What are the differences between each type of carpet?

Buying a carpet isn’t something you do every day and you’ll want a new carpet to last for a good few years. Beyond the colour and what it feels like, most people want a carpet that is stylish, durable, resilient and can withstand everyday living. It’s good to know a bit about the different carpet styles and constructions so you can work out which rooms in your home each carpet type will be best suited to. 

To help you find the right carpet for your home, we’ve broken down the different carpet types so you know what’s suited to different areas of the home. We’ll look at:

  • Berber Carpets
  • Saxony Carpets
  • Cut Pile Carpets
  • Loop Pile Carpets
  • Nylon Carpets
  • Wool Carpets
  • Polypropylene Carpets

 

Berber Carpets

Berber carpets are named after the style of the handmade loop, originating from North Africa. They are durable with plenty of character from the bright neps or slubs in the carpet which create a rustic feel. Berber carpets are often made from wool or wool-rich blends and are a popular choice for stairs, landings and bedrooms. They are pretty easy to clean because spills tend to sit on the surface of the carpet so if you mop it up quickly, they are less likely to sink into the fibres. Berber carpets are well suited to high traffic areas due to their resilient and hardwearing nature.

Pros

  • Suitable for high traffic areas
  • Easy to clean liquid, if wiped up quickly
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not suitable for homes with pets
  • Can stain easily if spills aren’t quickly cleaned

 

Saxony Carpets

Saxony carpets have a longer cut pile construction and the fibres are usually twisted which gives them a luxurious look and feel. They are elegant, soft and have sheared loops so they have twisted fibres that stand upright. Saxony carpets have a classic look and are extremely durable if you take good care of them. The frayed finish can add texture and depth to your home as well as feeling super soft underfoot. Saxony carpets are a popular choice for bedrooms and are often manufactured with synthetic fibres such as polypropylene, nylon or  rPET. This makes them durable as well as having good cleanability and colour fastness.

Pros

  • Classic appearance
  • Soft and luxurious underfoot
  • Can be durable if well taken care of

Cons

  • Can show vacuum cleaner marks and footprints
  • May need vacuuming more to maintain the texture

 

Cut Pile Carpets

Cut pile carpets are often made from wool blends or synthetic fibres. They have had the loops sheared so the yarns have a flat, upright construction. This makes them typically softer than loop pile carpets as the fibres are exposed. The fibres are usually twisted which helps them to withstand matting and crushing and allows them to bounce back over time. The cut pile design provides a nice texture although it can cause the carpet to look worn over time. They work well in most rooms and are soft underfoot.

Cut Pile carpets are available in ⅛” gauge and 1/10” gauge. ⅛” gauge and each different gauge makes the carpet look and feel slightly different.  

⅛” gauge twist pile carpets have a semi-plain, plain or heathered appearance in an array of colours. The simple twisted construction creates a functional carpet that works throughout the home and on stairs. 1/10” gauge cut pile carpets are slightly finer than their ⅛” gauge siblings and work well with plain and semi-plain colour palettes. The solidity of colour in a 1/10” gauge cut pile makes them well suited to bedrooms, stairs and feature rooms where colour choice is key.

Pros

  • Can resist matting and crushing
  • Has a nice soft texture
  • Well suited to most areas of the home

Cons

  • Can be less durable and more difficult to clean
  • Can look a little ‘worn’ over time

 

Loop Pile Carpets

Loop pile carpets are often made from wool or a wool blend. The yarns are looped through the carpet backing which creates a repetitive even look because the carpets are not sheared. These floor coverings rarely show footprints and vacuum lines which makes them well suited to most high traffic areas of the home. They are hardwearing and patterned carpets with wider loops can provide a nice texture.

The array of loop constructions, from Brussels Weaves to basket weaves and ribs, can make for an aesthetically pleasing choice for architectural or rustic styles, and everything in between! Larger loops lend themselves to feature rugs, whilst tighter loops work well in hallways and on staircases. If the loops are tighter, they are more resistant to matting and crushing as well as being easy to clean because they trap less dirt.

Pros

  • Great for high traffic areas
  • Easy to clean
  • Less prone to matting and crushing

Cons

  • Not ideal for homes with cats as they can pull at the loops
  • Less sleek and luxurious feel

 

Nylon Carpets

Nylon carpets are made from synthetic fibres which makes them durable and easy to clean. They are resistant to stains and spills and are easy to maintain which makes them well suited to homes with children or pets. This makes it suitable for high traffic areas of the home with heavy footfall as it is resilient and can maintain its appearance over time. Nylon fibres have a fine pinpoint construction and inherent strength along with being easy to clean  due to the non-porous nature of the fibre.

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Durable and easy to maintain
  • Suited to high traffic areas

Cons

  • Not as soft as other synthetic carpets
  • Can be more static

 

Wool Carpets

Wool carpets are made from natural materials, as a byproduct of good animal husbandry, which makes them more sustainable than other carpet types. They can help to regulate the temperature within your home because the fibres trap air within them, helping to keep your home warm and cosy or cool and comfortable. Not only that, but they can also help to clean the air around you from pollutants and toxins, as well as being naturally resilient to dirt and stains.

Wool carpets are durable, hypoallergenic and the fibres have a natural springiness that allows them to bounce back over time. This makes them well suited to high traffic areas of the home because the fibres have a natural tendency to spring back.

Pros

  • Sustainable carpet choice
  • Durable and bounce back over time
  • Fibres trap air to regulate the room temperature

Cons

  • Not as stain-resistant as synthetic carpets if not properly treated
  • Exposure to sunlight can cause the carpet to fade

 

Polypropylene Carpets

Polypropylene is a synthetic carpet material that is a popular choice amongst families with young children and homes with pets. It is water-resistant as well as soft, durable and easy to clean with a diluted bleach solution. Polypropylene carpets are also super soft and durable enough to use throughout the home. They are well suited to high footfall areas of the home because they are durable but they can be more prone to crushing.

Pros

  • Easy to clean with a diluted bleach solution
  • Soft and durable carpet choice
  • Stain-resistant and resistant to water

Cons

  • Oil-based stains can be difficult to clean
  • Can be more prone to crushing

There are plenty of carpet types to choose from, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The best thing to do when choosing a new carpet is to make a list of your needs so you can choose a carpet that is best suited to your home. That way, you can be sure to have a suitable carpet that will complement your decor and withstand the test of time for years to come. Take a look at our broad range of carpets now and find the perfect addition to your home.

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