carpet pile typesMany homeowners have an idea of how they want their carpet to look and feel, but not many know what a “pile type” is and how it affects these qualities. In order to help Olathe homeowners pick the perfect carpet, the experts here at Floor Coverings International KC South have compiled some facts about carpet pile types that every homeowner should know!

What is a Carpet Pile Type?

The “pile” of a carpet refers to the visible tufts of fiber on a carpet’s surface. The main characteristics of the pile include both the length of the fibers as well as whether or not these fibers are cut or looped. The style of these fibers determines a carpet’s density, durability, and texture, among other things.

To illustrate this, it helps to think of some common carpet styles. Shag carpet, for instance, has a long, cut pile that is soft underfoot. Saxony carpet has a short, cut pile that is common in many homes for its durability. Berber is a popular looped carpet, and it is the perfect example of the looped pile. With these common styles in mind, it’s easy to see how each pile type completely changes the look and feel of a carpet.

Cut versus Looped Piles

berber carpet

Looped Pile Berber Carpet

During the manufacturing process, all carpets start out looped. Most carpets are then cut so that their fibers stand on end, creating a more uniform look and plusher surface. Cut pile carpets in general are more subject to crushing and unraveling than looped carpets. This makes looped pile carpet a preferable choice for high traffic areas like the hallway, stairs, or commercial areas.

However, cut pile carpets are more common in residential areas because they are soft and plush underfoot. Common styles include Saxony, frieze, shag, and of course, plush. Each style is distinguished by the fiber’s height and twist. Some carpets can come in a combination of cut and looped piles to create unique patterns.

Low versus High Piles

frieze carpet

Medium Pile Frieze Carpet

Pile heights describe a fiber’s length and are generally categorized as low (less than ¼ inch), medium (¼ to ½ inch), or high (½ inch and higher). The length of these fibers affects the underfoot feel of the carpet as well as how easy the carpet is to clean. Low piles are generally more dense and tightly woven, making them less soft than carpets with higher piles like plush and frieze carpets.

However, low pile carpets are general more durable and easier to clean. These shorter fibers are more resilient against matting and crushing, and they won’t trap dirt and grime as readily as longer pile carpets like shag.

Get Started in Olathe Today

Choosing the right carpet for your home is easy when you know how to select a pile type! Contact Floor Coverings International KC South today to schedule your free, in-home design consultation and we’ll help you find the right carpet for your Olathe home. We proudly serve Overland Park, Olathe, Leawood and surrounding areas.

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Photo Credit: RebaneTa, Offscreen, Mikhail Klyoshev