’s get into the specifics of each, beginning with the various types of carpet fibres.
Let’s put it this way: your carpet fibre options are practically endless. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, but knowing how each fibre feels and reacts to wear and tear and stains can help.
Also, how important is durability to you? The fibre you select will have a significant impact on how long your carpet lasts. And some fibres make for more environmentally friendly flooring options than others, of course.
Nylon is one of the most popular synthetic fibres used in floor carpets. In fact, while we wouldn’t go so far as to say that most floor carpets these days are made of nylon, there are a good number of them.
Why? It’s inexpensive, attractive, and incredibly long-lasting. There are many nylon products available, ranging from high-end floor carpets to low-cost options like Lees Carpet.
Mold and mildew don’t stand a chance around nylon, so if you’re looking for the best flooring for basements, this is an excellent fibre to consider. It is also extremely stain-resistant and does not fade. Nylon produces a lot of static electricity, but you can have the carpet treated before installation eliminate that annoyance. Pro tip: not all nylon is created equal. Nylon 6,6 is much more stain-resistant than nylon 6,0, but it is also more difficult to clean. Trade-offs!
Polyester is very similar to nylon, but it is less expensive. Like nylon, it’s moisture and stain-resistant, and has good wearability. Furthermore, when in thick pile form, polyester is surprisingly soft.
Polyester carpets provide excellent value for money, but they are not as durable as nylon carpets. It does not recover as quickly from wear and tear as nylon does.
However, many polyesters (such as PET) can be made from recycled materials!
Cotton Cotton is extremely soft. Incredible softness! Because it is entirely organic, it is one of the most expensive carpet types available.
Cotton is simple to clean, but it does not tolerate stains well. It’s a high-maintenance carpet fibre that’s prone to fading, so it’s best in a room that won’t see a lot of kid or pet activity, like most natural carpet types. Wool is one of the best materials to use for home carpeting. It is a high-quality natural fibre that is both durable and strong. It doesn’t get dirty quickly and is stain-resistant if cleaned frequently. And also feels great.
The disadvantage of wool carpet is that it is difficult to maintain. Furthermore, the colours can fade, so you shouldn’t install it in a room with a lot of direct natural light. It also costs roughly twice as much as synthetic fibre floor carpets. Sisal is yet another natural fibre derived from the Sisal cactus plant! Isn’t it cool? As you might expect, it’s a rough material—but it makes for an extremely strong type of carpet fibre.
Sisal is also an excellent outdoor material due to its durability and ease of maintenance. That is why so many people use sisal carpet on their patios! While sisal carpets are widely available, this material is most commonly found in area rugs.
The most well-known triexta carpet is Mohawk’s Smartstrand. It’s a relatively new synthetic fibre in the world of carpets. It’s 37% made of (wait for it…) corn! Triexta is thus an excellent sustainable and renewable carpet fibre.
Triexta is similar to nylon or polyester in that it is long-lasting, stain-resistant, easy to clean, and extremely soft. The main disadvantage is that vacuuming may be difficult due to the fine fibres.
Triexta carpets have three times the fibre count of other floor carpets, making them extremely dense. It can be difficult to push a vacuum cleaner through it because of this.
This synthetic carpet fibre is primarily made of plastic. This makes it an excellent choice for areas prone to moisture. It is also solution-dyed, which means it will not fade in direct sunlight.
Olefin is more durable than nylon, and it’s also sensitive to friction, so dragging furniture across it won’t be kind to it. Finally, certain olefin-based carpets may have a slightly waxy feel to the touch.
Carpet Pile Types
As previously stated, different types of carpet fibres can be attached to the carpet backing in a variety of ways, resulting in a variety of carpet piles! The various cuts, heights, and textures that different types of carpet piles can achieve all suit different needs. Rooms with high traffic, for example, will require a different pile than rooms designed for comfort with little traffic. Here’s a primer on the various types of carpet piles.
Which type of carpet should you choose?
Alright! Now that we’ve covered the various types of carpets (and how they perform), let’s talk about how to choose one that’s right for you.
Remember that carpeting is an investment, so assess your needs as realistically as possible. You don’t want to have any regrets later on!
Consider How You Will Make Use of the Space
Is your carpet intended for a family room or a seldom-used sitting room? Consider the activities and traffic patterns in your home, as well as the ease of cleaning.
If you have children who play in your living room, for example, you’ll want a carpet that is both durable and easy to clean. If you keep your shoes off at home and don’t have any pets, a higher-pile carpet may be appropriate.
