Quicklist: Carpet Fiber and Pile Options
- Berber Loop Pile
- Level Loop Pile
- Multi-level Loop Pile
- Saxony Cut Pile
- Textured Cut Pile
- Frieze Cut Pile
- Pattern (Cut and Looped) Pile
- Shag Pile
- Lush Pile
Are you in the market for a new carpet, but aren’t sure which one best suits your needs? If so, then you need to take a careful look at the different types of carpet available for your home.
For high traffic “living” areas in the home such as kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms, hardwood is more popular than carpet these days. However, that doesn’t mean carpet is a thing of the past as carpet is still widely used in other rooms in the house.
Picking the right type of carpet for your home
It is important to consider the carpet style that would be best suited to the room you intend to put it in. An office room or playroom might benefit from tough carpet tiles, while a luxurious Saxony carpet might be great in a guest room.
The problem is — how much do you really know about carpet types? Would you be able to tell the difference between a synthetic carpet and a natural fiber carpet? Do you know your shag from your plush?
There are many types of carpet options with different carpet fibers for you to add into your home, which range from high-end carpets for that special finish to more durable carpets for high traffic areas.
Some of the most common types of carpet you’re likely to come across are:
However, these are by no means the only types as our list below will illustrate.
We constructed this guide to help educate you about the different types of carpet, so that you can make the most informed buying decision.
I. Carpet Popularity by Room (%)
Which rooms are best for carpet?
Our first section is based on analysis of hundreds of thousands of rooms to determine how common carpet is in the main rooms of the home.
From our analysis, we put together a simple chart and corresponding table illustrating how common carpet is for the main rooms as a percentage of each main type of room that has carpet.
As you can see, carpet is not popular for kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms and entry areas. This is to be expected since those are high traffic areas and kitchens or bathrooms have water, stain and spill potential for which carpet is not ideal.
The percentages below indicate what percent of each room type has carpet.
Which rooms are best for carpet?
- Best rooms for carpet: bedrooms, home offices and basements.
- Worst rooms for carpet: Kitchens, bathrooms, entry areas and dining rooms.
II. Two Main Types of Carpet: Loop Pile and Cut Pile
Carpet is created by looping yarn style material through a backing and then creating a particular pile on the other side (i.e. the upside). There’s loop pile (i.e. Berber) and cut pile (i.e. Saxony). The type of pile will determine the carpet texture, but it should also be noted that the carpet fiber will also have an effect.
Below we set out the various carpet options for both main types of pile.
A. Loop Pile Carpet Options
1. Berber Loop Pile Carpet
Berber is the most common type of loop pile option you can choose. This means that the fibers are bent into a series of loops. This establishes a durable carpet that resists stains although it does not have as much cushioning as other choices.
In a Berber carpet, the loops are short in length although a slight bit of variance is welcome. This is a dense choice that offers a smooth tone. It is also something that will not come apart all that quickly. You should still ensure that you don’t add anything sharp into the carpet so it will not tear up and wear out quickly.
2. Level Loop Pile Carpet
A level loop design uses short loops where everything is carefully measured to where the loops are of the same length. This type is a little stiffer but it is perfectly appropriate for high traffic areas where durability and toughness are important.
3. Multi-Level Loop Pile Carpet
With a multi-level loop design, the tops of the loops will be varied by height, offering a more appealing design with series of visual flourishes. This is different from a patterned carpet in that all the threads are made into loops instead of just with cuts.
This creates a design where the variance in the textures on the carpet can gradually change over time. The details on your carpet will not be as noticeable as you might think but they can make a real difference when aiming to make your space look its best.
B. Cut Pile Carpet
1. Saxony Pile Carpet
The Saxony style is a cut pile option where the fiber ends are cut as evenly as possible. In a Saxony arrangement, the fibers are packed tightly together. This creates a smoother appearance. The fibers are about half an inch high as well.
This is also known as a plush carpet for how soft and luxurious it feels. However, having such a soft-textured carpet is not without its pitfalls. The individual fibers in a Saxony carpet can tear up quickly, so be careful when moving furniture.
2. Textured Cut Pile Carpet
The textured carpet style is another cut pile choice. The yarn used is twisted and then cut meaning the carpet is soft while the surface is twisted enough to create a more casual appearance.
The twists are tight enough to offer stain resistance, meaning there is more durability and easier cleaning. Also, the individual fibers bend a little faster than those of a Saxony carpet but it can add a nice tone when used well.
3. Frieze Carpet
The frieze choice uses short fibers that can curl in many directions. This establishes a sturdy look that can hide footprints although it is not necessarily made with heavy foot traffic in mind as too much traffic can cause excess fatigue in the area.
