Posts tagged carpet
Styles & Types of Carpet

The two most common carpet types are cut pile and loop pile. There are various style options within each respective construction type:

Cut Pile:

This carpet gets its durability through the fiber used, the density of the tufts, and the twist of the yarn. There are four popular styles to choose from: textured plush, Saxony, frieze, and cable.

•         Plush: This has a smooth and even finish, providing a more formal look.

•         Textured: This style uses low density fibers of uneven heights. The resulting look hides dirt with an informal look, but it is not suited for high traffic areas.

•         Saxony: This has a smooth and even finish, but the fibers are longer than a textured plush, and the fibers have a twist. Though this is the most popular style of carpet on the market, it has a tendency to show footprints and other marks more than other carpets.

•         Frieze: This carpet style features long fibers with more twists, so the resulting texture is informal. It hides foot prints and other marks easier than other carpets, but is generally not suited for high traffic areas. If the piles are longer, it is called “shag.”

•         Cable: This style of carpet is made with thicker and longer fibers to provide a more “cozy” feel to the carpet when walked on.

Loop Pile:

Loop pile carpets do not cut the yarn tips, making the loops visible. They are durable in construction, and are considered an “all-purpose” carpet.  There are various styles to choose from including: level loop, patterned multi-level loop, and cut and loop.

•         Level Loop or Berber: This carpet style features packed short looped fibers. This provides a durable surface for high trafficked areas with an informal appearance. Some color flecks in the fiber may make it easier to hide dirt, but the height of the fibers may make the seams more visible.

•         Patterned Multi-Level Loop: This carpet style features loops of varying heights to create a texture and or pattern.

•         Cut and Loop: This carpet style is a mixture between cut pile and loop pile fibers. The variant makes for a textured appearance that is ideal for highly trafficked areas. As an added bonus, this type of carpet also hides dirt and stains.

How to Determine Carpet Quality

Carpet quality is determined by a variety of factors including: the weight, fiber type, fiber construction, and density. There are some manufacturers that refer to carpet by grade, but there is no universal grading system in place for carpet. The “grades” assigned to carpet by the manufacturer are generally used as a marketing tool. Though traffic ratings are important, one company’s “high traffic” rating may be better than another.


The weight of a carpet is important as it shows how many fibers are present. The more fibers, the heavier the carpet; the heavier the carpet, the better. The face weight of the carpet is usually provided when selecting the right carpet for a home or business.

Fiber Types

The durability, look and feel, and price of carpet are partially determined by the fiber used to make it. The most common fiber types are: nylon, olefin, polyester, acrylic, wool, and blends.

•         Nylon: This is the most popular fiber type used for carpeting. There are two different kinds of nylon used to make carpeting: nylon 6, and nylon 6,6. Nylon is present in roughly 60% of all carpets sold in the United States. During manufacturing, dye is added to produce a variety of colors. Nylon is a highly durable fiber, resistant to wear and tear. It is generally not a stain repelling fiber, though treatments are available to help protect it against staining. It is a conductor of static electricity, and when left in direct sunlight for long periods of time, will fade.

•         Olefin: This fiber is not as resilient as nylon, but it is less likely to fade. It is a strong fiber that is resistant to wear and tear. This is an ideal fiber for any outdoor carpeting use because it is resistant to mold and mildew. This is not a comfortable carpet to walk on with bare feet. The seams of the carpet fibers may be more visible than with other fibers.

•         Polyester: Polyester is increasing in popularity because it is a more cost effective option than other fibers. It is not suitable for highly trafficked areas, because it is less resilient than nylon fiber and is more likely to show damage and fade. If used with a thick cut-pile construction, it has a soft feel.

•         Acrylic: Acrylic is not a widely used fiber, but it provides the look and feel of wool based carpets, without the expense. It is not a major conductor of static electricity, and is resistant to mold and mildew.

•         Wool: Wool is the most expensive fiber in the carpet market today, because it is the only natural fiber used in carpet production. It feels good against bare feet and is highly durable. It is stain and dirt resistant, but will fade easily in direct sunlight.

•         Blends: Blends of these fibers are used to improve the overall quality of carpet in terms of look and feel, and durability. The most commonly used blends are wool and nylon, and olefin and nylon.

Fiber Construction

The durability of a carpet relies heavily on the fiber construction.

•         Bulked Continuous Filament: Otherwise known as BCF, Bulked Continuous Filament is yarn made from one strand of fiber. Texture is added to the yarn to add to the bulk of the carpet which helps to make the twist more permanent, increasing durability and the life of the final carpet. All Build Direct carpets are made with this construction.