Consider this: many people install vinyl plank flooring on stairs because stairs see a lot of traffic, and only the best vinyl plank flooring brands can withstand it. Do you really need a cut-pile carpet there? It will become chewed up and impossible to clean!
Consider Your Comfort Requirements
Similarly, many people who debate carpet vs. hardwood in bedrooms choose carpet because comfort is more important than high-traffic performance in a sleeping space. Even the best hardwood floor brands cannot compete in terms of comfort. Sure, the best laminate flooring is tough—but walking on it in the dead of winter will freeze your toes off! When it comes to comfort, there is no contest between carpet and hardwood or carpet and laminate.
Consider Various Carpet Patterns (and Colors!)
What do you want from your carpet? Textured carpet is a good choice for displaying your furniture. It also effectively conceals dirt, allowing you to go longer between cleanings.
Or do you want to make your space more open? To fool the eye, use light colours. Dark colours, on the other hand, are great for hiding spills and other dirt.
Because there are so many options, choosing your carpet colour can be stressful. Bring some carpet samples in the colours you want home with you. This is a great way to see how each colour will look in natural light as well as next to your furniture and walls.
For a more temporary solution or to experiment with different textures, you can also purchase peel-and-stick carpet tiles. And if you don’t know how to install carpet tiles, they’re a cinch to do yourself!
What are the Best Carpet Types for Every Room in the House?
Obviously, this is dependent on your specific requirements and preferences. However, the best flooring for each room doesn’t usually differ that much, so here are a few pointers.
Because living rooms see a lot of traffic, they require carpet that won’t show wear and tear as easily. We’d recommend a low pile loop carpet like Berber for this. Synthetic fibres are the most convenient and long-lasting for cleaning up spills.
Master bedrooms, on the other hand, frequently necessitate something soft and cosy. Medium or deep cut pile floor carpets for home (such as saxony) are ideal for an opulent bedroom. Consider using a soft fabric, such as wool or nylon.
The bedrooms of children are a different story. To combine comfort and ease of maintenance, you’ll probably want something synthetic with shorter or medium piles.
What to Look for When Purchasing Various Types of Carpet
You now know what pile and fibre can do for a carpet, but that still doesn’t mean you’re quite ready to make your purchase. Each brand is unique; no two nylon short-pile floor carpets for home are alike. So, how do you choose between carpet types that are similar?
Qualities of a Good Carpet
When it comes to quality, the main factors to consider are fibre, face weight, twist (if applicable), and pile density.
A heavier weight is more durable, so make sure you get at least 34-40 ounces. Tuft twists also contribute to durability, so aim for 5 twists or higher. Finally, good quality floor carpets for home have a high pile density, with a minimum of 2000.
Different Carpet Types’ Maintenance Requirements
Some carpet types are simply irresistible… However, you soon discover that they require regular deep cleaning. Or that vacuuming through the dense, high pile is a difficult task. Is it still appealing to you?
Being able to properly care for your carpet is an important part of determining if a type of carpet is right for you. If you give your carpet the attention it deserves, it will look brand new for a long time. You must determine whether that is a realistic commitment you can make; otherwise, you will be wasting your money.
Which carpet is easiest to clean?
In general, low-pile floor carpets for home are easiest to clean because they have short, tight fibers that do not trap as much dirt and debris as high-pile carpets. Additionally, synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, or olefin are more stain-resistant and easier to clean than natural fibers like wool or cotton. A carpet with a stain-resistant treatment can also be easier to clean as it can repel spills and stains.
Carpet’s Benefits and Drawbacks
As much as we love carpet, we also wouldn’t recommend installing it in every room of your home. Carpet, like all types of flooring, has advantages and disadvantages, from the most luxurious hardwood species to the most affordable fake wood flooring!
Carpet is relatively inexpensive to install
When you compare the cost of installing carpet versus the cost of installing hardwood floors, one thing stands out immediately: carpet is far less expensive to install than most types of wood flooring.
Is the cost of installing carpet comparable to the cost of installing vinyl plank flooring or laminate flooring? In most cases, no. But, once again, it is dependent on the product.
All of this is to say that, while carpet is not dirt cheap, it is far less expensive to install than other floors. That’s why so many people look up how much it costs to replace carpet with hardwood… and then stick to carpeting.
The carpet is quiet
There’s a reason why many sound studios carpet their walls: most carpets absorb a lot of sound.