It has an informal style and is often referred to as a shag pile carpet. It is an attractive option that exudes a sense of luxury but you should be careful with handling items around it as you could have a rather tough time with trying to clean out anything you spill in there.
4. Pattern Carpet
A pattern arrangement uses a mix of cut and looped yarn spots. The specific areas where the yarn is looped versus where it is cut are planned out before the carpet is made, and is designed to establish a specific pattern.
In this sense, a patterned carpet gets its pattern from its texture and construction, rather than from simply using dyes. Different colored yarns can be woven together to create the pattern, which can be in the form of contrasting colors or even a blend of different natural or synthetic carpet fiber.
This is the same way woven carpet works in terms of structure and design, creating a unique texture carpet that gets it’s design from the way the yarn is woven together.
III. Carpet Materials
The next distinguishing component of carpet is the material. When someone is wondering about the different types of Berber carpet, for example, those different types are based on the different carpet materials used in the pile.
Below is a list of the different types of carpet materials.
Nylon carpeting is a very popular option, due to how strong and durable nylon is. Nylon fiber can resist soil and stay in its same shape for years without warping.
It is popular but it can produce static electricity due to friction. If you do decide to go for a nylon carpet, then you might want to apply anti-static sprays to help keep electric shocks to a minimum.
Olefin is a polypropylene compound that was originally used in outdoor situations for how well it can resist moisture. Today, it is used in indoor situations because olefin fibers offer a wool-like texture and are very strong.
This can look great but it will have to be dyed to make it look esthetically pleasing. Also, excess exposure to the sun’s rays could hurt the appearance of the carpet.
Polyester carpeting is another popular option for those seeking toughness and durability in their floor coverings — without compromising on style. A prominent synthetic material, polyester can resist stains. It resists moisture and is easy to clean off. It could clump up into piles if you don’t maintain it well enough.
Acrylic is made with a wool-like body that has a level of static and stain resistance that makes this variety particularly appealing for areas that might be susceptible to stains, and general wear and tear. It is not likely to fade as much as other options.
You can always use real wool for your carpet if desired. Wool is appealing for how it features a series of carefully woven fibers that resist dirt. It can resist stains quite well. However, it is also more expensive due to how sturdy and durable the surface is.
Triexta is a synthetic choice that has become popular in many homes with pets and kids. This is thanks to how the fibers are strong and not as likely to tear apart like others. Triexta carpeting is a powerful option but it can also be somewhat expensive, so may not be the best choice for those wishing to keep costs down.
IV. Carpet Quality Indicators
A. Pile Fiber Density
Quality carpet is indicated by the density of the fibers used for the pile. The denser the pile, the higher quality it is. When you can feel the carpet backing material when running your hand over the upside of the carpet, this indicates a lower quality. When you don’t feel the backing this is a sign of superior quality.
B. Pile Fiber Weight
A heavier carpet indicates more fibers per square foot. The yarn used for the pile can have some bearing on this (synthetic pile might have a different weight to natural wool carpet, for example), but the general rule of thumb is that the heavier the carpet per square foot, the better quality it is. This includes synthetic fiber carpets, so be sure to check the weight.
C. Quality Material
The most expensive and best carpet material is wool. It’s soft, durable, natural and eco-friendly. That said, a wool carpet may not be the most practical choice since other materials offer more stain-resistance and in some cases more durable (but not as plush).
Here’s a photo of wool carpet:
V. Carpet Padding
In addition to your carpet pile, you also need quality padding material. It is a soft material that is flexible and designed to go in between the subfloor and the base of the carpet where the fibers are attached.
The padding is used underneath the carpet pile and will cover up the floor. It insulates an area from the cold and creates a soft surface. You should always test out the padding used on your carpet before choosing it so you can get an idea of how it feels under your feet.
VI. Carpet Baseboard Trim
A baseboard material is a trim that is attached to the ends of your carpet. The baseboard will use a series of nails and wood pieces that link the carpet to the edges of the walls. This is to create a better overall appearance where the carpet is smoothed out and carefully arranged.
You have to ensure that the baseboard links to the carpet after everything is measured and stretched out. Think of this as an anchor for the entire carpeted surface.
VII. Carpet Colors
Carpets are available in a vast variety of colors . You can choose anything ranging from a neutral shades of brown or nude, right though to deep and vibrant colors and patterns. The colors really are limitless.
The Most Common Carpet Colors
Based on an analysis of 1,883 bedrooms with carpet, the top three carpet colors are as follows:
- The most popular carpet color is beige, which is used in 55% of bedrooms.
