Most homeowners quickly discover that selecting new carpet is difficult, time consuming and confusing. this website was created to help homeowners sort through all the nonsense and confusion.
If you don’t do your carpet homework, it is easy to make costly mistakes and end up unhappy with the performance of your new carpet.
Making wise choices requires that you do your carpet homework before you begin shopping for new carpet.
What Is Berber Carpet?
Berber carpet has been around for a long time and was originally handmade by the Berber tribe of North Africa.
In fact, Berber carpet is still hand-made today in some parts of Africa but it does not resemble the Berber Carpet styles you will find at your local carpet retailer.
Berber carpets became popular in America in the early 1980’s and has grown in popularity ever since! Homeowners today have many choices and options with Berber styles, colors and quality levels.
Here are some important facts and useful Berber carpet information to help you choose the right style of Berber Carpet for your home.
Berber Carpet Styles
- Simple Loop Berber
- Multi-color Loop Berber
- Patterned Loop Berber
- Cut and Loop Berber
- Patterned Loop Berber
- Patterned cut and Loop Berber
- Cut Pile Berber (no loops) (aka California Berber)
Berber Loop Size Matters!
Like I said before, Berbers made with larger loops tend to mat down more quickly, so choosing a Berber with made with smaller loops may be a better choice and will resist matting better especially in heavy traffic applications.
Commercial quality Looped Berber styles usually have the smallest loops and carpets made from Olefin (polypropylene) and is a common choice for those who want a higher level of durability and less potential for matting or crushing of the pile over time.
In most commercial settings, carpet is mainly glued down to the floor without using any padding. This creates the most durable and longest lasting configuration. This is what you see in banks, airports, office buildings and other heavy traffic applications.
In a residential application, you can use a thin 1/4″ to 3/8″ padding to make the carpet softer to walk on, but the density rating must be at least 8 pounds.
Using a thicker pad, more than 3/8″is not recommended because it will significantly reduce the lifespan of the carpet and increase the potential for the carpet to develop waves and wrinkles.
Here is a Simple Looped Berber Carpet
These are large loops. Smaller loops make the carpet more durable and less prone to matting and crushing of the pile.
Looped Berber Carpet Styles
Loops can be easily snagged and pulled. If you have active kids or pets then a Looped Berber Style may not be a good choice for you.
Repairing snagged loops can be very costly. Some snags can run (like a pair of nylon stockings) causing major damage to your carpet that may not be repairable.
Active kids and pets are often the cause of snags to Looped Berber Styles.
Berber Loops tend to quickly bend over or “crush” in moderate to heavy-traffic applications. This is especially true with Berber carpets made of Olefin.
The larger the loops are, the more prone they are to matting and crushing. Basically the loops just fall over and never stand upright again, no matter what you do.
Choosing a Berber with smaller loops will decrease the chances for matting and crushing.
Choosing a Berber carpet made from a Nylon fiber will reduce the chances of matting and crushing of the pile significantly.
Cost to Install Berber Carpet
Berber carpet is much more difficult to install than regular carpet styles. Berber is a heavy carpet and is much more difficult to handle, seam and cut.
Most installers charge at least $1-2 extra per square yard for installing Berber carpet and also charge a higher price for installing Berber on stairs. Learn more about Carpet Installation Cost
What is the Best Padding for Berber Carpet?
All Berber carpet styles require a high density padding and a lower thickness than other non-Berber carpet styles. In most cases, a minimum of 8-pound density and a thickness of no more than 3/8” is required.
Check with the carpet manufacturer to make sure you select the correct padding specifications. Using the wrong padding can void your carpet warranty and may cause your carpet to wear out prematurely.
Learn More about Berber Carpet Styles
Frieze Carpet Styles
This style of carpet has very tightly twisted tufts, usually rated at 6 twists or more, which is why it is well known as a more durable carpet style.
The tufts are not straight like a plush style, rather they are crooked, or wiggly in appearance.
Frieze styles when made from Nylon, are often used in moderate to heavy traffic applications because its higher tuft twist rating make it more durable than most plush carpet styles.
Many homeowners like a Frieze because it provides reduced footprint and vacuum marks.
You’ll likely have to pay more for a Nylon Frieze as they are generally more expensive than plush styles.
Frieze Pricing (Made of Nylon Fiber)
Prices for a basic Frieze style start at about $3.34 per square foot ($30 per square yard) and go up from there.
The cost for a quality padding and proper installation will be extra. You should be able to get a package deal for carpet, pad and installation for about $5.00 per square foot.
All Frieze styles have a unique and elegant appearance and would be a great choice for any home.
Learn more about Carpet Styles
Here is an example of a Frieze style Carpet.
Carpet Tuft-Twist Ratings
Based on the number of twists per lineal inch of tuft.
This Tuft has 7 twists and is a sign of a well-made carpet. Frieze styles have tufts similar to this and cost about $30 per square yard on average, or $3.33 per square foot. Pad and install not included.
This Tuft has 4 twists and is not nearly as durable. This is a sign of a lower-grade carpet.
Inexpensive Plush and Textured Plush styles often have tufts similar to this and range from $10 to $20 per square yard or $1.11 to $2.22 per square foot. Pad and install not included. More expensive styles have higher Tuft-Twist ratings.
Carpets with a lower Tuft Twist Rating (of 3 to 5), tend to untwist or “blossom” at the tuft tips more quickly, thus creating a worn out, frizzy looking or matted down appearance.
Carpet rarely wears out from the loss of fiber, they just start to mat down; gradually lose the luster and shine; and just start to look ugly.
Once the tufts have blossomed or become matted down, the damage cannot be reversed or repaired.
Learn more about Carpet Specifications
Take my Free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet your home needs.