Carpet pile samples in Overland ParkWhen choosing carpet, there are three main things you need to consider: color/pattern, fiber, and pile. Of these, pile is probably the least familiar to Overland Park homeowners. That’s why the Floor Coverings International KC South team advises homeowners to learn about carpet pile – the more you know, the more educated your final decision will be. Luckily, our beginner-friendly guide to carpet pile explains everything you need to know to choose the right carpet for you.

What is Carpet Pile?

The part of the carpet that you see and feel is called the pile. It refers specifically to the layer of fiber that extends out from the backing. The pile can be made from any number of materials, or sometimes a combination; for example, wool, nylon, olefin, jute, and sisal are all common fibers used in carpeting.

Pile Height

The pile height, which is the length of the fiber, usually determines how fluffy and cushioned the carpet is. Low pile carpets (like Berber), which may be as short as ¼ inch, are typically firmer and denser. High pile carpets (such as shag) can be taller than ¾ inch and are usually very plush and textured.

Loop vs. Cut Pile

There are two types of pile: cut and looped. As part of the carpet weaving process, the fiber is looped back and forth through the backing. If a carpet has a loop pile, it means that the fiber has been left as it was originally woven. If a carpet has a cut pile, it means that the looped fibers were clipped at the ends. Loop pile carpets like Berber, which are usually firm and dense, are durable and trackless (meaning they do not show footprints and vacuum tracks). In contrast, cut pile carpets, like shag and frieze styles, have more movement and cushioning.

Still have questions about carpet pile? Want to explore our selection of carpet styles? Call Floor Coverings International KC South today! We offer free in-home consultations in the Overland Park area.

Photo Credit: pbombaert