•         Staple: Staple construction is fibers made into short pieces of yarn, which inevitably causes the carpet to shed, and the fibers must be removed by vacuuming.

•         Twist: Carpet fibers are twisted around additional fiber to strengthen the final carpet. It makes it more resistant to wear and matting, and texture changes.

•         Heat Setting: Heat setting “locks in” the twist, to keep it from unraveling to strengthen the final carpet.

•         Tufting: The finishing step to produce carpet, the fibers are pushed through needles and tufted to the backing. This is the step that determines the density because of the amount of yarn and how close the tufts are.


Density is important to the life of a carpet because it shows how many fibers are used in the pile and how close the fibers are tufted together. The rule of thumb is: the denser the carpet is, the better quality it is. Test the density by running fingers through the carpet to determine if it possible to feel the backing. If it is hard to feel the backing, the carpet is dense.

How to Choose  Carpet Colors and Patterns

Colors and patterns are available in all kinds of carpet, regardless of construction, fibers, and type. There are enough colors and patterns available to suit any decor. Light colors make a room seem larger than it is, but they will show dirt and stains easily. Medium colors will hide dirt and stains a bit, so they are ideal for areas near the entrances of a building. Multiple colors may make a room look dated if the colors are not carefully chosen because they are not as common. They will also hide dirt and debris. Patterns are a great choice for children’s rooms because they come in a range from geometrical to floral.





Carpet Myths

Carpet is one of the most beloved floor coverings in existence, but like any other popular product, it has also at times been the subject of inaccurate information. Below are five of the most common carpet myths, along with the facts to help clear up any misconceptions. 

Myth #1: Carpet is too difficult to maintain.

Fact: There are simple steps you can take to extend the longevity of your carpet. One of the most important things you can do is to vacuum high-traffic areas on a frequent basis. This will keep soil and other dirt particles from sinking and settling down below the surface the pile of the carpet. In addition, it is highly recommended that you get your carpet professionally cleaned every 12-18 months to preserve its appearance.

Myth #2: If you clean your carpet too often, you’ll ruin it.

Fact: Interestingly enough, the exact opposite is true – you can never clean it enough! Frequent cleaning will uphold its appearance and keep it looking new.

Myth #3: Carpet gives off harmful chemicals that can be hazardous to your health.

Fact: There’s a lot of talk about VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the flooring world right now, so it’s important to learn how to separate fact from fiction. Many people claim that the famous “new carpet smell” is actually just harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde being leaked into the air. This phenomenon is popularly known as “off-gassing,” and it has been the subject of countless ominous news headlines, some of which are embarrassingly inaccurate. Formaldehyde is not even used in the carpet manufacturing process at all today, and hasn’t been since 1978. Before then, a small amount of formaldehyde was used as a resin hardener, but even if you have pre-1978 carpet in your home, whatever might have been left of the chemical would have dissipated a long time ago. The truth is that carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs in the household environment, ranking lower than wall paint in multiple tests. The EPA has conducted extensive research regarding this topic, but no evidence has been found that links carpet VOC emissions to adverse health effects.

Myth #4: Carpet aggravates your allergies.

Fact: Multiple EPA studies have thoroughly debunked this myth. If you suffer from airborne allergies, carpet can actually be one of your biggest allies. Research shows that carpet does an excellent job of trapping and immobilizing allergens, keeping them out of the air and out of your lungs. Now when you vacuum or sweep, those allergens can be stirred up, but their effects can be largely curtailed through the use of a HEPA air filter in your vacuum cleaner.

Myth #5: The thicker the carpet, the better.

Fact: Without a doubt, a thicker carpet will provide a softer, more cushiony feel underfoot, but that doesn’t translate into better durability. If you want a high-quality carpet that lasts a long time, you should focus on density, which is the amount of yarn per square inch. The more dense the carpet, the more resilient it will be regardless of its thickness.

With so much conflicting information out there, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction when it comes to carpet. At Best Buy Flooring, our flooring professionals have decades of experience in helping homeowners choose the right carpet for their building or remodeling projects. We pride ourselves on giving our clients accurate and thorough information regarding their carpeting choices, and we have extensive experience with all aspects of carpet selection and installation. So whether your project is carpet installation for a home in Baton Rouge or an office building in New Orleans, we are here to help. Contact us today to see how our flooring experts can help make your next project a success!