Cut, Twist and Pile: Getting to Know Carpet Types

Carpet will always be a staple of the American home. It’s a cozy, inviting and feels fantastic underfoot. Many of us grew up with one type of carpet, and it can be a shock to learn just how many varieties there are to choose from. If you’re looking into professional carpet installation for your Dallas home, getting to know your options before you head to the showroom can help you make the right choice.

Carpet Vocabulary

Imagine a piece of yarn that has been woven in and out of a grid, leaving loops of yarn up top to form a plush surface. This is how carpet is made. How long the loops are, if they’re cut, how tightly twisted the yarn is and other factors determine what the finished carpet looks and feels like.

Some key terms to remember when thinking about carpet are:

  • Loop or Cut: Yarn loops can be left in-tact or cut to create different textures.
  • Pile: How long the loops are create “low” to “high” pile carpets.
  • Twist: Yarns can be tightly twisted to make them curl, giving the carpet a plush and tussled appearance.
  • Density: More yarn packed into the carpet creates a more luxurious feel. You can judge density by digging your fingers into a carpet. The more easily you can reach and feel the woven backing, the lower the density.
  • Weight: Weight is a measurement of how heavy a carpet is per square yard. A higher weight is a good indicator of a better quality yarn.

If you have carpet in your home right now, you can examine it to see what the yarn looks like. This will give you a good baseline to compare other carpets to as you consider carpet installation for your Dallas home.

Loop Carpets

Loop carpets are durable, easy to clean and often resist staining. They can feel stiff underfoot, but they can be installed selectively in high-traffic areas or combined with plush rugs in seating areas to soften the effect. Loop carpeting also doesn’t show foot prints or vacuuming lines. They’re best for homes without pets, as the loops can snag your pet’s nails.

  • Berber: Also called level loop carpet, this is the most common closed-loop style. All the loops are the same height. Its uniform texture makes it the easiest to clean, and since most Berbers have some speckling in the yarn, you can expect it to hide dirt well in between cleanings.
  • Multi-Level Loop: With a combination of tall and short loops, this style creates patterns from geometric to pin dot. They’re visually appealing and feel interesting underfoot. It’s a great way to make carpeting work in a modern space.
  • Cut & Loop: Some styles mix closed and cut loops to create a wider range of textures and patterns. Because the open loops can loosen and make the design look worn, they’re best for low traffic areas.

Cut Loop

With their soft feel and classic look, cut loop styles are a popular choice for carpet installation in Dallas area homes. The carpets are made with closed loops, but they’re cut to expose a spray of soft, cushioning fibers.
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  • Saxony: Also known as “smooth carpet,” Saxony is the classic American carpet. The cut strands stand straight up and down, creating a cushy surface you can sink your toes into. Saxony carpets can show footprints and vacuum lines, but its light reflection quality also gives it dimension.
  • Carved Saxonies: Also called cut multi-level, this style uses different fiber heights to create patterns and textures.
  • Plush: Also called “velvet pile,” plush carpets have the densest concentration of yarn. The effect is luxurious underfoot and beautiful to look at. The dense fibers easily show footprints and are prone to warping from water damage, so plush carpet is best reserved for your lowest traffic areas.
  • Texture: Textured carpets have gone through a special treatment process in which each fiber has been twisted into a spiral and heat set. Sometimes called “trackless” carpet, this style doesn’t show footprints as readily as other cut loop options.
  • Frieze: Also known as “twist,” this style has a distinctive texture. The upper half of each long fiber is given a tight twist, causing it to coil back on itself. It disguises footprints, vacuum marks and crumbs well, but they can be tougher to clean.
  • Shag: Shag carpeting is Frieze carpeting with extra-long, low-density fibers. It has an almost furry, tufted appearance. Modern shag is sleek and full of depth, movement and dimension.

If you still have questions, don’t worry. At Peek’s Floor Co., our carpeting experts are standing by to help you choose the perfect carpeting and explain every step in carpet installation for your Dallas home.

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