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Learn Your Carpet — the Benefits of Berber

Buying carpet can be an intimidating task — made even more difficult by the fact that most people only do it every ten years or so. Since the last time you shopped for carpet, a lot has changed. And since we want you to know your options and make an informed decision, we thought we’d fill you in on everything you might not know about the world of carpet. Today, we’re talking about Berber.

What Does Berber Mean?

The Berber carpet style is named after the Berber tribe in North Africa, who were famous for weaving rugs and clothing in a specific, knotted style and texture that modern manufacturers now replicate to give Berber carpet its distinctive hand-woven look.

What Does Berber Look Like?

Berber carpet is a closed-loop style of carpet. Instead of stitching the loops in neat rows like some styles, Berber carpets overlap and cross the loops, varying them in thickness and size, creating a very dense texture with more variety.

Berber carpet is also generally on the less expensive end of the carpet spectrum, with some styles starting as low as $1.88 per square foot. This means you can a beautiful, plush flooring solution to your home without breaking the bank!

One thing to note is that since Berber is a style of carpet, it can be made from almost any fiber material. The material you choose will make a big difference on the price tag of your carpet, from cost-effective options like nylon and olefin to much more luxurious materials like wool.

What Are the Benefits of Berber?

Besides the fact that Berber carpet is generally attainable at significant savings over other styles of carpet, Berber is also famously durable. In general, looped fiber carpets are more durable than cut-pile carpets simply because the ends of the fibers aren’t exposed, but Berber has the added benefit of entangling its loops in a dense network that makes it even stronger.

This unique style also means that Berber carpets don’t trap dirt and other particulates nearly as much, making it lower-maintenance than a deeper cut-pile carpet. With regular vacuuming and occasional hot-water or dry cleaning, a Berber carpet should stay clean and free of traffic and furniture indentations for years.

What Else Should You Keep in Mind?

There are a few other considerations before you decide on Berber as your carpet of choice. First is that Berber isn’t quite as soft as a cut-pile carpet. With a good carpet pad, Berber can be just as comfortable, but it’s not the same plush feeling as the soft yarn strands of a cut-pile carpet.

Some people also have concerns about Berber carpet and pets. While you shouldn’t worry about pets snagging their claws in carpets as they run, it’s worth noting that a lot of cats seem to enjoy the sensation of using berber carpets as a scratching post. Cats who love to sharpen their claws on the carpet can cause damage by pulling loops free, so if you have particularly energetic cats, Berber might not be the best choice.

Finally, make sure you’re using the right type of vacuum cleaner. Lots of vacuums have a rotating brush head, also known as a “beater bar,” that helps the vacuum to collect dust off of hard surfaces. If a loop in Berber carpet has already come loose, a beater bar can grab the loop and make it worse, so it’s best to turn off the beater bar setting on your vacuum or use one without it.

Berber carpet has come into its own in recent years. It can be had in a number of colors, textures, and styles, and can even be used on stairs and around railings. It’s versatile, durable, and affordable — perfect for your next project!