- The second most popular carpet color is gray, which is used in 24% of bedrooms.
- The third most popular is brown, coming in at 6.27% of bedrooms.
We used bedrooms for the analysis because the most common flooring for bedrooms is carpet.
Carpet Color Chart
Carpet Color Decision Tips
Regardless of what you prefer, there are several points that must be used when getting carpet in your home:
- Choose a color that fits in well with other items in a room. These include pieces of furniture, the paint on your walls, and so forth. Make sure the carpet blends in well with the rest of the room.
- Check on how well the carpet is made so you can identify when there are stains. You might have a tough time identifying stains that need to be fixed if you have a darker color.
- You can always get a patterned series of colors on your carpet. These include colors that create floral or symmetrical line designs among other things. You can always ask the manufacturer of your carpet about how well a design might work for you.
- Watch for the sunlight that comes into your area. Don’t add any colors that are too unique and dark into a spot where there’s lots of sunlight or else you might risk the color fading.
VIII. Carpet Price
The cost to get carpet will be based on how much carpet you need at a given time. There are many specific points about carpets that you must explore when looking at their cost:
It can cost about $1 to $10 per square foot for carpet. The more expensive options are typically more durable and could also come with an attractive pattern. Berber and wool are especially more expensive than other options.
It costs about $1 per square foot to get the carpet installed. You might have to spend a little extra in the event you need to remove any old carpeted surfaces, get furniture moved around, and so forth.
In summary, you should expect to spend around $2 to $10 per square foot depending on what you have. This means that a standard room will cost a few hundred dollars for you to get a carpet with.
X. Carpet Size
The sizing for your carpet will be measured based on how large your room is. You will have to measure your carpet based on such factors as how long and wide your room is and how many cuts have to be made to get the surface in your property organized right.
You can always work with a professional installation team to get a clear idea of what you can use when getting it installed. Do be careful when getting it ready though so you won’t use more carpet than needed or be at risk of bare spots in your home.
XI. Key Points For Using Carpets
There are several added considerations to find when getting a carpet installed in any way. These points can be used when getting an installation ready to help you fully get the most out of your carpet:
- Sometimes the subfloor or padding underneath the carpet has to be installed. In many cases, you can use the same padding that you used for an older carpeted material on your new one. You’d have to check on how consistent and flexible the padding is before you choose something in particular.
- You will more than likely have to add a new baseboard material to get this ready. It might take a bit of extra time but if used right it should not be too hard to use.
- You can always get a customized cut ready for your carpet. You’d have to ask your installer to see what can be done beforehand. A proper estimate is needed with regard to how much carpet you need in a certain room.
- Some added moldings may be added to link your carpet up to other carpeted surfaces around your home. This is especially the case if you have different types of carpet with a variety of piles all around your property.
Make sure you watch carefully when getting carpet added in your home. A great carpeted surface can make a world of difference if chosen right. You should look around to see what’s available and how well it can all fit into your home when used properly enough.
Related: Types of Rugs
XII. Top Brands for Different Types of Carpet
Choosing the right carpet for your home or office is vital for your comfort and daily living. Depending on your preferred materials and the traffic in your home, some brands may work better for you than others.
While there are hundreds of carpet brands to choose from, there are 15 that come highly recommended, and by choosing one, you can expect high-quality carpet to last.
1. Mohawk Industries
Based out of Calhoun, Georgia, Mohawk Industries offers both carpet and carpet tiles that are stain resistant, wear resistant, or both, depending on what you need. You can choose a carpet that fits the function of that room, mixing and matching as you order for rooms throughout the house.
Historically known as an American brand of oriental wool rugs, Karastan exhibited a 12-foot by 15-foot Axminster wool rug at the 1933-1934 Chicago World’s Fair, where millions of visitors walked on the carpet, displaying its durability. The rug, made of 80% wool and 20% nylon, featured a tree of life pattern in 33 skein-dyed colors. Mohawk Industries bought the company in 1993.
Karastan quality is not only found in the material but also in the carpet’s aesthetics.
Los Angeles-based Tuftex carpets stand up to wear and tear in heavy traffic areas. Shaw Floors’ premier residential brand designs carpets based on regional trends.
Affordable carpet is one of the flooring options offered by Newton. They offer a variety of colors and carpet types to accommodate your budget and your needs for the space.
Mohawk Industries’ LifeProof brand is sold exclusively at The Home Depot. Launched in 2015, the fibers used in LifeProof products are meant to give superior stain resistance.