This is also one of the reasons why carpet is so popular in homes, particularly upstairs. Carpet contributes to a quieter home by absorbing a wide range of noises, preventing echoing in larger rooms, and muffleing loud footsteps.
The carpet is soft and comfortable
Of course, not every type of carpet is soft. Carpet, on the other hand, is your only option if you want some softness underfoot. It softens the edges where wood floors would normally be, making the entire room appear warmer and more welcoming.
Carpet conceals dirt
There is no way to hide a mess on your hardwood floor. It’s right there for everyone to see. Carpet, on the other hand, gives you more leeway because dirt can settle between the tufts of fabric. On wood, you can see dust buildup right away, but most types of carpet hide it for a while before you need to take action.
Is this some of the best kitchen flooring or a great mudroom flooring option? Certainly not. But, if you’re anything like us, you don’t have time to clean every day.
Con: Some carpet types require a lot of upkeep
Carpets, at the very least, require vacuuming to stay in good condition. But, of course, they also benefit from either a professional cleaning or a good run-in with a steam cleaner from time to time. Stain treatments, on the other hand, can be a pain. If you want super-easy-to-maintain surfaces, waterproof laminate flooring or rigid-core luxury vinyl might be a better choice.
Last Things to Think About When Buying Carpet
Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about different types of floor carpets, let’s talk about the purchasing process. What other factors should you consider when making your purchase, specifically?
Selecting the Best Padding
It is critical to select the appropriate pad thickness and density for the type of carpet you are purchasing. Most carpet pads are 7/16″ thick as standard. Thinner carpet pads are required for some carpets (such as Berber and short-pile).
As previously stated, the padding you choose will be entirely dependent on the carpet you choose as well as the specific needs of your home and situation. Do you need a carpet pad that’s suitable for pets? Moisture? These characteristics will have a significant impact on the pad you purchase.
So, do your homework and only rely on the salesperson if they work at a legitimate flooring store. Clerks at big-box stores need to be more expert on flooring.
Find a flooring store near you rather than going to Home Depot or Lowes, we can’t emphasise this enough. You will be so happy you did.
Keeping to a Budget
Before you go shopping, get an estimate to get a good idea of how much carpet will cost in the space you need it in. You can find carpet cost calculators online that will give you a ballpark figure. You can then determine a price range within which you can shop for the right fabrics and styles.
Remember to budget for installation and padding!
Consult with Your Installer
Get an estimate from the company on how much it will cost to install your new carpet. Some places offer it for free. Even if you have to pay extra for installation, it is completely worth it. As previously stated, carpet is not the easiest flooring to install—and this is true regardless of the type of carpet you purchase.
A professional is better suited to handle it for you because they have the necessary tools and expertise. However, ensure that your installer is knowledgeable. You don’t want any lumps or visible seams when you’re finished.
Consider Using a Green Carpet
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are notorious for being emitted by carpets and padding. These are the harmful gases that are present in many industrially-made materials, including floors.
Nowadays, we always recommend purchasing low-VOC flooring. Luckily, low-VOC carpet options do exist, and they’re not limited to natural fibres like wool or cotton (although they are some of the best). Check out programmes that highlight eco-friendly flooring practises, such as a FloorScore or GreenGuard certification, to ensure you’re getting a true green deal.
Wow! That was a whirlwind tour of the vast world of carpet types! We hope you found everything you were looking for and learned everything you needed to feel confident exploring new types of carpet for your home. Floor Carpets are critical to making a house feel like a home. So don’t put it off any longer! If you believe that carpet is the best flooring option for you, make the first step today by contacting a flooring store near you; they will assist you with everything.
Otherwise, feel free to peruse the resources listed below for more information on flooring types and brands.
Q: What are the different types of floor carpets?
A: The different types of floor carpets are cut pile, loop pile, cut and loop pile, Saxony, Berber, frieze, shag, and plush.
Q: What is a cut pile carpet?
A: A cut pile carpet is made of yarns that are cut at the ends, resulting in a plush and smooth surface. It is a popular choice for residential spaces and is available in different colors and textures.
Q: What is a loop pile carpet?
A: A loop pile carpet is made of yarns that are looped and left uncut, resulting in a textured surface. It is durable and often used in commercial spaces such as offices and hotels.
Q: What is a cut and loop pile carpet?
A: A cut and loop pile carpet is a combination of cut and looped yarns, resulting in a patterned surface. It is a good choice for high-traffic areas and can hide stains and footprints.