12992 W. Eight Mile Road, Suite F, Oak Park, MI 48237
Proudly Serving Southeast Michigan

Carpet Basics

Historically carpet has always been the most popular flooring choice for homeowners for many good reasons.  There are many styles and fibers to choose from, so it is important to know the carpet basics in order to make the best choice for you and your home.

Carpet Styles

There are really only two Carpet Styles: Cut Pile and Loop Pile.  Three styles if you count a combination of cut and loop.

Here are examples of the common styles:
Carpet Southfield MI - Flooring, Hardwood Floors, In Home Carpet - Impressive Floors - carpet_style
Carpet Southfield MI - Flooring, Hardwood Floors, In Home Carpet - Impressive Floors - carpet1

CUT PILE

All carpet starts off as a loop because the manufacture has to weave the fiber through the backing. In a cut pile carpet the loops are “cut off” hence the name “Cut Pile”. The result is a softer more dense carpet. Cut piles are the largest segment of the carpet industry.
 
The major subcategories of “Cut Pile” carpet are as follows:
 
Plush or 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 carpet that’s thick and soft and sometimes shows footprints and vacuum lines. Saxony is perfect for formal living rooms and bedrooms because it looks great but tends not to wear as well as some other styles.
 
Textured Saxony is a little less formal carpet but holds up better because it is twisted and steamed so as not to show footprints. Also textured carpet reduces light reflectivity and will show less wear and tear than other styles.
 
Frieze is cut pile carpet that has very tight twisted fibers that are usually a little taller. The yarn actually curls over, and creates a very durable and elegant product that hides footprints and vacuum lines. This often referred to as a “Shag” Carpet.
 
Cable is constructed of thicker, longer yarns. Cable is beautiful and very comfortable but can be crushed in heavy traffic areas.

Carpet Southfield MI - Flooring, Hardwood Floors, In Home Carpet - Impressive Floors - carpet2LOOP PILE

As said earlier, “Loop pile” is how all carpet actually begins. Loop pile is sometimes called commercial carpet. The big advantage of loop pile is that it holds up to high and can be wide it a wide variety of multi colors and textures.
 
Berber is a residential loop pile with much larger loops that make it a little softer than its commercial cozens and is great for basements and recreation rooms.

Carpet Southfield MI - Flooring, Hardwood Floors, In Home Carpet - Impressive Floors - carpet3CUT & 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”, or "cut and uncut", this popular style is great at disguising foot traffic and wear and offers a variety of surface finishes.

Carpet Fibers

Carpet fiber is the “yarn” that is woven into the backing to make your carpet. The “Style” affects the looks and performance of your carpet, but the type of “Fiber” used to make your carpet is just as /or more important.
 
The vast majority of carpet is made from Wool, Nylon, Polypropylene (Olefin) or P.E.T. polyester.
 
Here are the differences:
 
Wool Carpet Fiber is by far the very best, but most expensive, carpet material available. Its super soft, natural, durable, luxurious, flame resistant, water repellant, environmentally friendly, and does not conduct static electricity.
 
It is also the most stain resistant…Even for Red Wine!
Wool comes in a variety of Styles, the most popular being Saxony, Twisted Frieze, and Berber. Use a carpet cleaner made for wool and you will have it for really long time.
 
Triexta:
In 2009. the Federal Trade Commission (FTS) established the subclass name "triexta" as an alternative to the generic name "polyester" for a subclass of polyester fibers made from poly (trimethylene terephthalate).
 
The fiber, while having the same general chemical composition as polyester, has distinctive features of durability, resilience, softness and the ability to stretch with recovery that make it significantly more suitable than conventional polyester for carpet (and apparel).  It also has the superior water-based stain resistance.
 
Nylon Carpet Fiber is a petroleum-based synthetic fabric. It was invented in the 1930s as a silk alternative by Dupont. Since then there have been many improvements, and these Nylons have been engineered to be even more durable, soft, and offer almost a lifetime resistance to stains. Nylon carpets can be pricey, but they’re perfect for any room. If you have heavy traffic areas that are likely to have spills you can’t go wrong with Nylon.
 
Olefin (Polypropylene) is another man made material that resists fading, prevents moisture damage, has low static and is stain resistant. However, it will not wear as well as Nylon or wool.
 
Olefin is very popular because of its cost and appearance. It’s perfect for low traffic areas and for people that like to update their carpet look more often. Olefin also stands up to regular cleaning including strong agents such as bleach. Great for basements, a Childs room or low traffic areas.
 
P.E.T. Polyester is an inexpensive wool alternative, is environmentally friendly, has built-in moisture and stain resistance, is colorfast and feels incredibly soft. Made from recycled products, like plastic soda bottles, polyester carpets are stronger than Olefin and can perform as well as nylon at a much lower cost. Polyester offers a way to enjoy a soft, plush carpet at a very affordable price.

Carpet Cushion

Carpet cushion is a very important yet relativity inexpensive part of the way your carpet will perform. The carpet cushion determines how your carpet feels when you walk on it, helps your carpet maintain its original appearance over time, and absorbs the impact of foot traffic.
 
Carpet pad varies by weight and material but here the ones that are recommended:
 
The Carpet Cushion Council recommends a carpet cushion of at least 5lbs and 3/8" thickness for light traffic areas, and 6.5 lbs. and 3/8" for heavy traffic areas. Many carpet manufacturers recommend a minimum of 8 pounds per cubic foot.
 
Thicker carpet like Saxony – recommended 1/2"
Berber or low profile – recommended no more than 3/8"
 
Purchasing the best carpet with an inferior pad will result in premature packing of the carpet, premature crushing of the carpet and a reduction in overall comfort.

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