6. Masland Carpets
Source: Masland Carpet and Rugs
Masland Carpet and Rugs, founded in Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1866, has been an industry leader in both flooring and automotive components for many decades. They introduced the first manufactured carpet fiber prior to World War I, and in 1922 began supplying the Ford Motor Co. with woven rugs for their vehicles. Today, Masland offers consumers many options for broadloom carpets and area rugs.
Choose from nylon or wool carpets with Fabrica. There are also area rugs available with the same materials and textures. Each type of carpet comes with 30 or more color options.
Lowe’s purchased the Stainmaster brand in 2021. If you need carpet in an area with lots of stain potential Stainmaster’s nylon-fiber products may be right for you. Their carpets and rugs are designed to be stain-resistant and make clean-up easy.
9. Shaw Flooring
Shaw Industries, the largest carpet manufacturing company in the world, began making scatter rugs and bedspreads in 1946. They now have over $6 billion in annual revenue. Their LifeGuard Spill-proof waterproof backing is meant to keep spills and odor‑causing pet accidents from soaking through to the pad and subfloor.
10. Dupont Sorona Carpet
Energy efficiency is the name of the Dupont Sorona carpet game. Choose from a variety of textures and colors for your property. These carpets are easy to clean and have a long lifespan compared to other brands.
11. Atlas Carpet Mills
Patterns are a big part of Atlas Carpet Mills. They are known for designing outside the box, giving your room an edgier and more contemporary look. Choose from swerving patterns, links, and lines when you choose this brand.
12. Proximity Mills
Source: Proximity Mills
Cut and loop or tip shear; you have patterned options or standard colors of your choice with Proximity Mills. The colors start with standard earth tones and then diversify into other options to make your space bold and bright.
Doma specializes in flooring, including carpet options. Many of their patterns look like area rugs that end up stretching through an entire room. One of the more popular patterns currently is Liana in Denim.
Known as one of the luxury options, Paradiso carpet has a higher price tag, but it comes with only top-tier materials. Everything from abstracted carpets to traditional styles is available.
Many of the woven patterns come in various textures. Some are flat and smooth, while others have thick, textured patterns. A few shades take on the appearance of granite and rocks.
When you choose a carpet from Phenix, you will get a stain-resistant carpet, no matter what pattern or color you choose. They have the FloorEver series, Modern Contours series, and Microban available.
XIII. Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to commonly asked questions about carpeting.
1. Can Carpeting Be Dyed?
It is possible to dye nylon or wool carpets. Acrylic, polyester and polypropylene carpets cannot be dyed. Your carpet’s current color will determine the new colors into which it can be dyed. There are three methods that are commonly used to dye carpet.
They are spraying on the dye with a wand that has a pressure poundage of between 150 and 500, using an aerosol spray can, or applying the dye using a rotary scrubber with nylon bristles. They all require using professional-strength carpet dye for the best results.
2. Can Carpeting Be Patched?
Carpeting can be patched by professionals with the proper equipment or by DIYers with the help of a patch repair kit that has adhesive disks. Simply measure and tape off the damaged piece of carpet to be patched.
Remove the damaged area and measure and cut a replacement patch. Put the carpet patch into the right position. Glue it in place. Then rough up and smooth down the edges of the carpet patch to hide the seams.
3. Can Carpeting Be Stretched?
Yes, a loose, lumpy, wrinkled carpet can be stretched. But to do it properly you will need a power carpet-stretcher, a knee-kicker, a pry-bar, a stapler containing 5/16-inch staples, a utility knife and some tack strips.
Once one end of the carpet is secured into the tack strips, the carpet-stretcher is used to pull the carpet tight all across the room and remove the rolls and wrinkles. The other end of the carpet is then embedded into the row of tack strips at that end of the room.
4. Can Carpeting Be Painted?
Berber, jute, seagrass and sisal carpets can be easily painted using upholstery paint. Plush carpeting does not take paint well. It tends to become matted and hard.
5. How Is Carpeting Measured?
Carpeting is measured using a diagram of the space to be carpeted. The area is then measured and the measurements are transferred to the diagram. The total square footage is then calculated.
The measurements in each area are routinely rounded up to the nearest .5 of a foot so a floor that’s 14.3 feet long by 11.8 feet wide becomes 14.5 feet by 12 feet. This ensures there enough material to adequately cover the floor. An additional 5% is added for seams. Carpets that require a pattern match will need additional material.
6. Who Invented Carpeting?
Goat hair and sheep’s wool have been sheared and spun or woven into carpets for over 9,000 years. In Western Asia, knotted-pile carpet rugs were being produced between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago.
William Sprague is credited with being the father of the modern carpet industry. In 1791 in Philadelphia, he built the first mill for weaving carpet.
