Below you will find a brief overview of carpeting styles and fibers to help you decide which one is just right for you.
Olefin is also called polypropylene, and is extremely popular in Berbers and level loops. Olefin carpets are highly stain, static, mold, and mildew resistant. They can be used for indoor or outdoor carpets, including outdoor turf, however their resistance to matting and crushing are not as good as nylon and polyester fibers.
Nylon is the fiber of choice for homes with pets and children and those who entertain because of its tremendous value, performance, and ease of maintenance. It is the most durable and stain resistant carpet fiber available, hiding soil and traffic well. Nylon would be a perfect choice for heavy traffic areas such as hallways or stairways.
Over 90% of residential carpet is manufactured as tufted carpet. A tufting machine works like an oversized sewing machine with hundreds of needles that insert loops of fiber (tufts or stitches) into the carpet's backing to form the face pile of the carpet. How long your carpet will last depends on how well it is made. Quality construction will affect the durability, appearance, and price of the carpet and is most influenced by the twist of the fibers and the density of the tufts.
Twist refers to how tightly the fiber (carpet yarn) has been twisted. This is especially important in cut pile carpet because the tips are exposed and can become untwisted, giving the carpet a matted and worn appearance. The tighter the yarn is twisted, the better the carpet will stand up to crushing and matting. Frieze carpet has the highest twist level at about 7-9 twists per inch (TPI), whereas most cut pile carpet styles have between 3-6 twists per inch.
Density refers to both the amount, and how tightly packed together the fibers are within the carpet. The closer together the fibers are placed, the denser the carpet will be, and the better it will wear and perform. Ways to check for carpet density include trying to reach the carpet backing by pressing your fingers on the carpet fibers. The more difficult it is to reach the backing, the denser the carpet. Or with outward facing tufts, bend the carpet into a U-shape and look at how much of the carpet backing is visible. The less backing that shows, the denser the carpet.
Cut pile consists of yarns that are cut at the ends. The soft feel of cut pile carpet makes it a perfect choice for the most comfortable areas of your home - bedrooms, living rooms and family rooms.There are five basic styles of cut pile carpet: Velvet, Saxony, Frieze, Shag, and Cable, each providing a different look and texture. The primary difference among these styles is the amount of twist in the yarns that will ultimately influence the carpet's durability.
Loop pile has yarns that are looped and uncut on the carpet surface. The pile height can vary from low, tightly constructed to a more luxurious high-level pile. Loop pile carpet has excellent durability, strength, and soil hiding capabilities. This style is ideal for heavy traffic areas. Berber is a popular style of loop pile carpet that can be constructed as a level-loop or multi-loop carpet.
As the name suggests, this carpet has some cut piles and some that are not in order to create a different surface look and texture.