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Types of Carpet Texture – What’s the Difference?

Shopping for carpet is an intimidating process, and it doesn’t help that most people only buy carpet every ten years or so. There are seemingly endless options for color, fiber, stain resistance, padding, and texture. But don’t panic! We’re here to help you navigate your carpet needs, starting with textures.

Plush Pile

Soft and Luxurious

Plush pile carpets are a type of cut-pile carpet, which means that the loops of yarn have been cut to form individual strands. Since the strands are the same length, plush pile carpets have a smooth, velvety finish. They’re a great choice for a formal setting, or any room where you want the floor to feel soft and cushy.

Plush pile carpets generally come in solid colors and will show footprints and vacuum marks. They’re also not the most durable option, because of the exposed ends of the carpet fibers — we recommend using them in low-traffic areas like bedrooms.

Textured Plush

Durability meets Comfort

Textured plush is similar to plush pile, but the yarns are cut to different lengths and laid at different angles, lending the carpet a little more depth to its surface. As a result, textured plush carpets can be thicker than plush pile carpets, with more surface texture and better resistance to footprints and tracks.

These carpets aren’t as smooth and velvety in appearance as plush pile, but they’re still soft and durable enough for today’s active lifestyle, making textured plus carpets one of the most popular styles on the market. We recommend using textured plush in bedrooms, living rooms, or play rooms where softness is a priority, but you still want some durability as well.

Frieze

Good for High-Traffic Areas

Frieze (pronounced “frizz-ay”) carpets are perfect for any room where a consistent appearance and texture is important — they’re extremely durable and won’t wear unevenly in higher-traffic areas, so they’re well-suited for hallways, staircases, and areas where people might be wearing shoes.

Frieze carpets have a sort of dense, “perm”-like appearance, due to their shorter, tightly twisted fibers. They’re available in a wide variety of colors and they hide dirt and debris between vacuumings, keeping their appearance with minimal care.

Shag Carpet

For a Retro Look

No, it’s not a flashback to your parents’ basement — shag carpet is back! In recent years, shag carpet has revamped its image with new textures, colors, and styles. Use it in specific areas to create a conversation-starting highlight piece.

Shag yarn heights can range all the way up to three inches, but the longer the yarn, the harder it will be for some vacuums to clean it. The deeper and longer the yarn on your shag carpet, the “shaggier” it will look.

Shag is great for bedrooms, where traffic is low and you’re not likely to be wearing shoes, but we don’t recommend it in areas that see heavy day-to-day use.

Level Loop Pile

Perfect for Stairs and Hallways

Loop piles are made of closed loops, rather than individual strands. They’re not as soft or cushy, but they’re much more durable, since the ends of the yarns aren’t exposed and susceptible to fraying. Level loop carpeting is ideal for staircases, hallways, playrooms, offices, or anywhere that will be seeing a lot of traffic from shoes or wheels.

Level loop carpeting has a uniform loop height, which makes it smoother, flatter, and easier to vacuum. It’s also available in a variety of solid colors, multi-tones, and tweeds.

Berber Loop Pile

High-Traffic and Easy to Clean

Berber is similar to level loop in that it’s low-profile, durable, and won’t show footprints or vacuum tracks, making it perfect for high-traffic areas and busy rooms. It’s firm to walk on and perfect for residents who have difficulty walking, as it’s much less likely to trip you up.

Berber loop carpets are made from individual loops of varying lengths tufted together in random or sequenced designs, which gives them deeper texture and more interesting patterns than level loop carpets. A note for pet owners: Berber carpet’s tightly woven loops aren’t ideal for cats, as a cat’s claws can become stuck in the loops of the carpet.

Textured Patterns

Flooring with Style

If you want to add a splash of flair and excitement to your floors, consider a textured pattern. Textured patterns combine loops and cut piles in specific shapes, from the floral to the geometric, giving your carpet a subtle but striking uniqueness..

Natural Fibers

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly

If sustainability and environmental friendliness are a top priority for your home’s carpeting, consider a natural fiber carpet made of wool, seagrass, jute, or sisal (pronounced “sigh-suhl”). These fibers are non-toxic, biodegradable, sustainable, and less allergenic than most other materials.

Natural fibers come in a variety of textures and patterns, but they’re usually not as soft as synthetic fibers. Sisal, in particular, is a very durable fiber but can be a bit rough on bare feet.

Natural fibers also tend to be more absorbent, meaning they’ll stain more easily than synthetic fibers. If you have kids or pets in the house — or are prone to spills yourself — you should look into other options.