7. Can You Install Carpeting Over Hardwood Flooring?
Yes, you can. All you have to do is nail tackless strips on the floor along the baseboards on the room’s perimeter using masonry nails. Cover the floor with carpet padding.
Cut the carpet about four inches larger than the room’s length and width. Lay it in place leaving two inches of excess at the wall. Hook one end of the carpet into the tackless strip at one end of the room beginning in the corners.
Stretch the carpet all the way to the other wall using a power stretcher. Hook the other end of the carpet on the tackless strip there. Trim off the excess carpet.
8. Can You Install Carpeting Over Tile?
Carpet can be laid over tile. Simply cut and remove a strip of tile around the room’s perimeter that’s about two inches wider than the tackless strip that holds the carpet in place. Nail in the tackless strips on the floor 1 1/2 inches from the baseboard.
Cover the entire floor with carpet under-padding. Hook the end of the carpet over the tackless strip. Use a power carpet stretcher to pull the carpet tight all the way across the room.
Press the other end of the carpet into the tackless strips there. Cut off the excess carpet all along the baseboard using a utility knife.
9. Can You Put Carpeting Over Concrete?
To install carpeting over concrete, nail tack strips into the floor all around the perimeter of the room. Cover the entire concrete floor with carpet padding. Connect the strips of padding using tape. Unroll the carpet on top of the padding.
Begin at the far corner of the room and hook the edge of the carpet into the tack strips. Once you have connected the end of the carpet to the tack strip across the entire back wall, use a power carpet stretcher to pull the carpet taut all the way to the front wall. Hook that end of the carpet to the tack strip. Replace the baseboards.
10. Can You Put Carpeting Over Laminate?
Putting carpeting over laminate is not recommended. The tack strips used to connect the carpet to the floor can wrinkle the laminate. This will make it uneven, not lie flat beneath the carpet and make it nearly impossible for the carpeting to be installed properly.
Over time, laminate has a tendency to stiffen and begin to curl up. This will push against the carpeting and cause it to become displaced, lumpy, wrinkled and uneven. It is better to remove the laminate and put the carpeting directly on the subfloor.
11. Can You Put Carpeting Over Linoleum?
It is possible and relatively simple to put down carpeting over the linoleum on your floors. The key is to make sure the linoleum is clean and smooth. Then install your tackles strips and your carpet pad and follow the basic steps for installing a carpet.
Some people put a plywood underlayment on top of the linoleum before installing the carpet, but that is not necessary. A good carpeting job can be done without underlayment.
12. Can You Put Carpet Over Cork?
If the cork flooring is firmly in place, you can leave it as it is and simply install a carpet pad and carpeting on top of it. That is a faster, safer, and more cost-efficient method of replacing your cork floors with carpeting. You can call in a professional or tackle putting carpeting over your cork floors as a do-it-yourself project.
13. How Long Does Carpeting Last?
Inexpensive, apartment-grade carpeting generally lasts about five years. Medium grade carpeting can be expected to last as long as 15 years.
The top-quality carpeting available today can last as long as 25 years. That longevity and durability depend on the amount of traffic it has to endure and how well it’s cared for and maintained.
14. What Materials Is Carpeting Made From?
Carpets can be produced using a wide range of natural and synthetic materials. They include acrylic, polyester, wool, nylon, polypropylene (Olefin), Smartstrand and recycled plastic.
Some popular carpeting materials are uncut carpet pile, cut carpet pile, Saxony cut pile, textured cut pile, Frieze cut pile, plush carpet or velvet cut pile.
15. Can Used Carpeting Be Sold?
Used carpeting is commonly sold in home goods stores, thrift stores, home decorating stores, second-hand stores, private sale listings and online auction sites like eBay. There is a wide selection of used carpeting available in a variety of sizes and at very affordable prices.
16. Can Used Carpeting Be Recycled? How?
Carpets of all types can be recycled. The fiber in the carpet is separated from the backing and often both the fibers and the backing are broken down, processed, and used to create new carpets and other products.
17. Can Carpeting Be Repaired? How?
Rips, stains and cigarette burns can make your carpet look old and unsightly. Plus, replacing it can be expensive. If the area that’s damaged isn’t too large, it’s possible to repair the carpet and save money instead of replacing the entire carpet. The damaged sections of carpeting can be repaired using a patch.
18. What Is Berber Carpet?
Berber carpet is a loop carpet invented by the Berber people of North Africa. They produced light-colored, handwoven textiles featuring distinct woven knots, loops, as well as natural multi-color flecks from the coat of the sheep from which they got the wool from which the carpets were produced.
The knot and loops are distinguishing characteristics of modern, mass-produced Berber carpets.