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Choosing the ideal carpet style is all about knowing the right combination of aesthetics, performance and budget that meets the needs of your lifestyle. Below you will find a brief overview of carpeting styles to help you decide which one is just right for you.
Unlike automobile choices, of which there are dozens, carpet thankfully comes in only three basic styles: cut pile, loop pile and cut & loop pile.
CUT PILE: Cut pile is created when the loops that result from weaving are trimmed to the same height and allowed to slightly tuft, giving the carpet a dense, soft appearance. Cut pile carpet represents the largest share of the residential market and comes in four primary subcategories:
SAXONY - Saxony is what probably comes to mind when you think of carpet — all those thousands of perfectly even, solid colored strands of fiber standing at attention like a freshly cut lawn. This is the stuff that's thick and soft and shows footprints and vacuum lines. You probably had it "wall to wall" when you were growing up. Today we know that Saxony tends to wear much quicker than other styles. It's probably best kept for those low foot traffic rooms — like the formal living room that Mom saved for "company."
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TEXTURED - If you don't require that "freshly mown" look to your carpet, then Textured is the way to go. Because it's twisted differently than Saxony and steamed to create a permanent curl, this product is "trackless" and reduces light reflectivity so it won't show footprints. Textured carpet is casual, it's cool and it will show far less wear and tear than other styles.
FRIEZE - This cut pile offers a tighter "twist" than the textured style. The yarn actually curls over, creating a very durable and elegant product that hides footprints and vacuum lines.
LOOP PILE: Loop pile is how all carpet actually begins — uncut. Commonly known as Berber, loop pile carpets have a smooth, consistent surface with a lightly textured appearance that results from coloration and the way light reflects on the pile. Made from yarns that are looped into the backing, this popular style is perfect for high traffic areas of the home and can be found in many commercial settings.
CUT & LOOP: The combination of cut pile and loop pile provides for some interesting patterns that result from the variation in surface textures. Also known as "sculptured carpets," this popular style is great at disguising foot traffic and wear and offers a variety of surface finishes.
There are four basic types of Carpet Fibers:
Nylon Carpets: This is the most popular synthetic carpet fiber used today. It offers tremendous value, performance, and ease of maintenance. Nylon provides brilliant colors and hides soil and traffic well.
Olefin Carpets: This fiber 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. Their resistance to matting and crushing are not as good as a nylon fiber.
Polyester Carpets: Gives excellent color clarity with a soft feel to the carpet. Lacks the durability of a nylon carpet.
Acrylic Carpets: Has a real wool look and appearance. Used mainly in level loops, bath mats, and some velvet carpet styles. Offers good mold and mildew resistance with low static levels.