Carpets are made by tufting or looping fiber yarns through a backing material, and how they're attached to that backing is called pile. The loops can be left alone or cut at various lengths and angles, impacting the look, comfort and wear characteristics. Loop pile and cut pile are the most popular carpet types, but saxony, plush, textured, frieze, and sculpted pile offer limitless options for commercial and consumer applications as well.
Loop pile, widely known as Berber, leaves the fiber yarn loops intact, making them highly durable, easy to clean and resistant to stains. They are ideal for commercial and high-traffic areas.
Cut pile is a style of carpet that is sheared, exposing the ends of the carpet fiber. Generally softer to the touch and softer under foot than loop, cut pile carpeting is ideal for residential spaces. When selecting cut pile, take a close look at the fiber twist. The twist helps it stand up and resist matting and crushing and the tighter the twist, the more durable your carpet will be.
Want to learn more? Check out Understanding Carpet Fiber and Pile Cuts
by Joseph Lewitin for The Spruce.
As the foundation for your carpet, padding is another important consideration. It protects your carpet from damage by keeping the carpet backing from breaking down against the subfloor. It also contributes to overall comfort and how your carpet feels under-foot. Padding also provides excellent insulation and sound dampening properties, making your home warmer, quieter and more energy efficient.
Typically made from foam, rubber, or fiber, padding is sold in a variety of densities, with higher densities offering better performance. Padding made from natural materials like Jute or Latex will appeal to some, but urethane foams dominate the market. The most common padding is bonded urethane, an environmentally responsible option made from recycled foam scraps fused with heat and glue. Many of today's better pads also incorporate a moisture barrier or membrane offering added protection for potentially wet or damp environments lake basements.
Benefits of Carpet
Carpet enjoys numerous benefits making it the number one flooring choice for businesses and consumers. Here are the top six reasons carpet is the number one choice according to CRI, the Carpet and Rug Institute.Safety:
First and foremost, a carpeted floor is a safer floor. The soft surface and cushioned under-padding not only reduce the impact of a fall, but also the likelihood of it happening in the first place. Carpet is inherently slip-resistant, meaning it's harder to slip and fall.Sound Reduction
If you live in a busy home with lots of traffic, you know how loud wood or laminate floors can be. Carpet stifles noise and reduces echoes in three ways; absorbing the impact of foot traffic, soaking up room sounds and echoes and finally, by blocking sound from carrying between floors (especially helpful in condo apartments or multi-family homes).Warmth & Insulation
Carpet provides excellent warmth underfoot, making it a great choice for chilly bedrooms or stark offices. Carpet also acts as an insulator. The combination of the carpet and its under-padding acts as an additional layer of insulation in your home and – depending on the weight and grade of your carpet – it can even add to the R-value of your home.Ease of Care
Most carpets made today are made to be highly stain-resistant, meaning cleanup is easy. With just a damp cloth or a quick vacuuming, your floors look as good as new. Because carpets trap dust and allergens, they can also improve the air quality in your home as long they're properly cleaned and vacuumed on a regular basis.Flexibility and Style:
Carpet isn't limited to just a few colors or grains. You can get carpet in any style, design, color or pattern that you want. Because of its versatility, carpet fits in well in any design scheme.Value:
: Typically, carpet costs significantly less than other types of flooring like tile, marble or hardwood. Even with professional installation, carpet tends to cost much less than other types of flooring options.